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A case study of a training programme for educators and trainers within a non-profit organisation: participant and organisational experiences.

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This qualitative single case study explored an international Non-Profit Organisation’s (NPO) planning, design and implementation of a Training Programme for Educators and Trainers (TPET) during the period 2009 – 2011. Across three cohorts of the TPET only nine of the thirty-two instructors completed it successfully which resulted in the programme being discontinued and stimulated the need for this research. The objective of this study was to explore the programme implementation process, review the implemented curriculum and explore the candidates’ experiences of learning and the barriers they faced in the process. A historical case study approach was used with an interpretivist paradigm. The case and the unit of analysis was the TPET and the focus was the participant’s experiences in the programme. It was framed by the theories of adult learning, curriculum design and instruction and barriers to learning. Using purposive sampling four candidates were selected, including two successful and two unsuccessful candidates. Data was also collected through semi-structured interviews and a document analysis. The findings from the semi-structured interviews was presented under the following themes: programme implementation and selection of candidates; participants experiences of the programme content; barriers to learning; implementation of learning in the classroom; changes in how participants feel about themselves. Key findings from the documents reviewed was presented under the headings of the compliance requirements of the Department of Labour, Non-Profit Organisation Instructor Certification Programme, Occupationally Directed Education and Training Development Programme at NQF level 5, The Training programme for Educators and Trainers with a profile of the interviewed participants. The study concluded that the initial plan of the NPO to build compliance capacity utilizing the TPET had merit. There however seemed to be a lack of understanding amongst the staff of the NPO regarding the compliance requirements as an accredited training service provider within the South African National Qualifications Framework. There also seemed to be a lack of organisational support for historical disadvantaged individuals participating in the TPET. The study allowed for several recommendations to be made to enable NPOs to improve such curriculum processes.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.