1 THE SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY . Level Descriptors for the SOUTH AFRICAN National QUALIFICATIONS Framework November 2012. Copyright All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY (SAQA). Compiled by Directorate: Registration and Recognition and distributed by the Directorate: Strategic Support, SAQA.
2 Publication date: November 2012. ISBN: 978-0-9869808-9-3. Postnet Suite 248. Private Bag X06. Waterkloof 0145. Helpdesk: +27 (0) 86 010 3188. Facsimile: +27 (0) 12 431 5039. Website: E-mail: d Contents List of abbreviations .. 1. Foreword .. 2. Level Descriptors for the SOUTH AFRICAN National QUALIFICATIONS Framework .. 3. Purpose and philosophical underpinning .. 3. Definitions .. 3. Contextual application of the Level descriptors .. 4. Level descriptors .. 5. NQF Level One .. 5. NQF Level Two .. 6. NQF Level Three .. 6.
3 NQF Level Four .. 7. NQF Level Five .. 8. NQF Level Six .. 9. NQF Level Seven .. 10. NQF Level Eight .. 10. NQF Level Nine .. 11. NQF Level Ten .. 12. Review period .. 13. Short title .. 13. List of abbreviations NQF National QUALIFICATIONS Framework RPL Recognition of Prior Learning SAQA SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 1. Foreword The Level Descriptors were developed by SAQA and agreed to by the Quality Councils (Council on Higher Education; General and Further Education and Training Quality Council (Umalusi). and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations).
4 They were published in the government gazette in November 2011. Their primary focus is QUALIFICATIONS experts who are involved in developing and implementing the SOUTH AFRICAN NQF. Others who will benefit from the Level Descriptors are the users including learners and skills development practitioners. The Level Descriptors focus on the challenges involved in taking the objectives of the NQF forward at national Level . The NQF Act, No 67 of 2008, makes provision for a ten- Level framework where levels of learning achievement are arranged in ascending order from one to ten.
5 One of the ways through which SAQA aims to advance the objectives of the NQF, in establishing a single integrated national framework for learning achievement, is the Level Descriptors. An important purpose of the Level Descriptors is to support the design and implementation of QUALIFICATIONS and part QUALIFICATIONS within the NQF. They have been designed to contribute to coherence in learning achievement and facilitate evaluation criteria for comparability and thus articulation within the NQF. Quality Councils, who recommend QUALIFICATIONS for registration on the NQF, must use the NQF Level Descriptors as a key reference in a transparent manner.
6 The Level Descriptors reflect a broad agreement on the potential benefits of the SOUTH AFRICAN NQF for promoting lifelong learning. Joe Samuels Chief Executive Officer SAQA. 2. Level Descriptors for the SOUTH AFRICAN National QUALIFICATIONS Framework Purpose and philosophical underpinning 1. The purpose of Level descriptors for levels One to Ten of the National QUALIFICATIONS Framework is to ensure coherence in learning achievement in the allocation of QUALIFICATIONS and part QUALIFICATIONS to particular levels , and to facilitate the assessment of the national and international comparability of QUALIFICATIONS and part QUALIFICATIONS .
7 2. In order to advance the objectives of the NQF, the SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY is responsible for the development of the content of the Level descriptors for each Level of the NQF in agreement with the three Quality Councils: The Council on Higher Education, Umalusi and the Council for Trades and Occupations. 3. The philosophical underpinning of the National QUALIFICATIONS Framework and the Level descriptors is applied competence, which is in line with the outcomes-based theoretical framework adopted in the SOUTH AFRICAN context.
8 4. Ten categories are used in the Level descriptors to describe applied competencies across each of the ten levels of the National QUALIFICATIONS Framework: Scope of knowledge Knowledge literacy Method and procedure Problem solving Ethics and professional practice Accessing, processing and managing information Producing and communicating of information Context and systems Management of learning Accountability. Definitions 5. In these Level descriptors any word or expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the National QUALIFICATIONS Framework Act (Act 67 of 2008) shall have such meaning unless the context indicates otherwise.
9 A basic set of definitions is given below, while further definitions and help in the interpretation of particular words or phrases used in the Level descriptors are given in separate guidelines which will be developed by each of the Quality Councils. 6. Applied competence has three constituent elements: foundational competence embraces the intellectual/academic skills of knowledge together with analysis, synthesis and evaluation, which includes information processing and problem solving; practical competence includes the concept of operational context; and reflexive competence incorporates learner autonomy.
10 7. Field means a particular area of learning used as an organising mechanism for the NQF. 3. 8. Level means one of the series of levels of learning achievement arranged in ascending order from one to ten according to which the NQF is organised and to which qualification types are pegged. 9. Level descriptor means that statement describing learning achievement at a particular Level of the NQF that provides a broad indication of the types of learning outcomes and assessment criteria that are appropriate to a qualification at that Level .