IEB stands for the Independent Examinations Board. It is an assessment body that is accredited by Umalusi, the South African statutory body responsible for quality assurance for school and adult assessments. The IEB has also been appointed as the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) of the Qualifications Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for the Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) Part Qualification. The IEB also provides additional assessments that complement teaching and learning in schools at other levels. These include International Benchmarking tests, in partnership with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).
The IEB is a Section 21 company that has been approved as a public benefit organisation in terms of the Income Tax Act. Therefore it has been registered by the Department of Social Development as a non-profit organisation. Every product and service rendered by the IEB is self-sufficient and no subsidy is received by government. Its directors serve the organisation without remuneration.
The IEB offers external assessment in accordance with legislation, Umalusi directives for schools registered with it at Grade 9 and Grade 12, at which point successful learners are awarded the National Senior Certificate and for adult learning from ABET Level One through to NQF Level 1. Assessment of the FLC is in accordance with QCTO requirements. The training section of the IEB, ASSET, provides training in assessment and is accredited by the ETDP-SETA.
The term ‘independent’ was very important at the time of the inception of the organisation. In 1989 the Joint Matriculation Board (JMB) relinquished is examination function. At that time the JMB was the only assessment body in South Africa that offered examinations for non-racial schools. To ensure that South Africa still maintained at least one non-racial assessment body at Grade 12 during the time of apartheid, a number of heads at independent schools founded the IEB to assume the assessment function of the JMB. At that time, the term ‘independent’ emphasised a very important aspect of the work of the IEB, namely being a beacon of opposition to the establishment of the day.
Today, the IEB is a recognised player in the South African education landscape, committed to building a robust system for all learners in our country. The significance of its independence now is to provide an alternate voice on curriculum and assessment matters, to contribute positively to debate on educational issues and to provide an approach that ensures that independent schools are accommodated in respect of their needs and desires within the South African education framework, for the greater good of our country. The IEB sees itself as a partner in our country’s education system, supporting that which needs to be supported with whatever we have to contribute.