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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
59769  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Generic Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
The individual Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary for each Learning Programme recorded against this qualification is shown in the table at the end of this report.  SFAP - Sub-framework Assignment Pending 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Engineering and Related Design 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  123  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
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 the qualification is to provide learners with the standards and the range of learning required to work effectively in various industry sectors, making use of pipe-fitting and mechanical engineering skills in order to fit and produce pipe systems and pipe components.

Qualifying learners at NQF Level 4 will therefore be able to work as skilled artisans ("pipe-fitters") in an industrial plant or manufacturing and engineering environment. It must also be noted however, that an additional licensing requirement may be required by the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance Body or industry sector in order to gain artisan status.

In this qualification the knowledge, skills and values in order to display competency (applied competence) is recognised by showing the ability to:
  • Understand specialised pipe-fitting principles and concepts including the interpretation of detailed work instructions, in order to fabricate, fit, test and commission pipe systems.
  • Supervise/perform pipe system installations using a reference framework which includes the view of the operating environment as a system within a wider context.
  • Demonstrate integrated organisational skills in order to manage personnel in the supervision of pipe fitting and fabrication tasks.
  • Apply and carry out actions by interpreting information from drawings, text and operational symbols or representations.
  • Use knowledge of the broader mechanical engineering (pipe-fitting) field of expertise to solve common problems within a familiar context, making adjustments or small changes to the application of common solutions within known parameters.

    Qualifying learners will also demonstrate autonomy in learning through:
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning within a supervised environment by planning, scheduling and evaluating own work according to given criteria.
  • Interacting with and developing, the capacity of team members to maintain and support legislative, regulatory, quality, safety and health systems.
  • Taking the initiative by addressing problems arising from supervising the fitting, fabrication, installation, testing and/or commissioning of pipe systems.

    Typical entrants to this qualification could be:
  • Learners who have completed the Level 3 qualification and who intend establishing a career as pipe-fitter artisans. While work experience after achieving the Level 3 qualification may be advisable, this is not necessarily a requirement.
  • Individuals who have recently worked in a relevant occupational context, who have acquired pipe-fitting skills deemed to be the exit-level equivalent of the National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-fitting) Level 3 and who have the potential to complete this qualification successfully (RPL candidates).

    Rationale:

    The field of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-fitting) is characterised by the provision of engineering maintenance, repair, fabrication, assembly and installation services and support across a wide variety of industry sectors, namely:
  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Metals, Plastics, Tyre and Rubber, Electrical Power Generation, Automotive Manufacturing).
  • Chemical and Petrochemical.
  • Transport (Maritime, Road, Rail and Aviation).
  • Civil Engineering and Construction.
  • Food and Beverages.
  • Other engineering-related industry sectors.

    The equipment requiring services and support include, but not be limited to pipe-systems on sea-going vessels to large petrochemical refineries and fertiliser plant.

    Learners at NQF Level 4, who perform pipe-fitting activities, require:
  • Highly developed mechanical orientation with associated hand skills.
  • Specialised technical skills (analytical and diagnostic).
  • Communication skills.
  • Team and leadership skills.
  • Technology orientation in various contexts (example. mechanical, process control systems, instrumentation).

    Qualifying learners will obtain a Further Education Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-fitting). This qualification focuses on developing the skills, knowledge and values necessary to complete the range of competencies required in pipe fitting and fabrication, as a skilled worker.

    The qualification also provides:
  • Opportunities for further learning in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL) opportunities to learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The following competencies are assumed for a learner embarking on this qualification:
  • Communication and Literacy, NQF Level 3.
  • Mathematical Literacy, NQF Level 3.

    In addition, learners are assumed to have the following skills at NQF Level 3 in the context of pipe-fitting:

    > Maintain, remove and install pipe assemblies.
  • Fabricate and install pipe systems and pipe system components.
  • Solve familiar problems during the maintenance of pipe systems
  • Communicate with peers, production, quality control and supervisory personnel.

    These skills form the basis for determining the credit allocation in this qualification. These skills may be acquired through the National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification may be obtained through a process of RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and support should be provided to assist the learner in the process of developing a portfolio. The guidelines for integrated assessment should be used to develop the RPL assessment process. Evidence from other occupational experiences may be introduced, providing that such experiences can be contextualised according to the Exit Level Outcomes of this qualification.

    Access to the qualification:

    Access to this qualification is open. Ideally, individuals who intend commencing this qualification should:
  • Have completed a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 3.
  • Have completed an equivalent qualification.
  • Apply for Recognition of Prior Learning. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Fundamental Component:
    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Communications at NQF Level 4 to the value of 46 credits.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4, to the value of 10 credits.
  • All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:
    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 51 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:
    The Elective Component consists of a number of specializations each with its own set of Unit Standards. Learners are to choose a specialization area and must choose Elective Unit Standards to the value of 16 credits from the Elective Unit standards listed under that specialization so as to attain a minimum of 123 credits for this qualification.

    Learning Program:

    Specialisation Area 1:
  • Pipe-Fitting (Manufacturing and Engineering Industry) (Learning Programme ID 63331):

    Learners must choose Elective Unit Standards from the list below to give a minimum of 16 credits for the Elective Component:

    Category; ID; Unit Standard Title; Level; Credits:
  • Elective; ID 253735; Plan and schedule workflow; Level 4; 3 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 13260; Perform non-destructive tests on metal parts and components; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 114194; Demonstrate understanding of regulations codes and drawing office practices for structural steel detailing; Level 4; 7 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 14473; Develop and produce computer aided drawings; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 12252; Develop and fabricate from complex drawings; Level 4; 28 Credits.

    Total: 48 Credits.

    Learning Program:

    Specialisation area 2:
  • Pipe-Fitting (Chemical Industry) (Learning Programme ID 63332):

    Learners must do Unit Standard ID 14783 and must choose additional Elective Unit Standards from the list below to give a minimum of 16 credits for the Elective Component:

    Category; ID; Unit Standard Title; Level; Credits:
  • Elective; ID 14783; Conform to and apply legislation and operational instructions in chemical processing; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253735; Plan and schedule workflow; Level 4; 3 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 13329; Stopple operational pipelines; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 13260; Perform non-destructive tests on metal parts and components; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 114194; Demonstrate understanding of regulations codes and drawing office practices for structural steel detailing; Level 4; 7 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 119328; Perform and coordinate a pipeline network start-up; Level 4; 20 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 119327; Perform and coordinate a pipeline network shut-down; Level 4; 12 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253434; Maintain heat exchangers and pressure vessels; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253439; Maintain valves; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253599; Maintain Steam Traps; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253423; Maintain motorised valves; Level 3; 4 Credits.

    Total: 77 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Fabricate advanced welded pipe assemblies and pipe systems.

    2. Plan and schedule pipe-fitting work.

    3. Solve a variety of problems, both familiar and unfamiliar, within a maintenance and installation context.

    4. Demonstrate leadership through effective interaction and communication with clients, peers and members of supervisory and management levels.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    These are embedded in the unit standards, which make up the qualification and are thus also reflected in the Exit Level Outcomes of the qualification.

    The critical cross-field outcomes are supported by the exit level outcomes as follows:

    Identifying and solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical thinking have been made.
  • Related to the fabrication of advanced welded assemblies.
  • Planning and scheduling of work.
  • Solving problems during the fitting and fabrication process.

    Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organization and community.
  • All tasks and work-related experience are performed within a team environment as leader or supervisor.
  • Taking into account, the safety of others.
  • Communicating with production, quality control and supervisory personnel and/or clients.

    Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Related to planning and preparation during the fabrication and fitting of pipes.
  • Organising and managing oneself through the performance of administrative tasks.
  • Perform job activities in a leadership role.

    Collecting, analyzing, organizing and critically evaluating information.
  • Related to planning and preparation during the fabrication and fitting of pipes.
  • Completion of technical reports related to the job activity.
  • Solve familiar problems during the fabrication, fitting and installation of pipe systems.

    Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills.
  • Related to planning, preparation and execution of job activities during the maintenance, fabrication, fitting and installation of pipes.
  • Completion of technical reports related to the job activity.
  • Communicating in a leadership role.

    Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility toward the environment and health of others.
  • During the fabrication and installation process.
  • Relating to the safety of others.
  • Solving problems and the application of science and technology in pipe-fitting.

    Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Integrating fabrication, fitting, installation and maintenance with the plant installation's overall design and by understanding the alignment with the plant processes.
  • Solving problems through the integration of various sources of information.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of related systems through the use of general and specific channels of communication when dealing with peers, production, quality control and supervisory personnel and/or clients.
  • Combining applied and practical competence. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Welded pipe assemblies are fabricated and the procedure is explained and demonstrated in terms of worksite practice and manufacturers' prescribed guidelines and specifications.
    1.2 Calculations during the fabrication process are based on a clear evaluation of information gathered through worksite operating procedures and pipe drawings.
    1.3 Procedures are modified to respond to specific environmental conditions, with specific reference to safety and quality.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Planning and scheduling of own work is demonstrated in terms of productivity, safety, health and the environment.
    2.2 Work flow is explained and demonstrated, based on job information, in terms of standard worksite practices.
    2.3 Production and maintenance personnel are consulted and downtime on the plant is minimised.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Solutions to maintenance problems are based on a clear analysis of information gathered through faultfinding procedures on the pipe system components, with specific adherence to safety standards.
    3.2 Procedures are modified to respond to unfamiliar problems where appropriate in terms of standard operating procedures, with an understanding of the pipe system's operation.
    3.3 Questions are answered and issues are discussed related to familiar and unfamiliar problems by demonstrating a logical sequence to faultfinding.
    3.4 All actions related to problem solving are accurately recorded for future reference in terms of worksite procedures and adherence to regulatory practices.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Relationships with peers, supervisors and management are established and leadership is demonstrated by assertive communication and behaviour within the workplace.
    4.2 Technical information is communicated using written reports in terms of workplace documentation by reporting on pipe system data.
    4.3 Learning opportunities and preparation requirements are identified in terms of continued learning.

    Integrated Assessment:
  • Assessment practices must be open transparent fair valid and reliable and should ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, so that an integrated approach to assessment is incorporated into the qualification.
  • Learning teaching and assessment are inextricably interwoven. Whenever possible the assessment knowledge skills attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.
  • Assessment of Communication and Mathematical Literacy should be integrated as far as possible with other aspects and should use practical administration contexts wherever possible. A variety of methods must be used in assessment and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working or will work. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment.
  • The term "integrated assessment" implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. During integrated assessments, the assessor should make use of a range of summative assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.
  • Assessors must assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired and could include formal, non-formal learning and work experience.
  • Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated in an integrated manner.
  • Integrated assessment instruments may combine practical and theoretical components of assessment with the following unit standards in relation to the exit level outcomes.

    Guide to Integrated Assessment:

    Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Unit Standards:

    1. Fabricate advanced welded pipe assemblies and pipe systems according to pipe drawings and industry standards.

    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 10981; Supervise work unit to achieve work unit objectives (individuals and teams); Level 4; 12 Credits.
  • Core; ID 13224; Monitor the application of safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID M.REREG; Identify, interpret and produce working pipe drawings; Level 5; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253558; Produce advanced welded pipe-fabrication assemblies; Level 4; 15 Credits.
  • Core; ID 13234; Apply quality procedures; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 9016; Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119467; Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119465; Write/present/sign for a wide range of communicative contexts; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    2. Plan and schedule work by evaluating production and maintenance requirements in terms of productivity, safety, health and the environment.

    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 10981; Supervise work unit to achieve work unit objectives (individuals and teams) ; Level 4; 12 Credits.
  • Core; ID (M.REREG); Identify, interpret and produce working pipe drawings; Level 5; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253558; Produce advanced welded pipe-fabrication assemblies; Level 4; 15 Credits.
  • Core; ID 13234; Apply quality procedures; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119462; Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts; Level 4; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 9016; Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119467; Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119465; Write/present/sign for a wide range of communicative contexts; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    3. Solve a variety of problems, both familiar and unfamiliar, within a maintenance and installation context, by applying mechanical, process and flow control theory and the ability to read and interpret detailed pipe drawings.

    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 13224; Monitor the application of safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253587; Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures on pipes and pipe systems; Level 4; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253558; Produce advanced welded pipe-fabrication assemblies; Level 4; 15 Credits.
  • Core; ID 13234; Apply quality procedures; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119457; Interpret and use information from texts; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119469; Read/view, analyse and respond to a variety of texts; Level 4; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 9016; Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119467; Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    4. Demonstrate leadership through effective interaction and communication with clients, peers and members of supervisory and management levels.

    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 10981; Supervise work unit to achieve work unit objectives (individuals and teams) ; Level 4; 12 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253587; Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures on pipes and pipe systems; Level 4; 6 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119457; Interpret and use information from texts; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119462; Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts; Level 4; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119469; Read/view, analyse and respond to a variety of texts; Level 4; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119467; Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119465; Write/present/sign for a wide range of communicative contexts; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    Note: Learners may not be awarded Exit Level Outcomes, but only the full Unit Standard. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    1. Qualifications investigated and countries of origin:

    1.1 United States (Oregon; Chicago; Washington, North Texas):

    The USA Pipe-Fitter Qualification has been chosen as the primary benchmark for the development of this qualification series. The American Qualification has worldwide recognition, and dominates the international standard. This is largely due to the leadership role played by the USA in process control within the Oil and Gas Industry. American influences are evident in pipe fitter training programs in the following countries, namely Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc.); Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria, Indonesian Offshore and the North Sea (predominantly British and Dutch).

    In the United States model, the "Pipe-Fitter" qualification is achieved over a four-year period and is similar to the traditional apprenticeship system in South Africa. The methodology is competency-based as opposed to outcomes-based.

    Level 4:
  • Planning Work Activities.
  • Advanced Pipe Fabrication.
  • Performing NDE Testing.
  • Stress Relieving and Aligning.
  • Steam Traps.
  • In-Line Specialties.
  • Special Piping.
  • Hot Taps.
  • Maintaining Valves.

    The programme content for the third/fourth year of apprenticeship however, is similar to the broad context of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) Level 4.

    There is an equivalent correlation between the FETC: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitter) NQF 4 and that of the American Apprenticeship Program for Pipe-Fitters.

    1.2 Australia in terms of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF):

    The following information was obtained from the National Information Training System with regards to qualifications in "Pipe Fitter" training streams in Australia.

    The qualifications investigated for "Pipe Fitters" are only covered within the apprenticeship format.
  • "Australian Apprenticeships" is the new name for the scheme formerly known as 'New Apprenticeships'.
  • Australian Apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships. They combine time at work with training and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.
  • Several unit standards overlap the plumbing, gas fitting and steam fitting qualifications in making up the pipe fitting skills area, namely:

    Install underground enclosures and pipe/conduit - Install water mains pipe systems - Install/maintain piping & tubing (Electrical) - Install/maintain piping & tubing - Instrumentation) - Install/maintain piping & tubing (Refrigeration & a/conditioning) - Lay irrigation and/or drainage pipes - Lay pipes - Locate and clear blockages - Mark out materials - Perform Gas Metal Arc Welding to weld to AS1796 Certificate 8/8E (plate and pipe) - Perform Gas Metal Arc Welding to Weld to AS1796 Certificate 8/8E (Plate and Pipe) - Perform Gas Tungsten Arc Welding and Manual Metal Arc Welding Processes to Weld to AS1796 Certificate 5 (Alloy Steel Pipe) - Perform Gas Tungsten Arc welding to weld to AS1796 Certificate 7 (pipe) Perform Gas Tungsten Arc Welding to Weld to AS1796 Certificate 7 (Pipe) - Perform Manual Metal Arc Welding process to weld to AS1796 Certificate 2 (low carbon steel pipe) - Perform Manual Metal Arc Welding Process to Weld to AS1796 Certificate 2 (Low Carbon Steel Pipe) - Perform Manual Metal Arc Welding process to weld to AS1796 Certificate 4 (alloy steel pipe) - Perform Manual Metal Arc Welding Process to Weld to AS1796 Certificate 4 (Alloy Steel Pipe) Perform pipe welds to code standards using manual metal arc welding process - Perform pipe welds to code standards using manual metal arc welding process - Perform pipe welds to code standards using manual metal arc welding process - Plan, size and layout consumer gas installations - Renovate large diameter pipes and chambers - Select and fit insulation and sheathing - Select refrigerant pipe/tube, accessories and associated controls - Size consumer piping systems - Trip pipe.

    1.3 United Kingdom (England and Scotland):

    In order to perform a comparative study between the Scottish and National Vocational Qualifications S/NVQs and South African Qualifications, it is necessary to understand the qualifications framework and the classification of S/NVQs for the field of engineering and construction.

    The S/NVQF by occupational areas are at 5 distinct levels:
  • Level 1 Operations.
  • Level 2 Operations and Higher Skills.
  • Level 3 Technicians and Craft Employees.
  • Level 4 Technician Engineer.
  • Level 5 Professional and Chartered Engineers.

    NC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) Level 4 compares well to the Scottish and English (UK) qualifications. However, the UK's qualification content is pitched at S/NVQ Levels 2 and 3. This means that an equivalent and parallel level does not truly exist in the same form as the South African NQF.

    In comparing the Level 3 program, apprentices should progress to the S/NVQ L3 within a company after having completed Level 2 in a centre-based environment.

    This vocational program is combined with a third component, Further Education, which together adds up to two vocational awards (SVQ Level 2 and 3), an educational qualification and the SEMTA Modern Apprenticeship (MA) Certificate. Typical on-the-job competencies are listed at Level 3 (South African Level 4) below:

    Setting Out Pipe-work and Marking Out - PF002 Developing Patterns for Pipe-work - PF003 Preparing Pipe Ends using Portable Edge Preparation Machines - PF004 Pipe Bending - PF005 Fabricating Pipe-work Branches and Bends - PF006 Cold Bending Ferrous and Non-ferrous Pipe - PF010 Jointing Pipe-work using Flanged Joints - PF011 Preparing and Assembling Screwed Pipe-work - PF012 Preparing and Assembling Small Bore Non-Ferrous Pipe-work - PF013 Preparing and Assembling Welded Pipe-work - PF014 Preparing and Assembling Non-metallic Pipe-work - PF015 Assembling and Tightening Bolted Flanged Connections - PF016 Preparing and Bonding GRP Pipe-work - PF018 Assembling and Tensioning Bolted Connections - PF019 Assembling and Tightening Bolted Connections - PF030 Fabricating and Installing Pipe-work Supports - PF031 Installing Pipe-work Systems - PF032 Installing Steam Tracing and Jacketed Pipes - PF033 Preparing and Testing Pipe-work Systems.

    There appears to be strong but disproportionate alignment with the South African qualification series.

    1.4 African Comparability:

    Southern African Development Community (SADC) - Zimbabwe and Botswana:

    Alignment with the United Kingdom's model of Vocational Education and Training (VET), through the London City and Guilds qualification framework and the National Vocational Qualification system (NVQ) - The Botswana National Qualifications Act was passed in 1998. At this present time, focus on the development of standards-based qualifications through a Botswana Vocation Education and Training System (BVET) has revolved around the Wholesale and Retail and Tourism sectors.

    Currently, pipe fitters in Botswana are trained through the apprenticeship system with one single trade test centre where apprentices are able to receive a certificate of qualification (Red Seal). The length and duration of the practical and theoretical components differ slightly to the South African apprenticeship system, but the learning competencies are similar, with a focus on the predominant diamond mining and small local manufacturing and engineering industries.

    East African Community (EAC):

    The three member states of the EAC; Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, are in the process of the harmonisation of education and training systems within the EAC. Currently, no qualification infrastructure exists.

    1.5 Canada:

    Information regarding training was also found on the website of the Manitoba Provincial Government in Canada. The full "Pipe-Fitter" qualification is obtained over a four-year period. The "job description" of the "Pipe-Fitter" overlaps with "Steam Fitter" and "Pipe Fitter", as is the case in all the Commonwealth countries investigated. This is due to the prevalence of steam systems used predominantly for climate control systems (domestic and industrial).

    Despite this, "Pipe-Fitters" at certificate level 4 are able to carry out functions, similar to its South African counterpart, as quoted by:
  • "Steamfitter-Pipe fitter lays out, assembles, fabricates, installs, maintains and repairs piping systems used to carry steam, water, air, gases, chemicals, solids and fuel in industrial and manufacturing plants and in water purification and water treatment systems." www.gov.mb.ca.

    Conclusion: The Canadian qualifications related to Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) can be used interchangeably (in part) with the qualifications developed for the various South African industry sectors, serving a similar purpose.

    1.6 New Zealand in terms of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF):

    Investigation into a New Zealand equivalent "pipe fitting" qualification indicated that a stand-alone qualification does not exist in this country. Similarities with its South African counterpart are found from the range of qualifications listed below.
  • Certificate in Applied Mechanical Engineering Level 4.
  • National Certificate in Engineering (General Engineering - Mechanical) Level 4.
  • National Certificate in Engineering: Fabrication Level 4 and 5.
  • National Certificate in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Level 4.
  • National Certificate in Maintenance and Diagnostics Level 5.

    Standards-based qualifications are also applied within the context of an apprenticeship format (Modern Apprenticeships), where specific unit standards are accumulated to make up the pipe fitting competencies for Level 4.

    "When you've completed your Modern Apprenticeship you'll have a National Certificate at level 3 or 4 on the National Qualifications Framework. Having a national qualification means that the knowledge and expertise you've gained will be recognised by all employers in New Zealand."

    2. Summary of comparisons with NC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) Level 4:

    Content:

    The qualifications from the various countries all address the range of mechanical Engineering competencies included in L4, thus attending to the need to fulfil the requirements of being introductory by nature.

    Progression:

    The international qualifications all address a progression of competencies, example demonstration of the ability to meet the top equipment usage level in the Pipe-Fitting industry, such as:
  • "Pipefitters install and repair both high- and low-pressure pipe systems used in manufacturing, in the generation of electricity, and in heating and cooling buildings. They also install automatic controls that are increasingly being used to regulate these systems. Some pipefitters specialize in only one type of system." - USA.

    A typical progression is found in the UK apprenticeship Pipe Fitter - England (Off-shore Oil & Gas Industry):

    1. NVQ Level 2 (minimum 26 weeks at an accredited training centre).
    2. NVQ Level 3 (in the workplace with monitoring and assessments by a training officer).
    3. An educational qualification eg. National Certificate (NC) in Engineering Practice (day release at a training centre).

    The off-shore oil and gas industry has progression indicators for "Pipe Fitters" which depict the following articulation descriptors, namely:

    Class /Title:

    1. Pipe fitter.
    2. Pipe fitter Welder.
    3. Pipe fitter Sub-Foreman.
    4. Pipe fitter Foreman.

    The content of the third/fourth year of a typical "Pipe-Fitting" programme in most countries, relates favourably to the content of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) Level 4.

    Demonstration of work practices:

    Investigation into international comparability produces overarching similarities in the outcomes of the various "Pipe-Fitter" training programmes in most of the countries above. They are:

    Outcomes which are common to most countries (L4):
  • Identify, interpret and produce working pipe drawings.
  • Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures (incl pre-hydro test punching).
  • Produce advanced welded pipe-fabrication assemblies.
  • Apply quality procedures Stopple operational pipelines.
  • Maintain valves.
  • Maintain.
  • Steam Traps.
  • Perform non-destructive tests on metal parts and components.
  • Demonstrate understanding of regulations codes and drawing office practices for structural steel detailing.
  • Develop and produce computer aided drawings.

    Learning delivery:

    The learning delivery process in all the examples included on-the-job (practical) and off-the-job (theoretical) components.

    Outcomes-Based Methodology:

    All the examples found either directly or indirectly comply with principles of outcomes-based learning, particularly in terms of outcomes representing meaningful units of learning and assessment being conducted continuously (formatively). There is generally a final integrated assessment, typically called a certificate of qualification (trade test certificate - red seal), where the candidate is required to demonstrate specific and core (cross-field) knowledge and skills.

    Apprenticeships and VET programmes:

    In all the examples found, learning is vocational-based. In some countries (England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia) these are called "modern apprenticeships". These take the form of two categories, namely a programme-led apprenticeship where learners are able to follow a vocational programme at a college and then seek employment as trainees/apprentice/interns in order to qualify as artisans; and an employer-led apprenticeship, in which learners are engaged in a formal contract of learning and most learning is workplace-based. In most cases learners "earn while they learn".

    Application (Purpose):

    As is the intention with the South African FETC Level 4 qualification, the international qualifications all prepare learners for working as skilled artisans within the field of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting).

    3. Concluding remarks:

    The FETC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) developed for South Africa compares favourably with the international qualifications mentioned above and there is no doubt concerning the portability of the FETC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) qualification for migration purposes.

    It must be stated though that certain countries do require an indigenous certification of qualification (trade test certificate). This may mean that individuals may need to be re-assessed in the selected target country.

    4. Reference documents:

    4.1 Availability of skilled labour in selected occupations in Western Australia (Shah. Cooney, Long and Burke: 2005).
    4.2 National Guidelines on Cross-Sectoral Qualification Linkages (Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Implementation Handbook: 2002).
    4.3 Policy Watch - Apprenticeship framework: A Change in Design (Sian Owen: 2005; Authorised by Steve Besley - UK).
    4.4 Training in Engineering Construction Skills - Employers Guide (TECSkills and the ECITB - UK: 2007).
    4.5 Modern Apprenticeships - The Way to Work (Cassels Report: 2001) - UK.
    4.6 Role of Apprenticeship in VET System: The Case of Botswana (Ahmad: 2003) at Conference on the Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Gaborone, Botswana.
    4.7 challenges facing VET transformation in the SADC region (Akoojee and McGrath: 2003 HSRC - Pretoria) at Conference on the Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Gaborone, Botswana. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The Qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one engineering context to another. This can be achieved by the appropriate selection of credits in the elective category. Equally, holders of other similar manufacturing and engineering qualifications may be evaluated against this Qualification for the purpose of RPL.

    Vertical Articulation:
    Possible articulation currently exists for progress to NQF Level 5 through:
  • Specialisation in the fitting, welding and fabrication environments - as an Approved Inspection Authority.
  • Specialisation in piping draughting (SAQA ID: 58666; Certificate: Construction and Engineering Drafting; NQF Level 5).
  • SAQA ID: 3229; Certificate: Engineering Management; NQF Level 5.
  • SAQA ID: 14731 Access Certificate: Business; NQF Level 5; or similar Business Administration Certificates.
  • SAQA ID:13914; Certificate: Construction Project Management NQF 5; or SAQA ID: 24337; Certificate: Project Management NQF Level 5.

    Horizontal articulation:
    Fundamental learning at this level applies to equivalent credit accrual for most engineering qualifications at NQF 4.

    Core learning at this level applies to equivalent credit accrual for some unit standards in the following examples of articulation:
  • (ID: 58721); FETC: Engineering Fabrication NQF Level 4.
  • (ID: 23275); FETC: Mechanical Engineering (Fitting and Machining) NQF Level 4.
  • (ID: 57887); FETC: Welding Application and Practice NQF Level 4.
  • (ID: 50018); FETC: Computer Aided Drawing Office Practice NQF Level 4.

    Other horizontal articulation options may exist and need further investigation in cases where recognition of prior learning is sought. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered with an appropriate Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) or with an ETQA which has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a Training Provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA according to that ETQA's guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation includes both internal and external moderation of assessment/s at the exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards as well as in exit level outcomes described in this Qualification. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The following criteria should be applied by a relevant ETQA as a minimum requirement:
  • Assessors should be in possession of an appropriate qualification, namely:
    > FETC: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) at NQF Level 4 and a minimum period of related experience, as specified by the relevant ETQA.
    > An artisan qualification in Pipe-Fitting or a similar trade-related qualification (Trade test certificate or completed contract of apprenticeship) with a minimum of period of related experience, as specified by the relevant ETQA.
    > Subject matter experience, which may be established through recognition of prior learning (RPL).
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance Body.
  • Proven inter-personal skills and the ability to:
    > Maintain national and local industry standards.
    > Act in the interest of the learner.
    > Understand the need for transformation to redress the legacies of the past.
    > Respect the cultural background and language of the learner. 

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

    NOTES 
    This qualification concludes the Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Series for the Further Education and Training Certificate. Its progression has been tracked along the following learning pathway:
  • National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Fitting) NQF Level 2 with an elective strand for Pipe Fitting.
  • National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 3.
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 4.

    This qualification is a generic qualification which has been developed to give meaning to NQF objectives to provide articulation possibilities, enable learners to get recognition for learning achievements across economic sub-sectors and to support the notion of life long learning. 

  • UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  13234  Apply quality procedures  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  253592  Identify, interpret and produce working pipe drawings  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13224  Monitor the application of safety, health and environmental protection procedures  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  253587  Perform hydro-static pressure testing procedures on pipes and pipe systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  253579  Produce advanced welded pipe-fabrication assemblies  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Core  10981  Supervise work unit to achieve work unit objectives (individuals and teams)  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9015  Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119462  Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119469  Read/view, analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  9016  Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119471  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119459  Write/present/sign for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  14783  Conform to and apply legislation and operational instructions in chemical processing  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253434  Maintain heat exchangers and pressure vessels  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253423  Maintain motorised valves  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253599  Maintain steam traps  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253439  Maintain valves  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  13260  Perform non-destructive tests on metal parts and components  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114194  Demonstrate understanding of regulations codes and drawing office practices for structural steel detailing  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  12252  Develop and fabricate from complex drawings  Level 4  NQF Level 04  28 
    Elective  14473  Develop and produce computer aided drawings  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  119328  Perform and coordinate a pipeline network start-up  Level 4  NQF Level 04  20 
    Elective  119327  Perform pipeline network shut-down  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  253735  Plan and schedule workflow  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  13329  Stopple operational pipelines  Level 4  NQF Level 04  16 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Originator Pre-2009
    NQF Level
    NQF Level Min Credits Learning Prog End Date Quality
    Assurance
    Functionary
    NQF Sub-Framework
    63332  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Chemical  Generic Provider - Field 06  Level 4  NQF Level 04  123     CHIETA  OQSF 
    63331  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Manufacturing and Engineering  Generic Provider - Field 06  Level 4  NQF Level 04  123     MERSETA  OQSF 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THESE LEARNING PROGRAMMES: 
    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.
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Accredited Provider
    63332  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Chemical  JOMELE TRAINING AND PLACEMENTS  
    63331  Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Manufacturing and Engineering  1. Belique Training Centre cc (ALBERTON) (TP)
    2. ITHEMBA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    3. Jericho Safety Consultants (Pty) Ltd (TP)
    4. S & S Training & Construction (SPRINGS) (TP)
    5. Wilbat Projects 148 (Pty) Ltd (ISIPINGO) (TP)  



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