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Training
SA College for Tourism enjoys full accreditation as a training provider with the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) of South Africa in accordance with regulation 16 of the SAQA Act 58 of 1995 under reference No. 613/P/000041/2005. The college is officially recognised by CATHSSETA as an Institute of Sectoral or Occupational Excellence.

Student Profile
Previously disadvantaged and unemployed individuals from rural families whose annual income is below the South African assessed income limitation level (i.e. R36 000 p.a.) qualify for full, non-refundable bursaries to pay for their studies at the SA College for Tourism. These bursaries are funded by the donor community of Peace Parks Foundation and the college. In accordance with southern Africa’s demographic profile, the student profile of the college is predominantly black and female between the ages of 19 and 25.

Hospitality Service Training

SA College for Tourism offers its hospitality trainees a year-long training course comprising of a 120 credits Certificate in Small Accommodation Establishment Operations (the certificate course) combined with four national hospitality skills development courses and a life skills course. The certificate course utilises learning materials developed by the School of Tourism, Hospitality and Sport at the Central University of Technology, Free State. Learning material is aligned to unit standards registered by the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority of South Africa (CATHSSETA) with the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA).

The Skills Development courses cover all the above with the exceptions of the life skills modules and are named in accordance with the CATHSSETA accreditation requirements:
  • Assistant Housekeeper (HSP/AssHkr/2/0015)
  • Receptionist (HSP/Recept/2/0017)
  • Assistant Chef (HSP/AssChf/2/0022)
  • Table Attendant (HSP/TblAtt/2/0025)

The training programme encompasses 30% theory instruction and 70% operational or practical training:

Staff Complement
Four facilitators/assessors (trainers) are responsible for teaching the abovementioned modules and the assessment of student progress. Portfolios of Evidence, which are prepared for each student and signed off by both the assessors and students, are internally moderated by a training manager, who submits her findings to an external moderator.

Industry and other professionals are contracted in on an ad-hoc basis for instruction in safety and security, communication, facility management, First Aid, HIV/AIDS awareness and other life skills.

The training staff, all of whom are accredited by CATHSSETA, are supported by a financial manager, an administrative and database manager and six general workers.

Certification
The extended training programme results in a successful student leaving SA College for Tourism with five certificates in hand, namely the Certificate in Small Accommodation Establishment Operations and four national skills development certificates conferred by CATHSSETA.

Drostdy Hotel Learnership Project

Drostdy Hotel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SA College for Tourism, offers college graduates 20 learnerships per annum in Professional Cookery and in Food & Beverage Management. This is done with the approval of the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) of South Africa. It is also in accordance with the South African government’s initiative to provide unemployed and/or impoverished members of society with an opportunity to gain skills and a nationally recognised qualification in a skill currently identified as scarce. Learnerships are registered by CATHSSETA and funded by the National Skills Fund.

The college annually recruits Drostdy learnership candidates from among its top 45 performers. Entry requirements are the completion of the four skills development courses, with an aggregate of above 65% in the Professional Cookery and Food & Beverage Service modules. This enables the college to apply CATHSSETA’s recognition of prior learning principles in respect of certain learnership training subjects.

Staff Complement
SA College for Tourism has appointed a full-time, dedicated hospitality learnership facilitator/assessor, accredited by CATHSSETA. All heads of section/division in the employ of Drostdy Hotel act as evidence gatherers in respect of the Portfolios of Evidence prepared for each learnership participant.

The college's training manager moderates these portfolios before submitting them for external moderation.

Certification
Successful learnership participants receive two full qualification certificates conferred by CATHSSETA.

Internships
Drostdy Hotel also offers year-long, paid internships to the college's hospitality service graduates. Similar agreements to accept college graduates as either paid interns or as permanent employees have also been reached with other hospitality establishments such as Tsogo Sun Hotel Group, Thornybush Collection, Londolozi, Samara and Singita private game lodges, as well as South African National Parks.

Tracker Training

SA College for Tourism: Tracker Academy offers two training programmes accredited with CATHSSETA, namely, a Skills Development Tracker Training Programme on National Qualification (NQ) Level 2 and a Lead Tracker Training Programme at NQ Level 4.

Tracker Skills Development Training Programme

The following specific skills and generic subject training form part of the year-long skills development training programme:
Core Skills -
  • Tracker skills (track & sign identification);
  • Trailing/ following animal spoor;
  • Hunter gatherer knowledge;
  • Birds & alarm calls;
  • Tree identification;
  • Plant medicinal purposes;
  • General alarm calls;
  • Awareness and orientation; and
  • Presentation skills.
Generic Skills -
  • Emotional intelligence;
  • Conservation ethics;
  • Personal leadership - wild leaders course
  • First aid and
  • Weapon training (to equip students for anti-poaching initiatives)
Life Skills Modules -
  • Literacy, numeracy, personal values & ethics;
  • Conservation cultural heritage;
  • Camp set up & operations;
  • Work readiness;
  • Workplace health & safety;
  • HIV/AIDS, TB & STIs.
The training programme is divided into two six-months training periods, with the students spending one semester in a semi-arid biome and one semester in a bushveld (savannah) biome. The programme is endorsed by the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA) which confers Level 1 to 4 tracker certificates on Tracker Academy graduates.

Staff Complement
Tracker Academy has at its disposal three trainers, namely, a Master Tracker, a Senior Tracker and a graduate of the academy who has completed the Lead Tracker training programme as well as a facilitator/assessor course and is accredited with CATHSSETA. The staff complement is completed by a General Manager and an Assistant Manager both accredited with CATHSSETA as assessors and moderators.

Certification
Graduates of Tracker Academy receive nationally recognized tracker skills certificates conferred by CATHSSETA and Tracker Level 1 to 4 certificates awarded by FGASA.

Lead Tracker Training Programme

In 2013 Tracker Academy started an initiative to identify experienced trackers who have advanced their tracking skills to a level beyond the norm. With the support of Field Guides Association of Southern Africa (FGASA), Tracker Academy established its Lead Tracker training programme which the Culture Art Tourism Hospitality & Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) accredited on National Qualification (NQ) Level 4 at the end of 2015.

The eight week-training programme at Singita Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is aimed at trackers who have worked for many years in the ecotourism, anti-poaching and animal monitoring sectors of the conservation industry. Accreditation of the programme by CATHSSETA opened the way for SA College for Tourism: Tracker Academy to have nationally recognised certificates conferred on these talented experts, who have extensively contributed to conservation without ever having had the opportunity of formal education and training in the field.

Staff Complement
The Tracker Academy general manager, assisted by an external FGASA evaluator, facilitates training and assesses the progress of the eight trackers who are trained annually.

Certification

CATHSSETA confers national qualification Tracker Level 4 certificates on participants who have successfully completed the training programme.
Karel Benadie, a master tracker who is sharing his exceptional skills with young trainees to help preserve southern Africa's natural heritage