What is the National Qualifications Framework?

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) system Is amazing! The NQF classifies, registers and publishes all qualifications and part-qualifications.

The National Qualifications Framework Act 67 of 2008 establishes the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). Every South African has the opportunity to climb the NQF.

What SAQA says: The National Qualifications Framework

The South African NQF is a single integrated system made up of three Sub-Frameworks. These sub-frameworks are for General and Further Education and Training, Higher Education, and 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.

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Objectives of The National Qualifications Framework

The objectives of the NQF are to:

  • 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 designed to contribute to the full personal development of each learner and 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.

National Qualifications Framework Levels

The NQF is organised 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

The NQF is a single integrated system that comprises of three coordinated qualifications Sub-Frameworks. These are:

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

The Sub-Frameworks have qualifications registered at the following NQF 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 only in collaboration with a recognized professional body and the Council on Higher Education, in a process co-ordinated by SAQA.

National Qualifications Framework: TOO COMPLICATED?

This useful tool will help you figure out where you are or enable you to effectively explain and illustrate the NQF.

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 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.

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