As Trade Conferences International (TCI) is mainly a conferencing organising company, we do not qualify for accreditation, although some of our workshop facilitators are accredited through the various SETA's they fall under, as such, workshops are very similar to training or skills development courses.
Only courses which are aimed at providing specific skills may be accredited by the South African Quality Assurance Body (SAQA). The standard is the National Quality Framework (NQF) system and is held at a unit standard.
ACCREDITATION AND ASSESSMENT
Accreditation is a process whereby a course/courses is accredited within the quality assurance system set up by SAQA. Recognition is granted to a learner when all required learning outcomes have been successfully demonstrated.
Assessments - which are used to collect evidence of a learner's work to measure and make judgments about the achievement or non-achievement of National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications - is therefore not applicable when attending a conference.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONFERENCES AND TRAINING COURSES
A conference differs completely from a training course. Courses are normally presented by one facilitator, lecturer or course leader and are based on certain outcomes which can be measured. At a conference several speakers will present papers covering different areas of interest under one specific broad topic which affects a certain sector or industry such as housing, banking, telecommunications, water, transport etc.
All TCI conferences concentrate on policy issues and are aimed at giving delegates the necessary understanding of challenges, opportunities and issues relating to a specific industry. As a conference is not outcomes based (you cannot measure the results of attendance), the value of attending lies in increasing your knowledge and/or understanding of the industry you as a worker participate in.
How you are going to apply this in the workplace depends on the person himself/herself. In many instances conferences are not aimed at only assisting the individual, but the whole organisation. Sharing the new found knowledge after attending a conference will therefore benefit the organisation in the sense that the macro-economic environment it operates in will become much clearer.
Just as any training courses must adhere to quality standards, so must each conference deliver certain quality standards to satisfy the specific needs or expectations of delegates.
TIPS WHEN DECIDING TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE OR NOT
Follow some of the following tips to ascertain if attending a specific conference will suit you or your organisation's needs:
HOW TO MOTIVATE A PROPOSAL TO YOUR SUPERIORS WHEN YOU WANT TO ATTEND A CONFERENCE:
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