What Is The NQF?

  • The National Qualifications Framework is an educational system that tracks and gives recognition to qualifications. 
  • They determine the advancement of a qualification.
  • Matric is an NQF 4, but there are other qualifications with the same NQF level.
  • A National Diploma has an NQF Level 6 and can be obtained through NATED courses.

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has the goal of improving education in South Africa. Its main purpose is to track academic achievements and put a system into place that recognises qualifications.   

Here is everything you need to know:

  • Accreditation by qualification councils.
  • NQF levels.
  • NQF objectives.
  • Professional bodies.
  • NQF4 and equivalents. 
  • National diplomas.

Accreditation By Qualification Councils

The NQF acts as the foundation for the qualification councils. These councils are responsible for the accreditation of qualifications. These councils include:

NQF Levels

Each level of a course determines how advanced the course is. This way, all qualifications in South Africa can be measured and compared using the same framework.

What Do NQF Levels Mean?

These levels are present throughout higher and tertiary education. Here is a list of the specific levels awarded to each grade or qualification:

  • Level 1: Grade 9.
  • Level 2: Grade 10.
  • Level 3: Grade 11.
  • Level 4: Grade 12.
  • Level 5: Higher Certificate.
  • Level 6: National Diploma or Advanced Certificate.
  • Level 7: Bachelor’s Degree or Advanced Diploma.
  • Level 8: Honours Degree or Postgraduate Diploma.
  • Level 9: Master’s Degree.
  • Level 10: Doctorates Degree.

NQF Objectives

The most important aim of the NQF is to ensure that everyone is treated with equality by setting specific requirements for each level.

This makes it easy to recognise qualifications according to their advancement levels. It also motivates people to reach the next level. 

Professional Bodies

Professional bodies refer to organisations, such as The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) that consists of a group of professionals.

NQF Level 4 And Equivalents

This level is obtained after completing a matric certificate. The two frequently asked questions around this include: 

What Are NQF Level 4 Equivalents?

Other certificates also have an NQF Level 4, therefore they are equivalent to matric. These certificates include national and FET certificates.

Matric College offers a variety of matric equivalent certificates:

ICB Courses

The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers has a range of business and financial courses that are equivalent to a matric.

Courses you can apply for without a matric certificate:

National Certificate: Vocational

Students who have completed grade 10 to 12 at a TVET college are awarded a vocational certificate. Both ICB and vocational certificates have the aim to enable you to study towards a National Diploma. 

Read more about Matric College’s NATED courses. These courses will provide you with a National Diploma.

National Diplomas

You can obtain a National Diploma by climbing up the level ladder. A National Diploma has up to an NQF Level 6 and can be reached through a NATED course.

Where To Study?

Many institutions in South Africa offer these courses. Namely:

  • Matric College.
  • Skills Academy.
  • Bellview Institute of Distance Learning.

2 thoughts on “What Is The NQF?”

  1. I need to do the NQF 4 level course to write a PDE4 exam to operate as an Estate Agent registered at the Property Practitioners Authority. How do I go about it?

    We also need one of our staff members to do the NQF 5 course to write his PDE5 exam.

    Please send me information

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