FAQs

What courses does ISTT offer?

ISTT runs the following courses:

  • Introduction to the Leather Industry
  • Basic Level Tanning Course
  • Basic Level Dyehouse Course
  • Basic Level Finishing Course
  • Intermediate Level Tanning Course
  • Intermediate Level Dyehouse Course
  • Intermediate Level Finishing Course
  • Advanced Level Tanning Course
  • Advanced Level Dyehouse Course
  • Advanced Level Finishing Course
  • Advanced Certificate in Leather Technology
  • Certificate in Wastewater Process Operations
  • Customer specific on-site courses (developed in conjunction with each customer)

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 Introduction to the Leather Industry course 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 we suggest that you 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 just 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 Tanyard 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 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. 

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.

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. 

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.
 

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 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. The Basic Level and Intermediate Level course examinations are written at the end of November. The Advanced Level and Advanced Certificate course examinations are written in mid-January in the year following registration. The practical exam for the Advanced level course 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?

ISTT will arrange the examination venue as close as possible to the town in which you live. The examination will be written under strict examination conditions. Some companies are used as examination centres. In this case, ISTT organises the invigilators.

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 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 in towards the end of May.

Is ISTT an accredited organization? 

ISTT is in the process of renewing its accreditation status as a training provider with the South African Qualifications Authority. The Advanced Certificate is externally examined by the Institute of Creative Leather Technologies at University of Northampton (formerly Nene College). The Basic and Intermediate Level course exams are externally examined by a leather expert in Germany.