DITSELA Advanced National Labour Education Programme (DANLEP)

What is DANLEP?

The DITSELA Advanced National Labour Education Programme (DANLEP) at its inception in 1998 was designed to offer experienced trade unionists the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills on core areas of trade unionism and building union organization, thus the DANLEP programme offers the following courses on NQF Level 5.

  • Advanced Leading & Managing Trade Unions
  • Advanced Labour Law
  • Advanced Women Leadership
  • Advanced Organiser Development
  • Advanced Educator Development
  • Advanced Political Economy

These courses have always been offered in partnership with Wits University and the University of Cape Town in terms of academic support on the design and delivery of the courses. In 2003 the courses were formally accredited by these institutions, the Educator course through UCT (2001) and the other four courses through Wits P&DM.

In 2013 and 2014 all five of these Danlep courses were delivered in collaboration with the University of Western Cape and Educator Development continued with University of Cape Town.

To maintain the high standard of the courses and to ensure that the content responds to the contextual changes that impact on the labour movement, all the Danlep courses are periodically updated and redeveloped.


In 2021, DITSELA will launch five new certificates at NQF Level 6. These are as listed below:

  • Advanced Research and Information Management
  • Advanced Knowledge Economy
  • Advanced Occupational Health and Safety
  • Advanced Trustee Development
  • Advanced Climate Change

We endeavour to continue to enrich the quality of these certificates by drawing academics from University of Cape Town, University of Western Cape and subject matter specialists. These have helped in developing the material and will be the lectures on these certificates.

Course Structure

The courses are delivered over 4 blocks, each block consisting of a one-week  training.. There will also be online platforms created to discuss with your group issues or work on the course. This will allow you to contribute to movement building through interactive debate and discussions amongst participants. In addition to attending the blocks, participants are required to complete:

  • Individual assignments
  • Group Assignments, and in some courses
  • Take Home Exams

Each Danlep course has a dedicated DITSELA coordinator and an external academic support person.  From time to time you will have other facilitators and visiting lecturers.

Entry Requirements

Our process of selecting participants is stated in our brochure annually.  We require participants to have at least two years experience as a trade unionist with a background in the chosen course, for example, leadership are required to have at least two years experience as an office bearer. We also require that participants should have at least a NQF level 4 or 5 qualification.

Learning Method

DITSELA’S approach to education is based on a ‘learner-centred’, participatory methodology that values the experience of learners and draws on the traditions of collectivism practiced in trade unions.  Facilitator approaches to applying these education principles will vary from course to course.   

Participants will be encouraged to build their understanding and skills through collective work with other participants.  Course facilitators will encourage open debate and critical discussion while at the same time promoting respect for individual opinions and beliefs.  This methodological approach is designed to enable participants to contribute actively to the course from its design to its delivery and evaluation.  Every step of the way, participants contribute by adding their practical, organisational and activist experience into the learning process, in order to make sense of new information and new knowledge. Through this learner-centred, collective approach to both design and delivery, participants contribute to ensuring that the courses are continuously updated relevant and appropriate to their learning needs.

DITSELA’S learner-centred methodologies are reflected in both material design and practice: 

  • Course design involves participation of those for whom the course is designed. In this way we endeavor to ensure that our courses articulate with the needs of participants and the wider labour movement.  The courses are designed and developed in collaboration with subject matter specials and academia drawn from the University of Cape Town and University of Western Cape.
  • Course materials are designed to give participants maximum knowledge of and control over process and content (overall course maps, day plans, activity sheets, preparatory and consolidating handouts, reading packs, further reading lists, etc.)

Classroom interaction is designed to offer a balance of facilitated input and learner-centred engagement to ensure that experience is balanced with new learning: small group work, case studies, role-plays, participant-prepared presentations.  Appropriate methodology is employed to best fit the learning issue and to balance with surrounding sessions and the time of day.