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: 

National Certificate: Weather Observation 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
58995  National Certificate: Weather Observation 
ORIGINATOR
Task Team - Weather 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
TETA - Transport Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Environmental Sciences 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  130  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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 daily work of the weather observer includes surface observations, upper air observations, climate station installation and inspections, climate data checking, Automatic Weather Station (AWS) installation and inspections, AWS data corrections, and the dissemination of this data into various specific coded forms. This coded data is disseminated throughout the world and picked up automatically by computers where it is used in all aspects of meteorology, for example forecasting and research, as well as the aviation industry. These codes are thus an international language used in meteorology and all Weather Observers must be familiar with and used to it. In order to be in a position to check and amend climate data, a Weather Observer must have the basic knowledge on how the atmosphere reacts to certain weather conditions.

This whole international data collection is regulated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) who also prescribes certain criteria to which a Weather Observer must adhere to, and thus has also suggested training material for Weather Observers, on which this Qualification is based.

Weather Observers who have achieved this Qualification will be skilled in all aspects of weather observations that are necessary to support Forecasting, Research, Aviation and Climatological specialty services within National Weather Services. It adheres to and in some cases exceeds the WMO suggested training material.

The Qualification allows for further advancement to a Level 6 Degree in the above-mentioned specialties, provided that the specified criteria for entry to Level 6 have been met.

The Qualification aims to equip learners with skills to:
  • Gather and record weather variables and phenomena.
  • Evaluate and apply knowledge of meteorological systems and climate variables.
  • Liaise with and communicate weather information to clients in a variety of contexts.
    > Range: Context refer to local, national and international.

    Rationale:

    The timeous dissemination of accurate weather observations is an international obligation for every country with a national weather service. These observations and dissemination are done strictly according to internationally recognised standards and regulations.

    Nationally, these weather observations are used by local communities to plan their daily activities. In addition, these weather observations are used by more specialised industry sectors including agriculture, aviation, construction, marine and tourism. This knowledge is fundamental to the planning and operational activities of these industry sectors. These observations also form the basis of weather forecasts and related sciences. All observations are stored in data bases which are used for longer term planning and research of global weather changes.

    To be able to observe weather the weather observer must know the basics of how the atmosphere functions, must be able to recognise weather phenomena, read meteorological instrumentation and record the data. The weather observer must also be able to interpret all related data in order to be able to identify problems and address them where possible.

    This Qualification will ensure that the learners acquire the applied competencies and skills contained in the Exit Level Outcomes and will form the basis for further learning both within and across the sector. The Qualification is aimed at increasing levels of efficiency, effectiveness, coordination and professionalism within the weather observation sector. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Learners accessing this Qualification will have demonstrated competence in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 or equivalent.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    The structure of this Qualification makes the Recognition of Prior Learning possible through the assessment of individual Unit Standards. This Qualification may therefore be achieved in part or in full completely through the recognition of prior learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. As part of the provision of recognition of prior leaning, providers are required to develop structured means for the assessment of individual learners against the Exit Level Outcomes of the Qualification on a case by case basis. Such procedures, and the assessment of individual cases, are subject to moderation by independent assessors.
    The same principles that apply to assessment of this Qualification also apply to the recognition of prior learning.

    The learner should be thoroughly briefed on the mechanism to be used and support and guidance should be provided. Care should be taken that the mechanism used provides the learner with an opportunity to demonstrate competence and is not so onerous as to prevent learners from taking up the recognition of prior learning option towards gaining this Qualification.

    If the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this Qualification, the appropriate credits should be assigned to the learner. Recognition of Prior Learning will be done by means of Integrated Assessment as mentioned above.

    This Recognition of Prior Learning may allow:
  • Accelerated access to further learning at this or higher levels on the NQF.
  • Gaining of credits towards the Exit Level Outcomes.
  • Obtaining this Qualification in part or as a whole.

    Access to the Qualification.

    There is open access bearing in mind the 'Learning assumed to be in place'. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Qualification is made up of a combination of learning outcomes from Fundamental, Core and Elective components, totalling 130 minimum credits:
  • Fundamental: 19 Credits.
  • Core: 81 Credits.
  • Elective (Minimum): 30 Credits.
  • Total: 130 Credits.

    Motivation for number of credits assigned to Fundamental, Core and Elective.

    Fundamental Credits:
  • There are 19 credits for the Fundamental component. All the Fundamental Unit Standards are compulsory.

    Core:
  • 81 credits have been allocated to the Core Unit Standards. All the Core Unit Standards are compulsory.

    Electives:
  • Learners must achieve a minimum 30 credits of their choice from the available Elective Unit Standards that link with their chosen career path stream. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    On achieving this Qualification, the learner will be able to:

    1. Gather and record weather variables and phenomena.

    2. Evaluate and apply knowledge of meteorological systems and climate variables.

    3. Liaise with and communicate weather information to clients in a variety of contexts.
  • Range: Contexts refer to local, national and international. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome1:
  • Weather variables are recognised in order to observe weather characteristics.
  • The observed weather characteristics are recoded according to World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) specification.
  • The weather formation and occurrences of weather variables are analysed in order to improve weather observation.
  • Coded messages are created according to World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) regulations for dissemination.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Research on different weather characteristics is conducted in order to enhance weather observations.
  • Coded weather messages are conveyed by hand plotting surface and upper air data.
  • Current weather situations are interpreted in order to describe current circulation patterns.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Weather data is disseminated nationally and internationally according to World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) regulations.
  • Current observed atmospheric state is communicated to local clients.
  • A basic understanding of weather is explained and conveyed to local communities.

    Integrated Assessment:

    The importance of integrated assessment is to confirm that the learner is able to demonstrate applied competence (practical, foundational and reflexive) and ensure that the purpose of this Qualification is achieved. Both formative and summative assessment methods and strategies are used to ensure that Exit Level outcomes and the purpose of this Qualification are achieved.

    Formative assessment is an on-going process which is used to assess the efficacy of the teaching and learning process. It is used to plan appropriate learning experiences to meet the learner's needs. Feedback from assessment informs both teaching and learning. If the learner has met the assessment criteria then s/he has achieved the Exit Level Outcomes of the Qualification.

    Summative assessment is concerned with the judgement of the learning in relation to the Exit Level Outcomes of the Qualification. Such judgement must include integrated assessment(s) which test the learner's ability to integrate the larger body of knowledge, skills and attitudes, which are represented by the Exit Level outcomes.

    Integrated assessment must be designed to achieve the following:
  • An integration of the achievement of the Exit Level Outcomes in a way that reflects a comprehensive approach to learning and shows that the purpose of the Qualification has been achieved.
  • Judgement of learner performance to provide evidence as applied competence or capability. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Leaders in the field of training and development for weather observers are those countries associated with the World Meteorological Organisation. When selecting the countries in this International Comparability Study, it is noted that they were chosen, firstly, because they offer training in this area of weather observations and secondly, because they are all members of the WMO.

    Training Qualifications and Courses referred to were:

    United Kingdom:

    The Met Office:
  • Course Title: Production of aviation weather reports and METARs:
    > Observe, report and encode the weather elements required for Meteorological Aviation Routine Weather Report (METAR) reports and local Air Traffic Services (ATS) reports.
    > Disseminate fully coded and accurate reports within agreed timescales.
    > Understand the process and criteria for issuing 'special' weather reports.
    > Demonstrate the ability to make observations at night.
  • Course Title: Production of semi-automated aerodrome weather reports and METARs:
    > Observe, report and encode the 'visual' elements required for METAR reports and local ATS reports.
    > Demonstrate a good knowledge of other elements making up METAR reports and local ATS reports.
    > Disseminate fully coded and accurate reports within agreed timescales.
    > Understand the process and criteria for issuing 'special' weather reports.
    > Demonstrate the ability to make observations at night.
  • Course Title: ATS observer refresher training:
    > Revision of the procedures used to estimate the subjective elements of the METAR.
    > Update the latest coding procedures used in the production of the METAR.
    > Enables ATS observers to maintain compliance with CAA CAP 746 standards.
    > Revision of meteorological hazards.
  • Course Title: Meteorological observers:
    > Produce weather reports in compliance with the accuracy required by International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
    > Make recommendations where necessary to ensure continued compliance.
    > Weather observers competency through a range of weather scenarios.

    The above courses only address the needs of the aviation sector. In most developed countries the major part of their weather observations is automated. In South Africa all weather observations are not yet fully automated and weather observers are still required to observe and record all weather variables. In this regard the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification compares favourably with the courses offered in the United Kingdom.

    Australia:

    Bureau of Meteorology:
  • Course Title: Technical Officer (Observer):
    > Surface Observations: Synoptic.
    > Basic Meteorology.
    > Surface Observations: Aviation.
    > Climate and Consultancy.
    > Radar Observations and Hydrogen Systems.
    > Meteorological Information Systems.
    > Radiosonde Observations.
    > First In Station Inspections (LANA).
    > Field Station Simulation.
    > Induction, Certificate III of Governance, Station Administration and OHS.
    > First In Maintenance.
    > On-The-Job Training.

    The National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification compares favourably, although in addition the Australian course offers radar observations, consultancy and governance which are not required in this Qualification as it is only a Certificate. It should, however, be noted that the Australian course is a two year Qualification.

    Kenya:
  • Course Title: Meteorological Observation Techniques:
    > The Atmosphere.
    > Atmospheric Pressure.
    > Atmospheric Temperature.
    > Visibility.
    > Winds.
    > Humidity.
    > Clouds.
    > Weather.
    > Evaporation.
    > Climatology.
    > Upper Air.
    > Practical Work.

    This course only addresses weather variables to be observed. The National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification addresses atmospheric conditions and observations, and as a consequence, addresses much more than the above Kenyan course.
  • Course Title: Middle Level Meteorological Technician Course:
    > Algebra.
    > Calculus.
    > Trigonometry.
    > Plane Analytical Geometry.
    > Elementary Statistics.
    > Mechanics.
    > Heat.
    > Optics.
    > Electricity.
    > Physical Meteorology.
    > Dynamic Meteorology.
    > Synoptic Meteorology.
    > Hydro-meteorology.
    > Agro-meteorology.
    > Climatology.
    > Meteorological Instruments.
    > Introduction to Computer Applications.
    > Elementary Chart Analysis.

    This course addresses a number of mathematical subjects which the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification assumes as learning to be in place. It also addresses hydro-and agrometeorology which the South African Qualification does not address. The National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification also addresses additional subjects in more depth than the Kenyan course.
  • Course Title: Advanced Level Meteorological Technician:
    > Algebra.
    > Calculus.
    > Trigonometry.
    > Plane Analytical Geometry.
    > Elementary Statistics.
    > Mechanics.
    > Heat and Thermodynamics.
    > Optics.
    > Electricity.
    > Elementary Meteorology.
    > Dynamic Meteorology.
    > Physical Meteorology.
    > Meteorological Instruments.
    > Synoptic Meteorology.
    > Hydro-meteorology.
    > Agro-meteorology.
    > Climatology.
    > Meteorological Instruments.
    > Remote sensing.
    > Vector Analysis.
    > Introduction to Computer Applications.
    > Introduction to internet Facilities.
    > Chart Analysis.
    > Aeronautical Meteorology.
    > Practical work.

    This course addresses a number of mathematical subjects which the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification assumes as learning to be in place. It also addresses hydro and agrometeorology, and remote sensing which the South African Qualification does not address. The remainder of the subjects are addressed in the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification.
  • Course Title: Specialised Course in Meteorological Instruments:
    > Theoretical aspects of meteorological instruments.
    > Operate and work with various types of meteorological instruments.
    > Meteorological instrument maintenance and calibration.
    > meteorological instrument installation, workshop theory and practices.

    This whole course is incorporated into the Elective Unit Standard "Manage and Maintain an Operational Weather Station". The Unit Standard covers more than the above Kenyan course.

    Canada:

    Canadian Armed Forces:
  • Course Title: Meteorological Technician:
    > Surface weather observations.
    > Recording and encoding weather data.
    > Measurement of surface and upper winds.
    > Operating meteorological instruments.
    > Weather communications.
    > Maintenance of weather equipment.

    The National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification compares favourably with the Canadian course as all modules are contained within the Qualification.

    New Zealand:

    New Zealand Qualifications Authority:
  • Unit Standard Titles, Levels and Credits:
    > Observe and report aerodrome weather for air traffic services; NQF Level 1; 1 Credit.
    > Demonstrate basic knowledge of weather; NQF Level 1; 2 Credits.
    > Access and compare weather information for outdoor recreation; NQF Level 1; 1 Credit.
    > Record and communicate avalanche and weather observations; NQF Level 3; 4 Credits.
    > Demonstrate knowledge of weather processes and their effects on outdoor recreation in New Zealand; NQF Level 3; 2 Credits.
    > Analyse weather information and predict weather conditions for the outdoors; NQF Level 4; 3 Credits.
    > Forecast, record and report weather and sea conditions; NQF Level 5; 16 Credits.

    The above Unit Standards compare well with the proposed South African Qualification and associated Unit Standards. However, the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification covers a wider range of topics. The New Zealand levels differ significantly from the South African Level 5 Qualification.

    All the above mentioned courses/programmes compare favourably with the National Certificate: Weather Observation, Level 5 Qualification as they are all based on the WMO standards. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal articulation can be found in the following Qualifications:
  • ID 49063: National Certificate: Geographical Information Sciences, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 22901: National Certificate: Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 22902: National Diploma: Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical articulation can be found in the following Qualifications:
  • ID 22904: Advanced Certificate: Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 22903: Bachelor of Environmental Education, Training and Development Practice, NQF Level 6. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • This Qualification will be internally assessed and externally moderated by a moderator registered by the relevant accredited ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the accredited ETQA. Providers should establish or refine existing moderation procedures and systems at their institutions with a view to aligning them with the requirements of the relevant ETQA.
  • The learner's performance/results should be moderated by one or more external moderators. Moderators should report not only on the standard of achievement but also on the validity and reliability of the assessment strategies, design and criteria in relation to the purpose and Exit Level Outcomes of the Qualification.
  • Moderators must be competent at one level higher than the Qualification and registered with the relevant accredited ETQA to ensure that the standard is consistent.
  • Moderators must also be registered assessors with the relevant ETQA. A relevant accredited ETQA will monitor and quality assure moderation and assessment according to the guidelines in the Qualification. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
  • Relevant Qualification at NQF Level 6 or higher.
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

  • REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  246539  Analyse basic meteorological circulations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  246541  Code and decode meteorological messages  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  18 
    Core  246537  Explain basic meteorological concepts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  246531  Identify and explain the formation of clouds and associated precipitation types  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  18 
    Core  10301  Complete a research assignment  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
    Fundamental  115792  Access, process, adapt and use data from a wide range of texts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  120304  Analyse, interpret and communicate information  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  115789  Sustain oral interaction across a wide range of contexts and critically evaluate spoken texts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  246533  Analyse the interrelationship between human activities and atmospheric circulation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  246540  Analyse the micro-climate of the urban built environment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  246536  Conduct and interpret upper air observation data  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  246532  Install, use and maintain automatic weather stations (AWS)  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  246534  Interpret climate variability  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  14 
    Elective  246538  Manage and maintain an operational weather station  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 
    Elective  115022  Describe research problems  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 


    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.
     
    1. South African Weather Service 



    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.