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SA College for Tourism
Tracker Academy

Magazine Hill
PO Box 314
Graaff-Reinet
6280

1. PURPOSE:

The highest level of skills is required if trackers are to contribute meaningfully to conservation through animal monitoring, anti-poaching, animal habituation, environmental education and eco-tourism.

Tracking assessments have proved to be a very powerful tool in the process of learning to track as it inspires trackers continually to improve their knowledge and understanding of tracking. Experience shows that once a tracker has achieved a certain grade of competency he/she returns for further training and assessment.

Continued training and practise, followed by intensive, detailed assessments results in tracking being considered a professional career opportunity. In several game reserves and lodges in South Africa trackers are being remunerated according to their tracking qualifications. This further incentivises potential candidates to embark on formal tracking training and assessment.

2. PRINCIPLES:

The Tracker Academy assesses its learners in accordance with assessment requirements set for it by both CATHSSETA and FGASA.

This is an assessment of the candidate’s ability to -

The Tracker Academy assesses Track and Sign Identification in respect of both its CATHSSETA (NQF2) and add-on FGASA (Tracker Levels 1 to 4) training programmes.

A minimum of 40, maximum of 50 questions are asked on the level 1, 2, 3 & 4 tracker assessments. In preparation, the assessor will provide the candidate with a list of animals’ tracks and signs that may appear in the assessment.

Bird and animal alarm calls are central to a tracker’s knowledge, particularly when trailing lion and leopard. The tracker’s safety and understanding of certain animal behaviour are bound to these subtle calls which most people miss in the bush. Most experienced trackers know these calls well.

The Tracker Academy assesses alarm call identification in respect of both its CATHSSETA (NQF2) and FGASA (Tracker Levels 1 to 4) training programmes. Alarm call Identification is assessed separately. Calls are tested in the field practically. Or, in the event of no calls being heard in the field, calls are played digitally from a recorder with good quality sound. A total of 30 alarm calls are tested. Percentage scores will determine which level is achieved – level 1, 2, 3 or 4.

This is the assessment of the candidate’s ability to follow an animal’s trail (set of tracks), while simultaneously displaying peripheral awareness, until the animal is found. Here the candidate will be asked to demonstrate, by following an animal’s trail, his/her ability to recognise tracks, anticipate animal movements and potential danger, and show awareness throughout the process. Specific performance relating to each component is evaluated and scored objectively. Depending on the results of the ‘track and sign’ assessment the candidate will follow one (or 2) animal species.

Once the species has been selected, it is up to the candidate to choose which trail he wishes to follow. In this way, the assessor has the opportunity to assess the candidate’s ability to find tracks, decide on the age of the tracks, number of animals, and then to take a decision on whether or not to follow the trail. Once the animal is found, an assessment of the candidate’s ability to view it safely also forms part of the assessment.

3.PROCEDURES:

Assessments in respect of the CATHSSETA accredited training programme of the Tracker Academy are kept on Learner Portfolios of Evidence which are subjected to at least four internal, in-house and two, independent, external moderation per training year before being submitted to CATHSSETA for certification.

FGASA endorsed tracker levels 1 to 4 certificates are achieved in accordance with the following results obtained during a formal assessment of competence in the following components, namely, Track & Sign Identification, Alarm Calls Identification and Following animal trails.

Should the candidate only be judged competent in one or two of the above components, he/she will receive the appropriate level in either of the following;

Track & Sign 1, 2, 3 or 4
Following animal trails 1, 2, 3 or 4
Alarm Calls 1, 2, 3 or 4

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The SACT Tracker Academy is a not-for-profit organisation which trains disadvantaged rural people in the traditional skills of wildlife tracking. The accreditation of its tracker training programme with the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA) made the Tracker Academy the first tracker training school to achieve this distinction in South Africa. More than 94% of our trainee graduates have found permanent employment within the tourism industry.

Assessor explains track answer to students

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