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: Railway Signalling Technology 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
63529  National Certificate: Railway Signalling Technology 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Electrical Engineering & Construction 
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 12 - Physical Planning and Construction  Electrical Infrastructure Construction 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  137  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:

This National Certificate is the culmination of preparing the qualifying learner for further progression in the railway signalling environment in the safe, efficient and effective fault-finding and repair of railway signalling equipment. Learners found competent against this Qualification will be able to execute the fault finding and repair process at a standard that will maintain the safe operations of trains.

This Qualification will enable learners with the flexibility and mobility in the railway signalling and electrical engineering fields, thereby contributing to the quality and skills required to grow and progress accordingly.

A learner acquiring this Qualification will be able to:
  • Communicate effectively with all role-players during the execution of their work.
  • Execute integrity tests on signalling installations according to railway signalling engineering practice and specifications.
  • Supervise railway signalling projects.
  • Apply and implement the related statutory requirements.
  • Plan and prepare the execution of fault finding and repair tasks on railway signalling equipment to component level and solve potential problems that may arise.

    Qualifying learners will be able to show responsibility, and independently and effectively manage themselves in the Railway Signalling environment and they will therefore ensure the effective delivery of the relevant and appropriate railway signalling services within the framework of all legal and safety requirements.

    Rationale:

    This Qualification is for learners who are pursuing management careers with the railway signalling environment and indicates a clear learning pathway which can be followed. It provides learners with opportunities for professional development and career advancement.

    This qualification reflects the needs and demands within the railway signalling environment for people who will be able to perform leadership roles within surroundings which are more complex and demand more advanced knowledge, skills and attributes. This Qualification will provide a vehicle through which to develop competent people whom can stay abreast with the changing and dynamic environment of railway signalling as well as create an atmosphere for life-long learning opportunities.

    This qualification allows for the further development of learners in the railway signalling environment through vertical mobility to higher-level qualifications and horizontally to qualifications on the same level but in a different discipline. The qualification assists learners in critically evaluating information and exercising appropriate professional judgement. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Mathematical literacy NQF Level 4.
  • Communication NQF Level 4.
  • Unit Standard: Apply train working rules as applicable to railway signalling maintenance personnel: ID 116866, NQF Level 4, 13 Credits.

    Access to the Qualification:

    Access is open to all learners 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 a minimum of 137 Credits.

    Fundamental component:
  • All unit standards to the value of 14 credits are compulsory.

    Core component:
  • All unit standards to the value of 89 credits are compulsory.

    Elective component:
  • The elective component consists of individual unit standards from which the learner must choose unit standards based on the area in which they work or in which they are interested. Learners are required to choose unit standards totalling a minimum of 34 credits. 

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

    1. Communicate effectively with all role-players during the execution of their work.

    2. Execute integrity tests on signalling installations according to railway signalling engineering practice and specifications.

    3. Supervise railway signalling projects.

    4. Apply and implement the related statutory requirements.

    5. Plan and prepare the execution of fault finding and repair tasks on railway signalling equipment to component level and solve potential problems that may arise. 

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

    1.1 Information is collected, analysed and processed as required in order to make business and workplace related decisions.
    1.2 Effective written and verbal communication is used in order to promote efficient operations in the workplace.
    1.3 Work related documentation is sourced, analysed, interpreted and completed in order to maximise productivity and safety.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 System integrity test tools, instruments and equipment are used in terms of the manufactures specifications and according to safety requirements.
    2.2 Problems regarding the suitability and functionality of test equipment are explained in order to prevent delays in the faultfinding and repair tasks.
    2.3 The impact of conducting the integrity tests on signalling installations is explained in terms of its impact on operations and safety.
    2.4 The importance of carrying out integrity tests on railway signalling installations is described in terms of returning it to full operational status.
    2.5 Relevant stakeholders are communicated with in terms of the results of the integrity of the signalling installations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Tasks, resources, timeframes and measurement criteria are defined and aligned to meet organisational objectives.
    3.2 Methods, procedures and techniques to organise a work unit are applied in accordance with organisational requirements.
    3.3 The activities of the work unit are analysed and adjusted in order to align to the organisational strategies.
    3.4 Corrective action is taken in response to performance variances in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Occupational health and safety issues are monitored and implemented according to industry norms and practices.
    4.2 Authorisation requirements to decommission equipment are explained in terms of safety of the trains.
    4.3 Legal prescripts which govern railway signalling equipment are identified and explained in terms of their impact on fault finding and repairs.
    4.4 The inter-relatedness of various railways signalling equipment is explained in terms of the implications to safety.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:

    5.1 The planning of fault finding and repair tasks is carried out in terms of standard operating procedures.
    5.2 Work flow of repairs is understood based on job requirements and in terms of specific worksite procedures.
    5.3 The correct resources and materials are procured after evaluating and interpreting all fault and repair information.
    5.4 Problems regarding the fault finding and repair process are solved effectively as measured against organisational policies and procedures.
    5.5 The scheduled and planned fault finding and repair tasks are completed in accordance with standard operating procedures. 

    INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The purpose of this International Comparability study is to facilitate the development of a meaningful learning path and its associated curriculum incorporating both theoretical and practical vocational skills which will ensure compatibility, comparability and compliance with existing international qualification specifications and regulations.

    The core and elective unit standards that form part of this qualification have been developed to ensure alignment with the engineering practices embraced by the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE).

    The IRSE is an international professional institution associated with railway signalling and allied professions. The institution aims to advance for public benefit, the science and practice of signalling engineering within the industry and to maintain high standards of knowledge of the profession. The IRSE recognises and encourages Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to keep abreast of new developments in science and technology within the railway signalling and associated disciplines.

    Training Qualifications and Courses referred to were:

    United Kingdom:

    Signet Solutions:

    Course Title: Railway Interlocking:
  • RRI Appreciation (RI).
  • RRI Design Course (RRIDO).
  • RRI Maintenance and Faulting (RRI).
  • RRI Works Testing (Mod 3BI).

    Course Title: Signalling Design:
  • AST: Advanced Signalling Technology.
  • BST: Basic Signalling Technology.
  • IST: Control Tables.
  • IST: Signalling the Layout.
  • RRI: Design (RRIDO).
  • Signalling Principles Primer.

    Course Title: Signalling Maintenance:
  • Basic Signalling.
  • Cable Jointing.
  • Clamp Locks.
  • Electrical Principles.
  • HW Points.
  • Mechanical Signalling.
  • RRI Maintenance & Faulting (RRI).
  • SMTH: Signal Maintenance Testing Handbook.
  • Style 63 Points.

    Course Title: Signalling Testing:
  • Tester in Charge.
  • Principles Tester.
  • RRI Works Testing.
  • Functional Tester.
  • Verification Tester.
  • Functional Tester.
  • Test Assistant.

    The above courses align very closely with this South African Qualification as they deal with very similar outcomes. They do however; cover the additional subject of signalling design, which is covered as learning to be in place in this Qualification. This Qualification has the additional aspect of fault finding as opposed their subject of only maintenance.

    Symmons Madge Associates:

    Course Title: Signalling Principles:
  • Absolute Block Signalling.
  • Track Circuit Block Signalling.
  • One Train Working.
  • Tokenless Block.
  • Radio Token Block.

    Course Title: Lineside Signals:
  • Semaphore Signals.
  • Colour Light Signals.

    Course Title: Semaphore Signals:
  • Distant Signal.
  • Stop Signal.
  • Subsidiary Signal.
  • Shunting Signal.

    Course Title: Multi-Aspect Signals:
  • Junction Indicator.
  • Theatre Type Indicator.
  • Offset Signal.
  • Position Light Signals.
  • Train Detection.

    Course Title: Track Circuits:
  • Axle Counters.
  • Treadles.
  • Bi-directional Working.
  • Signal Identification.
  • Failsafe Design.
  • Signals Passed At Danger (SPAD).
  • Signal Sighting.

    Course Title: Trackside Signalling Equipment:
  • Mechanical Signalling.
  • Power Operated Signalling.
  • Point Machines.
  • Rail Point Clamp Locks.
  • Hot Axle Box Detectors.

    Course Title: Solid State Interlocking (SSI):
  • Integrated Electronic Centre (IECC).
  • Automatic Warning System (AWS).
  • Advanced Warning And Protection Systems.

    Course Title: Advanced Warning and Protection Systems:
  • ATP.
  • TPWS.
  • ERTMS.
  • Level Crossing Controls.

    Course Title: Station Equipment:
  • Train Ready To Start Plungers (TRTS).
  • Right Away Plunger (RA).
  • OFF Indicators.
  • Public Address.
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV).
  • Platform Mirrors.
  • Communications.

    The above courses are extremely well aligned to this Qualification as the deal with various types of signalling equipment which is covered by our different Unit Standards. The South African Qualification has additional learning in the form of covering in detail safety around the railway tracks and in the workplace and the aspect of supervising teams.

    United States of America:

    Signal Training Solutions:
  • Course Title: Apprentice Training: Prepares Individuals For A Career In Signalling.
  • The basics of railway signalling.

    Course Title: Crossing Warning Systems Training:
  • Crossing Warning Systems.
  • Gate Mechanics.
  • Constant warning Theory.
  • FRA Par.
  • Grade Crossing Signal System Safety.

    Course Title: Microprocessor-Based Interlocking Controllers Training:
  • PLC Familiarisation.
  • PLC Maintenance.
  • PLC Troubleshooting.
  • Vital Harmon Logic Controller.
  • Union Switch and Signal Microlok ll Systems.
  • Application and Operation of Programmable Controllers.

    Course Title: Electro Code Track Circuit Systems Training:
  • EC4 Familiarisation and EC4 Maintenance.
  • EC4 Maintenance.
  • EC4 Troubleshooting.
  • Examining the Electro Code System.
  • Hands-on Practice.

    Course Title: Hot Bearing Detector Systems Training:
  • Hot Bearing Detector System Set-up.
  • Hot Bearing Detector System Maintenance.
  • Hot Bearing Detector System Troubleshooting.
  • Hot Bearing Detector System Accessory Equipment.
  • Dragging Equipment Detectors.
  • Car Clearance Detectors.

    Course Title: FRA Inspections and Tests Training Program:
  • FRA Rules and Regulations related to Interlocking and Cross Warning Systems.
  • Typical Tests and Inspections.
  • Performing Actual Locking Tests.

    The above courses are of a similar vein to our sets of Unit Standards found in both the Core and Elective categories of our Qualification. Some of their courses also cover signalling equipment with different names to ours. They also cover the regulatory requirements around railway signalling.

    National Academy of Railroad Sciences (NARS):

    Course Title: Guiding Lights:
  • Yellow Signal.
  • Red Signal.
  • Adjust Power Operated Switch Machine.
  • Repair Broken Crossing Gate.
  • Download Data From wayside Signals.
  • Replace a Data Radio.

    Course Title: Signal Systems Technician:
  • Wayside Signals.
  • Grade Crossing Controllers.
  • Hot Bearing Detectors.
  • Track Circuits.
  • Train Motion Detection Devices.
  • Installing.
  • Inspecting.
  • Testing.
  • Maintaining Signals and Status Equipment.
  • Electricity and Electronics.
  • Microprocessors.
  • Computers.
  • Fibre optics.
  • Internet Protocol Communications.
  • Applying Innovation to Railroad Systems.

    Course Title: Full Applied Associate of Science (AAS) Degree in Signal Electronics:
  • Journeyman.
  • Signalman.

    The above courses with the exception of the Degree in Signal Electronics are very similar in what they cover. They both deal with different types of signalling equipment found on railway lines. The degree content would be covered in a higher level Qualification in South Africa.

    Iran:

    Iran University of Technology:

    Course Title: Graduate Degree in Control, Signalling and Telecommunication Engineering:
  • Design Signalling and Telecommunications Systems.
  • Implementing Signalling and Telecommunications Systems.
  • Electronic and Relay Interlocking.
  • Advanced Railway Signalling Systems.
  • Computer Systems' Reliability and Safety.
  • Railway Communication Systems.
  • Railway Traffic Control.
  • Railway Operation and Control.

    The above course has some similarities but is not as comprehensive as the South African one. It also covers addition modules regarding the telecommunications systems.

    Argentina: Buenos Aires:

    The National Railway Training Centre (CENACAF):

    Course Title: Signalling:
  • Track Circuits and Signs.
  • Relay Interlocking.
  • Introduction to Subways and Railroad Lines Signalling Systems.
  • Switch Machine.
  • ATS (Automatic Train Stop) and Barriers.

    The above course does not compare that well with this one as it only covers certain railway signalling equipment compared to ours and it also deals with subways which at this stage does not apply to South Africa.

    Conclusion:

    It is clear from this international comparability study that South Africa is very much in line with the rest of the world and during the development of the unit standards cognisance was taken of the implementation of a National Railway Safety Regulator. The National Railway Safety Regulator promotes and controls safe rail operations and recognises that this is fundamental to the safety of all persons and the environment. The Unit Standards in this Railway Signalling Qualification were aligned to these ideals. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal articulation is possible with:
  • ID 49746: National Certificate: Measurement Control and Instrumentation, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 48573: National Certificate: Information Technology: System Support, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical articulation is possible with:
  • ID 49744: National Diploma: Engineering Technology, NQF Level 6. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation; in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQA's (including professional bodies); and in terms of moderation guideline detailed in "Qualification Assessor Criteria".
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the Qualification, unless ETQA policies specifies otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual Unit Standards, Exit Level Outcomes as well as the integrated competence described in the Qualification.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this Qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant should:
  • Be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a memorandum of understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Be in possession of a relevant Qualification at NQF Level 6 or higher. 

  • 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  258242  Apply principles of railway signalling concepts  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258237  Assess the condition of railway signalling equipment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252022  Develop, implement and evaluate a project plan  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258241  Fault find and repair axle counters up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258238  Fault find and repair failsafe data transfer systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258235  Fault find and repair Flashlight and Boom protected level crossings up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258257  Fault find and repair Power Supplies up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  258255  Fault find and repair Remote Control Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  258256  Fault find and repair Track Circuits up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Core  243948  Monitor and maintain health, safety and security  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  258248  Monitor railway signalling system availabilities  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  252026  Apply a systems approach to decision making  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  12433  Use communication techniques effectively  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258240  Fault find and repair Hot Bearing Detector Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258244  Fault find and repair Interlocking and Hybrid Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258245  Fault find and repair Modular Interlocking Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Elective  258243  Fault find and repair Remote Control systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258246  Fault find and repair Train Describer Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258236  Fault find and repair Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258239  Fault find and repair Vehicle Identification Systems up to component level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  114226  Interpret and manage conflicts within the workplace  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  252043  Manage a diverse work force to add value  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  119857  Plan and implement Quality Management Systems in corporate and project context  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  258247  Plan and manage maintenance resources  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120388  Supervise a project team of a small project to deliver project objectives  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  14 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


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



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