FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Verification of South African Qualifications

How do I communicate with SAQA for verification services?

​​​​​​All communication for verification services should be done electronically:

 

 

No emails should be sent to individual SAQA staff members as this results in duplication and lengthens the verification process.

 

What is an Extract from the National Learners' Records Database and how different is it from a Verification Letter?

 

An extract from the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD) is a copy of the information recorded under your name on the NLRD. It may not contain all the qualifications or part-qualifications you obtained. SAQA strives to keep the NLRD up-to-date.

 

Qualifications and part-qualifications are only recorded on the NLRD after they have been quality-assured and authenticated. An Extract from the NLRD is not a verification as it may not contain all your achievements.

 

How long does it take to verify a South African qualification?

 

Verification takes from 2 to 20 working days depending on the priority selected and availability of the record on the NLRD. The standard for verification is to find a result within 20 working days where after the request will be closed as “inconclusive”. You will pay the discounted tariff if it takes longer than the requested priority to finalise the verification.

 

SAQA receive data from all registered education institutions and can find the achievement record with fieldwork even if it is not recorded on the NLRD yet. However, some qualifications are difficult to verify as they are stored in archives.

 

What are the different verification services that SAQA offers?

 

SAQA offers the following verification services to employers, learners, and other clients at a cost.

 

  1. Verification Letters for individuals

 

This service is for individuals who need a verification letter confirming their tertiary qualifications obtained in South Africa. The verification letter is for qualifications or part-qualifications registered on the NQF and NOT for short courses and professional designations.

 

To access this service click on this link: http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/Individuals.aspx

 

  1. Private Sector Clients (Employers)

 

This service is for Private Sector Employers who want to authenticate the qualifications of candidates or existing employees. Short courses and professional designations are not included in this service. The evaluation of foreign qualifications is a separate service.

 

To access the services and the procedures to follow, you can click on the link http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/ClientMenuPage.aspx

 

  1. Public Sector Clients (Employers)

 

This service is for Public Sector Employers who want to authenticate the qualifications of candidates or existing employees. Short courses and professional designations are not included in this service. The evaluation of foreign qualifications is a separate service.

 

To access the services and the procedures to follow, you can click on this link:  

http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/PublicMenuPage.aspx

 

  1. What is VeriSearch?

 

VeriSearch is the access portal for verification clients that signed a contract with SAQA where they can access their verification results in a secure and confidential environment.

 

Only employees authorised by the client may access this portal by following this link:

http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fSearchPage.aspx

 

What do I need to know about the verification of South African qualifications?

 

SAQA verifies the authenticity of South African qualifications for employers or individuals. You can access this service by following this link:  http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/

 

The verification result can be in the form of a letter to be legalised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to enable an employer to make an appointment.

 

The verification is done at a cost related to the request and priority selected by the client. The tariffs are adjusted annually on 1 April and can be viewed by following this link: http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/

 

Verification of South African Qualifications

Training Material

Where can I get training material for the course I am offering?

To request training material, please contact the relevant Quality Council and/or delegated functionaries. The contact details of the three Quality Councils are:

 

Training Material

Trade Tests

What is a trade test?

A trade test is a final integrated summative assessment for an artisan qualification for a listed trade that is conducted at an accredited Trade Test Centre by an Assessor registered with National Artisan Moderating Body.

 

Where can I do a trade test?

 

You can access more information on trade test certification and verification by visiting the links below.

 

http://www.qcto.org.za/index.php/services/certification-and-verification/certification.html

 

http://www.qcto.org.za/index.php/certification-read-more

 

Is a trade allocated a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level?

 

No, a trade is not allocated a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level.

 

Where can I obtain a replacement of my trade certificate?

 

For information on the replacement of trade certificates, please contact the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations on 012 003 1800 or visit their website: www.qcto.org.za

 

Where can I verify a trade certificate?

 

For information on the verification of trade certificates, please contact the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations on 012 003 1800 or visit their website: www.qcto.org.za

 

 

Trade Tests

Short Courses

Where can I confirm the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level of a skills programme offered by a university?

Short learning programmes are not registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF); hence they do not have NQF levels. They are designed to improve or refresh knowledge and skills in a particular field and for personal, social or professional development.

Short Courses

Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs)

Where can I lodge a complaint against a Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA)?


To lodge a complaint against a SETA, please contact the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations on 012 003 1800 or visit their website: www.qcto.org.za

Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs)

Relative Education Qualification Value (REQV)

Where can I confirm the level of my Relative Education Qualification Value (REQV)?

The Relative Education Qualification Value (REQV) determines the starting salary of educators who are appointed for the first time. Please contact the Department of Education, District or Provincial Office to have your REQV level determined.

 

Relative Education Qualification Value (REQV)

Registration and Accreditation Processes

What is the process followed for accreditation and registration of providers to offer qualifications and part-qualifications that are registered on the National Qualifications Framework?

Should you wish to offer qualifications and/or skills programmes, please note that you are required to register your institution with the Department of Higher Education and Training. You will also need to be accredited by the relevant Quality Council (QC) to offer your qualifications and skills programmes.

 

The three QCs are the:

  • Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) for General and Further Education and Training Qualifications
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for work-based qualifications
  • Council on Higher Education (CHE) for high education qualifications

 

For information on the accreditation process and requirements, please contact the relevant QC on the contact details below.

 

 

What is the process followed to develop new qualifications?

 

For information on the process and requirements for the development of new qualifications, please contact the relevant Quality Council on the contact details below.

 

Registration and Accreditation Processes

Qualification Equivalence

Are qualifications that are registered at the same National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level considered equivalent?

Although qualifications are registered at the same NQF level, they cannot be considered equivalent. The levels, however, do indicate similar learning outcomes of the qualification and the expected cognitive ability of the learner after the learning intervention.

 

Are qualifications registered at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4 equivalent to the National Senior Certificate?

 

A qualification at NQF level 4 or higher is not equivalent to the National Senior Certificate. There are various avenues one can take to attain a school-leaving certificate:

  1. Complete the National Senior Certificate
  2. Complete Senior Certificate if you are 21 years and older. Please refer to this link for more information: https://www.education.gov.za/Curriculum/SeniorCertificate.aspx
  3. Complete the National Certificate Vocational (NCV)
  4. Complete the N3 plus 2 Languages to receive the National Senior Certificate

 

For further clarity, please contact the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi, which is responsible for the certification of the following qualifications:

  • Senior Certificate (SC) which was offered before 2008 and is being phased out,
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) which replaced the Senior Certificate and commenced in 2008,
  • National Technical Certificate N3,
  • National Senior Certificate: Colleges – phased out at the end of 2011,
  • National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) – commenced in 2007,
  • General Education Training Certificate: Adults (GETC).

 

Umalusi can be contacted on the following contact details:

Telephone: 012 349 1510

Website: www.umalusi.org.za

 

Is the National Diploma equivalent to the National N Diploma?

 

Both the National Diploma offered by Universities of Technology (UoTs) and the National N Diploma offered by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges are registered at NQF level 6. While both are registered at the same NQF level, they are not equivalent as each qualification has a specific purpose and exit-level outcomes.

 

Please note that the National Diploma articulates to the Bachelor of Technology at NQF level 7, and the National N Diploma articulates vertically with a Bachelors Degree at NQF level 7 in the related field, and horizontally with a Diploma or Advanced Certificate at NQF level 6. 

Qualification Equivalence

Provider Status

Where do I confirm the accreditation and registration status of a provider to offer qualifications and skills programmes?

SAQA registers qualifications and part-qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) upon recommendation from the Quality Councils (QCs).

 

Training providers are required to register with the Department of Higher Education and Training. Training providers must also be accredited to offer registered qualifications and skills programmes by the relevant Quality Councils (QCs). The three QCs are the:

 

  • Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) for general and further education and training qualifications
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for work-based qualifications
  • Council on Higher Education (CHE) for higher education qualifications

 

To confirm the status of a training provider to offer qualifications and/or skills programmes, please contact the relevant QC on the contact details provided below:

 

Provider Status

Professional Bodies

Where can I find a list of SAQA-recognised professional bodies and their registered designations?

For a list of SAQA-recognised professional bodies and their registered designations, please follow this link:

https://www.saqa.org.za/recognition-of-professional-bodies

Professional Bodies

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Levels

Where can I confirm the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level of my qualification?

To confirm the registration status and further information about a registered qualification, please click here:

http://regqs.saqa.org.za/documents/help.html

National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Levels

Matric Rewrite

Where can I rewrite or upgrade my matric results as I did not obtain the results I wanted?

The National Senior Certificate or Senior Certificate Centres also known as Matric Rewrite Centres are registered with the Provincial Education Department (PED) and are accredited by the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training, Umalusi.

 

You can see the PED contacts here: https://www.education.gov.za/AboutUs/ProvincialDepartments.aspx

 

You can also contact Umalusi on 012 349 1510 or visit https://www.umalusi-online.org.za/enquiries to confirm the accreditation of Matric Rewrite Centres.

Matric Rewrite

Matric Exemption Certificates

How can I study further if I did not pass matric or receive an exemption?

How can I study further if I did not pass matric or receive an exemption?

A matriculation exemption is a legal requirement for first-degree studies at a South African university. Students who did not pass Senior Certificate with endorsement are required by law to apply for a matriculation exemption through the Matriculation Board.

 

International students wishing to register for first-degree studies in South Africa must have their school qualifications evaluated by the Matriculation Board that will then issue a certificate of exemption to those who qualify.

 

A certificate of exemption is issued on application to prospective students who have obtained a Senior Certificate without endorsement or equivalent foreign school-leaving qualification, who meet the requirements of the published regulations and wish to pursue first-degree studies at a South African university.

 

You can obtain the application form through the following ways:

 

For further information, you can contact:

Universities South Africa

Matriculation Board & Exemption Certificates
Telephone: +27 010 591 4401/2

Website: https://www.usaf.ac.za

Fax: +27 86 680 5727
Email: applications@usaf.ac.za

Matric Exemption Certificates

Registered Qualifications

How do I search for registered qualifications and unit standards on the SAQA searchable database?

How do I search for registered qualifications and unit standards on the SAQA searchable database?

 

A guide to searching the SAQA searchable database is available here:

http://regqs.saqa.org.za/documents/help.html

 

Where can I confirm the registration status of my qualification?

 

To confirm the registration status and more information about a registered qualification, please click on the link below:

http://regqs.saqa.org.za/search.php?cat=qual

Registered Qualifications

Lost Certificates

Where can I get a copy of my lost certificate

Where can I get a copy of my lost certificate?

 

SAQA does not issue or keep copies of certificates issued by training providers, and these should be requested from the training providers.

 

Matric Certificate

 

To apply for a replacement or re-issue of your matric certificate, please contact the Department of Basic Education on the following contact details:

Telephone: 012 357 4511/13

Email: certification@dbe.gov.za

 

Who do I contact to enquire about the status of my certificate?

 

Please contact the training provider to enquire about the status of your certificate. You can also contact the relevant Quality Council (QC) for further information in this regard.

 

The three QCs are the:

  • Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) for general and further education and training qualifications
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for work-based qualifications
  • Council on Higher Education (CHE) for higher education qualifications

 

Their contact details are:

Lost Certificates

Level Descriptors

What is a level descriptor?

What is a level descriptor?

 

A level descriptor is a statement describing learning achievements at a particular level of the National Qualifications Framework. It provides a broad indication of the types of learning outcomes and assessment criteria that are appropriate to a qualification at that level.

 

Where can I find a copy of the Level Descriptors for the South African National Qualifications Framework?

 

To view a copy of the Level Descriptors for the South African National Qualifications Framework, please follow this link: https://www.saqa.org.za/documents/policies-and-criteria

Level Descriptors

Learnerships

​​​​​​What is a learnership?

A learnership is a learning programme registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training, which consists of a structured learning component, a practical work experience component of a specified nature and duration, and which leads to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework that is related to an occupation. It is based on an agreement entered into between the learner, the institution and the employer. 

 

Where can I apply for a learnership?

 

Learnerships are often advertised by the different training providers that are accredited to offer registered qualifications by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The accredited training providers work together with the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

 

For more information, you can contact the QCTO on the details below:

Tel: 012 003 1800

Website: www.qcto.org.za

Learnerships

Illegal Education and Training Providers

Where should I report an institution that is not registered and accredited?

Where should I report an institution that is not registered and accredited?

 

To report an institution that is not registered and accredited, please contact the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) on 0800 872 222.

 

You can also contact the Office of Consumer Affairs in your region or the office of the National Consumer Commission (NCC) on 012 761 3000/0861 843 384 or send an email to complaints@thencc.org.za

Illegal Education and Training Providers

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Credits

Where can I confirm the number of Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) credits I have?

For FAIS-related enquiries, please contact the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA). Their contact details are:

Telephone: 011 381 8900

Website: www.inseta.org.za

 

Alternatively, you can contact the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FCSA). Their contact details are:

Telephone: 0800 203 722

Website: https://www.fsca.co.za

Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Credits

Credit Verification

How can I verify the number of credits I have?

How can I verify the number of credits I have?

Credits obtained for qualifications or part-qualifications are confirmed on the transcript issued by the training provider. You can request this information from the training provider.

Credit Verification

Career Advice

​​​​​​​Where can I get information on careers and learning pathways, and advice on what to study before and after Grade 12?

For information and advice on furthering your studies and career pathways, please contact the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)’s Career Development Services (CDS).

 

The CDS contact details are:

Tel: 086 999 0123

SMS/please call me: 072 204 5056

Email: careerhelp@dhet.gov.za

Website: www.careerhelp.org.za

 

Where can I get information and advice on artisan development and careers?

 

The National Artisan Development and Support Centre (NADSC) provides artisan career guidance to school learners and post-school persons through its Career Development Directorate. It also offers information related to accredited trade test centres and skills development providers.

 

The NADSC details are:

Tel: 086 999 0125

Email: nadscinfo@dhet.gov.za

Website: www.nadsc.dhet.gov.za

Career Advice

Accredited Providers

Where can I find a list of providers that offer qualifications and skills programmes?

Training providers are required to register with the Department of Higher Education and Training. Training providers must also be accredited to offer registered qualifications and skills programmes by the relevant Quality Councils (QCs).

 

The three QCs are the:

  • Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi) for general and further education and training qualifications
  • Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for work-based qualifications
  • Council on Higher Education (CHE) for higher education qualifications

 

For a list of providers accredited to offer qualifications and skills programmes, please contact the relevant QC on the contact details provided below.

 

Accredited Providers

Articulation

What is articulation?

Articulation is the process of forming possibilities of connection between qualifications and/or part-qualifications to allow for vertical, lateral and diagonal movement of learners through the formal education and training system and its linkages with the world of work. It is for this reason that qualifications are designed with articulation options. However, these articulation options are guidelines as learners are still required to meet institution and programme specific admission requirements.

Which other qualification(s) can I pursue on completion of my current studies?

To check articulation options for specific qualifications, please follow this link:

http://regqs.saqa.org.za/search.php?cat=qual

 

What happens to the students that are currently completing their National N Diploma and Bachelor of Technology (BTech) qualification since it has been phased out?

It is important to note that qualifications do not lose their currency even if they are phased out. Students that are currently doing their National N Diploma will be able to progress to the Advanced Diploma. Students who have successfully completed the BTech will be able to progress to higher qualifications, subject to each institution’s progression and articulation rules.

Articulation

Verifications Project

What are the different verification services that SAQA offers?

SAQA offers the following verification services to employers, learners, and other clients at a cost.

 

  1. Verification Letters for individuals

 

This service is for individuals who need a verification letter confirming their tertiary qualifications obtained in South Africa. The verification letter is for qualifications or part-qualifications registered on the NQF and NOT for short courses and professional designations.

            To access this service click on this link: http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/Individuals.aspx

  1. Private Sector Clients (Employers)

 

This service is for Private Sector Employers who want to authenticate the qualifications of candidates or existing employees. Short courses and professional designations are not included in this service. The evaluation of foreign qualifications is a separate service.

 

To access the services and the procedures to follow, you can click on the link http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/ClientMenuPage.aspx

 

 

  1. Public Sector Clients (Employers)

 

This service is for Public Sector Employers who want to authenticate the qualifications of candidates or existing employees. Short courses and professional designations are not included in this service. The evaluation of foreign qualifications is a separate service.

 

To access the services and the procedures to follow, you can click on the link:  

http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/PublicMenuPage.aspx

 

  1. What is VeriSearch?

 

VeriSearch is the access portal for verification clients that signed a contract with SAQA where they can access their verification results in a secure and confidential environment.

 

Only employees authorised by the client may access this portal by following this link:

http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fSearchPage.aspx

Verifications Project
How long does it take to verify a South African qualification?

Verification takes from 2 to 20 working days depending on the priority selected and availability of the record on the NLRD. The standard for verification is to find a result within 20 working days where after the request will be closed as “inconclusive”. You will pay the discounted tariff if it takes longer than the requested priority to finalise the verification.

SAQA receive data from all registered education institutions and can find the achievement record with fieldwork even if it is not recorded on the NLRD yet. However, some qualifications are difficult to verify as they are stored in archives.

Verifications Project
How do I communicate with SAQA for verification services?

All communication for verification services should be done electronically:

No emails should be sent to individual SAQA staff members as this results in duplication and lengthens the verification process.

 

Verifications Project
What do I need to know about the verification of South African qualifications?

SAQA verifies the authenticity of South African qualifications for employers or individuals. You can access this service by following this link:  http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/

The verification result can be in the form of a letter to be legalised by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to enable an employer to make an appointment.

The verification is done at a cost related to the request and priority selected by the client. The tariffs are adjusted annually on 1 April and can be viewed by following this link: http://verisearch.saqa.org.za/

Verifications Project

National Learners Records Database (NLRD)

What is an Extract from the National Learners' Records Database and how different is it from a Verification Letter?

An extract from the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD) is a copy of the information recorded under your name on the NLRD. It may not contain all the qualifications or part-qualifications you obtained. SAQA strives to keep the NLRD up-to-date. Qualifications and part-qualifications are only recorded on the NLRD after they have been quality-assured and authenticated. An Extract from the NLRD is not a verification as it may not contain all your achievements.

National Learners Records Database (NLRD)
I have obtained a qualification through RPL. Can I get the transcript from the National Learners Records Database (NLRD)?

A transcript is normally obtained from the institution where a learner has completed his/her qualification. A transcript provides a descriptive record of the learning achieved at the institution, whether or not a qualification has been awarded. A transcript should contain information which is also available on the (NLRD) at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). However, an institution could issue a transcript supplement which provides a description of the nature, level, content and, where appropriate, the context of the studies pursued by a learner and assessed by the institution (Source: The Higher Education Qualifications Framework 2013: par 55, 56).

National Learners Records Database (NLRD)

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

What is the cost involved for RPL?

RPL services and assessment should not cost more than a full-time face to face programme, particularly if such services are integrated into the existing infrastructure.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
What is Recognition of Prior Learning?

What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which non-formal learning and informal learning are measured, mediated for recognition across different contexts, and certified against the requirements for credit, access, inclusion or advancement in the formal education and training system, or workplace.

 

How can I obtain a qualification with the years of experience I have in my field?

 

You can identify a qualification against which you would like to be assessed and approach the education institution(s) that offer(s) the identified programme for information on its Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy and process.

 

The implementation of RPL is monitored and evaluated within the Sub-Framework the identified qualification is registered. You can access the National policy for the implementation of RPL here: https://www.saqa.org.za/documents/policies-and-criteria

 

 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Can a person get RPL at a private college?

RPL services are rendered by public and private institutions of learning. You can obtain information on accredited RPL providers from the CHE, Umalusi and QCTO or from a SETA.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

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.

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
What are sub-frameworks in the NQF?

The NQF is a single integrated system which comprises of three co-ordinated qualifications sub-frameworks, for:

  • General and Further Education and Training
  • Higher Education; and
  • Trades and Occupations.
National Qualifications Framework (NQF)
What is the National Learners' Records Database?
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is responsible for the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The primary objective of the NQF is the creation of a high quality education and training system in South Africa that embraces the concept of life-long learning for all. One of the features of a quality system is the ability to manage and report information about the system accurately. The National Learners' Records Database (NLRD) is the electronic management information system that facilitates the management of the National Qualifications Framework and enables the South African Qualifications Authority to report accurately on most aspects of the education and training system of South Africa.
What does a Qualification need to comprise of to be registered on the NQF?
The composition of all Qualifications is as follows:
  • Title of Qualification
  • Field and Subfield
  • Level
  • Credits
  • Rationale for the Qualification
  • Purpose
  • Rules of Combination
  • Access to the Qualification
  • Learning assumed to be in place
  • Exit Level Outcomes and their Associated Assessment Criteria
  • Critical Cross-Field Outcomes
  • International Comparability
  • Integrated Assessment
  • Recognition of Prior Learning
  • Articulation
  • Moderation Options
  • Criteria for the Registration of Assessors
  • Notes (Optional)
  • Unit Standard Title Matrix
What are the admission requirements for registration to study at university?

The Higher Education Act (No. 101 of 1997) gives institutions of higher learning the right to determine their general and programme-specific admission requirements.

 

You can contact the university to inquire about their admission requirements. The list of public universities in South Africa is here: https://www.careerhelp.org.za/content/education-system-south-africa/tvet-and-university

 

You can also access the admission requirements per institution here: https://www.careerhelp.org.za/content/admission-requirements

I have no qualification but have been working in the field for ages and would like to be an assessor.

Assessors need to pass the relevant assessors course and be a subject matter expert for the qualification and/or part-qualification they want to assess. Expertise is usually connected to a relevant qualification or years of experience and knowledge gained in a field or occupation. You should approach the relevant QC or SETA to apply for registration in a specific sector once you have completed the assessor training and registered with the Education, Training and Development Practices (ETDP) SETA as an assessor.