Skills Development Facilitators’ Forum (SDF)2023-12-11T15:55:11+02:00

Communities of Practice

Skills Development Facilitators’ Forum (SDF)

Formed in 2016, the Skills Development Facilitators’ (SFD) Forum is a Community of Practice for Skills Development Practitioners in Higher Education Institutions. It was established as a vehicle for promoting best practice in learning and development of employees in the university sector, at national and institutional levels. The SDF does this through fostering interdisciplinary approaches to policies, the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) process, integrated talent management practices and workplace learning methods.

To that end, the SDF Forum seeks to maintain an effective working relationship with the Education, Training and Development Practices Sector Education and Training Authority (ETDP SETA), other SETAs, USAf’s other CoPs, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and all higher education institutions. The Forum also supports the Human Resources Directors’ (HRD) Forum, one of USAf’s CoPs, by providing advice and recommendations to facilitate the overall transformation, engagement, development, effectiveness and wellbeing of employees of USAf’s member institutions. These include recommendations o applicable policies and legislation.

The SDF Forum focuses on the following priority areas:

  • Sourcing of Expertise: from a variety of sources to ensure the quality of work produced and a focus on solving common problems, thus providing benefits to members, their institutions and the higher education sector. The areas of focus include but are not limited to the delivery and management of learning and development, integrated talent management (attraction, development and retention), performance management, employee engagement and SDF capability development.
  • Knowledge creation and sharing: the focus is on exploring, collating, organising sessions and distributing materials to promote knowledge development amongst the SDF members. This includes information sharing with the ETDP SETA on the SDF work. In addition, to widen its network to external role players to understand the perspectives of private providers and industry to enhance and improve on skills development.
  • Best practice:  This entails identifying national, international methodologies with the view to adopting best practices within and outside the higher education sector.
  • Innovation: The SDF Forum was formed on a common interest amongst professional peer groups, with learning and development intended to positively impact the performance of practitioners at institutions. New and emerging forms of knowledge may provide an ideal opportunity for innovation. The SDF forum will facilitate rapid dissemination of new ideas and resources.


Mr Stephen Tsebela
Nelson Mandela University
Deputy Director: Learning and Development

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