The past year has been one of consolidation and exciting projects, cementing our role as a Professional Body within the landscape of our industry.
1. South African Qualification Authority (SAQA)
We have attended a number of SAQA forums and workshops and the following matters of interest were highlighted.
2. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
Ensuring that CPD takes place and is managed by the Professional Body is one of the major obligations we have. It is critical that members seek to constantly upgrade and update their knowledge and skills, and this will be audited by SAQA on an ongoing basis.
As such we request that all log books be kept up to date and forwarded to the office when membership is renewed.
3. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
The Professional Body is not only mandated, but also encouraged to ensure that we offer RPL to those members who meet the criteria but without a formal qualification, to be recognised as Professionals via this process. CEEPSA already offers this as part of our Policies and Protocols.
SAQA’s new policy of creating skills and qualifications that can be used horizontally ( to go into another field) or vertically, towards a higher qualification is already in place with the EQASA system which we recognise, so we are already one of the few Professional Bodies in line with this policy.
5. National Learner Record Database (NLRD)
Again we are one of the Professional Bodies up to date and fulfilling our mandate with this obligation.
6. Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)
Our partnership with the QCTO, formalised by a Service Level Agreement, has seen CEEPSA appointed as the Development Quality Partner (DQP) for writing the qualification for Equestrian Coach/Instructor/Teacher/Trainer/RidingMaster – OFO Curriculum code 342204001.
This qualification is being compiled under the leadership of a QCTO Facilitator, Mrs Elsie Mothau, by a Community of Expert Practitioners which include representatives from Carriage Driving, Dressage, Equitation, Eventing, Show jumping, Showing, Tent pegging, Saddle seat, Tourism, Racing, Animal Welfare and the South African Mounted Police Unit. Endurance will also be represented once the specialization sessions take place.
This qualification is scheduled to be completed in August 2017 and the process will include revisiting the existing qualifications/skills programs to ensure that they are realigned accordingly.
We are also delighted that EQASA has been given the mandate, again through a Service Level Agreement, with the QCTO to be the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) for these qualifications.
The next project is to look at the Equine Assisted Therapists and Complementary Health Therapists with whom a pre-scoping meeting has already taken place. We will include all interested stakeholders as we have done with the current qualification.
7. Training Providers
We welcome the new Training Providers and are grateful that there is now a standard overseen by the QCTO via CEEPSA that the training will be of a high standard in keeping with International best practice. These Training Providers will register with the QCTO in 2018 on recommendation of CEEPSA.
The website is being updated with a facility for those members wishing to advertise their services to have this facility included on their profile.
The Registration form has also been amended and we ask all members to complete a new form if they joined prior to August 2016. This additional information is required by the NLRD and we also need to ensure that we have your up to date contact details for our own records.
The writing of OFO 342204001 will cost CEEPSA in excess of R150, 000 which is reflected in the Annual Financial Statement and accounts for the trading deficit.
PDI members unable to pay their membership fees have to date been sponsored by CEEPSA and many have had their membership fees waived. EQASA has contributed to first time candidate membership fees so that they can be included in the NLRD, which only a Professional Body or SETA can load.
This means that there have been limited funds available and CEEPSA continues to be managed on a voluntary basis with costs being kept to a minimum.
We have made an application for funding from Lotto for the writing of the qualification and qualification of Assessors, but to date have not yet heard whether or not our application has been successful.
In closing, I must thank all our members for their ongoing support, despite many miscommunications and confusion created in peripheral circles. Our goal is to work with everyone in pursuit of partnerships driven by a desire for our industry to continue to succeed and grow. We distance ourselves from unprofessionalism and anything based on personal egos or vendettas.
Thank you too to our board of directors who also give of their time and expertise freely and enthusiastically.