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Boston claims skills development award

Boston shines at CompTIA SA awards 2019 event which is aimed at recognising partner contributions to skills development.

Boston shines at CompTIA SA awards 2019 event which is aimed at recognising partner contributions to skills development.

“CompTIA is the leading trade association for the global technology industry. We hold our partners to very high academic and mentoring standards”, so says Loraine Vorster, VP Business Development, Southern Africa/ANZ

“[pullquote]The CompTIA South Africa Partner Awards event recognises the contribution of training partners and corporate customers to skills development[/pullquote] in South Africa, using the industry recognised CompTIA certifications,” says Vorster. “We were thrilled to announce that Boston City Campus & Business College was awarded the Global Award for Outstanding Leader 2017/2018 period. This award is issued by CompTIA HQ at the annual CompTIA Partner Summit event in the USA and is based on revenue generated for CompTIA. This shows that during the period 2017/2018, Boston City Campus & Business College was the biggest partner in Southern Africa for CompTIA.”

CompTIA is one of the leading international certification benchmarks in the technology world. While NQF-based qualifications are certainly potent additions to a business, due to its long and rich history CompTIA certification can often come closer to delivering what a company requires in terms of ICT skills. Says Kobus Olivier, National Academic IT Manager at Boston. “CompTIA certifications hit the mark on what companies need at the coalface”.

Certifications and qualifications are not always the same thing. This creates a conundrum for companies, since skills development is a core part of doing business in South Africa. Being able to quantify a workforce’s abilities is key - whether in order to comply with new B-BBEE changes or other legislation, - particularly to the scale of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

Established in 1982, CompTIA represents the best of breed thinking in terms of ICT training. A CompTIA certification is attractive to technical employers, due to the graduates’ superior on-the-job skills, says Olivier.

“What we’ve found over the past few years is that many HR departments may be bound by skills development particularities and specifications in terms of their abilities to claim grants. We therefore believe that in order to maximise benefits to companies and individuals, a combined certification route using both NQF as well as international accreditation such as CompTIA serves both parties best.”

Boston saw this problem and decided to engage stakeholders on both sides of the equation, as a CompTIA Platinum Partner and one of the most prolific producers of CompTIA-certified people - ranked first in SA and third globally by CompTIA-.
“We often get a company with an employee who completed a CompTIA A+ or N+ certification, relevant occupational skills in today’s business technology environment. But the company wants to know what the NQF level is. However the two are completely separate and governed by different bodies. You can’t just draw parallels. After discussions with our partners; CompTIA and MICT SETA, Boston decided to create a unified picture that removes the confusion”

With this new bridging model, people who obtain certification through CompTIA gain credits on the national learner records database. This in turn creates NQF numbers that administrators can use. At the same time managers of technical staff benefit from hiring people with CompTIA skills.

“This doesn’t diminish what NQF qualifications offer,” Olivier explains. “But we must keep in mind that CompTIA is a strong and proven international standard for technology-based skills. For example, having an A+ or N+ certification is valuable to technology managers for their staff pool.”

The ability to bridge the two means companies can enjoy the perks of both worlds: hiring staff with the best skills while also keeping complying with skills development on a national and labour level.

It also encourages companies seeking further training of their staff to embrace CompTIA certification. Olivier hastens to add that they should pick their training partners carefully.

“The South African industry understands the relevance of certification. But companies must be mindful that not all training facilities are the same. There is a reason why Boston is a CompTIA Platinum partner. Other than our exceptional pass rate, we also lay claim to very high standards of training and our examinations are those supplied internationally by CompTIA. We understand the value of both, and the needs of the industry.”

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