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

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