Accreditation & certification

EcoTraining is the leader in our field and offers top-notch educational experiences. Our programs have received recognition and accreditation from respected institutions, including CHE, CATHSSETA, BQA, KPSGA, and FGASA. You can trust that our programs meet high standards and provide a transformative learning journey.

CATHSSETA (previously THETA)

CATHSSETA (the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority) was established under the Skills Development Act (no. 97 of 1998) [the Skills Act] for the Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Economic Sector.

CATHSSETA’s main function is to contribute to the raising of skills – to bring skills to the employed, or those wanting to be employed, in their sector. It does this by ensuring that people learn skills that are needed by employers and communities. There is no value in training people if they cannot use the skills they have learnt.

Training and skills development is not just for young people starting their first jobs, although it is important for them, too! The skills of people already in jobs must also be enhanced.

Training must be carried out to agreed standards, within a national framework wherever possible. It is no good if someone is trained in one province but their qualifications are not recognised in another. It is not ideal for one employer to increase the skills of his or her staff if another employer does not recognise them.

All training, wherever it is provided, should be subject to quality control and, where appropriate, be compared to the best international standards.

To achieve these objectives CATHSSETA must:

CATHSSETA-accredited providers

CATHSSETA accredits training providers and registers qualified assessors to train and assess recognised unit standards, skills programmes and qualifications.

FGASA is an accredited provider with CATHSSETA and is scoped for various unit standards, skills programmes and qualifications. When an individual becomes a member of FGASA s/he is registered by the FGASA office on the CATHSSETA database as a learner.

Once a learner has been declared competent by a FGASA-registered assessor (registered with CATHSSETA), FGASA records the learner’s achievements on the CATHSSETA database so that CATHSSETA can produce the relevant certificate.

The Field Guides Association of
Southern Africa (FGASA)

FGASA, a Section 21 company, was formally established in 1990 by a group of professional guides aiming to set a standard for nature guiding practice. FGASA represents individual tourist guides; nature, culture and adventure guides; trackers; and organisations involved in offering professional guiding services to members of the public.

FGASA is an accredited provider with CATHSSETA. It has set guiding standards for many years and continues to maintain the highest standards within the guiding industry. In conjunction with CATHSSETA within the National Qualifications Framework, FGASA promotes the standards for guiding throughout southern Africa in the form of:

FGASA is fully committed to the development and implementation of the national qualifications and promoting the development of all tourist guides, including previously disadvantaged individuals as guides, trackers, trainers and assessors as part of the South African transformation process.

FGASA promotes the development of guides through the use of training programmes that conform to high standards of learner development. The association promotes the highest standards of guide assessment, appointing and registering fully qualified and experienced assessors.

The Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA)

The Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) is an examining body whose aim is to improve the quality of driver guides for the Kenyan tourist industry. Tourists expect and are entitled to be accompanied by qualified guides during their visits to Kenya. The KPSGA is committed to ensuring that this is the case.

Botswana Qualifications Authority

The Botswana Training Authority (BOTA) was established in 2000 under the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, as per the Vocational Training Act (no. 22 of 1998), to ensure that quality skills were supplied to industry.

Vision: BOTA will be a world-class co-ordinating body for the development of quality vocational skills.

Mission: We co-ordinate an integrated accessible vocational training system that meets the needs of the learners and industry through the development of standards, quality assurance, policy advice, monitoring and evaluation.

BOTA now continues under the new name of the Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA).

Council of Higher Education (CHE)

EcoTraining is provisionally registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training until 31 December 2026 as a private higher education institution under the Act. Registration Certificate No.2023/HE07/001.

The Council on Higher Education (CHE) strives to improve South Africa’s higher education and training system through quality assurance, research, and trend monitoring. They also encourage discussion on contemporary issues and advise the Minister on strategy and policy.

EcoTraining is Africa’s first guide training company to receive official Higher Education accreditation. This achievement marks a pivotal moment in EcoTraining’s mission to cultivate exceptional guides for the ecotourism industry. With this recognition, EcoTraining students can access study loans, visas, and university-level qualifications. This accomplishment solidifies EcoTraining’s commitment to delivering world-class education and professional guide training.

Start your wildlife career

Want to become a field or nature guide? Explore our immersive courses and training programmes for professional safari guides and guardians of nature, taught and led by experts in the industry.

EcoTraining offers career and accredited courses, wildlife enthusiast courses, gap year programmes and customised group travel courses.

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