Central to the SETA skills submission process are two important reports. The workplace skills plan (WSP) and the annual training report (ATR). These reports are submitted as one document covering the skills process within an organisation. Their submission to the relevant SETA (Sector Education Training Authority) attests to that organisation fulfilling this commitment.
Most companies still erroneously believe that the SETA skills submission process is mandatory and therefore relates purely to compliance. SAQA introduced this process with great insight. These are linked to the mandatory grant that can be claimed only if the reports are correct and submitted on time. This grant is 50% of the total skills levy paid by the employer through an annual contribution of 1% of the payroll.
The WSP/ATR templates are available from the SETAs and can be downloaded from their websites as well. The first part of the SETA skills submission process relates to the WSP. This report expresses in writing the organisation’s plan for the training and development of its staff compliment over the year ahead. The format of the WSP report ensures that the report is compiled as required by SAQA. The information reflected on the report covers the learning programmes to be attended by different categories of employees and also the demographic makeup of the employees is recorded.
The ATR is an annual report compiled in retrospect of the training and development carried out within that financial year. It stands to reason that the best case scenario is where the ATR matches the targets set out in the previous year’s WSP. Where these targets aren’t met there is provision to record the reasons as to why the goals weren’t met and contingency plans to achieve the unmet goals. Unmet goals do impact upon the final amount of the mandatory grant that will be paid out to the organisation.
The submission of the WSP/ATR and claiming mandatory grants is also incentivised further. Organisations that meet timeous deadlines with qualitative reports stand to claim additional discretionary grants to fund their skills development initiatives. SAQA, through its various active bodies compellingly promotes that the training programmes within the workplace are a business-driven skills planning process that is recorded as such in the WSP/ATR, culminating in the SETA skills submission process. This is how businesses can ensure their return on investment on all skills initiatives undertaken.
This skills planning process for submission should include:
- A skills audit every three to five years and a more regular needs analysis culminating in an annual analysis;
- A comprehensive training and development plan for the year. It is paramount that the organisation utilises people that are familiar with the NQF processes such as a qualified skills development facilitator (SDF). Where possible an organisation should have NQF qualified facilitators, assessors and moderators who understand the processes and make up the skills development team.
SAQA maintains that all organisations should have a skills development team made up of various stakeholders that include management, shop stewards or elected employee representatives. This team should be directed by the SDF who’s responsible to ensure that the WSP/ATR is completed and submitted accordingly, concluding the SETA skills submission process.