Training Officer & Mentor Guidelines


Mentors and training officers hold a vital role in shepherding students through the intricate maize or wheat milling training program.  Your expertise and guidance will undoubtedly shape the journey of these aspiring individuals, nurturing their growth and knowledge within the realm of milling.  This guide aims to equip you with comprehensive information to support your students’ success.  From course details to examination guidelines, your guidance is essential in shaping their journey through milling technology education.

Student Guidelines and Course Information Access

All students and mentors can readily access comprehensive guidelines and course information manuals.  We kindly request that you take the time to familiarise yourself with these resources to ensure a thorough understanding of the details provided.  If you find yourself in need of assistance while mentoring a student, please feel free to reach out to either the Course Administrator or the tutor responsible for the specific module the student is studying.  They are more than willing to offer their support in any way possible.

The role of a mentor

The role of a mentor is of utmost importance.  It is essential that the chosen mentor holds the qualification of a miller, ideally with a strong familiarity with the SAGMA course. The mentor’s responsibility involves guiding the student or trainee through their theoretical studies and bridging these concepts to practical applications within the mill.

To ensure the effectiveness of this process, it is important that mentors acknowledge their completion of adequate practical training for the student or trainee on the relevant machines and processes discussed in the Workbook (study material) of that particular module.

Additionally, mentors must ensure comprehensive coverage of all Workbook material, not solely focusing on the questions presented in the Progress Question paper.  This comprehensive approach is crucial, as relying solely on the Workbook for Progress Questions often leads to insufficient preparation for the Semester Examination and subsequent failure due to incomplete course material understanding.

While we do not intend to list every aspect mentors should cover, certain crucial elements necessitate proficient demonstration. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Setting up break roll releases and other rollermills.
  • Cleaning, maintaining, and illustrating the internal flow schemes of all mill plansifters.
  • Identification of mill stock.
  • Configuration of main milling machines, such as purifiers, concentrators, aspirators, degerminators, and various wheat/maize cleaning machines.
  • Calculation of mill production figures.
  • Creation of mill flow diagrams.
  • Grading of grains during intake.
  • Basic laboratory testing procedures.

Additionally, it would greatly benefit the student or trainee to spend time with a Subject Matter Expert while working in departments like Intake, Laboratory, Packing, and Warehousing.

Please take the time to review the items below, as they provide further information regarding student guidelines and other crucial course details.

Course Details

As mentors and training officers, it is essential to provide students with a thorough understanding of the course they are about to embark on.  Here are the key details you should discuss with your students:

  • Course Duration: The course spans two years, comprising theory-based modules focusing on various aspects of maize or wheat milling technology.
  • Logbook and Portfolio of Evidence: The Logbook records practical experiences and learning milestones, while the portfolio showcases the student’s growth and accomplishments throughout the course.
  • Preparation for Trade Test: A mandatory 6-month period dedicated to preparing for the Trade Test assessment ensures practical readiness.
  • EISA Examinations: These external integrated summative assessments evaluate knowledge gained during the course and practical experiences.
  • QCTO Accreditation: The course is accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupation (QCTO) and recognized by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

Course Qualification and Requirements

Understanding the qualifications and requirements upon completing the maize or wheat milling course is vital for both mentors and students:

  • Level NQF 5 Qualification: Successful completion leads to a Level NQF 5 Qualification.
  • Certificate Issuance: A Certificate of Completion is issued for completing SAGMA courses and meeting assessment requirements. To receive the NQF 5 Qualification Certificate, students must achieve the minimum pass mark in the EISA examination.

Admission Criteria and Requirements

Before commencing the course, students must meet specific admission criteria:

  • Minimum Grade 12: Possession of a Grade 12 (Matric) certificate is required, along with proof of qualification during registration.
  • Employment Contract: A valid employment contract with a maize or wheat milling company is mandatory.
  • Access to Milling Environment: Students should have access to a maize and/or wheat mill and receive mentorship from a Head Miller or Training Officer.
  • English Proficiency: A strong command of written and spoken English is necessary for effective communication and understanding the course material.

Course Layout and Progress Questions

Understanding the course structure and progress questions is crucial for both mentors and students:

  • Progress Questions: These assignments enhance understanding and prepare students for examinations.
  • Pass Mark: Achieving a minimum of 60% in progress questions is necessary to qualify for the semester examination.
  • Submission Guidelines: Progress question assignments must adhere to specific guidelines for submission via email or courier.
  • Feedback and Clarification: Seeking feedback and clarifications from tutors helps in effective examination preparation.
  • Importance: Progress questions serve as valuable learning tools and assessment indicators.

Logbook and Portfolio of Evidence

Logbooks and Portfolios of Evidence play a significant role in the course:

  • Logbook Purpose: The Logbook tracks workplace exposure and guides progress through different stages.
  • Responsibility: Students are responsible for maintaining the Logbook, and ensuring its availability for inspection during site visits.
  • Mentor’s Role: Mentors review and sign off Logbook entries, indicating progress levels.
  • Progression: The Logbook guides students from Assist Only to Independent Work, showcasing competency.
  • Usage: The Logbook serves as a management tool, progress report, competency declaration, and evidence for the Trade Test assessment.
  • Completion Requirement: A completed Logbook is mandatory for qualification, submitted alongside specific progress question submissions.

Semester Examinations

Understanding semester examinations ensure effective preparation:

  • Eligibility: Progress question performance determines eligibility for semester examinations.
  • Examination Schedule: Examinations occur biannually in May and November, comprising morning and afternoon sessions.
  • Pass Mark: A minimum of 60% is required to advance to the next module.
  • Examination Format: Examinations are based on theoretical and practical course content, including progress question material.
  • Preparation: Consistent study and revision are essential for success, considering allocated marks per question.
  • Communication: Examination details are communicated via WhatsApp and/or email.
  • Identification: Proper identification is mandatory for examination participation.

Difference Between Progress Questions & Examination Papers

Understanding the distinction between progress questions and examination papers is vital:

  • Progress Questions: These assignments facilitate learning and provide model answers for better comprehension.
  • Examination Papers: Assess your competency and comprehension without model answers.

Trade Test Certificate

Understanding the significance of the Trade Test assessment:

  • Preparation: After completing module 8 and complying with Logbook and portfolio of Evidence requirements, students undergo a 6-month experiential learning phase.
  • Mentor’s Role: Mentors assess students’ competency before applying for the Trade Test.
  • Practical Trade Test: The Trade Test, conducted by SAGMA examiners, evaluates practical skills.
  • Wheat and Maize Courses: Each course leads to specific Trade Tests, focusing on either maize or wheat milling.

EISA Examinations

Understanding the EISA examination’s significance and requirements:

  • Purpose: The EISA assessment gauges comprehensive understanding of milling gained through practical experience and coursework.
  • Pass Mark: Achieving 70% in each of the four sections is necessary.
  • Certificate Issuance: Successful completion results in a QCTO certificate, equivalent to a Level NQF 5 Qualification.

The Maize & Wheat and Advanced Technology Course

A brief overview of the Advanced Technology Course:

  • Objective: Upgrade existing general management to focus on critical competencies and skills for managerial situations.
  • Eligibility: Requires a wheat or maize Trade Test Certificate.
  • Pass Mark: An average of 70% is required for progress questions, semester examination, and Trade Test assessment.

Mentors and training officers play a pivotal role in guiding students through their maize or wheat milling education.  Thank you for your invaluable contribution in guiding our trainee millers towards achieving excellence both in their craft and within our organisation.  Your support significantly paves the way for them to emerge as exceptional millers, truly embodying the pinnacle of their profession.

Training Officer & Mentor Guidelines for download
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