The mandate of the Seychelles Qualifications Authority is revamped through its new Act
The first Seychelles Qualifications Authority Act came into effect in 2005, and this brought the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA) into existence. Fast forward to seventeen years later; and the SQA has a brand new Act, which officially became operational on the 01st of May 2022.
The original Act was written to allow for the establishment of the SQA; as the legal entity responsible for the development, implementation and maintenance of a national qualifications framework and “for connected matters”. However, some of its functions remained ambiguous, so a revision was necessary. Additionally, two main factors have warranted the need for a review. Firstly, after seventeen years of putting policy into practice, many lessons have been learnt and important gaps identified. The second is that there have been changes in the operations of the Ministry of Education with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) phasing out and part of its functions having been transferred to the SQA.
The object of the new SQA Act (2021) is to “provide for the development, implementation and maintenance of a national qualifications framework and the quality assurance of the education and training system nationally”. This new mandate is an indicator of the natural progression that SQA has traversed to become what it is today; the new Act better encompasses the functions of the Authority now and thus clearly shows its growth in prominence, especially where education is concerned, on a national level.
The SQA Act (2021) now has twenty-three functions; more than double the amount in the repealed Act; these new functions include the addition of new services, some that are quality assurance related taken from other bodies that are either no longer in operation or whose roles have changed. Entirely new functions of the SQA include inspection of primary and secondary schools (general education), and registration of tertiary education and training providers and other providers of post compulsory education and training; both of which were previously under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. There is also provision for the establishment of policy and criteria for credit accumulation and transfer.
Another one of the most important new functions is to “collaborate with international counterparts on all matters of mutual interest concerning national qualifications frameworks”. This will ensure continued development of the organization and further enhance the excellent relationship that SQA has with international organisations and forums such as the ACQF itself, in the search of the perfect formula for training and learning as part of the human capital development and thus increased productivity and efficiency across the world.