The Department of Higher Education and Training is delighted to announce that the entire backlog in the processing of applications for the National N Diploma and National Certificate (Vocational) [NC(V)] certificates for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges has been eliminated.
So far a total number of 20 475 National N Diploma applications that were received up to 31 March 2017 have all been processed.
In a joint project with the quality assurer – Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) – the Department has managed to process and issue a total of 18 456 diplomas to eligible candidates. Just over 2 000 of the applications received were declined due to failure to meet prescribed minimum requirements.
Copies of all the approved national diplomas and declined letters have been distributed to TVET colleges by the end of June 2017 and are now ready for collection.
Furthermore, the Department has since received and processed almost 10 000 additional National N Diploma applications between July 2017 and September 2017. So far over 7 000 of these applications have been successfully certified.
This means that the Department has now successfully exceeded its prescribed 3-months standard turnaround time for the processing of National N Diplomas.
In a parallel project involving the college management, State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the quality assurer Umalusi, the Department has also successfully managed to clear all outstanding NC(V) certificates for TVET colleges going as far back as 2007.
As at September 2017 over 230 000 certificates have been processed and released to colleges. Accordingly – for the examination cycle period between November 2007 and November 2016 – all eligible NC (V) candidates’ certificates have been processed and distributed to TVET colleges.
This excludes outstanding records or results, which are being followed up on. For the period November 2016 to March 2017 the Department has identified a total of 1 944 records with data processing anomalies for further verifications by SITA.
The final phase of the backlog project will now focus on addressing any outstanding NATED certificates. Once completed, all outstanding certificates and diplomas would have been addressed.
To assist unblock some of the inherent systematic inhibitions including the perennial candidates’ data discrepancies; the Department is currently exploring various innovative tools that would help speed up the certification process. This include the integration of the Department’s examination IT system with the Department of Home Affairs ID number information system.
The Department has also launched and is piloting an electronic query system called e-Queries. This is an integrated online service to allow students to query matters related to certification, diplomas, examination papers and resulting directly with their colleges and the Department.
This new service also seeks to give students direct access to Departmental officials at Head Office and strengthen communication between college management and students.
Students can also use their mobile phones to track the status of their queries lodged as well as to receive responses and updates through emails and SMS.
This initiative forms part of government`s broader e-Government programme and is currently being piloted at the following 6 TVET colleges in Gauteng:
- Ekurhuleni East TVET College
- Ekurhuleni West TVET College
- Central Johannesburg TVET College
- Tshwane North TVET College
- Tshwane South TVET College
- South West Gauteng TVET College
Students can lodge their queries by logging into the e-Gov Portal at www.eservices.gov.za to register.