What is CHIETA?

CHIETA, known as Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA), is one of the twenty-one statutory bodies under the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) that was created according to the 1998 Skills Development Act. One of CHIETA’s obligations in the chemical industry is to monitor and enhance skills development and acquisition and enable the identification of skills in demand and cater to these skill needs via numerous training programs and education initiatives in the chemical industries’ sector. CHIETA was established to contribute to economic and sustainable development by facilitating pertinent, relevant, and critical skills in the chemical industries sector. These skills are in demand by various employers in the sector, and CHIETA is authorized to ensure the supply of these skills through several training programs and other educational strategies.

The activities of CHIETA are supervised and managed by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). The DHET is committed to delivering an all-inclusive and integrated post-school system in South Africa. They also work to ensure accessibility to necessary post-school training programs and relevant education for the South African labor force and unemployed youth. Easy accessibility to these programs leads to the achievement of socio-economic plans that will culminate in the South African economy’s growth and development. Furthermore, the Department develops competent and skilled citizens who can effectively compete on a national stage and globally in the international chemical Industries’ sector. These initiatives implemented by the DHET ensure that the South African economy’s development goals are attained and eventually meet economic goals.

The Department followed its mission through by: 

  • Improving participation rates in the system; 
  • Correction of the distribution of access to post-school education and training in form, size, and distribution
  • Improving the quality and efficiency of the system, its subsystems, and institutions.

Like all other SETAs, CHIETA was established according to the Skills Development Act of 1998, and operations began in 2000. Despite the significant changes in the many other SETAs, no adjustments were planned for CHIETA in terms of the new SETA framework announced. It shows that the CHIETA had been running effectively before 2009, which is quite commendable for the body. CHIETA has consistently ensured that the skills in demand, including the chemical industry’s critical and scarce skills, are met.

The CHIETA has been instrumental in assisting several groups, including those coming into the chemical industry sector. They do this by improving the standards and quality of the education and training delivered to the sector. Member authorities of the SETA are involved in accreditation and extensive learning programs. They also run work-based interventions vital for students who want to acquire the relevant skills required to penetrate the labor market easily. These skills are also relevant for new business people who intend to start their businesses and tow the self-employment path. CHIETA has also greatly contributed to making an impact by providing grants for employers, for skills developed, and bursaries for students. 

CHIETA perform these specific activities with their jurisdiction:

  1. Production of organic fertilizer
  2. Production of coke oven products
  3. Petroleum refineries/synthesizers
  4. Processing of nuclear fuel
  5. Production of nitrogen compounds and fertilizers
  6. Production of chemical compounds and raw materials used in agriculture
  7. Production of plastics and synthetic rubber
  8. Production of chemically-based personal care products
  9. Production and distribution of various specialty chemicals for industrial use
  10. Production of varnishes, paints and similar coatings, mastics and printing ink
  11. Production of medicinal chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and botanical products
  12. Production of soap, detergent, and other cleaning compounds
  13. Production of beauty products
  14. Production of pyrotechnic products and explosives
  15. Production of other non-metallic minerals products
  16. Production of glass and glassware
  17. Production of scientific and clock and watch glasses, kitchenware, tableware, glass containers, and other similar products 
  18. Production of primary batteries, accumulators, and primary cells
  19. Production of industrial gases in compressed and liquified
  20. Wholesale and retail trade in solid, liquid, or gaseous fuels and similar products
  21. Industrial research

Functions of CHIETA

There are outlined and strategic roles and objectives of The Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA). These objectives align with the mission and vision of the body, and they include: 

  • increasing accessibility of professional and occupational training programs for the labor force in the chemical industries’ sector and those who are unemployed; 
  • organizing and supervising reliable and high-standard institutional systems for sector skills planning; 
  • promoting the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College system to meet the needs of skills and knowledge in the chemical industries’ sector and at local, regional, and national levels.
  • in order to have access to additional instruction, resolve the low level of language and numeracy skills;
  • foster greater use of the developed workplace-based skills;
  • encourage and support community training initiatives, small enterprises, cooperatives, and worker initiated Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), 
  • increase the ability of the public sector to strengthen service delivery and support, and building a developing state; 
  • build a career and vocational guidance; 
  • and continuously focus on defining and quality assurance of optimized business processes, knowledge management systems, and organizational architecture frameworks in support of the professional and confident discharge of its legislative mandate.

CHIETA, according to the legislation, was formed to promote the development of skills in the chemical industry sector. This SETA must ensure that the needs of the chemical industry are distinctly identified. After identifying these needs, CHIETA must develop and implement initiatives to enable learners to receive the necessary education and relevant training. CHIETA has consistently stated that its vision is to provide a high standard and top-quality education and training systems for the chemical industries sector. There has been a remarkable and visible success of the body in the sector. CHIETA’s goal is to contribute to the long-term development of the chemical industry by ensuring that skills are established, resulting in the growth of the chemical sector’s improvement.

The body has achieved its outlined objectives throughout the time it has worked by defining and supplying the different and essential skills needed for the concerned sector’s growth and development. It has also shown the importance of equity in the sector and has continued to positively promote the need for an increase in top quality training for those in the workplace.

It is the responsibility of all SETAs in South Africa to ensure that people entering a specific industry or industry sector can do the job at hand. It also applies to those already in the industry. Achieving this is not possible without the relevant skills and training. It is, therefore, the duty of every SETA to:

  • Find opportunities for learners to do practical work and benefit from the workplace experience
  • Provide assistance to those who develop and produce instructional materials for college courses, etc.
  • Help to set up and finalize learnership agreements
  • Register learnership agreements

The CHIETA has successfully performed its basic activities so far, largely because this SETA has prioritized the employability of those entering the sector. In this way, learners can acquire the necessary Skill Sets that will also help them to develop sustainable livelihoods.

CHIETA Accreditation

In line with the CHIETA values and the SETA at large, which are accountability, integrity, respect, and service excellence, training providers must follow protocol and show that they operate according to the vision, mission, and values of the CHIETA. To this end, the providers of education and vocational training in the chemical industries sector must be accredited by the CHIETA if they want to function accordingly. The CHIETA is accredited as an Education and Training Quality Assurance organization by the South African Qualifications Authority. It is, therefore, sanctioned to confirm and accredit training providers in the sector.

The CHIETA prioritizes the delivery of its commitments and responsibilities in a transparent and accountable manner to meet key players’ needs and other stakeholders in the body and satisfy them. On this note, training providers in this sector will be accredited if they satisfy the standards and requirements according to the CHIETA goals. The training provider must prove that the training center offers acceptable complete and partial qualifications in compliance with the National Qualifications System (NQF). There should even be systems and equipment that facilitate learning at these centers and verified assessors and moderators who handle the learners’ assessment. The planned training syllabus must meet the requirements and qualifications, and the process of assessing learners must be accurate and well-founded. 

All prospective training providers must contact the CHIETA because of the specific and detailed list of these training providers’ accreditation requirements. Accredited training providers deliver relevant training programs. Based on the program’s specifics and the province where interested candidates are situated, the providers and organizations are easier to find. To apply for accreditation, the potential training providers must fill the required form and supply supporting documents, which include: 

  • a verified South African Revenue Services (SARS) tax clearance certificate or proof of exemption;
  • evidence of monetary capability to supply training services during the time which the training provider is accredited; certificated showing registration status of the institution or company;
  • proof of certified and qualified facilitators to provide relevant qualifications;
  • proof of the student appeal policy and the prescribed code of conduct.
  • Credible certificate of occupational health and safety for a specific occupation;

After providing and submitting necessary documents, The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), responsible for qualifications and standards for various occupations and trades across the country, will assess the submitted application and confirm the credibility of the information filled form and the supporting documents. The validity is subsequently verified; the QCTO informs the prospective SDP about the outcomes of the assessment. Suppose the submission from a prospective provider of training meets the criteria. In that situation, the QCTO would recommend a date to visit the planned training site to determine commencement preparation. If the training provider does not meet the expected standards, a letter will be sent to that effect. A letter will be sent to the applicant following a site visit and a positive accreditation result, and the training provider will be certified for five years.

CHIETA Funding

Funding is important to satisfy the mission statement of CHIETA, which includes:

  • Expanding the opportunities to accumulate relevant skills and have quick access to training programs even in rural areas
  • Providing high-quality training standards and qualifications which will culminate within the growth of the world
  • Creating an efficient and standard system that facilitates skills development

According to the talents Development Levy Act (SDLA), all employers within the chemical industries sector with an annual salary payroll of R500,000 or more must pay 1% of this salary as skills development levy towards the National Skills Fund (NSF), the administrative costs of running the CHIETA and grants.

Funding for CHIETA is generated from the talent development levy collected from employers within the chemical industries sector. Administrative costs include expenses incurred from managing and running the body. One-tenth of the levy used for CHIETA is allocated to those expenses. The opposite part of the levy is employed for mandatory and discretionary grants.

The mandatory grants are designed to hide education and training programs and enable employers to arrange and implement training programs for their employees.

Employers must meet certain criteria before they receive mandatory grants, and these include:

  • Employers have to be licensed with the SARS commissioner.
  • At the time of approval, employers must have paid all the previous levies.
  • Employers must provide signed off evidence of consultant with organized labor where applicable
  • Employers must have submitted the WSP and ATR to contribute to the CHIETA Sector Skills Plan (SSP)
  • Employers have to pay levies to the commissioner within the period defined.
  • Employers can submit their first application within six months of SARS registration.
  • Employers must make sure that they need been paying levies to the acceptable SETA
  • Employers must send all documentation available before the due dates. 

Mandatory grants that aren’t claimed before August per annum are transferred to discretionary grant funding.

The CHIETA approves a discretionary grant policy per annum, consistent with the SETA grant regulations. This policy will direct the allocation of funds, considering the varied plans and programs that the funds could support. These plans and programs include:

  • PIVOTAL programs
  • Scarce skills outlined within the SSP
  • Bursaries for workers and people who are unemployed
  • National Skills Development Strategies initiatives
  • The annual performance plan
  • Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • National Skills Priorities

Employers will need to meet the following requirements in order to access discretionary grants:

  • Employers must have submitted their ATR and WSP at the time of approval.
  • Providers of private training must be accredited (where training providers are involved)
  • Employers must be within the jurisdiction of the CHIETA, i.e., employers must add to the chemical industries sector.
  • Employers must be up so far with levy payments except those that are formally exempted.
  • Unemployed learners qualify for programs and bursaries listed.
  • Only businesses with but fifty employees can fill the PIVOTAL plan template as seen on the CHIETA website.
  • Trade Unions and Non-Governmental Organizations must be registered.

The following are details of the appliance process:

  • Applicants should fill the forms while adhering to the discretionary grants policy. There are different forms for personal employers, public employers, training providers, and unemployed learners.
  • Documents must be submitted detailing the company’s registration.
  • Proof of registration with professional bodies must be submitted.
  • Evidence of payment of the levy on skills development or proof of SARS registration or proof of exemption 
  • Details of assessor and moderator for the actual qualification must even be submitted.

How to get a SETA Learnership

A learnership is one among the non PIVOTAL programs, and it refers to the structured learning process that helps learners gain academic knowledge and practical skills within the workplace. The learnerships is one of the opportunities which the SETAs, including CHIETA, offer students. These structured learning processes operate an outcome-based system and acknowledge the necessity for prior learning. Learnership duration varies but usually lasts for 18 months. Learners must complete four different learnerships to achieve artisan equivalent qualification (NQF level 4).

Before beginning a SETA Learnership, learners must comply with the following conditions: 

  • Existing employees or new entrants;
  • Meet the choice criteria determined by the organization taking over the learner;
  • Satisfy the entry requirements for the learnership program they want to enroll in as determined by the qualification requirements.
  • These outlined steps are important in obtaining learnerships;
  • Employers are workplace approved and are required to satisfy the pre-registration criteria.
  • Qualified assessors are available. They’ll be either in-house assessors or contracted assessors.
  • Training providers are accredited to supply particular learnership by the ETQA.
  • Companies advertise opportunities for learnerships in the media.
  • A learnership agreement is signed among the learner, employer, and provider.
  • Learners apply and are selected by the corporate recruitment process.
  • A Short-term employment agreement is signed between the employer and the learner, assuming the learner is unemployed.
  • The learning program and method are negotiated and agreed upon with the provider of training.
  • Employers finance the training through grants received from SETA.
  • Employers and training providers deliver relevant learning and knowledge, working closely together to manage the training process.
  • Learners are given support through mentoring and feedback.
  • Learners are evaluated by trained evaluators (formative and summative assessments)
  • The CHIETA quality assurance is named to moderate the assessment. The provider must undertake internal moderation.
  • Learners receive a press release of results for unit standards achieved if learnership isn’t completed.

On completion of learnership is completed, the employer may sign the learner on for a replacement learnership or employ it. The employer also can prefer to release the learner for future employment by another organization if they were originally unemployed.

CHIETA Qualifications

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO) work in concert to provide high standard qualifications. The QCTO also replaces professional qualifications that were awarded by SETAs with occupational qualifications to training providers. The Council also de-registers certificates if, for a long time, learners do not apply for them. The CHIETA is an ETQA body accredited by SAQA and must deliver high standard qualifications according to the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS).

There is a new and reviewed quality assurance framework for the CHIETA where the QCTO oversees all quality assurance functions while the Development Quality Partner (DQP) and Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) supervise the development and implementation of professional qualifications and also register assessment officials. Usually, CHIETA qualifications are established and restructured following specified procedures. CHIETA stakeholders apply for the establishment is a new qualification or restructuring of existing qualifications. The CHIETA submits this to the QCTO, and the bodies sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). CHIETA then appoints the QDP and handles the restructuring of qualifications before sending it to the QCTO for approval.

Qualification TypeList of QualificationNQF Level
National CertificateNational Certificate: Molten Glass ProductionLevel 3
Further Education and training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Engineering FabricationLevel 4
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and Training Certificate: Laboratory AnalysisLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Mechanical EngineeringLevel 3
General Education and Training Certificate General Education and Training Certificate: Chemical OperationsLevel 1
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Mechanical EngineeringLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Chemical OperationLevel 2
National CertificateNational Certificate: Automated PackagingLevel 3
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Chemical OperationsLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Mechanical EngineeringLevel 3
National CertificateNational Certificate:Chemical ManufacturingLevel 2
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Mechanical EngineeringLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Operations of Mobile Explosives Manufacturing UnitsLevel 3
National CertificateNational Certificate: Mechanical HandlingLevel 3
National CertificateNational Certificate: WeldingApplication and PractiseLevel 2
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Mechanical HandlingLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Glass formingLevel 2
National CertificateNational Certificate: Gas InstallationsLevel 2
National CertificateNational Certificate: Engineering FabricationLevel 3
National CertificateNational Certificate: Manufacturing of surface coatingLevel 3
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Engineering FabricationLevel 4
National CertificateNational Certificate: Measurement, Control and InstrumentationLevel 2
National CertificateNational Certificate: Engineering FabricationLevel 3
National CertificateNational Certificate: Pharmaceutical Sales and RepresentationLevel 5
Further Education and Training CertificateFurther Education and training Certificate: Measurement, Control and InstrumentationLevel 4


CHIETA offers bursary awards to full-time students studying in the university at undergraduate and postgraduate levels (Master’s degree or Ph.D.) within the chemical industries sector. These bursary awards are provided from mandatory and discretionary grants that are not claimed. The bursary, which covers tuition, food, books, and other related expenses, is awarded to eligible students who meet all of the outlined criteria. The CHIETA Bursary value is estimated at R76,000 and R80,000 for undergraduates and postgraduates, respectively, every year. It is awarded to students enrolled in training programs for critical skills and high demand in the chemical industry sector. The CHIETA reserves the right to withdraw the bursary completely or partially for its reasons and sometimes based on funds’ availability.

Students in the following sector are eligible to apply for the CHIETA Bursary:

  • Pharmaceuticals 
  • Base Chemicals 
  • Surface Coatings
  • Specialty Chemicals
  • Petroleum 
  • Fertilizers 
  • Explosives
  • Glass
  • Fast Moving Consumer Goods

The bursary covers students in the following fields:

  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Polymer Technology
  • Operations Management
  • Pharmacy


To be eligible for the bursary, undergraduate students need to meet these criteria:

  • Students need to have a solid academic record.
  • Students must show evidence of the financial need 
  • Students must show proof of registration
  • Only first-year students are eligible
  • Female students, students from less fortunate homes, and students with disabilities would be considered first.

Application Process

The application process for obtaining a bursary are listed below:

  • Students must fill the application form and send it to the University Bursary Office. 
  • The university confirms that all form specifics have been filled appropriately, and the necessary signatures have been appended.
  • All supporting documents are also validated and reviewed.
  • The learner must provide signed documents stating the intent to forward progress reports to stakeholders in CHIETA and other officials
  • The completed application form must be submitted alongside supporting documents must be submitted to the SETA by the university

Supporting Documents

  1. Proof of registration for the 2020 academic year
  2. A copy of the student’s certified ID
  3. Motivational letter (why you should be awarded the bursary and why you are applying)
  4. Research topic endorsed by the supervisor 

Completed application forms, along with supporting documents, can be submitting by sending an email to [email protected]. Enter the words “CHIETA Bursary Application – Your Full Name” in the email subject. 

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