The National Qualifications Framework Video

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) functions and objectives. The NQF classifies and registers all qualifications and part-qualifications.

The South African National Qualifications Framework

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The National Qualifications Framework Act

The National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008 establishes the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) in South Africa.

As a result, every South African supposedly has the opportunity to climb the NQF.

SANQF Meaning

The South African NQF is a single integrated system made up of three Sub-Frameworks. These NQF sub-frameworks are for

  1. General and Further Education and Training
  2. Higher Education, and
  3. Trades and Occupations.

The NQF is a comprehensive system, approved by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, for the classification, registration, and publication of articulated and quality-assured national qualifications and part-qualifications.

Catch our NQF Framework Video

Objectives of The National Qualifications Framework

Describing the Objectives of the NQF:

  • Create a single 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.

The objectives of the NQF are thus designed to contribute to the full personal development of each learner. In addition to the social and economic development of the nation at large.

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SAQA and The National Qualifications Framework Tasks

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) was established by Parliament to:

  • Advance the objectives of the NQF;
  • Oversee the further development and implementation of the NQF;
  • Coordinate the Sub-Frameworks.
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National Qualifications Framework Levels

The NQF Framework Levels

The NQF is organized as a series of levels of learning achievement, arranged in ascending order from one to ten. Each level on the NQF is described by a statement of learning achievement known as Level Descriptors. There is one set of level descriptors for the NQF.

Sub-Frameworks on the National Qualifications Framework

As stated earlier, the NQF is a single integrated system containing three coordinated qualifications Sub-Frameworks. These are:

  • General and Further Education and Training Sub-Framework (GFETQSF)
  • The Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework (HEQSF)
  • Finally, the Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework (OQSF)

NQF Qualifications

The Sub-Frameworks have NQF qualifications registered at the following levels:

  • GFETQSF  – levels 1 to 4;
  • HEQSF  – levels 5 to 10;
  • OQSF  – levels 1 to 6.

For NQF levels 7 and 8, the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations can motivate for a qualification when in collaboration with a recognized professional body and the Council on Higher Education, in a process coordinatedCheck by SAQA.

See the list of different qualifications available in South Africa. The National Qualifications Framework links all available qualifications and part qualifications.

Progress from NQF Level 1 to 10 through traditional study or follow an occupational qualification route by entering apprenticeships or learnerships.

Infographic: The National Qualifications Framework

Free NQF infographic – know your qualification level

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Frequently Asked Questions about South Africa’s National Qualifications Framework

What is the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and why is it important for training providers?

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a system that organizes qualifications in South Africa based on a set of principles and guidelines.

It’s crucial for training providers as it provides a standardized framework for the development, accreditation, and quality assurance of qualifications, ensuring consistency and comparability across different learning programs.

How does the NQF affect training programs offered by providers?

Training programs offered by providers must align with the levels and standards set by the NQF.

This means that training content, assessments, and outcomes need to correspond to specific NQF levels. This allows learners to achieve qualifications that are recognized and valued within the framework.

How can training providers ensure that their programs are aligned with the NQF?

Training providers can ensure alignment with the NQF by following the prescribed guidelines and criteria provided by the relevant quality assurance bodies such as the Quality Councils and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA).

This includes developing program outcomes, assessments, and learning materials that meet the requirements of specific NQF levels.

Can training providers offer qualifications without NQF accreditation?

No, training providers must obtain accreditation for their qualifications from the appropriate Quality Councils recognized by SAQA.

Accreditation ensures that qualifications meet the standards and requirements of the NQF, providing learners with recognized and credible credentials upon completion of their training programs.

How does Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) impact training providers?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows individuals to receive credit for skills and knowledge acquired through previous learning or work experience.

Training providers may offer RPL assessments as part of their programs to assess and validate learners’ prior learning against specific NQF standards.

This then enables them to gain credit towards formal qualifications.

Can training providers assist learners with foreign qualifications in the NQF evaluation process?

Yes, training providers can assist learners with foreign qualifications by providing guidance and support throughout the NQF evaluation process conducted by SAQA.

This may involve helping learners gather and submit relevant documentation, understanding the equivalency assessment criteria, and preparing for potential supplementary assessments if required.

How can training providers stay updated on changes and developments within the NQF?

Training providers can monitor updates and communications from SAQA, the Quality Councils, and other relevant regulatory bodies.

Additionally, participating in industry forums, attending workshops, and engaging with professional networks can also provide valuable insights and information regarding NQF-related matters.

Where can training providers find additional resources and support related to the NQF?

Training providers can access additional resources and support related to the NQF through the SAQA website, which offers guidance documents, FAQs, and contact information for inquiries.

They can also contact the relevant Quality Councils, industry associations, and educational institutions for further assistance and collaboration on NQF-related initiatives.

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