QUALITY COUNCIL GIVES AFROTEQ ACADEMY THE THUMBS UP FOR NEW OCCUPATIONAL CERTIFICATE IN FACILITIES MANAGEMENT (OCFM)Submitted by Monique Holtzhausen
Afroteq Academy, the SETA accredited training division of the AFMS Group, has obtained accreditation by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation for its new Occupational Certificate in Facilities Management (OCFM). Afroteq was the first training provider to be accredited by the Southern African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) in 2002, and has since gained a well-earned reputation for being one of the country’s leaders in equipping and empowering the Facility Management industry.
Explaining the significance of this approval, says Portia Mkhabela, Manager at the Afroteq Academy: “The Facilities Management landscape has become highly specialised and competitive in recent years. No longer regarded as a basement job, Facility Management is a fast-growing profession around the world. Trained and qualified FM Managers are in high demand, and we realized the importance of offering an academic qualification that would not only equip our industry leaders with skills and knowledge that are practical, cutting-edge and relevant, but would also be internationally recognised”.
The process of developing such a formal qualification for the FM industry was set in motion by SAFMA two years ago. Afroteq was part of a team of FM experts who developed this outcomes-based programme specifically for the industry, by the industry.
“Facilities Managers enable sustainable enterprise performance through managing productive workplaces and ensuring effective business support services. As a result, they are required to juggle many different responsibilities on any given day enabling the strategic objectives of the business. Facility Managers must understand and have insight into a company’s operational and strategic elements in order for them to plan and execute their responsibilities effectively and optimally. For this reason, it was important for us to have a qualification developed that would equip Facility Managers with the skills and knowledge needed to face their challenges head-on and with confidence,” says John Samuel, in charge of Professionalisation, Education and Training at SAFMA.
Afroteq’s Occupational Certificate in FM Management is a two-year course, NQF level 6, broken up into six modules. Each module is taught over a period of 5 days per module (10 days for module 4), and can either take place at a client’s premises or at a central training venue. “We are specifically targeting people who have already gained experience in the FM field, but need the formal qualification to take them to the next level. The ideal candidates are building managers, facilities coordinators, maintenance managers, project managers, technical managers etc. Requirements for entry to the OCFM are training up to NQF level 5, a tertiary diploma or experience in current FM environment which will be assessed,” Portia explains.
The course content is diverse and dynamic and covers a variety of different topics relevant to the job of a Facilities Manager, ranging from the fundamentals of facility management to leadership and management, corporate governance, procurement, communication skills, environmental stewardship and sustainability, financial management, performance management, coaching and the handling of HR matters.
Practical aspects are integrated with theory through three phases, i.e. Knowledge (academic), Practical and Workplace. Testing and benchmarking are done by an independent assessor, and feedback is given to employers after each module. Moreover, students have to demonstrate application of what they learnt in the classroom by compiling a portfolio of evidence that must be signed off and authenticated by an at-work mentor.
“What makes our training truly unique and sets us apart from the other training providers, is the fact that our courses are taught by Facility Manager experts who are arguably some of the best in the field. They are not simply training providers or facilitators, but become mentors to the students. Through their interaction in the classroom they are able to identify and address skills gaps that may exist, and are on hand to help and guide the students through the challenges they might encounter on the job. A valuable transfer of skills take place in this way that is not just confined to classroom teaching, but spills over to the workplace,” Portia explains.
“We are incredibly excited about the potential this certificate has to impact and transform the FM industry in South Africa. For the first time, we have a formally recognised qualification that not only allows our professionals to apply for jobs internationally, but it also empowers individuals and businesses to operate efficient, productive and profitable enterprises which can transform the future of our country’s built environment,” she concludes.
Registrations are now open for Afroteq’s Occupational Certificate in Facilities Management.
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Notes to the Editor:
The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) is a Quality Council established in 2010 in terms of the Skills Development Act Nr. 97 of 1998. Its role is to oversee the design, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications, including trades, on the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF). The QCTO also offers guidance to skills development providers who must be accredited by the QCTO to offer occupational qualifications. The South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA) is the industry body for Facility Managers and aims to facilitate, promote and support skills development for Facilities Managers through working with the Quality Assurance Councils and with Endorsed Training Providers - thereby enhancing skills supply. SAFMA aims to promote and encourage networking between Facilities Management Professionals to ensure an exchange of information and best practice.
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