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TO RESEARCH AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SIMPLIFICATION OF

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					TERMS OF REFERENCE

TO RESEARCH AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE SIMPLIFICATION OF ASSESSEMENT OF PROGRAMMES BASED ON NQF QUALIFICATIONS 1

19 December 2005

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Research project 2.3 of the SAQA Research Agenda 2005 to 2008 1

1.

Background Information

1.1

Beneficiary directorate:

Strategic Support Unit

1.2

Contracting Authority:

South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

1.3

Background

The results of second cycle of the NQF Impact Study (SAQA, 2004) suggest that one key area for development is the simplification of assessment. According to the Impact Study:

The perceived complexity of assessment processes remains a significant issue. Indeed, had it not been for the negative comments about processes, Assessment Practices would have been rated High Positive. Consideration could be given to setting up a Review of Assessment to determine the scope for simplification.

The Impact Study is not the first to raise difficulties related to the assessment of learning programmes based on NQF qualifications (part of this contract will be to identify key trends that emerge from such documents). As the NQF system is starting to mature SAQA is now in the position to constructively engage with these concerns, and has therefore prioritised this research project that intends to review assessment systematically in order to make proposals as to the simplification, comparability and validity across the system.

Working closely with the SAQA Research Unit, the successful provider will be responsible to research and make recommendations on the simplification of assessment of learning programmes based on NQF qualifications between 1 February 2006 and 31 May 2006.

2.

Contract objectives

The aim of this consultancy contract is to:

Research and make recommendations on the simplification of assessment of learning programmes based on NQF qualifications

The objectives of the consultancy contract can are summarised as follows:

2.1 Develop a research design best suited to this research project.
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2.2 Conduct a literature review of related local and international literature.

2.3 Consult extensively with NQF stakeholders (including ETQAs, providers and learners) through structured interviews and focus groups.

2.4 Conduct one or more case studies in identified sectors.

2.5 Prepare a report on the research process, findings as well as recommendations on how

best to simplify the assessment of learning programmes based on NQF qualifications, keeping in mind that the assessment of learning towards NQF qualifications should be fair, reliable, practicable, of high quality, comparable and affordable.

3. Assumptions and risks

3.1 The consultant has the necessary expertise, IT software and hardware to undertake the project and takes all the necessary steps to ensure that the general and specific requirements of the task are understood and are reflected in the proposal and its implementation.

3.2 That the consultant liases at all times with the Deputy Executive Officer or his designate.

3.3 SAQA provides the necessary budgetary and administrative support for the project as appropriate.

3.4 SAQA makes the necessary resources available and ensures access to information and data as appropriate, including access to personnel as required.

4. Scope of the work

4.1 General

The proposed project shall lead to a research report, including recommendations, on the simplification of assessment of learning programmes based on NQF qualifications. It is envisaged that a maximum of 38 working days will be needed to complete this task.

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4.2 Specific activities

In consultation with the Deputy Director: Research and with reference to the terms of reference for this project, the consultant shall:

4.2.1 4.2.2

Define the scope of the project Develop a plan for the project which: o o o o o Sets realistic timeframes; Proposes appropriate research methodology; Gives clear indications of resource requirements; Sets out the responsibilities of the consultant and the internal liaison personnel; and Sets achievable objectives.

4.2.3

Ensure that appropriate monitoring mechanisms are in place for effective implementation of the project against the approved plan.

4.2.4

Produce a draft document.

5.

Management responsibilities

5.1

The selected consultant will be responsible for ensuring that the project is implemented within the terms of reference and conditions of the contract awarded.

5.2

The selected consultant will submit draft reports as per the identified stages in the approved plan.

6.

Logistics and timing

6.1

Co-ordination of the study will take place through SAQA at its premises in Hatfield Forum West, 1067 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria.

6.2

Project period: 1 February 2006 to 31 May 2006 (4 months).

6.3

The consultant is expected to provide his/her own IT equipment and software.

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7.

Reporting requirements

7.1

The consultant/researcher will report to the Deputy Executive Officer or his designate.

7.2

Written status reports must be submitted as per the approved plan

7.3

Over and above these scheduled reports, the Deputy Executive Officer or his designate must be alerted immediately to factors, which may impact on delivery within agreed timeframes.

7.4

Submission and approval of reports: o 3 copies of all reports, in English and addressed to: Ms Ronel Blom Deputy Director Research South African Qualifications Authority Postnet Suite 248 Private Bag X06 Waterkloof 0145 o An electronic copy of the report on diskette/CD as appropriate

8.

Monitoring and evaluation

8.1

Performance will be monitored through written status reports and meetings against the approved plan and will be evaluated by examination of: o o o o o

Rationale; Clarity of discussion and arguments; Degree of adherence to the terms of reference and the brief; Quality of communications; and Effectiveness of management.

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