By Business Reporter
THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has unveiled a regional qualifications framework, effective from 19 April.
The qualifications framework recommits SADC to making the movement of learners and workers across the region a reality, the regional body said.
The SADC Qualifications Framework (SADCQF) consists of 10 levels, which are based on learning outcomes.
“The SADCQF enables member states to reference their National Qualifications Frameworks (NQFs) or national education system – in countries where NQFs are still being developed – against the agreed-upon regional framework. This means that the SADC countries are able to benchmark their qualifications against the SADCQF.
“The purpose of the SADCQF is to enable the easier movement of learners and workers across the SADC region and internationally. It was first established in 2011, by the ministers of education in the SADC region.
“A Technical Committee on Certification and Accreditation (TCCA) was then established to make the SADCQF a reality. The TCCA is a group of experts from the 15 SADC member states and is supported by the SADC Secretariat,” SADC said in a statement.
The TCCA has since agreed on a way of implementing the SADCQF.
“This includes the adoption of 10 alignment criteria, to ensure consistency in the way SADC member states align their NQFs or national education systems to the SADCQF,” said TCCA Chairperson, Joe Samuels.
Six SADC member states have agreed to pilot the alignment process, and the outcome of this pilot will guide the rollout of the alignment for the other nine SADC states.
“Regional alignment enables individuals to make comparisons of their learning and competence, and also reduces unnecessary duplication of learning and effort, when moving through SADC for study or work purposes,” added Samuels.
The implementation of the SADCQF also includes Quality Assurance (QA) and Verification of Qualifications. SADC has created a set of 16 regional QA guidelines that set these standards at a regional level. Member states must align their quality assurance mechanisms with the regional guidelines.
To facilitate the Verification of Qualifications in the region, member states decided to create a regional qualifications verification network, known as the SADC Qualifications Verifications Network (SADCQVN). The SADCQVN is a tool for SADC member states to verify the qualifications used in SADC.
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