oa Journal of Vocational, Adult and Continuing Education and Training - Professional qualifications for the insurance industry : dilemmas for articulation and progression

Volume 1 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2663-3647



In South Africa, the lack of articulation between vocational college programmes and those of universities has long been a source of frustration for college learners seeking vertical progression pathways. The introduction of a National Qualifications Framework in 1995 appeared to offer hope of bridging the divide between occupational, practically focused qualifications and traditional academic qualifications, but, some 20 years later, the stumbling blocks are still evident in spite of concerted national policy efforts. This article reflects on a project conducted over a five-year period that intended to ‘create a progression pathway for TVET candidates into university’ in the insurance industry and the lessons learned in that process. What at first glance might have appeared to be simply a hostile environment for articulation and institutional intransigence, on further reflection revealed deep-seated curriculum issues associated with qualifications that were understood to differ fundamentally in function and therefore in form. The article draws, inter alia, on Bernstein’s (1999) theorisation of practical and disciplinary learning to show how a curriculum has an impact on pedagogies, assessment and quality assurance structures. After examining why college candidates who had succeeded in the first-level occupational qualification with its large workplace component struggled to complete subsequent university levels, the article concludes that divergent curricula and pedagogies will need serious attention if aspirations for more seamless articulation and easier progression are to become reality.

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