This section is principally involved in the receipt and evaluation of applications made by persons, organizations and institutions seeking accreditation from the NQA. Each application is subjected to a desk evaluation, often with the assistance of subject matter experts drawn from the professions, industry or other provider bodies. Site visits are used to verify the claims made in the application material before reports and recommendations are prepared for Council consideration and decisions.
Applications to renew any accreditation previously granted are also processed within this section. Such applications are subjected to a scheduled quality audit that focuses on the ongoing compliance of the body with the regulatory requirements and the effectiveness of the services offered. Applications to expand the scope of any accreditation granted are also processed by this section.
Complaints and other concerns regarding the operations of any education provider are received within this section. Where necessary, formal investigations are conducted by way of unscheduled quality audits.
The section also has significant information giving and advisory roles. Prospective applicants seeking accreditation are given guidance in terms of the regulatory requirements and the application processes. The section also responds to public enquiries regarding the status of any education provider and the courses that it offers.
Accreditation of Providers and Courses
Regulations for the Accreditation by the NQA of persons, institutions and organizations involved in education and training were gazetted by the Minister of Education in August 2006. These Regulations provided the NQA with the legal mandate to carry out its obligations as stated in Section 13 of the Namibia Qualifications Authority Act No 29 of 1996.
Accreditation by the NQA is an independent attestation that:
specific courses or programmes offered by an education and training provider in Namibia meet acceptable standards
the education and training provider has the ability to teach or deliver those specified courses or programmes, and
the education and training provider has the ability to assess the performance of learners taking the specified courses or programmes.
Providers wishing to be accredited to offer their courses or programmes make an accreditation application to the NQA in which they present evidence that they fully meet the Reguirements of the Accreditation Standard contained in the Regulations. These requirements cover issues such as management and governance, course design and delivery, staffing, facilities and equipment, assessment systems, and partnership arrangements, etc.
The evidence submitted as part of the application is subjected to extensive verification processes by the NQA and industry and/or subject discipline experts. The applicant is visited and the staff, students and key stakeholders interviewed to test the veracity of the statements made by the applicant in their application.
On the basis of reports arising from the verification processes the Council of the NQA makes a decision on the accreditation of the applicant and their courses or programmes. The NQA Act and the Regulations allow the Council to grant accreditation for a period of up to three years (whereupon the provider must apply for re-accreditation). The Council may also impose Requirements or conditions as part of its decisions.