Members of SAIPA have a professional and social responsibility to the Institute and the community to pass on their expertise to Learners of the accounting profession in a collegial system. To this end SAQA, the NQF, Fasset and SAIPA combine in prescribing Learnerships for potential future Professional Accountants (SA).
It is not a one-way street, however, as Members of SAIPA derive tangible and measurable benefits by participating in the transfer of their professional skills to aspirant accountants, in a number of ways.
- The professional stature of SAIPA members and their practices enjoy an enhanced professional stature when registered as an Approved Training Centre (ATC) by the Institute.
- The ATC practice, by taking BCom Accounting graduates into employment, gains access to well-educated human resources of high potential and productivity.
- Unlocking this potential and productivity rewards the practice with the financial rewards of better profitability.
- The importance of providing professional Learnerships to aspirant practicing accountants brings direct financial reward to the ATC via the monetary grants made by Fasset.
- By participating in Learnerships, the ATC is assisting in resolving the current skills shortage in South Africa, and assisting in providing essential skills to individuals to assist in finding further employment.
An ATC must
- Provide a suitable and professional training environment for the Trainee Accountant
- Be committed to the promotion of education and training of future accountants
- Be recognised in the business community as being an active participant in providing a professional training environment for prospective accountants
- Uphold and encourage the maintenance of the highest professional standards amongst Trainee Accountants and the functions that they perform
- Encourage and actively support the concept of life-long learning amongst Trainee Accountants during and after completion of the training programme
- Be committed to the principles and objectives of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and strive to provide learning opportunities towards nationally recognised qualifications.
- Have a designated Overall Evaluator (OE) who is a Member in good standing of SAIPA and authorised by SAIPA to act as a mentor and evidence facilitator at the ATC concerned. (SAICA member practices also recognized)
- Promote the Broad Based Economic Empowerment (BBEE) initiatives of the South African Government.
Resources required of an ATC
An ATC must demonstrate that resources are available for meeting the training requirements as prescribed in the Logbook. This is subject to review and audit against the ATC Accreditation/ Monitoring checklists, at the time of the evaluation visit.
- Rotation of duties for Trainees. So that they gain actual work experience in the various functions/disciplines of accountancy, as specified in the Logbook.
- Supervision of Trainees in each of the accounting functions and disciplines.
- Evaluation of Trainees on a regular basis (at least once per semester), which is recorded in the Trainee Logbook.
SAIPA Working Paper Guidelines are to be used as learning resources that provide “best practice” examples and templates.
Other learning resources that can be accessed by Trainees; e.g. Experts in particular functions/disciplines, ATC “best practice” guidelines, Accounting reference books, accounting journals and CPD activities.
N.B. From the above it is clear that the Overall Evaluator must also fulfill the role of Mentor to the Trainee.
SAIPA Services to the ATC
On accreditation, an ATC receives:
- Working Paper Files (including CPD information) on CD-Rom.
- Membership as an ATC
- ATC Certificate for office display
- Bi-monthly SAIPA Journal “The Accountant”
- Monthly Members Electronic Newsletter
- Inclusion in the SAIPA list of accredited ATC’s
- The ATC may apply to SARS for a Learnership tax deduction
- Grant disbursements, where the ATC is registered with Fasset as an employer, in accordance with Fasset funding regulations, arranged directly with Fasset
After each Monitoring Site Visit by the SAIPA Assessor, the ATC receives:
- A composite report on all Trainees for ATC management purposes
- An individual report for each Trainee for the OE and Trainee’s records
- A Feedback Report against the ATC Checklist and Evaluation form, detailing areas for improvement and action plans for management purposes
How to become a SAIPA registered ATC
- How to become a SAIPA registered ATC
- Practice or company registers as an ATC with SAIPA (The ATC must have an SDL number as obtained from SARS)
- Practice or company registers learners with SAIPA & completes Learnership Agreement of their SETA
- Learnership Agreement & Trainee Application Form forwarded to SAIPA with all the necessary attachments
- SAIPA confirms trainee number & forwards original Learnership Agreement to the relevant SETA
- SETA then administrates the Learnership Agreement as per their processes
- The ATC may apply to SARS for learnership tax deduction
- The ATC may apply within the requirements of the SETA, for a learnership grant.
In order to ensure that the highest professional and ethical standards are entrenched at the Accredited Training Centre (ATC), SAIPA prescribes that:
- Prior to approval as an ATC, the Accounting Practice or Corporate applicant must undergo an accreditation process
- This process is necessary to ensure that the quality of training meets the necessary “Best Practice” standards
- All ATC applicants are subject to an evaluation of proposed learning systems
- A report on their evaluation will provide feedback to the applicant
- After approval of the ATC, on-going monitoring and quality assurance of training activities will be maintained by SAIPA Assessors
- ATC quality audits will be conducted by Assessors of SAIPA at least once every year against the ATC Monitoring Site Visit Report Tool
- A Feedback Report will be generated for both SAIPA and ATC records
- Further quality checks will be undertaken if and when necessary. In such event, a feedback report will be generated
All Quality Assurance procedure records, if called for, are subject to Fasset audit.
All Administration and reporting to SAIPA, is the responsibility of the Overall Evaluator (OE). It is also the responsibility of the OE to ensure that the shortcomings reported in the Report of Findings are corrected immediately and any improvements required are initiated promptly.
SAIPA provides support and guidance to the Overall Evaluator and the Approved Training Centre (ATC) on an on-going basis.
The Overall Evaluator is responsible for the following Administrative functions:
- Submitting all Registration Forms (ATC & Trainee)
- Facilitating action plans against Feedback Reports
- Arranging payment of Trainee and ATC Fees
- Receiving and sending all Training related correspondence
- Keeping records of Trainee progress up-to-date, especially the Trainee’s Logbook
- Submitting a prompt update of database information if Trainee or ATC details change
- Arranging and hosting Quality Assurance audits, Monitoring and/or Moderation visits by SAIPA Assessors
- Must, at all times, be a SAIPA member in good standing (SAICA members also recognized)
The Logbook ensures that the focus of the work is on competency.
A unique feature of SAIPA Training Programme is that the Overall Evaluator, using the logbook as a roadmap/guideline, personally monitors the progress of the Trainee Accountant at the ATC, against the prescribed levels of competency.
Trainees are required to use the SAIPA Logbook as a tool to establish accounting disciplines in which they need experience and exposure.
The Logbook keeps the training programme on target and streamlines the functioning of the timetable so that no backlog exists at the end of the training period; a mandatory prerequisite for the Trainee to be discharged from his on-the-job Learnership and Employment Agreements.
Furthermore, the Logbook presents a guide for the Trainee and should be employed by the Overall Evaluator in the Trainee’s induction into the Accredited Training Centre (ATC).
SAIPA revises the Logbook as and when required to ensure that it remains relevant to the changing needs of the profession, including GAAP updates.
In the process of Monitoring Site Visits by SAIPA to the ATC’s, the Logbook is critically assessed on an on-going basis.
By utilising the Logbook as described above, it becomes a simple, accurate and fair foundation for the Overall Evaluator to prepare the Trainee’s progress each semester.
Because of routine use of the Logbook, assessments and judgments of competence are made within the same parameters by both the Overall Evaluator and the Assessor.
Measurement of Competence is established in by the OE’s observations and perusal of the Trainees work on a day-by-day basis, other witness testimony and work samples that are checked perused and examined by the OE.
Resulting from feedback by the OE to the Trainee, a Portfolio of Evidence is built up, which is critically analysed when the ATC undergoes a Monitoring Site Visit. This means that each Trainee has an opportunity to assess his progress in conjunction with both the Assessor conducting Monitoring Site Visits as well as the Overall Evaluator, on an ongoing basis.
The success of SAIPA outcome based training programme lies in continuous evaluation, guidance and counselling of the Trainee Accountant by, primarily, the resident Overall Evaluator of the ATC and, secondly, the SAIPA Assessor conducting a site visit.
The Logbook is the complete record of the Trainee’s progress and the framework for evaluation and assessment. Because it fulfils this critical role in the life of the Trainee, the ATC and SAIPA, this item must be kept in safe-custody at all times.
If required between evaluations, it is the duty of the OE to intervene immediately he/she becomes aware of any difficulty encountered or delinquency shown by the Trainee.
In addition, it is an expressed principle of the SAIPA practical component Learnership, that problems or concerns by either the ATC or the Trainee will receive the urgent attention of the SAIPA Accreditation, Compliance and Development Department via the dispute process detailed on the SAIPA website.
N.B. All evidence of evaluation, with supporting documentation, should be kept in a Portfolio of Evidence, as it is on the basis of the history so created that that Trainee will be signed off from his/ her Learnership Agreement.
7.3 Interruption or Transfer of Learnership Contract
Transfers to other practices are strongly discouraged due to the impact on the learner progress and the inconvenience caused to the ATC.
An affidavit from both receiving & transferring Overall Evaluators be received, in conjunction with a completed FASSET Learnership Transfer Document, a transfer will be considered.
The transfer documents must reach SAIPA at least one month before the move, and must be confirmed as acceptable by the Institute before the move is taken.
Accepted Conditions of Transfer:
- Relocation of the trainee to a place from which he cannot readily commute to the existing training centre;
- Family Relocations;
- De-accreditation of the training centre by SAIPA;
- The training office ceases to exist.
SAIPA reserves the right to investigate all circumstances relating to a transfer, & impose penalties upon either party that has broken contractual obligations in the regard.
Transfer is subject to the submission of a completed FASSET Learnership Transfer Form, to the SAIPA offices.
Transfers in any other manner will be regarded as a breach of contract, & the contract will cease to exist with no further Learner achievements being recognised by the Institute.
Resignations from the Learnership are strongly discouraged. However, under certain circumstance a resignation will be accepted, with a strong motivation as well as a submitted copy of the FASSET Learner Resignation from Learnership form & a copy of the resignation from the ATC.