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Glossary of Terms




The certification, usually for a particular period of time, of a person, a body or an institution as having the capacity to fulfil a particular function within the quality assurance system set up by SAQA



Recognition granted to a learner when all required learning outcomes have been successfully demonstrated



The process of collecting evidence of learners’ work to measure and make judgments about the achievement or non-achievement of specified National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications


- Formative Assessment

Refers to assessment that takes place during the process of learning and teaching.

  - Summative Assessment Is assessment for making a judgement about achievement. This is carriedout when a learner is ready to be assessed at the end of a programm oflearning.


A person who is registered by the relevant ETQA body to measure the achievement of specified National Qualifications Framework standards or qualifications


Applied competence

The ability to put into practice in the relevant context the learning outcomes acquired in obtaining a qualification



The process undertaken to measure the quality of products or services that have already been made or delivered




A person whose performance is being assessed by the assessor


Conditional registration

The registration of a private higher education institution as specified in the Higher Education Act, (No. 101 of 1997)



Belonging to the defined or delegated constituency of an organisation or body referred to in the NSB and ETQA regulations


Core learning

That compulsory learning required in situations contextually relevant to the particular qualifications



That value assigned by the Authority to ten (10) notional hours of learning


Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes refer to those generic outcomes that inform all teaching and learning. For example CCFOs may include working effectively with others as a member of a team, and/or collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information



Education and Training Quality Assurance Body

Body accredited in terms of section 5 (1)(a)(ii) of the SAQA Act, responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of national standards or qualifications, and to which specific functions relating to the monitoring and auditing of national standards or qualifications have been assigned in terms of section 5 (1)(b)(i) of the Act


Elective unit standard

A selection of additional credits at the (level of the National Qualifications Framework specified), from which a choice may be made to ensure that the purpose of the qualification is achieved


External customer

An external person, body or structure that is a beneficiary of the services or product of a particular organisation.


Exit Level Outcomes

The outcomes to be achieved by a qualifying learner at the point at which he or she leaves the programme leading to a qualification and achievement of which entitles the learner to a qualification



Facilitator of learning and assessment or Formative Assessment

An individual who facilitates learning processes and activities and manages and administers assessment: educator, teacher, trainer, mentor etc.


Field of learning

A particular area of learning used as an organising mechanism for the NQF.


Fundamental learning

That learning which forms the grounding or basis needed to undertake the education, training or further learning required in the obtaining of a qualification and ‘fundamental’ has a corresponding meaning



Grade 12

The highest grade in which education is provided by a school as defined in the South African Schools Act, 1996



Higher Education and training

All learning programmes leading to qualifications higher than grade 12 or its equivalent in terms of the NQF, including tertiary education



Internal Customer

An internal person, body or structure that is a beneficiary of the service and/or products of a particular organisation


Integrated assessment

That form of assessment which permits the learner to demonstrate applied competence and which uses a range of formative and summative assessment methods




Any person receiving education and training (in terms of the ABET Act of 2000)



Refers to a learning programme where the learner spends some time learning theory and some time learning practical skills in a workplace. It leads to a qualification registered on the NQF


Learning Programme

A structured set of learning offerings and related assessment and attainment requirements


Level Descriptor

That statement describing a particular level of the eight levels of the National Qualifications Framework



Moderating Body

A body specifically appointed by the Authority for the purpose of moderation



The process which ensures that assessment of the outcomes described in the NQF standards and qualifications is fair, reliable and valid



National Learners’ Records Database (NLRD)

An electronic information system that assists the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to manage the National Qualifications Framework


National Standards Body (NSB)

A body registered in terms of the SAQA Act, responsible for establishing education and training standards and qualifications, and to which specific functions relating to the registration of national standards and qualifications have been assigned


National Qualifications Framework Level

See Level Descriptor


Notional hours of learning

Means the learning time that it is conceived it would take an average learner to meet the outcomes defined, and includes concepts such as contact time, time spent in structured learning in the workplace and individual learning




Contextually demonstrated end product of the learning process



Professional body

A statutory body registered as such in terms of the legislation applicable to such bodies, or voluntary body performing the functions contemplated in the legislation for such bodies but not registered as such.


Primary focus

The activity or objective within the sector upon which an organisation or body concentrates its efforts



An education and training body (institution/organization, company, centre, collaborative partnership, or consultancy) which delivers learning programmes that culminate in specified NQF standards or qualifications and manages the assessment thereof




The formal recognition of the achievement of the required number and range of credits and other requirements at specific levels of the NQF determined by the relevant bodies registered by SAQA


Quality Assurance

The process of ensuring that the degree of excellence specified is achieved


Quality Audit

The process of examining the indicators which show the degree of excellence achieved


Quality Management Systems

Means the combination of processes used to ensure that the degree of excellence specified is achieved



Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The comparison of the previous learning and experience of a learner, howsoever obtained, against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and the acceptance for purposes of qualification of that which meets the requirements



Officially registered (recorded) in terms of the National Qualifications Framework


Registration of standards and qualifications

Standards or qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework.



Standards Generating Body (SGB)

A body registered in terms of the SAQA Act, responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications, and to which specific functions relating to the establishment of national standards and qualifications have been assigned



A defined portion of social, commercial or educational activities used to prescribe the boundaries of an Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA)


Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA)

A body responsible for the organisation of education and training programmes within a specific sector


Service contract/ Memorandum of Understanding

Contractual working agreement between an ETQA and its customers and/or agencies


South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

The body responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework, established in terms of the SAQA Act no. 58 of 1995


Specialised learning

That specialised theoretical knowledge which underpins application in the area of specialisation


Specific outcomes

Knowledge, skills and values (demonstrated in context) which support one or more critical outcomes



The registered statements of desired education and training outcomes and their associated assessment criteria



Unit standard

Registered statement of desired education and training outcomes and its associated assessment criteria together with administrative and other information as specified in the regulations

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