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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
71729  Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice 
ORIGINATOR
Task Team - Public Relations 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
SERVICES - Services Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Public Relations 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  136  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  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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
48875  Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice  Level 4  NQF Level 04  141  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

Public relations provides a service for the organisation by helping to give the public and the media a better and complete understanding of the company. The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance the reputation of the organisation both internally and externally. Public relations gives an organisation or individual exposure to their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not require direct payment.

This Qualifications is intended to develop the skills and knowledge required by a person who wishes to pursue a career in a public relations office, section or department as a Public Relations Assistant. The function of such a person is to assist the Public Relations Officer in the performance of those tasks and activities that would lead to effective service delivery in a public relations office, section or department. Public relations assistant will be required to:
  • Use writing skills to produce professional business communiqués in print and electronic form.
  • Use the media to gain publicity for their organisation.
  • Handle consumer queries and complaints and edit, code and capture data.
  • Perform administrative and support duties related to marketing, market research and promotions.
  • Perform administrative and support duties related to various types of public relations events and activities.
  • Work with others as a project team member.

    Learners achieving this Qualification will be able to occupy positions such as:
  • Information Officer.
  • Client Liaison Officer.
  • Communication Assistant.
  • Office Administrator.
  • Public Relations Assistant.
  • Customer Service Officer.

    Recipients of this qualification will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and role of public relations.
  • Perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • Perform a support role for specific public relations practices.

    Rationale:

    This Qualification will meet the needs of the public relations sector by providing training standards against which public relations assistant officers can be trained. This Qualification meets the needs of society by providing learners who are competent in the tasks required of them in a public relations office, section or department thus contributing to the overall improvement of the public perception of the organisation both internally and externally.

    This Qualification is entry level learning into public relations practice. This Qualification and further work-place experience will provide the learner access to further learning opportunities in public relations at NQF Levels 5 and 6.

    The typical learner will either already be assisting in a public relations environment without having received any formal training, or is likely to be a person who has been identified and selected from other organisational departments as having the potential to assist in the public relations office, or young adult school leavers interested in a career in public relations. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the learner has the following knowledge and skills:
  • Communication at NQF Level 3.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This Qualification makes the Recognition of Prior Learning possible, if the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this Marketing Qualification. Recognition of Prior Learning will be done by means of an Integrated Assessment as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

    This Recognition of Prior Learning may allow:
  • For accelerated access to further learning.
  • Gaining of credits towards a unit standard.
  • For full or partial recognition of the Qualification.

    All recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited Education, Training, Quality, and Assurance Body and is conducted by a registered workplace assessor. Because the standards are only core and fundamental, these standards may have been acquired in a range of economic sectors and these will be recognizes as appropriate

    Access to the Qualification:

    There is an open access to this Qualification, keeping in mind the "Learning Assumed to be in Place". 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    To be awarded the Qualification learners are required to obtain a minimum of 136 Credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 to the value of 16 Credits.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 Credits.
  • Communication in a Second South African Language at NQF Level 3 to the value of 20 Credits.

    It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at NQF Level 4 and the other at NQF Level 3.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 64 Credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of individual Unit Standards from which the learner must choose Unit Standards totalling a minimum of 16 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and role of public relations.

    2. Perform a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.

    3. Perform a support role for specific public relations practices.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    This qualification promotes, in particular, the following Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    1. Identifying and solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made when:
  • Performing a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • Performing a support role for specific public relations practices.

    2. Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation, and community during:
  • The performing of a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • The performing of a support role for specific public relations practices.

    3. Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively when:
  • Performing a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • Performing a support role for specific public relations practices.

    4. Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion when:
  • Performing a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • Performing a support role for specific public relations practices.

    5. Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information to better understand and explain:
  • The nature and role of public relations.

    6. Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others when:
  • Performing a range of clerical and administrative tasks for public relations practice.
  • Performing a support role for specific public relations practices.

    7. Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation when:
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the nature and role of public relations. 

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

    1.1 A description is given of the public relations industry in terms of the international and national public relations environment.
    1.2 An explanation is given of the purpose of public relations for an organisation in terms of its potential use to improve/maintain the image and reputation of an organisation.
    1.3 An explanation is given of the functions of the various internal and external role players of an organisation with regards to public relations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Administrative duties related to media liaison, publicity campaigns, corporate identity and community social investment programmes are carried out within specific time-frames and standards.
    2.2 Public relations data is collected, collated and used in terms of all public relations activities and functions.
    2.3 Queries related to public relations activities and functions are handled in accordance with policies, procedures and protocols.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Public relations actions are implemented that suit the objectives of the organisation.
    3.2 Logistical arrangements for public relations activities and functions are carried out within specific time-frames.
    3.3 Basic account handling activities are performed in accordance with organisational policies and procedures.
  • Range: Account refers to the business associated and conducted with a specific client.
    3.4 Documents and literature used/issued by the organisation are checked and edited to ensure professional and accurate communiqués.
    3.5 Communication techniques are utilised that will create a favourable image of the organisation and promote good relations with the public.
    3.6 Clients are handled in a manner which upholds or improves the image of the organisation.
    3.7 Professional conduct and business ethics requirements are explained in terms of the public relations industry.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Because assessment practices must be open, transparent, fair, valid, and reliable and ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, an integrated assessment approach is incorporated into the Qualification. Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.

    Assessment of the communication, language, literacy and numeracy should be conducted in conjunction with other aspects and should use authentic public relations sector 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. 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 formative and summative assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.

    Assessors and moderators should make use of a range of formative and summative assessment methods. Assessors should assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.

    Assessment should ensure that all Specific Outcomes, Essential Embedded Knowledge and Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are assessed. The assessment of the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of Specific Outcomes and Essential Embedded Knowledge. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Best Practice:

    Pinnacle, an internationally based provider in the field of public relations was identified by the Task Team Public Relations as applying best practice training in the field of public relations.

    Further the following institutions in the following countries were identified by the Task Team Public Relations as providers that apply best practice in public relations training:
  • India-The Indian Institute for Mass Communications.
  • United Kingdom-The London School of Public Relations and The Charted Institute of Public Relations.
  • United States of America-The University of Washington Extension.

    International:

    Pinnacle is a international public relations training company with training centres in London, Brussels and Dubai. Introduction to Public Relations is one of the programmes presented and entails two broad areas namely Advertising and Public Relations. The following aspects are covered in this programme:
  • The core ideas behind modern Public Relations.
  • What is Public Relations and how does it work.
  • What can Public Relations achieve and what is its limits.
  • Public Relations tools and tactics.
  • Messages, audiences, stakeholders.
  • Public Relations versus marketing and advertising.
  • Media Public Relations and non-media Public Relations.
  • News values and media relations.
  • Creative news platforms.
  • Press releases: style, format and structure.
  • Press kits: Content, uses and importance.
  • Avoiding common and dangerous mistakes.
  • Case studies of successful programmes.
  • The press office: Role and organisation.
  • Monitoring, audit and evaluation.

    Findings:

    All of the above mentioned aspects are inherent in the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice except aspects to do with advertising, media and media liaison. Further the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice makes provisional for the following competencies which are not contained in the above mentioned programme:
  • Corporate identity.
  • Personal skills and team skills.

    India:

    The Indian Institute for Mass Communications situated in New Delhi presents a Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations. The Diploma contains the following subjects:
  • Communication.
  • Marketing.
  • Advertising concepts and principles.
  • Advertising: Creativity and campaign planning.
  • Public relations.
  • Corporate communication.
  • Oral and visual communication.
  • Production techniques and methods.
  • Media planning.
  • Research methods and application.

    Findings:

    All of the above mentioned subjects are inherent in the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice except subjects to do with marketing and advertising. These two subjects are covered in other NQF Qualifications. Further the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice makes provisional for the following competencies which are not contained in the above mentioned Diploma:
  • Customer care and liaison.
  • Personal skills and team skills.

    United Kingdom:

    The London School of Public Relations is situated in London but also has training centres in Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan Macedonia, Malaysia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Syria and Turkey. The School offers a Diploma Course in Public Relations. The syllabus of the course is as follows:
  • Introduction to Public Relations.
  • The process of public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications.
  • Strategy and planning in Public Relations.
  • Internal communication.
  • Identifying risk, issues and crisis management.
  • Corporate social responsibility.
  • Corporate identity and reputation management.
  • Brands and brand management.
  • Sponsorship and event management.
  • Media relations.
  • Media analysis and evaluation techniques.

    Findings:

    All of the above mentioned aspects are inherent in the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice except aspects to do with media relations and planning public relations. These will be covered in the NQF Level 5 programme.

    The Charted Institute of Public Relations is situated in London and provides training opportunities in Public Relations. The Institute presents a Foundation Award in Public Relations which contains the following subjects:
  • Key terms, techniques and theories of public relations.
  • The relationship between public relations, marketing, advertising, promotions and publicity.
  • The field and scope of public relations.
  • Specialist areas of public relations.
  • The concepts of corporate social responsibility, reputation management and working with the public.
  • The role of the public relations practitioner.

    Findings:

    All of the above mentioned subjects are inherent in the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice. Further the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice makes provisional for the following competencies which are not contained in the above mentioned programme:
  • Customer care and liaison.
  • Personal skills and team skills.

    United States of America:

    The University of Washington Extension offers various extra curricular courses in Public Relations. The courses titles and content are as follows.

    Public Relations Practices and Functions:
  • Role and responsibilities of the public relations practitioner.
  • Professional networking and industry information.
  • Internal and external client relationships.
  • Corporate social responsibility and non-profit communications.
  • Professional ethics.
  • Special events.

    Media Relations:
  • News media operations, structures and deadlines.
  • Basics of planning, developing and writing print and broadcast media Public Relations campaigns.
  • Introduction to Public Relations styles and formats used in writing for the media.

    Public Relations Writing:
  • Profiles and biographies.
  • Newsletters.
  • Brochures.
  • Speeches.
  • Fund-raising material.
  • Annual reports.
  • Internet communications.

    Public Relations Tools and Techniques:
  • Branding and positioning.
  • Investor relations and legal considerations.
  • Employee communications and community outreach.
  • Legislative issues and publics affairs.
  • New media and web technologies.
  • Crisis communications planning and spokesperson training.
  • Executive presentation prep and coaching.

    Public Relations Strategy:
  • Developing a strategic communications plan.
  • Strategic research and analysis.
  • Perfecting the message.
  • Maximising resources.
  • Measuring effectiveness.

    Public Relations Practice:
  • Interviewing clients and setting expectations.
  • Assessing opportunities.
  • Writing proposals and negotiating a client engagement.
  • Professional ethics in daily practice.
  • Presenting public relations recommendations.

    Findings:

    All of the above mentioned courses and their content are inherent in the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice except the course in Media Relations.

    Conclusion:

    A majority of the programmes and courses compared in this International Comparability compare favourably to the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice in terms of learning content. It was however found that the Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice generally contained additional learning such as customer care and personal and team skills. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This Qualification lends itself to both vertical and horizontal articulation possibilities.

    Horizontal articulation is possible with the following Qualifications:
  • ID 50479: Further Education and Training Certificate: Advertising, NQF Level 4.
  • ID 67464: Further Education and Training Certificate: Marketing, NQF Level 4.

    Vertical articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 58820: National Certificate: Advertising, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 60430: National Certificate: Marketing Practice, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 59387: National Certificate: Intellectual Property Administration, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 61593: National Diploma: Marketing Management, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 58977: National Certificate: Publishing, NQF Level 5. 

  • 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 Education, Training, Quality, and Assurance (ETQA) Body.
  • 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 the moderation guideline detailed immediately below.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the Qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards, 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 needs:
  • A minimum of 2 (two) years' practical, relevant occupational experience.
  • A relevant Qualification at NQF Level 5 or higher.
  • To be registered 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 
    This Qualification replaces Qualification 48875, "Further Education and Training Certificate: Public Relations Practice", NQF Level 4, 141 Credits. 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  335835  Adhere to professional conduct and business ethics  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  246740  Care for customers  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  335839  Conduct tasks related to marketing, market research and promotions  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14357  Demonstrate an understanding of a selected business environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  335834  Demonstrate an understanding of communication theory and practice in public relations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  335838  Demonstrate an understanding of corporate identity  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  252190  Edit, code and capture data  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  116594  Function in a team  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  252218  Liaise with a range of customers of a business  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  335837  Perform support functions for corporate social investment programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  335836  Prepare business documents  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  242811  Prioritise time and work for self and team  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    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  252213  Carry out marketing administration within agreed parameters  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  261157  Conduct events support services within specific event genres  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  252202  Deal with brand, product and service promotions  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  252206  Demonstrate an understanding of product positioning  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  115208  Establish the basic principles of fundraising  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  260177  Function in the events industry  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243614  Manage a simple event or community recreation programme  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  115209  Participate in the development of a strategic plan for fundraising  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  260179  Provide logistical support for an event  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  256094  Provide operational support for a minor event  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114736  Record business financial transactions  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  260178  Relate diversity to customer service  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  120379  Work as a project team member  Level 4  NQF Level 04 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced 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.
     
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    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.