What is SAQA and the NQF?

What is the South African Qualifications Authority?

The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is a juristic person - that is an entity given a legal personality by the law. The South African Qualifications Authority Board is a body of 12 members appointed by the Minister of Higher Education and Training.

The Minister must invite nominations for the appointment of members by notice in the Gazette, from-

  1. persons involved in education and training;
  2. organisations involved in education and training;
  3. professional bodies;
  4. organised labour;
  5. organised business; and
  6. organisations representing community and development interests.

The objectives of SAQA are to

SAQA must advise the Minister of Higher Education and Training on NQF matters in terms of the NQF Act. SAQA must also perform its functions subject to the NQF Act 67 of 2008 and oversee the implementation of the NQF and ensure the achievement of its objectives.

In terms of the NQF Act no. 67 of 2008, the Quality Councils, must amongst others, do the following in order to achieve the objectives of the NQF:

SAQA has the following role with respect to qualifications:

  1. SAQA must develop and implement policy and criteria, after consultation with the QCs for the development, registration and publication of qualifications and part-qualifications, which must include the following requirements:
  1. SAQA must register a qualification or part-qualification recommended by a QC if it meets the relevant criteria;
  2. SAQA must develop policy and criteria, after consultation with the QCs, for assessment, recognition of prior learning and credit accumulation and transfer.

The Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) regulations were also published in 1998 and provided for the accreditation of Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies. These bodies are responsible for accrediting providers of education and training standards and qualifications registered on the NQF, monitoring provision, evaluating assessment and facilitating moderation across providers, and registering assessors. The ETQA responsibilities of SETAs will remain according to the mentioned SAQA regulations, until such time as the Minister Higher Education and Training publishes new regulations replacing the existing regulations, thereafter the responsibilities will reside with the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO).

SAQA has the following role with respect to professional bodies:

What is a National Qualifications Framework?

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a comprehensive system approved by the Minister for the classification, registration, publication and articulation of quality-assured national qualifications.

In short, 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.

SAQA Genuine Qualifications Poster

SAQA`s Integrated Strategic Plan 2015-2020