The mandate of the QAPC Directorate is to promote quality among the public and private providers of higher education in South Africa as contemplated in Section 5(1)(c)(i) of the Higher Education Act (Act No. 101 of 1997), as amended.
In unpacking the quality promotion function, the HEQC Founding Document (CHE 2001) stated that quality promotion can only take place if it is goes hand-in-hand with capacity development. It also emphasised coordination and facilitation, not only internally within the CHE, but also at the system level involving other role players such as professional bodies, sector education and training authorities (SETAs), the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), and others. Thus in the early stages, the name of the directorate was: Quality Promotion, Capacity Development and Coordination
Section 25 of the National Qualifications Framework Act (Act No. 67 of 2008) proclaims the CHE as the Quality Council for Higher Education, and the associated functions are outlined in Section 27. The following QC functions are located in the QAPC:
- Development and implementation of policies to advance the realisation of the goals and objectives of the NQF within the higher education sector;
- Conducting and publishing research on issues of importance to the development and implementation of the Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF) and enhancing the quality and credibility of HEQSF qualifications
- Working collaboratively with SAQA, the other Quality Councils (QCs) and the Inter-departmental NQF Steering Committee on developing national policies and strategies for advancing the education and training system in the country
Besides quality promotion and NQF-related functions as outlined above, the Directorate is conducts research on global trends in quality assurance and promotion and their implications to the further development of quality assurance and promotion system in South Africa. It is furthermore responsible for the coordination of initiatives that cut across different functions within the CHE; and facilitating partnerships and cooperation with other role players in the quality assurance and promotion space at the national level (professional bodies, SAQA, SETAs other QCs) and also at regional level (Southern African Regional Quality Assurance Network and the Southern African Development Community Regional Qualification Framework)