Community development practitioners
Community development is of strategic importance and relevant to all South African government departments and national programmes such as the War-on-Poverty, the Local Economic Development Programme, the Extended Public Works Programme, and the Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Programme.
To provide South Africa with expertise in community development, community development qualifications were registered on the NQF Levels 4, 5 and 8. These qualifications aim at promoting sustainable, holistic National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and integrated community well-being. Two of these qualifications registered on NQF Levels 4 and 5 have now been re-developed following the processes for the development of occupational qualificationsestablished by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).
Procedures and processes
The route taken aims to provide the community development sector with three pathways:
- a pathway towards professionalization of community development services;
- a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) pathway that will support professionalization; and
- articulation possibilities between all the community development qualifications (NQF Levels 4, 5 and 8), as well as articulation between these community development qualifications and all other related certificates and degrees.
A Logic Model was used to develop and align processes to provide all three products to the Community Development sector.
The RPL process includes the development of an RPL model based on multi-disciplinary content together with a Fieldwork Practice Guide that will enable community development practitioners and workers to engage with the RPL process. As it was recognized that many community development workers and practitioners have either gained knowledge through completing qualifications related to community development work and/or through work experience, the RPL model includes RPL both for access to a professional course leading to a community development qualification and for credit with the possibility of credit accumulation and transfer respectively.
Outcomes and ways forward
Based on audits performed by the Department of Social Development, it is estimated that from around 50, 000 to 70, 000 persons currently working in the community development sector could benefit from the RPL process towards professionalization within the sector within the next two to three years (2014-2017)
Source: UNESCO UIL