National Qualification for Bicycle Mechanics in South Africa
Posted on in Cycles News
Torq Zone Academy, Cytech's training provider in South Africa, are currently working on getting bicycle mechanics recognised as a National Qualification in South Africa and having it registered on the National Qualifications Framework [NQF].
The story so far
The Academy initiated the process with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations [QCTO] back in late 2014 (before the Academy was established), with progress being slightly delayed until early 2015. A meeting was held and hosted by the QCTO with attendance by representatives from most major cycling brands, where the decision was made to continue the qualification's development with Torq Zone Academy championing the process.
The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority [W&RSETA] was then approached and agreed to act as the Qualification Development Partner. Under their guidance and along with the major cycling brands, industry representatives and Torq Zone Academy the development of the qualification concluded in March 2016.
The W&RSETA submitted the qualification to the QCTO at the end of March 2016, where it has since been approved and will shortly be circulated for public comment.
The qualification will consist of two part-qualifications which culminate in the achievement of a parent qualification. The first part-qualification, the Bicycle Repairer, essentially contains all the learning outcomes from Cytech technical one and two and the second part-qualification, the Bicycle Component Specialist, includes all the learning outcomes from Cytech technical three. The parent qualification, the Occupational Certificate: Bicycle Mechanic, includes learning outcomes related to learnership and supervision in the workshop, along with bicycle consumables, threads and material technology.
Each part-qualification and the parent qualification and will contain Knowledge, Practical and Workplace Experience components, which culminate in an independent Integrated Assessment. Both the Knowledge and Practical components will be completed at an accredited training provider like the Academy, with the Workplace Experience component being completed at an accredited workshop.
- Benefits of registering this qualification, to South Africa and the industry as a whole, include:
- Clarity, recognition and portability of learning achievement
- Standardised training and learning assessment
- Employer access to National Skills Funds [NSF] mandatory and discretionary funding (in South Africa)
- Consumer confidence and peace of mind
- Equality of esteem with other occupations
After public comment has been received the qualification will be submitted to the South African Qualifications Authority [SAQA] for approval, and if successful, registered under the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework [OQSF] of the NQF. It is expected that this will be finalised by November 2016.
At this point Torq Zone Academy will apply to the QTCO for accreditation to offer the qualification, which should be granted by June 2017 with the Academy delivering the qualification by July 2017. The Academy will then hope to certificate learners for the South African National Qualification alongside the already established and internationally recognised Cytech qualification.