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Umalusi - Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training

Qualifications

Umalusi's mandate as a Quality Council derives from the NQF Act, Act No 67 of 2008, and its establishment act, the GENFETQA Act, Act No 58 of 2001, amended in 2008. As one of three Quality Councils, the others being the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), Umalusi is required to develop and manage the quality of a sub-framework of qualifications for general and further education and training as part of the greater integrated National Qualifications Framework.

This means that Umalusi must develop and manage a range of qualifications for schooling, and for the post-school system as offered in Further Education and Training colleges and adult education and training centres. To that end, Umalusi has developed The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework which has been submitted for regulation, and a supporting policy entitled Standard Setting and Quality Assurance for the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework, which has been approved by Umalusi Council.

The sub-framework of qualifications has two distinct pathways, the first commencing with general education, leads to qualifications for 15 -19 year olds, mainly in schools but also in colleges, and the second, for adults starts with a general component and leads to an alternative matric for adults or to general vocational qualifications.

The qualifications currently certificated by Umalusi are as follows:

Matriculation qualifications:

  • The Senior Certificate (SC) which was offered before 2008 and is being phased out - its final examination will be administered in 2014. Offered in schools and second chance institutions
  • The National Senior Certificate (NSC) which replaced the Senior Certificate and commenced in 2008. Offered in schools
Vocational qualifications:
  • The National Technical Certificate N3. Offered in FET colleges
  • The National Senior Certificate: Colleges - phased out end of 2011. Offered in FET colleges
  • The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) - commenced in 2007. Offered in FET colleges
Adult Education and Training qualifications:
  • The General Education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC: ABET). Offered in Public Adult Learning Centres or workplaces and community facilities by private providers and NGO's
Three new qualifications are envisaged for the adult stream, two of which have been developed and submitted for regulation. These are:
  • General Education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETCA)
  • National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA)
  • The National Independent Certificate (NIC)

The third qualification, the Intermediate Certificate, will fall between the GETC at NQF level 1 and the NIC and NASCA at NQF level 4, with the purpose of bridging the gap between the two levels.

Umalusi has also proposed certain qualifications on NQF level 5, but as this is currently viewed as higher education, changes will have to be effected to legislation to accommodate these proposals. Umalusi sees certain qualifications at this level as "post-school but closer to further education than higher education" and as such forms a continuum with the learning that has taken place at NQF 4.

FAQ Related to Qualifications

Can I apply for a combination of my results in order to achieve a full qualification?
Yes. If you have written and passed subjects over a number of years and the combined result complies with the requirements for a full qualification. This can be requested at one of the Departments of Education, which will forward the request to Umalusi for the issue of a certificate.
What must Umalusi do besides develop qualifications for registration on the NQF?

Umalusi must:

  • Quality assure qualifications and curricula
  • Develop and implement policies for assessment, recognition of prior learning and credit accumulation and transfer
  • Quality assure assessment of qual ifications on the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework at exit points
  • Quality assure provision through an accreditation process for private providers off education and training and assessment bodies
  • Certificate learner attainments
  • Research matters related to the General and Further education and Training Qualifications Framework
  • Provide advice to the Minister
What is Umalusi`s role with respect to qualifications?
Umalusi develops and manages the quality of a sub-framework of qualifications for general and further education and training; and develops and implements policy and criteria, in terms of which it recommends (to SAQA) the registration, of qualifications on the NQF.
What must Umalusi do to advance the objectives of the NQF?
  • Umalusi must develop, foster and maintain a sub-framework of qualification for general and further education and training, and ensure that it articulates with other sub-frameworks in the education and training system to form an integrated and transparent national framework for the recognition of learning achievements; and
  • Ensure that the qualifications on its sub-framework are internationally comparable and of an acceptable quality.
Which pieces of legislation and policies guide Umalusi in implementing its mandate?

Umalusi derives its mandate from the NQF Act No 67 of 2008, the National Education Policy Act No 27 of 1996 and its founding act the General and Further Education and Training Quality Assurance Act No 52 of 2001 amended in 2008. Umalusi is also guided by the South African Schools Act No 84 of 1996; the FET Colleges Act No 16 of 2006 amended 2011; the Adult Basic Education and Training Act No 52 of 2000 amended 2010 as well as the various policies issued by the Ministers of Education in respect of accreditation of private providers and assessment bodies and the various qualifications Umalusi certifies. Umalusi is further guided by its own policies:

  • The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework; and
  • Standard Setting and Quality Assurance for the General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework.
What is the relationship between South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), Umalusi and the NQF?
The NQF Act mandated SAQA with the development and articulation of the NQF and created three quality councils, namely Council on Higher Education, Umalusi the council for Quality Assurance of General and Further Education and Training, and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, each responsible for a sub-framework of qualifications within an integrated National Qualifications framework. Umalusi is the Quality Council that must ensure that quality is achieved in the delivery of the outcomes of general and further education training in the national education and training system - this means in schools, FET colleges, adult learning centres and assessment bodies that examine qualifications in general and furthered education (NQF 1-4). As such Umalusi sets standards for general and further education and training through the development and management of a sub-framework of qualifications for the sector, and the implementation of the appropriate quality assurance processes.
How does the National Qualifications Framework Act impact on the national education and training system?
The NQF Act No 67 of 2008 was promulgated as a result of the review of the NQF and replaced the SAQA Act of 1995 which established the South African Qualification Authority. The NQF Act redesigned the architecture of the NQF and the quality assurance landscape.

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