What course should I enrol on?

This is very much a personal choice, but the following may help you in your choice.

If you have recently entered the tanning industry and want a very basic knowledge of what happens in a tannery, or if you are an administrative person working in the leather industry, then the short course Introduction to the Leather Industry, is a good starting point.

If you are working in a particular section of a tannery i.e. the dyehouse, and it is your intention to become a specialist in the dyehouse, then we suggest that you concentrate only on the dyehouse courses. If you are a newcomer to the dyehouse and don’t have a good school background, then we suggest that you start at the Basic Level. If you have some experience working in the dyehouse and have a reasonably good school education, then you could start at the Intermediate Level. Direct entry into the Advanced Level courses is not allowed without having first completed the Intermediate Level course in the particular area of specialization. If you pass the Basic Level course, then you would continue the next year with the Intermediate Level course, and the following year with the Advanced Level course. You don’t of course have to carry on studying the next year if you do not want to. If you pass a course, you will get a certificate for it i.e. you do not have to study for two or three years to get a qualification. If you study for two or three years concentrating on the dyehouse technology, you should have a good grasp of what happens in the dyehouse by the end of your studies.

If you do not want to become a specialist, but would prefer to get an overall knowledge of the tannery processes, then you would first need to decide at which level you are going to start, and then enrol for the Tanning course, then the Dyehouse course, and then the Finishing course.

If you wish to have a detailed knowledge of all tanning process stages, and become a very knowledgeable leather technician, then we recommend you consider the Advanced Certificate in Leather Technology course.

Can I enrol on more than one course in a year?

Yes you can, but you must be able to cope with the workload. If you are working, we recommend that you not try and do too much as your studies will interfere with your work and family life.

Are there any entrance requirements?

You may not enrol directly on an Advanced Level course without first having successfully completed the Intermediate Level course in that particular area of specialization. For example, if you want to enrol on the Advanced Tanning course, you will first have to successfully complete the Intermediate Tanning course.

How long are the courses?

The Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Level courses are all one year courses. The Advanced Certificate course is a two year course but because it consists of six modules, students can take a longer time to complete the course i.e. you can study only one or two modules per year and therefore take three or four years to complete the course.

Are the courses part-time or full time?

All of the courses are part-time courses but students enrolled on Intermediate and Advanced Level courses will need to attend a one week (Intermediate Level) or two week (Advanced Level or modules of the Advanced Certificate in Leather Technology) practical course at ISTT in Grahamstown, South Africa. Students can thus continue to work while they are studying. There are no practical courses for the short courses or the Basic Level courses.

How much time will I have to spend on my studies?

This will depend on the level of course for which you are enrolled. The Basic Level courses do not require more than a few hours per week of study. The Advanced Level courses will require approximately 10 –15 hours of study per week but this will depend on each student’s experience and educational background.

Will I have to come to ISTT in South Africa for the course?

The courses are part-time and run on the basis of distance education. There are no practical courses for the short courses or Basic Level courses. Intermediate Level courses have a one week practical course at ISTT in Grahamstown, South Africa, and the Advanced Level courses or modules of the Advanced Certificate in Leather Technology have a two week practical course at ISTT in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Do I have to write a course examination?

Yes. Each course has a three hour examination. All examinations are written at the end of November. The practical exam for the Advanced level courses and Advanced Certificate Course modules are written at the end of each practical module course at ISTT in Grahamstown.

Where will I write the examination?

Most examinations are written at the company where you work. If you are a private student, you will need to arrange an examination venue that is acceptable to ISTT, and confirm arrangements with ISTT prior to writing the examination. The examination will be written under strict examination conditions.

How do I enroll on a course?

The first thing that you need to do is to decide which course you are going to do. Once you have decided, you need to fill in the registration form and send this to ISTT together with the course fees. Once ISTT has received payment for the course, the training material will be sent to you.

How do I get a registration form?

You can contact ISTT for a registration form.

When does the academic year start?

The academic year starts in February each year, but students can still register in March or April. They will, however, need to work harder as their first assignment is due towards the end of May.

Is ISTT an accredited organization?

ISTT is an accredited training provider with the South African Qualifications Authority. The Advanced Certificate is externally examined by international leather experts. Details regarding ISTT's accreditation can be found here.

Do you get a certificate if you successfully complete the course?

Yes. If you successfully complete all aspects of the course, you will receive a certificate from ISTT, with your name, ID number and course mark shown on the certificate.