A learner is defined as any person who enrols and/or intends to enrol for any qualification administered by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
This includes students at schools, colleges, traditional universities, universities of technology, learners in learnerships and apprentices, interns and people learning non-formally and informally as well as people enrolled for a particular qualification or part-qualification.
All qualifications registered by the South African Qualifications Authority under the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF) are under the custodianship of the QCTO. It includes Historically Registered Qualifications (N4-N6), new occupational qualifications, part-qualifications and trades. Sector-based qualifications are administered by Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).
The Skills Development Providers (SDPs) that offer qualifications registered under the OQSF are required to seek accreditation from the QCTO. The accredited provider is issued with an accreditation number and a certificate confirming accreditation status of such provider for a period of 5 years. Prospective learners are required to verify the accreditation status of the provider with the QCTO before enrolment.
Any SDP that is not accredited by the QCTO, but offering qualifications registered under the OQSF, is in contravention of the law and certificates awarded thereafter are not recognised.
The issuing of occupational certificates for occupational qualifications and part-qualifications, including trades, is the responsibility of the QCTO. The N4-N6 certificates and diplomas are currently issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as part of the functions delegated to the Department.