HEQC Framework for Delegated Functions



The Higher Education Act (Act No 101 of 1997) assigns executive responsibility for quality assurance in higher education in South Africa to the Council on Higher Education (CHE). The Council discharges this responsibility through its permanent subcommittee, the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC). The specific functions of the HEQC in terms of the Act are to:



  • Promote quality assurance in higher education;

  • Audit the quality assurance mechanisms of higher education institutions;

  • Accredit the programmes offered by higher education institutions.




Moreover, the CHE is deemed by the Higher Education Act to be accredited by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the primary Education and Training Quality Assurer (ETQA) for higher education and training. This means that the HEQC as the accredited ETQA with primary responsibility for higher education is expected to operate within the requirements of the SAQA Act (Act No 58 of 1995) and its associated regulations.



One of the responsibilities of the HEQC as an ETQA is to report formally to SAQA on the quality management arrangements of its constituent providers in respect of the following:



  1. Training and development in assessment,

  2. Moderation of assessment,

  3. Short courses,

  4. Certification arrangements, and

  5. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).




While these areas are dealt with as part of the criteria and minimum standards within the accreditation, audit and national review systems of the HEQC, a dedicated system to deal with the above-mentioned specific areas is essential in order to ensure that the HEQC’s mandate is discharged with responsibility and appropriate accountability mechanisms.



The purpose of this document is to provide a framework to guide the delegation of specified quality assurance functions to higher education institutions. It also intends to guide the institution in the development of evidence required to demonstrate that it has effective systems and internal capacity for the quality assurance of these functions:



  • Training and development in assessment

  • Moderation of assessment

  • Short courses

  • Certification

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).




The document also outlines the procedures, criteria and minimum requirements for the delegation of these functions.