Funded Training Solutions

BY Clarice Oelofse

Currently, there are a few options available:
FoodBev SETA SME Grant:

FoodBev SETA DG Grant:

Agri SETA Grant


 November 19, 2015
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Food Safety
Clarice Oelofse

FSMS - Simple & Short Desc

BY Clarice Oelofse

The process when deciding to implement a Food Safety Management System can be intricate and complicated . Let's see how we can make it easier to understand by describing the key steps involved.


1. Go for a Gap Assessment. This will give you a report on findings and recommendations as well as a good idea where to start from. 


At this point the client opts to address all findings and corrective options themselves or request a capable consultant to help address the findings and/or implement a system from scratch. If so, you will move straight to Nr8. 
2. Client considers to implement FSMS
3. Requests formal proposal
4. Client Accepts & Service Level Agreement is signed
5. Implementation dates agreed upon
6. Implementation of FSMS (document development & staff training / coach and mentor staff)
7. Pre-Audit & close out findings
8. Independent Third Party Audit (external)
9. Close out findings
10. Maintenance Of FSMS – either in-house or as an outsourced maintenance function.


We can assist with all the steps involved, apart from Nr 8, beacuse you can't implement and externally audit your own system, right? 


Contact us info@entecom.co.za and we will help where we can.



 October 13, 2015
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Food Safety
Clarice Oelofse

Notional hours - what is nationally accepted?

BY Clarice Oelofse

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) introduced the concept of credits related to "notional hours" as part of a system of outcomes-based education (OBE) . SAQA equates one credit with ten notional hours of learning.


Credits are an indicator of the volume of learning required for the completion of a module / course / qualification and are based on the concept of a notional hour. A "notional hour" includes any activity in which a student is involved that relates to their mastering of an outcome (e.g. this could include: set readings, contact hours, preparing for and writing an assignment, individual study, assessment, and so on).

The standard of TEN notional hours equalling ONE credit has been adopted in SA following the models used in the UK and Australasia. A credit provides a means of quantifying learning outcomes achievable in notional learning hours at a given NQF level. The South African Higher Education system uses the 10-hour credit which means that each credit awarded equates with ten notional hours of successful learning.

Notional learning time includes teaching contact time (lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, practical work-based learning, workshops, fieldwork, etc.), time spent on preparing and carrying out formative and summative assessments (written coursework, oral presentations, exams etc.) and time spent on private study.

Other common definitions when completing a skills programme are the formative & summative assessment. A formative assessment is an assessment that takes place during the process of teaching and learning (e.g. case studies, team work, monkey puzzles, crossword puzzles etc) . A summative assessment is an assessment undertaken to make a judgment about achievement. This is carried out at the end of a particular period of learning. At Entecom, we will conduct a 60 minute workplace assessment or the learner will be required to write an exam and submit an assignment.





 September 15, 2015
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Clarice Oelofse

Workshop or Skills Programme?

BY Clarice Oelofse

Must you consider a 3 day workshop or a 3 day accredited programme? What is the difference?


Workshops tend to be smaller and more intense than seminars. This format often involves learners practicing their new skills during the event under the watchful eye of the facilitator. The challenge is to make workshops practical so that when the delegates leave, they will have a rough plan or tools in place to address the issue at hand. Although it is unit standard based, a workshop isnot credit bearing and is"NQF Aligned". The learner will receive a Certificate of Attendance.


- Workshops are generally small, usually from 5 to 15 participants

- They're often designed for people who are working together, or working in the same field.

- They're conducted by people who have real experience in the subject under discussion.


The ideal size is 8-12 learners as it's small enough so that everyone has an opportunity to have his questions answered and to get some individual attention from the presenter, but still large enough to generate some lively discussion. If the group is larger than 15, the voices of some people, usually those who are quieter, tend to get lost; if it's smaller than 6-8, there may not be enough opinions, questions, and ideas flying around.

Training not associated with credits for unit standards and towards qualifications will not be eligible for grant funds.

Benefits of a workshop:

- Customised if offered in-house
- Cost effective in terms of time spent out of the office
- Still looks good on your audit report


Not so great:
- Hardly any funding available from SETA’s
- It is merely an information session, and there is very little proof that the amount of information covered in the workshop is retained by the learner.


What about skills programmes?
A skills programme is an occupationally directed learning programme that allows learners to acquire knowledge and skills in a single or a cluster of unit standards and enable learners to build up credits towards a full qualification registered on the NQF. The learner will receive a Certificate of Attendace as well as a Certificate of Competence.


Benefits of skills programmes:
- Allow post qualification specialization
- Enable competency in a particular area to ensure compliance with legislation
- Improves skills and employability
- Addresses the critical skills needs of business and industry
- Economical in terms of time and resources


Next month we will have a look at the notional hours, how it is calculated and what to look out for. For any SDF related queries, feel free to contact clarice@entecom.co.za.

 July 17, 2015
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Clarice Oelofse

Gloving It!

BY Clarice Oelofse

The use of gloves is not a substitute for hand washing - hand washing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections.

In a nutshell - If you are wearing disposable gloves change them regularly, in the same way you would wash your hands regularly if not wearing gloves.The main purpose we use gloves, is to protect the product and the worker. If the gloves are torn or punctured, worn without being changed or sanitized, and the worker’s hands were not washed before donning, then risk is amplified rather than reduced.


Gloves made from either latex, rubber and non-latex materials such as nitrile or vinyl are commonly used in the food industry and do offer added protection, but there are a number of variables that determine their effectiveness.


The pro-glove argument:

  • protect hands from harsh chemicals and hazardous situations
  • protect foods from direct hand contact
  • easier to monitor, audit and enforce than hand washing thoroughness and frequency
  • can be used to cover bandages
  • can improve grip
  • are effective in preventing cross contamination.

Those who argue against glove use point out that it can:

  • limit finger dexterity
  • contaminate foods if not used properly
  • provide a false sense of security
  • encourege poor hygiene practices 
  • have pinhole leaks which permit bacteria to migrate from our hands onto foods;
  • cause skin irritations which discourage proper glove use
  • fall apart
  • introduce foreign matter which may not be detected by conventional methods

Generally, gloves can do more harm than good if not used properly. So to get the benefit of gloves, high 5 the following guidelines:

  • Use gloves designed for the task.
  • Always wash, dry and sanitize hands before donning gloves as well as afterwards. bacteria collect in the perspiration under the gloves
  • Do not apply sanitizer to the outside of a glove once it’s on your hand, unless the glove is designed to be sanitized
  • Change gloves regularly or at least every break following the procedure outlined above
  • Audit the effectiveness of your glove program by regularly swabbing food workers' gloved hands

Sources used:


Facilitators: Richard Jackson & MT Nkosi

Bit of common sense

 May 14, 2015
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Food Safety
Clarice Oelofse

Debugging your FSMS

BY Clarice Oelofse

Are you serving more than just food?


The WHO celebrated its birthday on 7 April, and this year the theme was: Food Safety. According to WHO: “Safe food underpins but is distinct from food security. Food safety is an area of public health action to protect consumers from the risks of food poisoning and foodborne diseases, acute or chronic. Unsafe food can lead to a range of health problems: diarrhoeal disease, viral disease (the first Ebola cases were linked to contaminated bush meat); reproductive and developmental problems, cancers. Food safety is thus a prerequisite for food security'.


Key questions to consider:

What is food safety? & What is food security? Food safety is defined as food that is "safe for human consumption" and is also the "unintentional contamination of food", whereas food defence is defined as the "intentional contamination of food". TS ISO 22002-1 also refers to this as Bio vigilance or Bio terrorism.  


This leads us to another key question – are you serving more than just food?

Food poisoning represents a crossover between infectious diseases and toxin-mediated illness, as many bacteria elaborate toxins to produce symptoms.  Some cases of food poisoning involve colonization and reproduction of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, while others arise from pre-formed toxins in food (www.calpoison.org). Bacterial food poisoning may be short-lived and self-limited (e.g. Bacillus cereusStaphylococcus aureus) or prolonged, with severe symptoms, complications, and sequelae (e.g. Campylobacter spp.Escherichia coliShigella spp.).


B. Cereus about this for a moment. Bacillus foodborne illnesses occur due to survival of the bacterial endospores when food is improperly cooked. Cooking temperatures less than or equal to 100 °C (212 °F) allow some B. cereus spores to survive. This problem is compounded when food is then improperly refrigerated, allowing the endospores to germinate. Cooked foods not meant for either immediate consumption or rapid cooling and refrigeration should be kept at temperatures below 10 °C or above 50 °C (50 °F and 122 °F) - Source - Wikipedia


Now, what do I do next:

  • Make sure all your GMP’s are in place
  • Make use of a SANAS accredited Lab to do micro testing (www.fclabs.co.za)
  • Join us for a Food Defence Workshop on 13 July 2015
  • Email us for a free presentation on Food Safety Management Systems
 April 17, 2015
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Food Safety
Clarice Oelofse


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