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What you need to know before enrolling for a study programme or qualification

Before you register for any qualification or programme

Ensure that:

  • You fully understand the accreditation status of the institution offering the qualification and that
  • You fully understand the status of the qualification or programme.

Use the following information when considering where to enrol and, what to enrol for.

Umalusi (the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training) is an official body that accredits private providers to offer particular qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at levels 1-4.

Umalusi accredits:

  • Private FET colleges
  • Independent schools
  • Private adult education and training providers

NB: Public (government) providers such as public schools, public adult learning centres and public TVET colleges are not required to seek accreditation 

Registration and Accreditation of Private Providers

To ensure that you enrol with a credible provider

  • Make sure that the institution is registered by the appropriate Department of Education and
  • Secondly, it is accredited by Umalusi or another Quality Council or body such as a Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA)

These are two separate, but related processes


All private providers of education and training that offer qualifications certified by Umalusi (above) MUST be registered with the state in order to operate legally in South Africa. This means that independent schools must register with the appropriate Provincial Department of Education and private FET colleges must register with the Department of Higher Education and Training in Pretoria.

Note: An exception has been made for private providers that offer short courses and skills programmes exclusively accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) – these do not have to register.

Private providers are required to display their registration certificate publicly and you, as a prospective client, MUST ask to see the certificate of registration. The certificate of registration will include the national qualifications which the provider is registered to offer.


Private providers must be accredited either with Umalusi or another quality assurance body to offer a specific qualification. Quality assurance bodies issue letters or certificates accrediting a provider. You should check whether a provider is accredited to offer the national qualification you wish to enrol for and ask for the accreditation number.

A list of private institutions accredited by Umalusi can be found on their website at

If you want to check on a provider accredited by QCTO or a SETA (Sector Education and Training Authority) go to the website of the South African Qualifications Authority at and click on the links with the various SETAs where you can access lists of accredited providers.

Source: Umalusi


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