Monday, 29 September 2014

Alumni - Convert your Certificate/Diploma to City and Guilds

NWSD Alumni can now convert their national qualification to a  City & Guilds International Fashion Qualifications. 

Why convert your existing Diploma or Certificate? 

NORTH WEST SCHOOL OF DESIGN is now accredited as an International Fashion College and our courses now lead to a Foreign Qualification.   All previous fulltime students who have completed their one year or two year fashion training with NWSD can opt to submit their portfolios for verification in order obtain this International Fashion Certificate or Diploma. 

Is it Compulsory to convert?

It is not mandatory, only optional.  Our market research has shown that current, future and past students have a preference for International Qualifications over National SAQA Certificates or Diplomas and this is why we opted to have our college and course accredited with the internationally recognized City & Guilds of London.  Whilst interviewing a number of graduates, we realized that we should include previous students when our current students complete their first City & Guilds exam. 

Why City & Guilds and not SAQA?

Accredited qualifications, also known as regulated qualifications are those that are reviewed, recognised and monitored by a regulatory body in order to make sure that they meet specific criteria and quality standards.
According to the South African regulating body, SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) Qualification details, the Bachelor of Arts:  Fashion Design Programme has not been assessed internationally and it is for this reason that our students have voted for the option to apply through City & Guilds for international approval.    Fashion is global, so according to our students, is vital that our training is internationally recognized, as more and more of our graduates are employed globally and have ventured into the global arena with supplying their collections to global stores.
City & Guilds London Institute was founded in 1878 and is a well known and respected name worldwide in vocational education and training and commands respect from candidates and employers alike. This aligns well with North West School of Design’s mission to ensure our curriculum caters for future designers and fashion professionals who are globally competent in terms of quality, price and supply chain management.

Because NORTH WEST SCHOOL OF DESIGN offer diploma and degree equivalent courses that ultimately lead to Foreign Qualifications, we are accredited with City and Guilds, and not with a SETA, SAQA, CHE or Department of Education. 
City & Guilds International Qualifications are not categorized in the same way as SAQA qualifications such as one year Certificate, two year Diploma or three year Degree. The City & Guilds framework makes use of Awards, Certificates and Diplomas and each of these are furthermore categorized into various Levels from Level 1 to 4.
City & Guilds Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) system foresees awarding qualifications on the basis of achievement rather than the years of study completed.
City & Guilds is however a registered provider with SAQA, therefore students who have successfully obtained City & Guilds qualifications through NWSD can establish the equivalent SAQA stature through City & Guilds. 
This means that SAQA (South African recognized qualification) is not the conferring body that confers or awards your final qualification, but the qualification is conferred and awarded by City & Guilds, which means the qualification is both nationally and internationally recognized.  

How do I convert my Certificate or Diploma?

Firstly, you will send the principal an email to request the C&G exam guide.  You will then receive a detailed guide and video recording which explains the units that you will need to submit for the City & Guilds verification.  This is referred to as your POE (Portfolio of Evidence).  Most of the items for your POE are garments, samples, sketches, storyboards and patterns that you already have.  There is however some of the work that you will have to make additionally.
You might want to complete the Level 2 Certificate unit this year then complete the Level 2 Diploma level next year.  This is entirely up to you.  Should you opt to go ahead and submit a POE for the Diploma level, you will automatically also add the Certificate POE units with this exam.  This means the Diploma POE is more work than the Certificate POE.  Once you have received the Level 2 Diploma, you can opt to submit a POE for Level 3 in 2015. 
Once you have reviewed the guide and you have established whether you will submit a POE for the Certificate or Diploma, you can then register with the principal for the exam. 
Exam Registration is R2000 for the Level 2 Certificate and R3 000 for the Level 2 Diploma.  Level 3 exams will only be available in 2015 once you have obtained the Level 2 Diploma.  Once this is paid, you will be registered as a student on the City & Guilds Walled Garden to receive your exam number. 
You will then submit your POE on or before 24 November 2014.

To apply, and for more info please email

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