For many years discussions have revolved around the issuing of illegal certificates of training in our industries. Reference here is made to many “Training Providers” who have materialised, carrying out non accredited training and themselves not being registered and accredited by the relative SETA. This in itself poses a huge challenge to our industry as these certificates are being accepted by many employers and unfortunately there is currently only one avenue to authenticate the validity of any certificates which is via the government NRLD data base which has its own challenges.
Illegal certificates in the industry can result in insurance claims being repudiated which results in large losses being experienced by plant hire companies not to mention the safety issues in allowing unqualified operators being allowed to operate our equipment.
In order to address the above the Contractors Plant Hire Association set a goal to achieve “one qualification, one set of training material and one certificate of competence” for all operators in our industry. When achieved this will ensure all operators are trained to the same standard throughout the country.
The first step has been taken by the Mobile Crane committee, who reviewed the current SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) qualifications available and chose SAQA Qual. ID 64829 National Certificate: Lifting Machine Operations to be the preferred qualification to be used when qualifying new mobile crane operators.
A Learnership has also been registered with TETA: 26Q260087261223 National Certificate: Lifting Machine Operations.
Entry level criteria have also been reviewed, and submissions have been made to DOL (Dept. of Labour) for consideration in their review of the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations which incorporates the NCOP (National Code of Practice). We have proposed that new entrants should have a Grade 12 Certificate with English and Maths Literature, a valid driver’s licence code “C” or “EC”, and a valid Health Certificate issued by a Health Practitioner including an eye test. We have proposed that a psychometric test i.e.” Dover test” should be incorporated in order to test the learner’s eye hand coordination amongst other things.
The new QCTO (Quality Council for Trade and Occupation) qualification against Code 734301: Crane & Hoist Operator is currently being finalised after which, if accepted by QCTO, will then come out for public comment. Comments will then be considered by QCTO and incorporated if necessary. Once this process has been completed and accepted it will then be sent to SAQA for registration. Once registered, the new qualification, will replace all previously registered SAQA qualifications for Mobile Cranes.
The CPHA is currently developing an industry data base for the registration of all Mobile Crane operators whether they have a qualification or not, as many operators carry the SAQA unit standard 116254 and will be acknowledged for this achievement. This would be the first step to the development of Mobile Crane operators to a full qualification. The data base will serve as a reference point to members as well as those industries serving the Mobile Crane industry. In developing this data base confidentiality is of the highest importance and dissemination of information will be handled by the National Office.
On the Earthmoving side the current SAQA qualifications, of which there are two ID 48940 & 65789: National Certificate: Construction: Plant Operations are still in operation. The Plant Hire Industry has always favoured ID 48940 but it appears that CETA (Construction SETA) will only accredit Training Providers against ID 65789 for reasons only known to themselves. A new QCTO qualification against OFO Code: 734201: Earthmoving Plant Operator (General) is currently being developed and will come out for public comment once completed. As there is some controversy over the development of the new QCTO qualification, which we are attempting to address, we will keep the industry up to date on developments.