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Unit Standard No.12164Page 11

The NQF is like a single, but wide, ladder that covers many possible learning and career paths, which include all forms of education and training. The ladder is designed to make it easy for people to move sideways and upwards as they move from one type of learning to another or from one career to another.

Like ladders, the NQF has different rungs or levels that make it clear how far a person is from the bottom or from the top, and what the next step is. All types of career paths have the same steps or levels.

The NQF ladder currently has eight steps, whereby all education and training is classified according to eight levels. The levels measure the complexity of learning for different levels, rather than focusing on how long a person has studied. The levels allow for comparison between different courses, as well as comparison between education and training received in different places and in different ways. Comparison can also be made internationally, in order to compare South African qualifications to those from other countries.

Qualifications are registered on the different levels based on the exit level of that qualification ie. what the person will know and be able to do once they have completed their qualification.

The full National Qualifications Framework looks like this:

NQF Level

General

Articulation –

horizontal and diagonal

Career focused/

vocational

Postgraduate 8(4)

Doctor of Philosophy

Articulation credits, articulation transfers, RPL, also additional qualifications that facilitate mobility and access.

Doctor of Philosophy. Professional Doctorate

Postgraduate 8(3)

Research Master’s degree

Structured Master’s degree

Research Master’s degree.

Master of technology

Structured Master’s degree

Postgraduate 8(2)

Master’s Diploma

e.g. Master’s Certificate

Professional Master’s degree.

Master’s Diploma

Postgraduate 8(1)

Bachelor Honours degree

Post graduate Diploma

e.g. Postgraduate Certificate

Advanced career focused Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor of Technology Postgraduate Diploma

7

General Bachelor’s degree

e.g. Graduate Certificate, Advanced Certificate

Career-focused Bachelor’s degree, National Certificate (L7) – master artisan

6

National Diploma

National Diploma, National Certificate (L6)

5

e.g. Foundation Certificate

National Certificate (L5)

4

Further Education and Training Certificate FETC (L4)

e.g. Bridging Certificate

National Certificate (L4)

3

National Certificate (L3)

2

National Certificate (L2)

ABET 4/GETC

General Education and Training Certificate – GETC (L1) For all aspects, the requirements are not exclusionary.

ABET 3

ABET Level 3 Certificate

ABET 2

ABET Level 2 Certificate

ABET 1

ABET Level 1 Certificate

4. What are qualifications (according to the NQF)?

INSMAT final materials31/10/03

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