SAQA 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.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION THAT HAS PASSED THE END DATE: 

National Diploma: South African Special Forces Operations 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
48879  National Diploma: South African Special Forces Operations 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Special Combat Capabilities 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
Was SAS SETA until Last Date for Achievement  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Diploma  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Sovereignty of the State 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  297  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 0480/09  2007-10-14  2010-04-07 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2011-04-07   2015-04-07  

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 is replaced by: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
78263  National Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  123  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare the qualifying learner to participate as a team member in Special Forces operations as conducted by the South African National Defence Force.

The nature of Special Forces operations requires a member to possess a broad scope of skills that allows for flexibility and individual independence during the conduct of operations. Due to this variance in skills a number of access routes opens up for the qualifying member in terms of additional education and training.

Recognition of the competencies which are embedded in the set of unit standards that forms part of this qualification will allow for opportunities for qualifying members leaving the service to enter into a number of employment opportunities in the private sector with a level of expertise which will serve to enhance the productivity of those enterprises e.g. nature conservation, adventure based training, etc.

Rationale of the Qualification:

This qualification is intended for persons in the military who have been accepted as potential operators into the Special Forces Brigade through an organisational screening process. It will provide them with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to participate as a team member in special operations as conducted by the South African Special Forces Brigade. Some of the unit standards will also be of use in qualifications developed for the South African Police Service.

This qualification is to create a life-long learning environment, which a person can build on during a personal career in the Defence sector. The wide range of skills acquired also forms a baseline for specialising in various sectors elsewhere in the South African Armed Forces and those in the international community. Some skills such as shooting, parachuting, tracking, communications, leadership, etc contributes to the portability of the qualification into the private sector into areas such as adventure based learning, nature conservation, leadership, management etc. The inclusion of unit standards with legislation contents pertaining to the possession and use of weapons is to instil personal responsibility in a work environment where the aim is to protect and maintain safety.

The qualification provides learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace with an opportunity to gain credits through a RPL process. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that learners entering the programme leading to this qualification have achieved the following:
  • Literacy in English (NQF level 4).
  • Numeracy (NQF level 4).
  • A FET Certificate (NQF level 4).
  • The series of competencies acquired through the military skills development programme or equivalent programmes including how to conduct fast roping operations.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification may be achieved in part or in whole through the recognition of prior learning. Access through RPL and/or credit exemption through RPL is to be determined and explained in the RPL policy documents of providers. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Credit composition:

    Fundamental: All Unit Standards in the Fundamental section are compulsory. A total of 24 credits.

    Core: All Unit Standards in the Core section are compulsory. A total of 267 credits.

    Elective: A Single Unit Standard with a total weight of 6 credits has been selected for this component. The learners are provided the opportunity to elect the particular direction of research that suits them best and prepares them to further their development on completion of the qualification in the various Special Combat Capability options. 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    Learners exiting this qualification before completion, retain the credits for unit standards successfully completed and may carry them over to other qualifications to which they are applicable. Learners may also retain the credits until a later stage when further studies may be recommended, provided the unit standards are still relevant to the qualification.

    Qualifying learners can:

    1. Navigate on land by making use of basic navigational aids.
    2. Conduct airborne operations.
    3. Conduct helicopter operations.
    4. Apply small craft in closed waters.
    5. Apply specialist weapons and tactics in operational conditions.
    6. Self-sustain in natural conditions.
    7. Conduct minor demolitions tasks.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    In particular when assessing the applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective competencies) of this qualification, assessors must assess the ability of the learner to:
  • Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions, using critical thinking, have been made.
  • Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group or organisation.
  • Organise and manage his/herself and his/her activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collect, analyse and critically evaluate information.
  • Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical, and/or language skills in the modes of written and/or oral presentation.

    Examples of specific assessment of the above Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are described in each Unit Standard. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    In this unit standard based qualification the assessment criteria (including critical cross-field outcomes) of each unit standard will serve as the assessment criteria for the qualification.

    1.
  • The information depicted on a topographical map is interpreted and used to aid navigation.
  • The use of natural navigational aids to navigate is demonstrated.
  • The use of a hand held magnetic compass for navigational purposes is demonstrated.

    2.
  • The relevant safety procedures are understood and applied during parachuting descents.
  • Infiltration with personal equipment by means of a static line parachute is demonstrated.
  • Landing zones for fixed wing aircraft are established.
  • Drop zones for paratroopers are established.
  • An understanding of the concept of airborne operations is demonstrated through the application of airborne battle handling.

    3.
  • The relevant safety procedures are understood and applied during helicopter operations.
  • The relevant knots and anchor systems are applied to ensure a successful abseiling and rappelling descent.
  • The various infiltration and withdrawal techniques using helicopters are demonstrated.
  • Relevant statistical data is understood and applied during the planning of helicopter operations.
  • The suitability of a helicopter-landing zone is established using the criteria for helicopter landing zones.

    4.
  • The use of small boats in closed water environments is demonstrated.
  • The planning and crossing of a river or other water obstacle is demonstrated.

    5.
  • The relevant legislation is understood and applied within special operations.
  • The use of specialist weapons during special operations is demonstrated.
  • The applicable tactics and techniques are demonstrated during simulated special operations.

    6.
  • The ability to identify and track small to large animals is used to aid survival in a natural environment.
  • The ability to locate and apply natural resources to aid survival is demonstrated.

    7.
  • The ability to conduct the range of minor demolition tasks using any connecting and initiation method described in work place procedure is demonstrated.
  • The ability to recognise and neutralise the effect of landmines is demonstrated.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Applied competence (practical, foundational and reflexive competencies) of this qualification will be achieved if a candidate can integrate the various unit standard outcomes to be able to perform as a Special Forces operative under simulated operational conditions.

    Ongoing formative assessment is required so that learners are given feedback on their progress in the achievement of specific learning outcomes.

    Summative assessment is concerned with the judgement of the learning in relation to the exit level outcomes of the qualification, which tests the learner's ability to integrate a large body of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

    Integrated assessment at the level of this qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show they are able to integrate concepts, ideas, skills and actions across unit standards to achieve competence that is grounded in and coherent in relation to the purpose of the qualification.

    Integrated assessment must judge not only the quality of the observable performance but also the thinking and understanding that underpins it. This applies to both formative and summative assessment. In formative assessment a greater weighting should be given to the application of knowledge in real work or simulated situations as well as to the actual demonstration of skills. A greater weighting may be given to the understanding of theory in summative assessment.

    Assessment tools must encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that forms the basis for their demonstrated performance. In other words, learners must provide interpretation of their actions. This is especially important with regard to this qualification considering that part of its purpose is to provide a foundation for the learner who has just entered the Defence sector. Before qualifying, the learners will be expected to demonstrate competence in a practical situation that integrates the assessment of all specific outcomes for all the unit standards.

    Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge.

    An integrated mix of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools should be used with the ultimate focus being on the assessment of applied competence. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The National Diploma in South African Special Forces Operations is the first of its kind in the world. The capabilities maintained through the achievement of this qualification are listed below. The study reveals the international comparability in terms of the skills and capabilities maintained by different Special Forces around the world.
  • General Fitness and Perseverance
  • Self Defence Techniques
  • Multi Lingualism
  • Basic Medical Emergency Skills
  • Navigation (conventional/electronic)
  • Sharp shooting rifle and pistol
  • Survival techniques
  • Obstacle crossing and target penetration
  • Night operation capability
  • Basic demolition techniques
  • Mine awareness
  • Improvisation techniques
  • Establish/maintain communications
  • Still and video photography
  • Apply surveillance equipment
  • Camouflage, conceal and deception
  • Reconnaissance and surveillance
  • Parachuting
  • Small boat handling in closed waters
  • Foot movement rural and urban
  • Vehicle movement rural and urban
  • Combat drills rural and urban
  • Escape and evasion


    Description of international organisations included in the process of benchmarking:
  • Special Air Service Regiment (Australia): This unit is mainly equipped for special light infantry operations. Typical roles played by the unit are counter insurgency, counter terror, unconventional warfare and reconnaissance. This unit is also capable of executing hostage release operations and operations in an urban environment.
  • Para Commandos (India): This unit is a typical commando unit, which specialises in mountain, jungle and desert warfare. They are capable of executing counter terror and hostage release operations. They are trained to act as training teams in foreign countries.
  • Para Commandos (Belgium): This unit specialises in typical commando operations. They have excellent mountaineering skills. They are capable of executing reconnaissance, counter terror, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and amphibious operations.
  • GSG9 (Germany): This is a specialist counter terror unit. They obtain most of their members from the German Border police. Members are trained in advanced parachuting skills and infiltration techniques (air, sea, land). Members are trained in advanced driving skills and communications. Selected members undergo training at NATO's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) School in subjects like sniping, camouflage and concealment, field craft, tracking and survival.
  • KSK (Germany): This unit specialises in special operations as well as mountaineering and hostage release operations. They are also capable of executing CSAR tasks and reconnaissance.
  • Korps Commando Tropen (Netherlands): This unit specialises in special operations. This unit is capable of executing reconnaissance, mountain and urban operations. This unit is capable of insertion by air, land and sea, as well as underwater (combat divers). They prepare all members for sabotage operations and sniping.
  • Graco - LRRPs (Italy): This unit specialises in reconnaissance and observation. Members are capable of using land, air or sea infiltration methods. Members are trained to take part in urban operations as well.
  • Special Forces - CFE (Portugal): This unit specialises in special operations capable of executing operations in a mountain, urban or rural environment. The unit makes use of air, land and sea infiltration techniques as well as possessing an underwater capability. Members are capable of acting as pathfinders or conducting reconnaissance missions.
  • Commandos (Portugal): Typical commando unit capable of executing long range reconnaissance and sabotage actions.
  • Special Air Service (UK): This unit specialises in special operations and is capable of executing a number of operations, including reconnaissance, Counter terror and hostage release, sabotage and unconventional warfare. Members are capable of air, sea and land infiltration and often receive tutoring in foreign languages.
  • Special Boat Squadron (UK): Maritime special operations unit, specialising in intelligence gathering, observation, underwater attack, beach reconnaissance/survey and sabotage. Members are capable on air, land and sea infiltration. This unit also has a maritime counter terror capability.
  • French Foreign Legion - 2 REP (France): This is a special operations capable unit, that specialises in airborne operations. The unit is capable of executing reconnaissance, counter terror, demolitions and mountain operations. Members are capable of air, sea and land infiltration.
  • Naval Special Forces - Commando Hubert (France): This is a maritime special operations unit capable of underwater operations, including sabotage on shipping, harbours and raids. Members are also trained in obstacle clearing underwater. This unit has a well-developed airborne capability.
  • GIGN (France): French police counter terror unit specialising in hostage release, high-risk protection and surveillance. Members are trained in advanced sniping, parachuting, climbing, demolitions and driving skills. Members are also capable of small boat work.
  • RAID (France): National French police counter terror unit capable of executing counter terror, hostage release and surveillance operations. This unit also has a maritime hostage release capability. Members are specialists in assaulting busses, trains and aircraft. Members are trained in parachuting, sniping and demolitions.
  • Sultans Special Forces (Oman): Typical special operations unit capable of counter terror and hostage release operations.
  • SOU 71 (Jordan): This is primarily a counter terror unit, which focuses on hostage release on trains, busses, aircraft and ships. It has a maritime capability and members are trained as snipers, scuba divers, demolition experts and negotiators.
  • Grumec - Combat Divers (Brazil): Maritime special operations unit capable of executing jungle and riverine operations. Members are also trained in combat diving, mountaineering, raids, reconnaissance and CSAR.
  • Border Guard Special Forces Unit Yamam (Israel): This unit is capable of special operations. They specialise in counter terror and hostage release. Members are trained in sniping, high-risk protection, demolitions, intelligence, bomb disposal and climbing.
  • SAYERET MATKAL (Israel): This is a special operations unit capable of executing counter terror and hostage release operations in enemy territory. Members from this unit are trained in the skills of parachuting, sniping, high-risk protection, advanced driving and demolitions.
  • Naval Commandos (Israel: Maritime special operations unit capable of executing counter terror, hostage release, reconnaissance and underwater operations. Members are trained to use demolitions under water as maritime counter terror operations. This unit is also capable of executing assassinations and covert operations.
  • Delta Force (USA): Special Operations unit that focuses on counter terror and hostage release operations.
  • USMC - Recon (USA): Elite unit of the US Marine Corps. Members are trained in path finding, reconnaissance, aspects of terrorism, demolitions, sniping, jungle warfare and CSAR. These units have an underwater capability and can make use of air, sea and land infiltration methods. This unit often provides foreign training teams to other countries.
  • Army Special Forces (USA): Special operations unit that specialises in long range reconnaissance, demolitions and sabotage work behind enemy lines, unconventional warfare, training teams to other countries. Members are capable of using air, sea and land infiltration methods and have a limited scuba diving ability.
  • Navy SEALS (USA): Maritime special operations unit capable of beach infiltration and reconnaissance, counter terrorism, hostage release, extraction of personnel, underwater operations as well as demolitions and raiding. These members are capable of infiltration by air, sea and land.
  • GEK - Cobra (Austria): This is a police unit capable of counter terror and hostage release operations. Members are trained in parachuting, high-risk protection, diving, sniping and demolitions.
  • Special Forces VAT 69 (Malaysia): This is a special operations capable unit that specialises in guerrilla and jungle warfare, CSAR and underwater operations. Members are trained in air, sea and land infiltration as well as high-risk protection. This unit is capable of counter terror and hostage release operations.
  • Special Forces - SPETSNAZ (Russia): This unit specialises in unconventional warfare, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence operations, sabotage and training of partisans in enemy territory. They are also capable of engaging in low intensity warfare operations and raiding behind enemy lines.
  • SAPS Special Task Force (RSA): This is a police unit capable of counter terror operations and hostage release. Members are trained in demolitions, sniping, high-risk protection, urban operations and rural operation. Members are parachute trained and capable of using small boats. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Learners who complete this qualification will have access to other higher-level qualifications still to be developed within the field of Special Combat Capabilities. Horizontally this qualification articulates with other Diplomas in the sub field of Military Sciences.

    Competence in individual Unit Standards will be retained by the learner who exits the qualification before completion and can be used for RPL purposes for other qualifications in other fields. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments. Moderation of assessments will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and agreed ETQA procedures. This qualification can be internally assessed by assessors of the provider and moderated by a moderator registered by the relevant ETQA. Moderation shall comply with SAQA requirements.

    Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification or its unit standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors of this qualification will hold a relevant qualification in the learning area, have subject matter experience at a higher level, or possess the technical expertise to achieve such a qualification.

    Additional requirements for assessors are specified in each unit standard. 

    NOTES 
    This qualification has been replaced by qualification 78263, which is "National Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities", Level 5, 123 credits. 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  115464  Apply small craft in closed waters  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  115458  Conduct basic rope work operations from fixed platforms  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  115468  Interpret a topographical map for navigational purposes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  115466  Pack a static line main square parachute  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  8518  Track animals and identify spoor using moderately difficult spoor  Level 4  NQF Level 04  50 
    Core  115465  Use a hand held compass for navigational purposes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  10756  Use of a hand machine carbine  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  10748  Use of a handgun  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  10750  Use of a rifle  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  115457  Conduct basic demolition tasks  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 
    Core  115460  Conduct limited urban operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  30 
    Core  115469  Conduct rope work operations from helicopters  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  115462  Conduct tactical air operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  8350  Handle Weapons  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  115463  Prepare for and conduct descents with a round parachute utilising a static line as a means of opening the parachute  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  19 
    Core  115467  Prepare for and conduct security operations in a hostile rural environment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  35 
    Core  115470  Prepare for and conduct static line square parachute descents  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  115461  Survive emergency situations making use of natural resources for survival  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  30 
    Core  10757  Use of firearms in tactical duty related situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  22 
    Fundamental  7484  Describe, represent, analyse and explain changes in shape and motion in 2- and 3-dimensional space with justification  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  110000  Generate information and reports for internal and external use  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Fundamental  8556  Interact orally and in writing in the workplace  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  8559  Plan and conduct research  Level 4  NQF Level 04 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some of their learning programmes are moved to being recorded against the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replacement.
     
    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.
     
    1. SPECIAL FORCES SCHOOL 



    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.