What is the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)?
South Africa needed to create a national education and training system that provides quality learning, is responsive to the ever-changing influences of the external environment and also promote the development of the nation that is committed to life-long learning. The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a strategy in response to these demands. It provides a framework within which the South African Qualifications system is constructed, representing a national effort at integrating education and training. The NQF is the set of principles and guidelines by which records of learner achievement are registered to enable national recognition of acquired skills and knowledge, thereby ensuring an integrated system that encourages life-long learning.
The South African Qualifications Authority Act (1995) created a new framework for education and training in South Africa by:
- The NQF is a framework on which qualifications, courses, and learning programmes are registered.
- Achievements obtained by learners are recorded and recognized nationally. It is therefore an integrated approach towards education and training.
The NQF Framework
The structure of the NQF is outlined below:
|NQF Level||Band||Qualification Type|
|· Post-doctoral research degrees
· Masters degrees
· Professional qualifications
· Honours degrees
· National first degrees
· Higher diplomas
· National diplomas
· National certificates
|Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC)|
Further Education Certificates
|General Education and Training Certificate (GETC)|
|Grade 9 | ABET Level 4
GET National Certificates
Qualifications and unit standards are registered at the specified level of the NQF with a number of credits allocated to it.
This means that a learner could accumulate credits for successful completed unit standards towards a qualification making learning more flexible to meet learner needs.
South Africa has implemented a new Qualifications Framework which is broadly structured into three bands, and 10 levels of education and training:
|HET||Higher Education Training
Levels 5 – 10
|FET||Further Education and Training (vocational training)
Level 2 – 4
|GET||General Education and Training (entry level – schools and ABET – Adult Basic Education and Training|
Purpose of Assessment
|The purpose of assessment is to determine if you have an understanding of the identified outcomes and if you are able to apply the skills in a simulated environment, as well as the workplace.
|An integrated assessment approach is followed.
This implies that a variety of assessment methods are used, and unit standards are assessed in an integrative manner to avoid unnecessary duplication.
The assessment practices include the following:
· Continuous Evaluation of Learners Performance
· Formative Assessment
· Summative Assessment
· Final Integrated Summative Assessment