SAQA course management recommendations have not introduced anything alien and new with regards to how unit standardised courses should be run and managed. Especially when one considers that there are an infinite number of subjects and as many courses that can be potentially developed. The tried and tested methods of project management principles still come highly recommended. The only condition would be that all learning leads to a practical outcome that can be assessed using the appropriate assessment methods.
Some general and simple steps to follow when considering a learning intervention would be to first begin with a `needs analysis.’ This is highly emphasised in SAQA course management. The needs analysis should give you the course outcome. An outcome must be something tangible that must be demonstrated by the trainee at the end of the learning intervention. Once the outcome is known and understood then the type of intervention needs to be agreed upon. Does it need to be a facilitated programme, or perhaps a series of practical workshops, or would one-on-one coaching on the job be more appropriate to take the candidate to the required level of competence?
The type of intervention will determine the following preparations. The preparation will include the learner guide or training manual; equipped training venue; the trainer and their materials; and the scheduled time for the intervention. Depending on what intervention it is, there may be other requirements or variances to how the listed items are done. SAQA course management principles are quite flexible and should fit all workplace programmes.
All outcomes based training interventions should begin with the end in sight. This refers to the assessment process. When planning the training, the activities should align to what is necessary as evidence for the assessment. This is the only point where SAQA course management requirements become uncompromising - the assessment process. SAQA actually recognises all routes towards learning. The only threshold to accept recognition of a candidate’s competence is the SAQA aligned assessment.
The larger programmes within the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) are called learnership programmes. These training initiatives are made up of a number of unit standards that lead to a holistic qualification. Currently, popular learnerships in the workplace are a yearlong in duration. This is seen as most suitable from a SAQA course management perspective. Different levels of learning towards more specific qualifications or higher degrees of competence may be presented in subsequent annual programmes. All of these, if aligned adequately to the unit standards that make up a learnership may be recognised on the National Qualifications Framework.