NBI report on CPD and QCTO Accreditation

These are exciting times in the life of Nehemiah Bible Institute. For more or less two decades NBI has been working hard to get accreditation with the education authorities in South Africa. Due to this lack of accreditation, over the years we have been offering the University of Pretoria certificate to the learners who complete the NBI course. We are grateful to God and the Centre for Contextual Ministry at UP for this arrangement. It has made it possible for NBI to continue offering its much valued and appreciated grassroots theological training. This arrangement was never an original plan for NBI, but it came as a temporal arrangement as we work towards our own accreditation. We are getting closer to getting our own accreditation with the QCTO. In the meantime both NBI courses (NQF level 2 and NQF level 5) have been aligned to fit into the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) curriculum frameworks. Both have already been accredited with the Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP) as Structured Continuous Professional Development Programs (CPD). In these programs learners will do the full accredited learning program. In the beginning of 2020 we will start to register students towards the CPD with the ACRP. Learners who register with NBI will also be registered as affiliates of ACRP, and benefit from being members of a SAQA approved professional body. For as long as a person is an associate of ACRP, she/he will receive a SAQA approved certificate to show that she/he is a legitimate church leader.

The verifiers from the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) visited NBI to do an evaluation of NBI for institutional readiness to deliver. As things stand we do not see any reason that could cause NBI not to get accreditation from QCTO. Once we have been accredited with QCTO, learners will be registered directly on the national learner register of QCTO. Keep us in your prayers so that all goes well and we get our own accreditation, which will be beneficial for all our stakeholders. The accreditation of NBI courses has implications on the way we operate as an institution, and we are busy setting our systems in place so that we can better serve our students and all our stakeholders. In this newsletter, we are taking a step in preparing all NBI stakeholders (facilitators and students) about the changes that are happening at NBI.

Two pathways of learning will be available:
1. To do the full accredited program as a CPD program (see second paragraph above);
2. To do the full accredited program as accredited by QCTO (see third paragraph above).

For both these pathways a system of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applies. The implication is that those learners won’t have to do these parts of the accredited NBI programs again which they have already done. They will receive credits for what they have already done. Where necessary, they may be assessed (tested) on certain aspects thereof to receive the credits. Both these pathways can lead to a National Certificate for Religious Practitioners (NQF 2) or National Certificate for Religious professional (NQF 5) which are awarded by QCTO in the name of SAQA. To achieve these qualifications one has to write a national examination, called the External Integrated Summative Assessment (EISA) after completing the full learning program. We advise learners to enrol for the CPD program as soon as possible. Once NBI has been accredited, they will be moved to the QCTO lane. In the QCTO lane learners are supposed to finish the full program in two years. In the CPD lane one can take longer, but should do two modules per year (instead of 5). Learners in the QCTO lane are also expected to become ACRP associates.

From January 2020 students who enrol with NBI will no longer register towards getting a UP certificate (not unless a special arrangement is done with a group). Students who are already registered towards getting a UP certificate will be given a three (3) year period to finish their studies with NBI. We advise those who seek clarity on the changes to communicate directly with the NBI office. The NBI prospectus (available on request from office and also downloadable at NBI website) will shed more light on some of the aspects of our operation. The application process for enrolment in January 2020 is already opened, people can get the application forms by contacting the NBI office at nbi@bmedia.co.za . More information will be available on our website: www.nehemiah.co.za. We would like to assure all NBI stakeholders that we are taking all the necessary measures and considerations in dealing with this transition so that no one feels left out and disadvantaged.