Unisa safety courses confusion

From Gerry; Hi Sean, yes, what a mess at Unisa. To make it worse it seems to me that a state of Babelonian confusion is reigning at that institution.

I and many others trust that they will regain their senses and move forward with the Nadsam /B Tech model. It is beyond mean to pull the plug on a set of qualifications that forms the basis of many OHS practitioners in SA, especially since it has been around for many years.

  • Further comments to posts on Sheq tertiary training issues in 2012, by visitors to Sheqafrica.com, are posted below.
  • See also professional bodies’ criticism of universities in general in this 2017 update:

Competition Commission could stop construction safety registration

[Back to the 2012 comments:]

Unisa, do your job!

From Sean Links; I have recently completed a National Certificate in Safety Management and intend to enroll for the Safety Diploma, now with this thing of phasing out the Safety Diploma and B Tech, I might have to reconsider.

The last thing I want is a discontinued or useless qualification. You at Unisa have let safety practitioners down by not researching and keeping up to date on the evolution of these qualifications to keep them current, relevant and competitive for the industries we serve. Do not bore us with administrative issues, do your job!

Qualification phased out

From Cindy Went Smith: I am completing my National Diploma in Safety Management with Unisa in 2012 (if Statistics allows!).

After making several enquiries into BTech Safety Management with Unisa, I was informed that I would not be able to register in 2013 as the qualification has been phased out. I was also told to look for alternatives with other universities.

No tertiary HS diploma?

From Eugene Mocke: It is sad to find out that there is no proper structure in place to help improve and continue the tertiary diploma course in health and safety management.

I really wanted to become a health and safety practitioner, but now it seems some hope is lost, since almost no-one can give me correct details on how to get a diploma to become a health and safety officer.

Which Oxbridge?

From Sifiso Tshabalala: The occupational health and safety diploma is no longer offered at Unisa. Oxbrigde Academy offers a 12 month diploma. Is it possible to get a job with a 12 month diploma in South Africa?

Editor queries: Do they offer an occupational health and safety diploma? Is it registered with a relevant Seta? Is it recognised by the NQF system? Do they employ sheq specialist presenters? Do they follow the recently published OHS Practitioner curriculum standard of the MQA?

Or is it just another private business ‘academy’, trading on a name that sounds like a reputable education institution, while having no links to either Oxford or Cambridge? South African industry is not familiar with this organisation.

A recognised one year OHS SA diploma would be a great improvement on the current practice of appointing people in sheq jobs based on any one of various two week courses, or based on a UK based one month course, that is now offered by several training providers as a two week course. We seem stuck in a rut with a phantom bridge to cross. Which ‘Oxbridge’?

If they follow the MQA general OHS Practitioner curriculum standard, published for comment last month (see relevant post on Sheqafrica.com), then the incredible speed of their course development should be suspect.

Question of experience

From Rashee Govender: I have recently completed a two week health and safety course, and after several applications for sheq positions I am still unsuccessful, despite having several years of work experience in my current position as guest house manager, where I have to ensure a safe work environment for guests and staff.

I am also challenged by most companies wanting experience. They do not take general work experience into consideration.

[See these training updates of 2017:]

Health and safety training update March 2017

Sheq training update 2016 -2017


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Edmond Furter

Editor at Sheqafrica.com
Edmond Furter is the editor of Sheqafrica.com. He is a freelance technical journalist, and has won six journalism awards. He specialises in industrial, business, and cultural content in web, journal, and book formats.

12 thoughts on “Unisa safety courses confusion

  1. Some students who finished last year were granted the opportunity in 2012 to register for Btech Safety Management. After they sent their consent to the university. Maybe if we can do the same we will be able to also register for 2013?

  2. I was about to register for the course next year, but now I’m confused. Any advice, as I could be studying a dead end course? My company would pay 50% for the studies so it would be difficult to just drop out when I have already started, as my reputation is at stake. Please advise if this Safety Management diploma is still worth it?

  3. I have completed my National Diploma in Safety Management. I have enquired with Unisa and they informed me that I can register to complete my B Tech degree in 2013.
    I must admit that it was quite challenging to complete my ND in Safety Management, however was worth every bit of the effort put in.

  4. I need to register for safety courses, bu I don’t know if it’s still valid in KZN.

  5. Unisa replied to my email confirming that the Safety Diploma will not be phased out. The decision to phase it out has been withdrawn.

  6. I agree with the editor 100%, after four years I have completed my National Diploma in Safety Management. It was well worth the effort considering it is at NQF level 6. You can do the shorter courses, however most employers recognise a formal qualification.

  7. The Unisa Btech Safety Degree will be withdrawn, and another degree will be instituted in its place, hopefully.

    The Unisa National Diploma in Safety Management remains, and is still the industry standard.

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