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  • Writer's pictureHennie Brittz

From SETA to QCTO: Navigating the new landscape of skills development

Updated: May 28


How is your organisation dealing with the complex shift from SETA (The Sector Education and Training Authority) to QCTO (The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations)?

In June 2023, QCTO became the primary body responsible for the accreditation, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications, part-qualifications and skills programmes. This transition aims to ensure that South Africa grows its skilled workforce, spurring job creation and economic growth.

Understanding the shift

Unlike SETA certifications, which were sector-specific and varied in recognition, QCTO's Occupational Certificates are aligned with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), ensuring nationwide recognition and increased job market relevance. 

Despite these advancements, many organisations are grappling with the changes, uncertain about how the new standards will impact their operations and workforce. This uncertainty is compounded by delays in the rollout and a general lack of clarity about the new system and the way forward.

The obstacles

Businesses and their employees face several obstacles under the new QCTO guidelines:

  • Extensive Learning Hours: Traditional qualifications often require a significant time investment, translating into considerable hours away from work. This classroom time can have a costly impact on daily operations and employee availability. 

  • Practical Application: While the focus on practical skills is beneficial, there is a concern about whether the training reflects the latest industry standards and practices.

  • Workforce Stability: The risk of employees leaving your company during a long-term qualification increases, affecting continuity and increasing operational costs.

The opportunity

Recognising the benefits that higher education qualifications bring to employees, their families and businesses, 2Collaborate has developed an alternative to the traditional skills development framework. In partnership with Stadio University, together we provide Higher Certificates or Advanced Diplomas in Management through our iLead Junior (Supervisory and Middle Management) Leadership and Management Development Programme. This can be pursued as a Learnership or delivered as a Short Learning Programme (SLP), offering an impactful solution amid the current challenges.

The benefits of 2Collaborate’s approach

Customised to meet your needs, our accredited Employed Learnerships and Short Learning Programmes integrate seamlessly with your operational environment. Designed to overcome the obstacles, unlock the benefits and ensure a positive return on investment, our programmes include:

  • Workplace Integration: Our programmes are designed for 70% on-the-job training, ensuring that learning is directly applicable and minimally disruptive.

  • Customisation: To ensure relevance, we tailor the programme content to fit specific organisational roles, lingo and requirements. Traditionally, qualifications do not allow for customisation, but our unique partnership with Stadio University enables us to bring you the best of both worlds: a solid academic approach along with alignment to the exact needs of your business.

  • Distance Learning: To complement the practical focus, the theoretical component of our programme constitutes only 30% of the total hours. We employ distance learning strategies to minimise classroom time, using a Learning Management System (LMS) for online sessions, assignments and exams. This keeps theoretical learning efficient and directly relevant to the workplace.

  • Assessment: Starting with a baseline competency assessment, we tailor the educational content to close skill gaps, integrating industry-specific terms and operating models and structures.

  • Enhanced Competence: Leads to improved staff morale, productivity, cost control, quality, service levels and safety.

  • Qualification: Our programmes are accredited by Stadio Higher Education at NQF Levels 5 and 7, providing recognised qualifications. 

  • BBBEE and Tax benefits: Accreditation enables costs to be offset through Skills Development Funding, BBBEE credits and tax rebates.

  • Career Development: Opens pathways to higher education and career advancement for employees, supporting both personal and organisational growth.


As the landscape of skills development evolves, 2Collaborate is ready to assist your business in navigating these changes efficiently and effectively. By embracing our flexible, accredited programmes, you can ensure that your workforce remains skilled, motivated and aligned with both current and future industry standards. 

We are driven by a passion for lifelong learning, aiming to not only equip individuals with practical skills but also to inspire a journey of continuous personal and professional growth. This approach helps individuals to build meaningful careers, enriching their lives and enhancing their contributions to your business.

Click here for more about our iLead Junior (Supervisory and middle management) Leadership and Management Development Programme or connect with us to set up a conversation regarding your specific needs.

About the author

Hennie Brittz

Hennie Brittz, Managing Director at 2Collaborate has spent 15 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing large-scale performance improvement processes.

Get to know more about Hennie on LinkedIn.

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