Expanding its roots for a brighter future

Expanding its roots for a brighter future

The Dekra Institute of Learning (IOL) has announced additional courses in its educational programme. The programme was recently accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). It was among the skills programmes and industry-related full qualifications showcased at the A-OSH Expo 2023, along with other environmentally-themed initiatives.

As a QCTO-accredited educational institution, Dekra IOL trains employees and professionals across many sectors. These include power generation, oil and gas, construction, petrochemical, manufacturing, fabrication, pulp and paper, rail, mining, and steel industry and foundries, within South Africa and pan-Africa. The Institute has 98 years of experience via its global parent company Dekra Industrial, a leader in inspection services, non-destructive testing (NDT), material testing, laboratory services, advanced NDT, and asset integrity services.

Dekra IOL’s portfolio of offerings features QCTO-accredited skills programmes and industry-related full qualifications, says Head of Training and Consulting, Christopher Mörsner.

“We were delighted to highlight our wide range of certificate, diploma, and degree qualifications at the A-OSH expo this year, providing the industry with a high-quality selection of skills programmes and industry-related full qualifications and occupational education,” he says. “We deliver online learning to both the public and private sector, with training pitched to all levels of competency and focusing on qualifications aligned to health, safety, and environment (HSE), International Standards Organization (ISO), and continuing professional development (CPD) – from the factory floor to the boardroom.”

The Institute’s additional courses come at a perfect time as sweeping changes are imminent. From June 2023 these changes will impact the safety and skills training of artisans and professionals across all sectors in construction, engineering, oil and gas, and other industries.

“Changes are taking place in the local adult education sector as the industry is moving from ‘legacy’ unit standards – run by the 21 local Sector Education Training Authority-based (SETA-based) unit standards – to standards run by the QCTO,” Mörsner explains.

Photos 1 and 2: Christopher Mörsner, head of training and consulting at Dekra IOL with his team, as well as Dekra IOL students – at the A-OSH expo – planting a tree in the spirit of good environmental stewardship.

“As the legacy curriculum format involving unit standards run by the SETAs changes to new occupational standards under the QCTO, Dekra IOL is proud to play our part in facilitating understanding and best practices within the new order,” he continues, adding that Dekra IOL is offering to aid with the transition: “Some adult education skills development providers are having difficulty moving over from these SETA-based unit standards and legacy qualifications to the QCTO environment. Dekra IOL is able to assist skills development providers by running workshops that will explain and clarify the benefits of these pending changes, and how to navigate the way forward around the changeover,” he says. “At Dekra IOL, we are acutely aware of the ‘missing middle’, where the skills development providers do not completely understand the requirements of the QCTO.”

Mörsner adds that Dekra IOL looks forward to promoting the new learning and training framework, compliance criteria, and best practices. The Institute is also looking forward to the role it will play in empowering both training service providers and learners alike. “Our aim is to fill in the gaps, ensuring that skills development providers completely understand the requirements and compliance aspects for the provision of quality occupation-related training in South Africa going forward. This will empower skills development providers and enable cost saving in the future,” he says.


Celebrating life, knowledge and the environment

Industry growth isn’t the only thing the Institute highlighted at this year’s A-OSH Expo.

Mörsner explains how in line with its parent company Dekra’s 98 years in industry and membership of EcoVadis – the world’s largest and most trusted provider of business sustainability ratings – growing people through skills and occupational training and development and being a good steward of the environment is a priority for the Institute. Focusing on this vision, the IOL’s exhibition stand featured 20 beautiful trees as part of the display, reflecting the theme and tagline of the stand: ‘Expanding our roots for a brighter future’.

“We celebrated life, knowledge, and the environment with special educational and environmental giveaways at our stand during the exhibition. We also gave away packets of tree seeds to visitors for planting in their gardens or communities, to improve the environment for future generations. This is a practical illustration of what we as Dekra IOL stand for,” he notes. “Our roots (are) deeply grounded and expanding in the Southern African region, where we provide a variety of skills programmes and industry-related full qualifications for career enhancement and employment opportunities.”

Mörsner goes on to highlight the importance of skills training: “Once the seed of education is nurtured, takes root, and grows into a tree, it provides shade and nourishment for many, propagating (and even accelerating) economic growth as it continues to bear seeds for future generations. Education is the key to confronting and reducing poverty and unemployment. We at the Dekra Institute of Learning are committed to working with individual learners and with industry, offering the skills and education which will ultimately have a positive impact on the economy and society as a whole.”

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