Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services (DFQEAS)




SAQA decided to change the current practice of third party representatives applying on behalf of qualification holders (QHs). As from 16 September 2019, only QHs themselves will be entitled to lodge online applications for the evaluation of their foreign qualifications.

SAQA based its decision on the following business considerations:

  • Protection of private details and direct communication between SAQA and QHs;
  • Simplified payment processes;
  • Easy and direct access, by QHs, to the electronic SAQA Certificate of Evaluation (eSCoE), as well as to future online products like appeals and requests for corrections;
  • Simplification of related development initiatives by SAQA; and
  • Better integration across SAQA systems.

The above does not preclude third parties such as family members, immigration agents, attorneys and other representatives from providing assistance to QHs throughout the administration of the process, (including, but not limited to, sponsorship, translation, preparation and submission of actual application packs and collection of results), but it makes QHs prima facie owners of their applications and the outcomes thereof. Assistance provided to QHs by third parties is done independently of SAQA processes; and SAQA will interact with such third parties only where those are parents or legal guardians of the affected QHs.

Pipeline applications made by third parties on behalf of QHs before 16 September 2019 will be accepted and concluded. SAQA trusts this will contribute to the improvement of the foreign qualifications evaluation and advisory service.


Access to clients/visitors to SAQA s offices

In order for SAQA to provide a client focused service, as well as making sure that proper records of all our clients/visitors are kept, SAQA will require positive identification to be provided by our clients/visitors at reception before entering the building.

One of the following documents is required:


1. South African Citizens / Foreigners

  • Identity document
  • Valid Driver s Licence
  • Valid Passport with Valid Visa


2. Asylum Seekers

  • Valid Asylum Seeker s Permit as issued by the United Nations Refugee Reception Office.


3. Refugees

  • Valid Refugee Identification as issued by the United Nations Refugee Reception Office.



SAQA s Reception

Personal information of visitors/clients will be captured by the Reception staff on our system, and a temporary access card will be issued.

The temporary access card is valid for one day and should be deposited in the allocated slot on the exit turnstile when leaving the building.

Clients and visitors to SAQA will be assisted and guided by friendly Reception staff to the specific services offered within the SAQA building.

For information, you can contact Customer Care at:

or call our Helpdesk: 0860 111 673


DFQEAS applications process


1. Payment methods

Payments can be made in one of two ways only:

1.1 e-Commerce (card payment) (all applicants)

1.2 Cash payment by using a printout of a system-generated SAMPLE Standard Bank deposit slip to copy when depositing money at a Standard Bank branch (only applicants in South Africa)

Separate payment must be made for each application lodged online. In each case, a unique submission number will be linked to the payment automatically.



2. Compulsory provision of banking details

The high degree of non-compliance to application requirements causes extensive administrative work for SAQA. The policy is to return non-compliant applications and refund monies paid in order to curb deferred income. Because refunds are delayed by applicants not providing their banking details on request, the provision of such details has become a compulsory requirement in the application process.

Banking details are securely encrypted and decrypted for use only when necessary and under strict procedures for this purpose.


3. Submission of a consent form for verification purposes

Evaluation of foreign qualifications includes verification.

Verification of the authenticity of qualification awards requires the consent of candidates claiming those awards. Therefore the inclusion of a signed consent form has become a standard requirement and no application will be accepted without this.


4. Processing timelines may vary

While SAQA aims to complete evaluations within 15 working days, verification of authenticity brings about a dependency on external responses, which often cause delays. Fast track options at additional costs are not available.


5. Fees structure

SAQA provides a foreign qualifications evaluation and advisory service in accordance with Section 13(1)(m) of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act. The service is provided on a non-profit, cost recovery basis, without external funding support.

To sustain the provision of this service, SAQA revised its costing model and pricing schedule.

The SAQA Board approved the new pricing schedule on 9 March 2018 and the first round of adjustments was implemented on 1 July 2018. Current tariffs are outlined below:




One (first) qualification submitted:




Subsequent (second or more) qualifications submitted:

R600-00 each



SAQA is often charged for confirmation of the authenticity of individual awards. SAQA will inform applicants of such additional costs, where applicable, as these costs will also be for the applicant s account.

SAQA delivers results within three calendar months, and where possible within 15 days.




Stage 1:



Stage 2:




Appeal fees will be fully refunded where appeals are upheld.


Online verification access


Authorisation to access one online record three times




This refers to sign-on rights to access the evaluation outcome, sent by SAQA directly to third parties in need of that information, e.g. prospective employers or learning institutions.


Delivery by courier


South Africa:




African continent:




Middle East, Europe and UK:




Canada, Mexico, USA:




Other parts of the world:




SAQA makes exclusive use of courier services to ensure that postal delays do not impact the dissemination of results.

Applicants must include proof of payment of the relevant courier fee where results will not be collected from SAQA personally or by a representative.

SAQA will not be held responsible for delays caused by the non-payment of courier fees.


Administrative fees: refunds


General (including cancellation):




Additional fee for refunds made to international bank accounts, to cover bank charges:




No administrative fees are payable where refunds are made due to an oversight by SAQA, or in case of successful appeals.


Note that a second and third round of tariff adjustments will be implemented on 1 September and 1 November, respectively.

Application fees (1 September)

Application assistance at the SAQA office R300-00

Non-refundable application fee R300-00

Requests for advice on the status of foreign learning providers (1 November)

Per institution requested R400-00


6. Guidelines for refunds and cancellations

Certain limitations apply to the cancellation of applications and the refunding of moneys paid. Click here for more information.


7. External Verification fees

In addition applicants will be liable for the external verification fees. Applicants will be informed if a verification payment is required.


8. The online application procedure

Step 1: Online registration and application

Access the relevant link on the SAQA website through selecting Services; Evaluation of Foreign Qualifications; Online Application:

1. Register yourself online if you are a new client and /or login,

2. Select New application: Evaluation and carefully read through all the information including the Links provided,

3. Click Next, and complete the relevant sections,

4. Once completed, print the online application form,

5. Read and sign the declaration on the online application form (unsigned application forms will not be processed),

6. Print, fill-in, and sign the Consent Form


Step 2: Receipt of submission number and proof of payment for the SAQA service

On the online application form printout, you will automatically receive a submission number starting with 20... This submission number is your reference number for payment purposes. Please click on the Click here to Pay link. Read through the Terms and Conditions, agree to them and select the Payment Method you prefer - either the Online Payment or Deposit Slip method. Make sure when using the Deposit Slip method that you have captured the sample slip information exactly on the actual Standard Bank deposit slip.


Step 3: Submission of documents together with your printed online application form.

SAQA will only process your application when the following documents are received together:

1. Your printed and signed online application form,

2. Your proof of payment reflecting the submission number as reference number,

3. Your correct documentation strictly according to the requirements as stated on the What must be submitted to SAQA document,

4. A certified copy of your official identity document,

5. A consent form signed by the qualification holder.


NB: The process outlined in Step 3 applies to ALL applicants for evaluation of foreign qualifications, including those who:

1. Post applications for evaluation,

2. Courier applications for evaluation, or

3. Personally deliver applications for evaluation.

SAQA only accepts applications for evaluation that fully meet application requirements as stipulated. In all cases of non-compliance requiring SAQA to administer deferred applications, a fee will be payable. Upon deferral of non-compliant applications, clients will be informed of the deficiency and refunded their application fee minus the administration fee.



The SAQA Certificate of Evaluation

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 forms part of SAQA s counter-fraud strategy to promote genuine qualifications through:

Further educating the public about the NQF and its functions,

Developing and advocating minimum criteria for paper and electronic security features on certificates,

Developing and advocating electronic measures for verifying certificates.

The SAQA Certificate boasts several sophisticated security features, in line with the anti-fraud drive, which cannot easily be duplicated. Therefore it is important to always work with the original Certificate of Evaluation. Certificates of Evaluation issued before and up to 30 November 2013 remain valid. This means that holders of these older certificates do NOT need to reapply for the foreign qualifications evaluation service.

As the apex body overseeing the further development and implementation of the NQF, SAQA sees its foreign qualifications evaluation and advisory services as a prominent part of the recognition of foreign qualifications in South Africa.

The organisation takes pride in providing the service in a competent, credible and authoritative manner, consistent with the NQF Act, and with zero tolerance towards fraud and corruption.


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