Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications


Evaluation of Foreign

Please note that from 1 July 2021 SAQA will only issue electronic certificates of evaluation which can be accessed online upon completion of the evaluation process. Printed certificates of evaluation will no longer be issued. Thank you for your continued support.

The purpose of the evaluation function is the recognition of foreign qualifications in terms of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF). SAQA derives this mandate from the NQF Act, 67 of 2008 (as amended) and performs the function according to the Policy and Criteria for Evaluating Foreign Qualifications within the South African NQF (as amended, 2017).

The function is an integral part of a national recognition value c

hain, as explained in the above Policy and Criteria. The focus of SAQA’s role is on the location of foreign qualifications within the NQF. For admission to study; professional licensing; and employment the specific internal criteria and requirements of other relevant institutions must be met.

Evaluation is a two-phased process by SAQA to:

1. Verify foreign qualifications by ensuring the following

  • Issuing bodies are accredited/recognised in the national systems they operate in
  • Qualifications are legitimately issued by those issuing bodies and part of the national qualifications of that country
  • Qualifications documents are in order and awards claimed by individuals are genuine

2. Compare foreign qualifications with South African qualifications, considering the structure and outcomes of the foreign qualifications, to locate them within the South African NQF.

A foreign qualification is issued by a nationally recognised institution and forms part of the national education and training system of a country other than South Africa.

According to SAQA a foreign qualification is not:

  • Professional membership or a professional designation.
  • A certificate based on a short course; or in-service training, a workshop or seminar, or workplace integrated learning which does not form part of the requirements to obtain a qualification.
  • A South African qualification.
  • None of the above should be submitted as a foreign qualification to be evaluated by SAQA

Only qualification holders (QHs) may apply for the evaluation of their foreign qualifications.

The above is to ensure that QHs are the prima facie owners of their applications and the outcomes thereof, including the protection of their private details and improved communication between them and SAQA. For this reason, SAQA will interact directly with QHs, and involve third parties only when they are the parents or legal guardians of the affected QHs.

QHs must register applications using their own, unique contact details.

SAQA is not responsible for third party administrative or financial assistance to QHs and does not regard such assistance as a part of its process.

Click on apply for an evaluation, register as a user and lodge an on-line application. Always check for possible updated information under documents above.

The Online Application System contains all the relevant information, including:

Applicants also need to take note of the guidelines for refunds and cancellation.

The SAQA Certificate of Evaluation (SCoE) indicates the recognition decision taken by SAQA in respect of a foreign qualification and the comparability of that qualification with a South African qualification registered on the NQF.

The SCoE has several security features, as specified below. Therefore, it is important to always insist on seeing the original SCoE and to look for the following: