Achieve a level of comfort – understand how to assign the correct NQF level to your range of experience

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

Achieve a level of comfort – understand how to assign the correct NQF level to your range of experience

When delving into what the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is all about there is great deal to be considered.   Of primary importance is the critical task of assigning the correct NQF level to your range of experience.   It is also important to ensure that you are completely comfortable with NQF levels and how to apply them to your CV application.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!

SAQA

SAQA is responsible for running the National Qualifications Framework, or NQF. The NQF originally consisted of eight levels but was later increased to ten levels. The NQF levels run from Adult Basic Education and Training all the way up to doctoral degrees.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement - nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

NQF levels this and NQF levels that is a hot topic of conversation, but what does it all really mean?

There remains no doubt, NQF levels is a hot topic of conversation and everyone keeps talking about NQF levels this and NQF levels that, but what does ‘NQF’ actually stand for, where does it fit into the scheme of things and what is the whole point of determining these levels anyway?

The brave scholarly warrior

So, there you are, a brave scholarly warrior battling your way through high school just to get through Matric.  Along the way, you burn excess calories through many late nights, endure many wounds as you often stumble the path to the finish line, many hours of extreme exertion, hunger and thirst literally possess you until you feel like you are going to burst, but you are determined to make it through the gateways of glory – to the finish line of course.

The destination

You envision yourself emerging from the battle with open arms and relaxing into the sunset. The future freedom can’t touch you, and you march ahead smiling, feeling invincible – but wait.  Exactly, to where are you marching again?  Let’s take a moment to pause and carefully think about this destination of yours…

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

The decision of what to do straight after Matric is huge

The decision of what to do straight after Matric is Huge.  Enormous, in fact.  And if we divide post-high school directions into two very broad paths, the first path is that of tertiary education, and the second or alternative path is that of…anything else which can include going into the work force, taking gap years, taking on volunteer work and so forth.

Tertiary education

Many high-school leavers do choose to march along the former path and directly pursue a tertiary education in studying towards higher NQF qualifications.  But what does it all mean? What does it mean to obtain a Diploma or a degree?  For what exactly does it qualify you?

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

The NQF explained

The NQF stands for the National Qualifications Framework, which is the South African framework used to arrange levels of learning achievements. SAQA (the South African Qualifications Authority) has been using this framework since the NFQ Act of 2008.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!

How does it all work

How it all works is that there are 10 levels of learning achievement, and every registered South African qualification needs to specify its NQF level – essentially, what it will teach the student and enable him or her to do in terms of acquired skills.

‘applied competencies’

The NQF focuses on a list of ‘applied competencies,’ hence, each NQF level signifies a specific standard of intellectual and academic skills, including problem-solving abilities and learner autonomy.  Therefore, the higher the NQF level of your qualification, the more intellectually skilled you are, that is, at least within this specific academic measure.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

Which qualifications represent which NQF level?

Qualification NQF Level
General Certificate 1
Elementary Certificate 2
Intermediate Certificate 3
National Certificate (Matric) 4
Higher Certificate 5
Diploma & Advanced Certificate 6
Bachelor’s Degree & Advanced Diploma 7
Honours Degree & Postgraduate Diploma 8
Master’s Degree 9
Doctoral Degree 10

 

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement - nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

So, for what does it qualify me?

SAQA deals with 10 main academic skill areas, and depending on your level of NQF qualification, it would suggest that you are more skilled in these areas the higher your NQF level.

Skills focus

Below is a list of the ten skill areas the NQF focuses on, with a rough description of what they imply:

  • Scope of knowledge– do you understand what you’re studying?
  • Knowledge literacy– can you apply that understanding?
  • Method and procedure– can you apply specific theories, technique and methods of what you are studying?
  • Problem-solving– can you think for yourself, critically, and find solutions to problems?
  • Ethics and professional practice– can you stick to codes of conduct and do you understand the values of your society?
  • Accessing, processing and managing information– can you interpret and analyse information relating to what you are studying?
  • Producing and communicating information– are you able to accurately communicate what you have learnt, in words and writing?
  • Context and systems– do you understand the systems and environment of your field of study?
  • Management of learning– are you able to evaluate and take responsibility for your own learning, as well as the learning of others?
  • Accountability– are you able to properly use resources, to be accountable and responsible for your actions, as well as work effectively?

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

But what about the requirements?

Yes, in order to be able to study towards a certain NQF qualification, you need to meet certain requirements. For example, in order to study towards a Bachelor’s degree, you need to have finished school, or have completed a NQF 4 qualification (like having a National or FET Certificate equivalent to Grade 12).

The objectives of the NQF

  • Create an integrated national framework for learning achievements
  • Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within education, training and career paths
  • Enhance the quality of education and training
  • Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities
  • Contribute to the full personal development to each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large

 

Standards generation in higher education

Source: GOVERNMENT GAZETTE, 5 OCTOBER 2007

‘The framework incorporates a nested approach to qualifications design. Within a nested approach to standards setting, qualification specification requires a movement from generic to specific outcomes.

Level descriptors

The most generic standards are found in the level descriptors. The most specific standards are found in the programmes that lead to qualifications. Specific standards always meet the requirements of the generic standards within which they are nested or framed.

Nested approach

Within this broader context, the focus of the HEQF is on qualification type descriptors – the second layer of a nested approach. The nested approach also allows for the appropriate allocation of jurisdictions and responsibilities and can potentially minimise the volume of national standards-setting required for higher education.

Generic layer of qualification specification

The NQF level and its level descriptor form the outer and most generic layer of qualification specification. The level descriptors describe the required generic competencies at each level of cognitive complexity in the HEQF. One or more recognised qualification types such as a certificate, a diploma or a degree is pegged to each NQF level.

Exit level of qualification type

A qualification descriptor specifies the exit level of the qualification type, its minimum credit rating and its purpose and characteristics. A qualification type must meet the generic competencies described in the level descriptor for the level concerned.

Qualification types

The basic qualification types, namely certificates, diplomas and degrees, are used as points of reference for the design of specialised qualifications and the programmes that deliver them. The next layer of qualification specialisation nested within the qualification type is the designator. For example, a Bachelor of Science degree is a designator of the generic Bachelor’s degree.

Degrees

Such designators apply only to degrees and not to certificates or diplomas. A degree designator describes a generic field of study and is stated in the qualification nomenclature and described through statements of desired educational training and outcomes and their associated assessment criteria.

Compliance

A designator meets the generic specifications laid down for the qualification type of which it is a variant. For example, a Bachelor of Science (SSc) complies with the generic requirements for a Bachelor’s degree.

Specialised learning and credits

The last and most specific layer of qualification specification in the nest, on which most programmes are based, is the qualification specialisation. This is reflected in the qualification’s qualifier. For example, the learning outcomes and specifications for a BSc (Hans) in Geology meet the learning demands and specifications laid down for a SSe (Hons) and include specialised learning outcomes related to the field of Geology. Qualifications, volumes of learning and credits.

Qualifications framework

The framework is a qualifications framework, represented by level descriptors, the main qualification types and their descriptors, qualification standards and designators for designated variants and standards and qualifiers for qualification specialisations.

Learning outcomes

Level descriptors and qualification descriptors are expressed in terms of learning outcomes. The design of programmes makes assumptions about the volume of learning that is likely to be necessary to achieve the intended outcomes.

Measure of volume

Currently within the higher education system, this measure of volume may be expressed in terms of study time, for example the number of academic years of study required, or the number of notional hours of study, expressed as credits.  In this regard, this framework recognises credits as the measure of the volume of learning required for a qualification and not academic years of study; quantified as the number of notional study hours required for achieving the learning outcomes specified for the qualification.

Learning

The credit rating of a qualification is independent of the mode of delivery of learning. The attainment of the expected learning outcomes is demonstrated through appropriate assessment. The volume of learning required for a qualification can be specified in terms of the total minimum number of credits required, and in terms of the minimum number of credits required at its specified exit level on the qualifications framework. Where appropriate the maximum number of credits from the preceding level may be specified.

Credit-rating system

The credit-rating system rates 10 notional study hours as equivalent to one credit.  Certificate, Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree and Bachelor (Honours) Degree qualification types assume a 30-week full-time academic year.

Master’s Degrees and Doctoral qualifications

Master’s Degree and Doctoral qualification types assume a 45-week full-time academic year. An average full-time equivalent student is expected to study for a 40-hour week, thus requiring a minimum credit-load of 120 credits per academic year for Certificates, Bachelor’s Degrees and 180 credits per academic year for Master’s Degrees and Doctorates.

Assessed learning

Credit ratings specified on the framework are minimal.  Programmes may require credit loads above the minimum. Study leading directly to a qualification will normally build upon assessed learning from earlier stages of a programme but it may also build on assessed prior learning achieved by private study, in the workplace or elsewhere.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

Accumulation of credits towards qualifications

Credit accumulation and transfer (CAT) is the process whereby a student’s achievements are recognised and contribute to further learning even if the student does not achieve a qualification, and whereby credits obtained at one institution may be recognised by another as meetlnq part of the requirements for a qualification; where credits for an incomplete qualification may be recognised as meeting part of the requirements for a different qualifiication, and where, subject to limits, credits for a completed qualification may be recognised as meeting part of the requirements of another qualification.

Cross pollination

Any and all credits for an incomplete qualification may be recognised as meeting part of the requirements for a different qualification in the same or different institution.

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education intends to undertake systematic work on the development of a national higher education CAT scheme in collaboration with the higher education community, the CHE and SAQA. In the interim, a maximum of 50% credits of a completed qualification may be transferred to another qualification, provided also that no more than 50% of the credits required for the other qualification are credits that have been used for a completed qualification.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!

Work Integrated Learning

Some qualifications will be designed to incorporate periods of required work that integrate with classroom study. Where Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is a structured part of a qualification the volume of learning allocated to WIL should be appropriate to the purpose of the qualification and to the cognitive demands of the learning outcome and assessment criteria contained in the appropriate level descriptors.

Structured programmes

It is the responsibility of institutions, which offer programmes requiring WIL credits to place students into WIL programmes. Such programmes must be appropriately structured, properly supervised and assessed.”

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement - nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

Qualifications: credits, modules and NQF levels

Credits are the number of notional study hours required for achieving the learning outcomes. Notional hours include study time, assignments and examinations. The credit rating system rates 10 notional hours as equivalent to one credit.

For example: A Higher Certificate has 120 credits consisting of a 10 x 12 credit module. A module consisting of 12 credits equates to 120 notional hours. It therefore requires at least 8 hours of study per week in a 15-week semester.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!

Qualifications require a certain number of credits, broken down into smaller units.  At Unisa, undergraduate modules are usually 12 credits. Each module is pegged according to a specific NQF level. A bachelor’s degree of 360 credits, for example, consists of 30 modules of 12 credits each.

A bachelor’s degree may consist of

  • between 8 and 10 modules of 12 credits each at NQF level 5
  • between 10 and 12 modules of 12 credits each at NQF level 6
  • 10 modules of 12 credits each at NQF level 7

These levels follow on from one another. When choosing a module, you must first have passed the module at the lower level. Before you can be awarded a qualification, you must have completed the required number of credits. The modules must be completed at the required NQF level.

 

New NQF level Vocational Professional General
10 Doctoral degree Doctoral degree
9 Master’s degree Master’s degree
8 Postgraduate diploma Postgraduate diploma
Bachelor degree
Honours degree
Bachelor degree
7 Advanced diploma Bachelor degree
Advanced diploma
Bachelor degree
6 Diploma (240 credits and 360 credits) Diploma (360 credits)
6 Advanced certificate (120 credits)
5 Higher certificate (120 credits)

 

The South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) oversees the implementation and development of South Africa’s NQF levels. Understanding the South African National Qualifications Framework is vitally important when applying for a job.

South Africa has an abundance of diversely talented human resources. In order to accommodate for such varied skills, SAQA have been commissioned to control the national qualifications framework. The National Qualifications Framework is regulated by principles that encourage the registration of learner skills and knowledge. In order to register such diversely different people, in 1995 the NQF was implemented as an integrated and fully comprehensive system.

The National Qualifications Framework provides a guideline, setting out the boundaries of a standardised qualification system. In order to recognise skills and categorise these accordingly, the NQF was a necessary market requirement. By creating a standardised system practiced on a national level has made for a fully integrated system.

Take the time

The best way to understand the South African National Qualifications Framework is by breaking it down into manageable pieces.  Take the time to study it carefully.

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

NQF Qualification Bands

  • GET: General Education and Training

– Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET)

– Compulsory Schooling up to Standard Eight

  • FET: Further Education and Training
  • HET: Higher Education and Training

 

One of the most important roles of private universities in south africa is to help you achieve a level of comfort in your nqf levels of achievement – nqf level 5 is midway – let us help you all the way.  Enrol on one of our NQF training programmes now!  

 

 

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