Umalusi Council has always grounded its work in well considered research based on issues within its mandate and education and training as a whole. The Council is formally mandated to conduct research on matters relating to the sub-framework of qualifications it is responsible for namely The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework.
The Council's research agenda and research projects are supported and critiqued by a Research Forum consisting of prominent academics and experts.
The research function is overseen and reported on by the Statistical Information and Research Unit (SIR), although research is also conducted in each of the other units in Umalusi.
Application for a certificate
Umalusi issues certificates for the following qualifications:
Requirements for Certification
In order for Umalusi to certify a qualification, the qualification must be registered on The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework , which is a sub-framework of the National Qualification Framework. Further, the assessment of the qualifications must be nationally conducted, either by the state or by an assessment body accredited by Umalusi, and the provider of tuition for the qualification must be either a public provider or a private provider accredited by Umalusi.
National examinations are conducted by the state or accredited assessment bodies throughout the year for the various qualifications as follows:
|The Senior Certificate (SC) which was offered before 2008 and is being phased out - its final examination will be administered in 2014||Once annually in June / July|
|The National Senior Certificate (NSC) which replaced the Senior Certificate and commenced in 2008||Once annually commencing in October, with supplementary examinations in February of the following year|
|The National Technical Certificate N3 (Engineering Studies)||Three times annually in April, August and November.|
|The National Senior Certificate: Colleges - phased out end of 2010||No examinations are currently offered|
|The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) - commenced in 2007||Once annually in November, with supplementary examinations in February|
|Adult Education and Training qualifications|
|The General education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC: ABET Level 4)||Twice annually in June and October.|
Quality Assurance of Assessment and National Examinations
In order for learner achievements to be certifiable, Umalusi puts extensive measures in place to ensure that the internal assessment, which is carried out at learning sites, and the examinations conducted by the state and private assessment bodies, are fair, reliable and valid. This work is carried out by the Quality Assurance of Assessment Unit (QAA) annually through various moderation and monitoring processes.
Standardisation is one of the processes Umalusi Council uses to mitigate the effect of factors other than the learners' knowledge and aptitude on the learners' performance and to finally approve results.
Approval of Results
Umalusi Council is responsible for approving the release of results, a complex process. Approval of results is determined by how well the assessment bodies responsible for the examinations have complied with all the policies, directives and guidelines related to the qualification being resulted. These policies and directives are issued by Umalusi and the Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training. Approval is also dependent on whether any irregularities have undermined the credibility and integrity of the examinations. Once the standardization decisions have been agreed upon, the assessment bodies are required to apply them to the marks of each subject. The standardized subject results are returned to Umalusi for quality assurance checks, and once the Council is satisfied that the decisions have been properly applied, the assessment bodies may finally result the individual candidates.
The process of certifying the November results takes place in the new year after the re-marking and re-checking processes are completed. At that point the data sets are finalized by the respective assessment bodies and sent through for certification. The bulk certification traditionally takes place in April and May of each year. Certification of supplementary examinations traditionally takes place in July/August.
Umalusi issues certificates for full qualification as well as subject certificates/statements for candidates who have passed subjects, but have not yet qualified for the full certificate. Candidates may apply to have two or more of their subject certificates/statements combined into a full qualification, if their results conform to the qualification requirements.
Certification continues throughout the year for adult and vocational examinations such as the N courses and the GETC for Adults. There is also a steady flow of requests for re-issues, combinations and replacement certificates. Such applications are made through the state or an accredited assessment body.
Umalusi remains responsible for the results that it has certified, and uses this data to assist with verification enquiries.
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