Who is SAQA? What is an NQF?

nqf logoThe South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is a statutory body, regulated in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act No. 67 of 2008. It is made up of 29 members appointed by the Minister of Education in consultation with the Minister of Labour. SAQA is mandated by legislation to oversee the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

The functions of SAQA are essentially twofold :

1) To oversee the development of the NQF by formulating and publishing policies and criteria for registration of bodies responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications and for accreditation of bodies responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of such standards and qualifications. 

2) To oversee the implementation of the NQF by ensuring the registration, accreditation and assignment of functions to bodies referred to above, as well as the registration of national standards and qualifications on the framework. It must also take steps to ensure that provisions for accreditations are complied with and where appropriate, that registered standards and qualifications are internationally comparable.

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. It represents a national effort at integrating education and training into unified structure of recognised qualifications.The NQF is a framework, i.e. it sets the boundaries, principle and guidelines, which provide a vision, a philosophical base and an organisational structure, for the construction of a qualifications system. Detailed development and implementation is carried out within these boundaries. Learner achievements are recorded and registered to enable national recognition of acquired skills and knowledge, thereby ensuring an integrated system that encourages lifelong learning. All education and training in South Africa fits within this 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.
  • Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.

The NQF consist of 10 levels divided into three bands; Levels 1 to 4 equate to high school grades, 9 to 12 to vocational training, 5 to 7 are college diplomas and technical qualifications and 7 to 10 are university degrees.

The Water Academy provides complete SAQA qualifications with National Certificate or Further Education and Training Certificate for NQF Levels 1 to 5. To learn more about the SAQA/NQF Qualifications that we offer click here.

Sources: Wikipedia, www.saqa.org.za