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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
101977  Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting 
ORIGINATOR
Regent Business School (Pty) Ltd 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to equip students with the necessary knowledge, skills and attributes in order to pass the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) board examinations. It is aimed at providing a deeper understanding and level of proficiency so that students are able to apply their knowledge to real life or practical applications, which is the manner in which students are assessed in the SAICA board exams.

The Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) is aimed at fully preparing students to meet the competencies which comprise of the knowledge, skills and attributes which accounting students need to be in a position to write and pass the SAICA board exams (the initial test of competence (ITC exam) and later the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC exam). Not only are students required to be familiar with the knowledge base which underlies the competencies for each specific competency area, they are also required to meet a level of proficiency for each competence within all the specific competency areas:
Upon qualifying, learners will be able to:
  • Be familiar with the key principles and knowledge of the four core areas of Accounting, Auditing, Managerial Accounting and Finance, and Taxation.
  • Be equipped with such skill, knowledge and proficiency as is necessary to become a chartered accountant.
  • Understand the fundamental principles underlying the four core modules including strategy, risk management and governance.
  • Achieve the desired levels of proficiency in the four core modules.
  • Integrate the different knowledge and competencies, as in practice and real life, the various knowledge bases are interwoven and interrelated.
  • Aware of the fundamental importance of ethics to the accounting profession.
  • Have exposure a variety of contextualized case studies in order for them to develop practical and feasible methods to solve practical problems.
  • Have exposure to detailed problem rich scenarios so that they have to exercise judgement in choosing between alternative approaches to the problem to determine an appropriate solution.
  • Be prepared for the SAICA board exams.

    Rationale:
    Students who complete their Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting studies at accredited educational institutions South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) achieve a level of knowledge and proficiency in related modules of accounting and this allows learners to access a number of Accounting careers. However, in order for students to become chartered accountants they need to complete an intensive year which requires them to understand and be able to apply knowledge learnt in five different technical fields, namely:
  • Financial Accounting.
  • Managerial Accounting and Finance.
  • Auditing.
  • Taxation.
  • Strategy, risk management and governance.

    The latter is usually integrated into the other four fields as it is interrelated but must be studied in the context of accounting.

    To become a chartered accountant (SA), students who have completed their B Com Accounting must also complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (PGDA) at a SAICA accredited institution SAICA has developed a competency framework which summarises the competencies students should have achieved in order to become chartered accountants (CAs).The aim of the PGDA is consequently to appropriately prepare students to become chartered accountants by equipping them with the necessary knowledge at the required level of proficiency. Chartered accountants are regarded as a scarce skill in the country and the PGDA is aimed at providing an alternative way for accounting students to acquire the necessary competencies to also become chartered accountants.

    The South African Government has also seen the huge potential for skilling students to become chartered accountants and is urging departments such as Treasury and the office of the Auditor General to provide financial assistance to students who are keen to study to become accountants. In addition, neighbouring states such as Namibia and Zimbabwe are also using the South African Universities to study to become chartered accountants. Consequently, many of the students from these countries are studying in South Africa. The institution will offer a suitable alternative by providing distance learning to these students thereby increasing the numbers of students studying to become chartered accountants. The qualification has been designed to:
  • Provide a formal qualification for accounting students to attain the necessary competencies in order to qualify to write the SAICA board exams.
  • To provide an alternative means of studying the PGDA part-time.
  • To enable students who are unable to pass all four modules in one year, to obtain the PGDA without CTA i.e. students will have a Diploma in accounting which assists them with becoming members of other Accounting bodies such as ACCA and CIMA. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The institution recognises the importance of the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in ensuring that applicants that possess skills acquired through life or work experience and non-formal education are catered for.

    This qualification may be obtained in whole or in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning.

    In the cases where prior learning is to be recognised for purposes of access to the qualification, it is assumed that the learning derived from work or life experience will be a major element in the profiles of non-standard entrants primarily by means of an examination of their curriculum vitae (CV).

    These candidates will be selected on the recommendation of a senior manager from their organisations/companies.

    Where appropriate, interviews will also be conducted to assess the applicants. Some of the key criteria that will be used in evaluating the applicants include:
  • The applicants' motivation, maturity and realistic approach to their studies.
  • Job description, covering relevant area of work, giving examples of tasks carried out, possibly supplying references.
  • The nature and level of life/work experience and prior study, and the learning which has resulted from such experience.
  • Details of in-company short courses, length, content of material covered, standard achieved.
  • The clarity of the applicant's educational goals and objectives.
  • The extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge for the programme.

    Where prior learning is recognised for advanced standing, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African higher education institutions. The amount of 'specific' credit granted is dependent on the match between prior learning and award towards which the intended programme leads.

    Entry Requirements:
  • A Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from a SAICA accredited institution. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification comprises compulsory modules at Level 8 totalling 120 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules, Level 8:
  • Advanced Financial Accounting, 30 Credits.
  • Advanced Auditing, 30 Credits.
  • Advanced Managerial Accounting, 30 Credits.
  • Finance Advanced Taxation, 30 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
  • Communicate clearly with clients and manage stakeholder relationships in an ethical and professional manner.
  • Develop practical and feasible methods to solve practical problems.
  • Demonstrate evidence of self-directed learning.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse the case studies in each module.
  • Critically evaluate different scenarios and be in a position to advise and make various decisions based on the information given.
  • Analyse and evaluate data in order to justify sound and rational decisions.
  • Integrate ethics and the pervasive skills in all aspects of the work covered during the year.
  • Apply the techniques, methodologies and theories learnt to real life scenarios.
  • Advise on the application of various legislation such as the Income Tax and the Companies Act.
  • Advise on strategy, risk management and governance. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Associated Assessment Criteria will be applied in an integrated manner across the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes:
  • Identify, analyse and solve highly complex accounting and related problems is demonstrated in a systematic, critical and creative way.
  • Demonstrate a specialised understanding of how to manage resources and processes in a business context.
  • Articulate and promote ideas and interests through effective communication in writing.
  • Propose solutions to complex problems.
  • Demonstrate well-developed learning skills to promote life-long learning.
  • Use contextualised case studies to assess problem solving ability and the use of knowledge gained to recommend courses of action or for providing advice or guidance.
  • Use quantitative techniques to solve work based problems and interpret implications on the decision making process. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The outcomes and assessment criteria, the degree of complexity and the notional learning time of this qualification have been compared with similar qualifications as depicted below.
  • The Graduate Diploma in Accounting offered at the Southern Cross University (Australia).
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting offered at the AUT Business School (New Zealand).
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Accountancy offered by Massey University (New Zealand).
  • Post-Degree Diploma in Accounting offered by Douglas College (Canada).

    The qualifications are similar in that they train chartered accountants on an internationally recognised level. The differences arise from knowledge of relevant legislation, particularly related to taxation.

    The training of chartered accountants is influenced by accounting bodies' affiliated to the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). IFAC contributes to the development, adoption, and implementation of high-quality international auditing and assurance standards, primarily through its support of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

    The similarities between the qualifications also extend to the admission requirements in that students are required to complete an appropriate undergraduate degree before registering for a Postgraduate Diploma.

    The similarities between the international qualifications and this qualification are:
  • Considerable time is devoted to the application of auditing standards including the IESBA code of ethics for professional accountants.
  • Financial reporting standards so as to make financial statements comparable and understandable.
  • Management and accounting and finance - the principles of which largely global.
  • Taxation regimes. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification articulates with the following qualification.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Cognate Postgraduate Diplomas.
  • Cognate Honours qualifications.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Master of Commerce (MCom). 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.