The Powerful SAQA CAT Policy Credits Learners

SAQA designed “Credit Accumulation Transfer” to award learner credits. This stops learners from repeating the learning for something they already know.

“Credit Accumulation Transfer” is based on a model developed by SAQA that is used to determine how CAT credits learners.

Enhancing Education Efficiency: A Comprehensive Overview of the SAQA CAT Policy

CAT is implemented to recognize school and Post-Matric education and training.

Credit accumulation transfer is vital in education as it allows learners to transfer earned credits between institutions, ensuring seamless progress in their education journey.

It enhances flexibility, accelerates completion, and promotes lifelong learning by recognizing prior achievements.

Articulation and Transfer Within the NQF Framework

The South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a comprehensive system for the classification, registration, publication and articulation of quality-assured national qualifications.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) processes and Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) and/or articulation are all closely related to assessment practices.

Together these three provide the mechanisms for giving effect to the desired movement of individuals within and between incomplete qualifications.

strategy skills development services administration

The objectives of the NQF are to:

  1. create a single integrated national framework for learning achievements;
  2. facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within education, training and
    career paths;
  3. enhance the quality of education and training;
  4. and accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities.

Key SAQA CAT Policy Terms

Credit refers to the measure of the volume of learning required for a qualification, quantified as the number of notional study hours required for achieving the outcomes specified for the qualification.

Credit accumulation refers to the totalling of credits towards the completion of a qualification.

Credit transfer refers to the vertical, horizontal or diagonal relocation of credits towards a qualification.

Credit accumulation and transfer refers to the arrangement whereby the diverse features of both credit accumulation and credit transfer are combined to facilitate lifelong learning and access to the workplace.

Recognition of Prior Learning refers to the principles and processes through which the prior knowledge and skills of a person are calculated.

These are then assessed and moderated for the purposes of alternative access and admission, recognition, or further learning and development.

Policies Related to Credit Accumulation Transfer

  • National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act 67 of 2008;
  • White Paper for Post-School Education and Training (DHET, 2013);
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Coordination Policy (DHET, 2016);
  • National Policy for Designing and Implementing Assessment for NQF Qualifications and Part-Qualifications and Professional Designations (SAQA, 2014);
  • National Policy for the Implementation of the Recognition of Prior Learning (SAQA, 2013);
  • NQF Level Descriptors (SAQA, 2012);
  • The Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (2013);
  • National Policy for Credit Accumulation and Transfer (SAQA, 2014);
  • The revised Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (CHE, 2015); and
  • NQFpedia: Standard Glossary of Terms Related to the National Qualifications Framework (SAQA, 2014).

CAT is the SAQA Credit Accumulation Transfer Process

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) Policy awards Learner credits.

The SAQA Policy for CAT promotes articulation between qualifications within and across the three Sub-Frameworks of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and has the potential to improve access to the world of work. 

This policy is instrumental in recognizing both school/Further Education and Training (FET) qualifications, as well as sector qualifications, through the SAQA Credit Accumulation Transfer Process.

The policy sets out the principles on which the CAT system is based and explains aspects of the operation of the system.

It also spells out the specific roles of SAQA, the Quality Councils, education institutions, skills development providers, recognised professional bodies, and workplaces.

rpl and other policies for accreditation consultation

Recognition of Achievements Using the SAQA CAT Policy

This robust framework ensures that learners are not required to redundantly cover material they have already mastered, eliminating the need for a redundant evaluation of their competency.

Consequently, this approach yields several significant advantages, including a reduction in the overall cost of learning.

Learners only incur expenses for the specific components they need, contributing to a more cost-effective education system.

Moreover, the SAQA CAT Policy results in a notable reduction in training time, enabling learners to expedite their educational journey.

By streamlining the learning process, the program can strategically focus on core and specialization outcomes, enhancing the overall educational experience for the learners.

How to Calculate Credits on a Matric Certificate

Numeracy and Literacy Credits in the CAT Policy

The table below illustrates when a candidate can be credited for Literacy and Numeracy. Matric certificates and school reports can quantify the levels learners have achieved.

  • In the first line, a candidate who completed Grade 12 with Maths can be credited on any programme from level 1 – 4.
saqa cat policy

Skills Provider Policies and Learner Management

Include CAT in the assessment policy and link it to your recruitment and selection process.

Learner school reports and certificates can be collected at the beginning of the application process.

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