Regulating the Training Market
NTA enforces registration regulations
Following the publication in the Government Gazette of the Regulations for the Registration of Vocational Education and Training (VET) providers, the Namibia Training Authority has embarked upon encouraging players in the training market to comply with requirements and to apply for official registration status.
In this interview, the NTA’s Acting General Manager: Operations, Richwell Lukonga sheds more light on the issue.
1. Why is registration necessary?
Through registration, the NTA wants to counter some of the symptoms of our current training market, which include the setting up of small institutions which would charge money for training purposes and later on close down, fleecing thousands of dollars from unsuspecting trainees. It is aimed at ridding our market from institutions that offer cheap, non-effective training, leaving unsuspecting trainees with no skills to enter the job market. It is aimed at identifying institutions run by unqualified managers and with equally under-qualified trainers who offer training and assessment and institutions which do not have the required physical infrastructure and training equipment to run training,
Registration helps us to ensure that we train in areas for which there are market demand. We don’t want people with skills to remain redundant in the market.
2. Who needs to apply for registration with the NTA?
Any entity offering VET courses in Namibia should apply. This includes, but is not limited to institutions, companies conducting training. If not sure whether you are eligible for registration, please contact the NTA to receive guidance. Registration is valid for a maximum of two years for providers not accredited with our sister organization, the Namibia Qualifications Authority, NQA.
3. What are the benefits of registering with the NTA?
Apart from the mandatory requirement, training providers may be eligible to receive professional and technical advice from the NTA. Training providers offering training in areas considered as industry priority areas may be eligible to receive funding.
4. Will I qualify for funding if registered with the NTA?
Not automatically. Registered training providers stand a chance to receive funding if the training they are offering is priority industry required training, or if they are offering training identified to be in demand. The NTA will advertise in the local media asking for proposals to conduct training to be submitted to the NTA. Once proposals are received, the NTA will go through an evaluation process to determine the most suitable institutions to conduct such training. And these institutions are the ones to be engaged.
5. What if my institution does not comply with all the requirements?
The NTA will assist the training institution in identifying areas of concern and give the respective provider ample time to remedy shortcomings, if any. We have established a unit to specifically deal with this challenge and provide the necessary guidance and support. Opportunities will be provided for such training providers to tap into the expertise from the NTA.
6. What is the turn-around time for registration?
In normal situations, a complete application for registration should have a turn-around time of between three to six months. This period may be extended where special circumstances arise and the training provider will be kept abreast of such developments. As a general guideline, the more complete the application is, the more prepared the training provider is for the site visits and the quicker a provider undertakes corrective action, the faster the process.
7. Can providers be registered with conditions or receive provisional registration?
The regulations do not provide for provisional registration. Upon engagement, training providers are provided with ample time to implement corrective actions. Our Quality Systems Auditors conduct audits in conjunction with subject matter experts, nominated by our industry sectors. They determine the suitability of an institution to offer VET programmes and make recommendations to the NTA for registration.
At this stage, the regulations require that all providers are meeting all the conditions applicable to them in a satisfactory manner. Any training provider not registered with the NTA are operating outside the legislative framework and may be subject to the penalties prescribed in the Vocational Education and Training Act of 2008.
8. The NTA registers training institutions, whereas your sister organization, the NQA accredits courses. Does training institutions also have to apply for accreditation?
All institutions are strongly encouraged to apply for accreditation with the NQA as soon as they are in a position to do so. Although accreditation is not mandatory, the NTA strongly encourages institutions to gain accreditation.
9. Under what circumstances can the registration of a training provider be revoked?
Training provider registration may be revoked if conditions of registration cease to exist and if training providers contravene any conditions of the regulations. Registration can also be revoked when offences are committed and when a training provider ceases to operate. Another instance is when training providers do not submit the mandatory report to the NTA as required. A process will be undertaken to determine the nature of the reason to revoke the registration of a training provider in line with the regulations.
10. Does a registered institution receive a certificate?
A registered institution will receive a certificate of registration that must be prominently displayed at the premises of the provider at a place accessible to learners and the general public.
11. Any final comments?
Quality training remains at the heart of the Regulations for the Registration of VET Providers. And in as much as these regulations empower the NTA to protect and safeguard Namibians against sometimes unscrupulous entities wanting to make a quick buck under the guise of so-called recognized courses, our national VET system sets clear expectations—through legislation, standards and requirements—for registered training organisations to take responsibility for the quality of their qualifications and services.
As the official regulating body, the Namibia Training Authority expects that all training providers will meet these standards. As such, I encourage you to recognize the value of regulation and to comply with the requirements.