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Applying for Recognition for Prior Learning In Respect of the Municipal Finance Management Programme

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In response to the need to improve financial management and service delivery within South African municipalities, the government published Gazette No 299967 in June 2007.

The Gazette stipulated the minimum academic qualifications, experience levels and competency regulations which need to be met by certain categories of municipal financial officials by 2013.

The following categories have been identified by National Treasury, namely:

• Accounting Officers

• Chief Financial Officer

• Senior Managers

• Financial Officials at Middle Management level

• Heads of Supply Chain Management

• Supply Chain Management Managers

The National Treasury has been mandated to oversee and support SA municipalities in their efforts to ensure that their financial officials achieve the minimum competencies.

In order to give effect to the Gazette No 299967, the National Treasury developed a programme called the Municipal Finance Management Programme which consists of 28 specific unit standards divided into 6 learning programmes. The majority of these programmes consist of level 6 unit standards whilst a few are at level 5.

20 of these unit standards form the National Certificate in Municipal Finance - SAQA Qualification ID No. 48965.

Although it is advantageous to complete all 28 unit standards, it is not a requirement.

The Gazette specifies that the following officials have to achieve competency in the following number of specified unit standards.

Financial Officials Competency attainment against the following number of Unit Standards
Accounting Officers 18
Chief Financial Officers 21
Senior Managers 17
Any other financial officials at middle management level 15
Supply Chain Management Officials
Heads of Supply Chain Management Units 17
Supply Chain Management Managers 10

In addition, because of the way that National Treasury designed the programme, every official has to complete an additional unit standard No. 119353 which relates to Public, Private Partnerships. This programme has been designed as a complementary programme to U/S 116353 which relates to Supply Chain Management and as such the two programmes need to be presented as a unit.

Recognition of Prior Learning

It is appreciated that many officials have a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over many years of service in municipalities.

In such a situation, RPL is a suitable option to be pursued. If you believe that this is the case, then you will be required to complete the Siyakhula Trust web-based questionnaire which will assist you determine your level of knowledge and competency against the specific outcomes contained in the unit standards which are relevant for your position. The Questionnaire can be completed on line and will take you approximately 1 ½ hours to complete.

This will indicate whether you are a possible candidate for RPL against the qualification or specific unit standards or modules contained in the MFMP Programme. The results of this questionnaire will be discussed with you by the Siyakhula Trust’s RPL Advisor.

Definition of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

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RPL is defined in the National Standards Bodies Regulations (No. 18787 of 28 March 1, issued in terms of the SAQA Act 58 of 1995) as follows:

Recognition of Prior Learning means the comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner how so ever obtained against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements.

In order to be awarded credit against specific unit standards or the qualification it is essential that you are able to demonstrate competence against the specific outcomes contained in the selected unit standards.

What is Competenece?

Competence is the ability to perform whole work roles, to the standards expected in employment, in a real working environment.

There are three levels of competence:

• Foundational competence: an understanding of what you do and why

• Practical competence: the ability to perform a set of tasks in an authentic context

• Reflexive competence: the ability to adapt to changed circumstances appropriately and responsibly, and to explain the reason behind the action

How do I prove competency?

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Competency refers to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours, necessary to be able to fulfil a job function or task to the standard required on a consistent basis.

As you know our performance is assessed not by what we say but what we do.

If the results of your completed MFMP Needs Analysis Questionnaire indicate that you are a candidate for RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) in respect of certain unit standards, then you will be notified and the process will be explained to you.

RPL does not involve any training sessions but will still require you to submit a Portfolio of Evidence for each unit standard which you apply for RPL assessment. The POE Guide will indicate what evidence you will be required to submit in order to show that you are able to meet all the requirements contained in the relevant unit standard. A RPL Advisor will be available to guide you through this process.

Please note that this process can also be time consuming and sometimes suitable RPL candidates prefer to attend the training sessions so that they can update themselves with the latest thinking in the area.

Where the analysed questionnaire indicates that you will benefit from attending accredited training on certain topics, then you will need to be scheduled for training. The training programmes have been developed under the direction of the National Treasury and will be presented by accredited providers.

At the end of each programme, you will be required to complete and submit a Portfolio of Evidence for assessment.

Although this is an intensive and lengthy process, by the end of it, you will have developed the competencies needed to grow your career. At the same time you will have made a major contribution to the well-being of the residents and stakeholders of your municipality.

Qualifications

Please note that you will be required to submit certified copies of your qualifications to us.

In the event that you have lost or mislaid your qualifications, it is your responsibility to contact the qualifying institution and arrange for copies.

Although it is not the responsibility of Siyakhula Trust ETD Institute to obtain copies of these qualifications, we reserve the right to verify the authenticity of these documents.

If after reading the above, you are not sure about the next step, please contact us. Remember, it is our pleasure to help you through the process.

RPL Cost Proposition

Fee to RPL per unit standard: R3 000 + VAT R420 = R3 420 incl. VAT.

If however, you are a candidate for more than 3 unit standards we will be able to determine whether the unit standards link together which will enable us to conduct an integrated RPL assessment. If this is possible, then we may be able to apply economies of scale.

The RPL process includes:

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• Initial RPL interview with RPL Advisor

• Orientation session on Portfolio of Evidence building

• Provision of RPL Portfolio of Evidence Guide

• On-going support from our RPL Advisor

• Assessment of POE

• Remedial guidance where necessary

• Moderation of assessed POE

• Uploading of results to Local Government SETA

• Issuing of competency certificate

• Informing your municipality and National Treasury regarding your competency status

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Tel: 011 886 2647  /  Fax: 011 789 1269  /  Email: general@siyakhula.org.za

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