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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Electronics 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
83446  National Certificate: Electronics 
ORIGINATOR
Task Team - Electronics 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
MICTS - Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Information Technology and Computer Sciences 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  135  Level 5  NQF Level 05  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 qualification is intended for learners who wish to qualify as Electronics Technicians as well as those who wish the join the electronics fraternity at a technician level. The qualification is designed to enhance employment prospects of individuals who are seeking employment within an Electrical and Electronic field. It is needed to bridge the gap between management and production. It will provide learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to operate/work in a modern electronic environment. The core competencies of this qualification will be applicable in the electrical and electronic working environments. The qualification also serves as a foundation for career pathing in the field of electronics. The elective component of the qualification caters for the specialist needs of the learners who function in the area of their selected career within the Electronics sub-field. These could include:
  • Military electronics.
  • Power electronics.
  • Telecommunications.
  • Biomedical electronics technology.
  • Telemedicine electronics.
  • Radar and Sonar.
  • Embedded (low level) programming.
  • Industrial process control (Instrumentation).
  • Product integration.
  • Repair and maintenance or technical support.
    It provides an opportunity for a learning pathway and serves as a building block towards higher learning in the Electronics engineering field.

    Rationale:

    Electronics is an international area of operation with companies operating across continents. One of the key requirements is that the technical workforce must maintain their technical skills through continuing education, and become committed to lifelong learning in order to participate in this ongoing technological revolution by improving existing systems and by inventing and developing new systems to meet the changing needs and demands of society. This qualification serves the education, training and development needs of a wide range of areas of economic activity within the sub-field of Electronics.

    One of the significant issues that must be addressed in the world and South Africa, in particular, is job creation. Electronics plays a major role in the national economy in that the majority of industries in the country use technology in order to be productive and so sustain economic growth. The sector also has opportunities for self-employment and promotes entrepreneurship. Currently there is a dire need for artisans in this country. This qualification is a vital and productive contributor to the South African economy as it offers opportunities for those who wish to enhance their career advancement in the field of electronics and play a positive role in the South African economy.

    This qualification can be offered in a formal education setting as well as in occupationally directed workplace training for learners already employed in the engineering and electronics field and related field. It also provides progression opportunities to a higher qualification. It allows for horizontal articulation to other related qualifications which include, amongst others, Mechatronics and Autotronics, Command and Management Information Systems (Technical), and Telecommunications thus facilitating mobility and personal growth within the electronics field. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Learners are assumed to be competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4.
  • Computer Literacy at NQF Level 3.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    The Qualification can be achieved in whole or part through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Learners obtaining the whole Qualification through Recognition of Prior Learning and wishing to be declared competent are required to undergo both summative and formative assessment for the purpose of such recognition. This implies that the Qualification may be granted to learners who have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses, provided they can demonstrate competence in the outcomes of the individual Unit Standards as required by the Fundamental, Core and Elective components stipulated in the qualification as well in the Exit level outcomes of the qualification.

    Recognition of Prior Learning can also be used to grant admission to learners who do not meet the entrance requirements.

    Learners submitting themselves for Recognition of Prior Learning should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment, and may be required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence (POE) in the prescribed format and/or undergo a workplace assessment to be assessed for formal recognition. While this is primarily a workplace-based Qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Access to the Qualification:

    This qualification is open to learners in possession of an NQF Level 4 qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Qualification is made up of Core, Fundamental and Elective components, totalling a minimum of 135 credits.

    Core component:
  • All unit standards to the value of 100 credits are compulsory.

    Fundamental component:
  • All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component consisting 12 credits are compulsory.

    Elective component:
  • Learners are to choose any unit standards in the elective component with a minimum of 23 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Design, develop and test electrical and electronic components, equipment, and systems.

    2. Apply communication skills to interact with internal and external clients in a technical environment.

    3. Apply technical skills to build and test prototypes to specifications.

    4. Carry out a range of technical functions in support of research in electrical and electronic engineering.
  • Range: Technical functions include but are not limited to measuring, testing, modifying, investigating, and documenting.

    5. Maintain and calibrate electronic equipment and instruments according to standard operating procedures and manufacturer's instructions.

    6. Design and develop electrical and electronic products in a simulated environment.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    The qualification addresses the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes as embedded in the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria of the qualification as follows:

    Communicate effectively:
  • Effective communication is enabled through the maintaining of relevant communication as per organisational requirements applicable to the planning, implementation and support services associated with the provision of an electronics service.

    Identify and solve problems:
  • Problems are identified and solved in the application of electronics as it relates to software quality, software reliability and system reliability.

    Collect, analyse, organise, and critically evaluate information:
  • Information is collected analysed, organized and evaluated in the performing of electronics-related activities.

    Understand the world as a set of related systems:
  • The world is understood as a set of related systems where effective electronics has an impact on product development.

    Organise and manage own activities:
  • Own activities are managed and organised in the performance of electronics processes and in the maintaining of liaison, communication and the execution of own duties and functions.

    Work in a team:
  • Teamwork is supported in the operational environment and the execution of electronics-related functions.

    Maintain effective working relationships:
  • The maintaining of effective working relationships is supported through the requirements of the operational environment and the very nature of the IT industry, which is very service orientated.

    Science and technology:
  • The use of Science and Technology is supported by the use of computer literacy in the operational environment as well as the electronic applications used for the gathering and reporting of information in the testing process. 

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

    1.1 Electronics components are identified in terms of their ratings, values, colour-coding and physical appearance.
    1.2 Circuitry schematics are analysed and interpreted using a diagram.
    1.3 The knowledge required to design and implement logic circuitry is demonstrated using electronic circuitry symbols.
    1.4 The developmental process of electrical and electronic components, equipment, and systems is explained using suitable tools and project management principles.
    1.5 Electrical and electronic components, equipment, and systems are developed through applying the applicable principles and stages of development.
    1.6 Electrical and electronic components, equipment and systems are tested using electrical and electronic measuring and testing instruments.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Product information is access and distributed using electronic media.
  • Range: Electronic media includes but is not limited to email, databases and Internet.
    2.2 Technical information is disseminated in the form of a technical report.
    2.3 Verbal and non-verbal skills are applied to disseminate information and/or data to internal and external clients.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Specifications regarding the development of a prototype are explained focusing on organisational requirements.
    3.2 A prototype is developed according to agreed organisational specifications.
    3.3 Organisational specifications, procedures, techniques and methods are used to test the viability of a product.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 A finished product is measured to determine accuracy, reliability, compatibility and suitability.
    4.2 Electrical and electronic components are investigated to determine suitability and compatibility in a specific environment.
    4.3 Research is conducted to keep up to date with current technological developments.
    4.4 Findings are compiled and presented using a specified organisational format.
    4.5 A practical electronic product to improve operational requirements and productivity within an organisation is planned, developed and documented.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:

    5.1 Operational or experimental data are collected and compiled according to organisational specifications.
    5.2 Knowledge of faults diagnostic procedures is demonstrated using troubleshooting methods.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:

    6.1 Fundamentals of electrical and electronics principles are explained in terms of their application in a specific task.
    6.2 Simulated environments and software are used to design and develop a given product.
  • Range: Software includes but is not limited to shareware and open source software. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The modern world relies heavily on electrical and electronics devices which impact considerably on the domestic and business world. Due to the fact that the electrical and electronic engineering field is broad and vibrant and interfaces with physics, computer science and engineering, the comparison was made on Qualifications that deal with basic electronics and electrical engineering, which include electronic components.

    The leaders in the field for this subject field in terms of Qualifications are Japan, United States of America (USA) and Germany. In addition, other countries such as New Zealand, United Kingdom, Australia, India, China and Southern African Developing Countries (SADC) regions also offer short courses in this field.

    Countries such as China and India are considered to be leading in electronics production, but unfortunately information about their training programmes could not be accessed.

    The research revealed that most countries offered engineering qualifications of which electronics forms part, and they are pitched at a Degree, Honours and PhD level.

    United States of America (USA):

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -USA (IEEE-USA).

    This is an organisational unit of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers international, Inc. that is created to promote the careers and public interests of the more than 235 000 electrical, electronics, computer and software engineers in the USA. They are aimed at the promotion of engineering awareness and encouraging technological literacy reaching out to two different segments of the public - from nine-13 year-olds and to adults.

    The IEEE-USA produces a range of distance-learning packs for training and educational use in the electrical engineering, electronics, and manufacturing and computer software industries.

    Most of the Qualifications accessed that are recognized by the IEEE in the USA are at a higher education level and do not compare favourably with this qualification.

    George Brown College - Canada:

    Electronics Technician Certificate.

    George Brown College is a fully-accredited post-secondary institution operating under the authority of the Ministry of Colleges and Universities in the Province of Ontario. The Electronics Technician Certificate consists of 23 modules, which cover an introductory curriculum in electronics equivalent to a two year college diploma.

    It provides flexible, skills-based training in basic electronics. It has been developed for adult learners pursuing basic technician level training through.

    The average completion time of the twenty-three training modules is thirty-two weeks of part-time study.

    The 23 Modules are:
  • Module 1 - ELNC9034 - Introduction to Electronics.
  • Module 2 - ELCL9049 - Current, Voltage, and Resistance.
  • Module 3 - ELCL9050 - Ohm's Law, Power, and Energy.
  • Module 4 - ELCL9048 - Series Circuits.
  • Module 5 - ELCL9047 - Parallel Circuits.
  • Module 6 - ELCL9046 - Series Parallel Circuits.
  • Module 7 - ELNC9036 - DC Measuring Instruments.
  • Module 8 - ELCL9045 - Network Theorems.
  • Module 9 - ELCL9044 - Magnetism.
  • Module 10 - ELCL9043 - Magnetic Circuits.
  • Module 11 - ELCL9042 - Alternating Voltages and Currents.
  • Module 12 - ELCL9041 - AC Measuring Instruments.
  • Module 13 - ELCL9040 - Capacitance and Capacitors.
  • Module 14 - ELCL9039 - Inductance and Inductors.
  • Module 15 - ELNC9033 Transformers.
  • Module 16 - ELCL9038 - Alternating Current Circuits.
  • Module 17 - ELNC9032 - Resonance.
  • Module 18 - ELNC9031 - Coupling and Filter Circuits.
  • Module19 - ELNC9030 - Semiconductor Fundamentals.
  • Module 20 - ELNC9037 - Transistors and Thyristors.
  • Module 21 - ELNC9029 - Amplifier Circuits.
  • Module 22 - ELNC9028 - Integrated Circuits.
  • Module 23 - ELNC9035 - Digital Electronics.

    The National Certificate: Electronics, Level 5 compares favourably with some of the modules. Also, some of the modules contained in this qualification are not covered in the South African qualification due to the fact that the programme covers an introductory curriculum in electronics equivalent to a two year college diploma compared to a one year certificate.

    Interestingly, no electronics background is required and there are no academic prerequisites required in this certificate as opposed to the South African qualification expressed in the learning assumed in place component although not prescriptive, so anyone can get training in this American certification to meet with the demands of this rapidly-growing industry.

    Tasmanian Secondary Assessment Board.

    The following programme is offered:

    EL772 C, EL770 B: Introduction to Electronics.

    The syllabuses are designed particularly for students with an interest in Electronics. The opportunity to develop a knowledge and understanding of Electronics through practical experience is offered. Syllabus is designed to be taught and assessed as either a 150 hour 'C' Course or a two 100 hours 'B' Courses.

    Learners who complete the course are able to:
  • Understand and apply fundamental concepts of electronics.
  • Plan, construct and test circuits.
  • Undertake electrical measurements.
  • Demonstrate safe working practices.
  • Research, record and recall information.
  • Solve problems.
  • Communicate ideas and information in a variety of ways.

    The course outline is as follows:
  • Electrical Safety.
  • Fundamental Aspects.
  • Basic Electrical Concepts.
  • Transistors as Switches.
  • Transistors as Amplifiers.
  • Timing Circuits.
  • Switching Circuits.
  • Audio/Radio.
  • Power Supplies.
  • Semiconductor Logic Circuits.
  • Combination of Gates.
  • Introduction to the 555 Timer.
  • Negotiated Project (possibly related to the 555 Timer).

    United Kingdom (UK):

    The comparison was done using the National Database of Accredited Qualifications (Qualification and Curriculum Authority) in which electronics related Qualifications found were at NVQ Level which are more vocational or occupational based.

    Edexcel: BTEC National Certificate in Electrical/Electronic Engineering (4322).

    Edexcel' s BTEC National Certificate in Electrical/Electronic Engineering is at the UK NQF Level 3, which has an equivalence level between our NQF Levels 4 and 5. The comparison was done focusing on the level, content and outcomes of the Qualification that is equivalent to our Level 3 Qualification.

    This is a 12-unit Qualification which is made up of six core Unit Standards and six specialist Unit Standards with the following being similar to the unit standards in the National Certificate: Electronics, Level 5.
  • Electrical and Electronic principles.
  • Digital electronics.
  • Analogue electronics.
  • Electronic fault finding.
  • Further Electrical Principles.
  • Health, Safety and Welfare.

    New Zealand Qualifications Authority:

    Electro Technology Industry Training Organisation.

    National Certificate in Electronics Technology.

    The Qualification has been developed for people interested in electronics who may wish to pursue further training and employment in this field and is offered in high schools. Some of the units standards contained in this Qualification compare favourably with the National certificate: Electronics, Level 5 as they address basic knowledge and skills of electronics. It is comprised of the following modules totaling 43 credits:
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge of basic semiconductor devices.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of basic digital and analogue electronic concepts.
  • Describe the development of a new electronic product.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of signals and the transmission of information.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of electronic product quality and reliability.
  • Demonstrate and apply basic knowledge of microcontrollers.

    Canada:

    Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).

    They offer the Electronics Technician, which is a certificate programme. It provides knowledge and skill development in installing, troubleshooting and servicing electronic equipment and systems. Extensive hands-on and practical labs provide you with exposure to current industry techniques and equipment.

    Course content:
  • Electronics fabrication.
  • Electric circuit analysis and troubleshooting.
  • Digital electronics and microprocessors.
  • Analogue electronics.
  • Introduction to personal computer servicing.
  • Technical communications.

    The course content compares favourably with the core component of the South African qualification for the Electronics Technician.

    Zimbabwe:

    Countries in the SADC region tend to benchmark their Qualifications against the South African Qualifications. The only country found to provide a programme in the subject field is Zimbabwe through SIRDC (Electronics and Communications Institute) which offers technology transfer and training services in specialised areas of electronics.

    Conclusion:

    The South African Qualification compares fairly well with the learning and training courses offered internationally but not in their entirety. The National Certificate: Electronics, Level 5 fits well within the occupational profiles and training standards set in other countries. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation is possible with:
  • ID 48872: National Certificate: Information Technology (Systems Development), NQF Level 5.
  • ID 63769: National Certificate: Business Analysis Support Practice, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 48573: National Certificate: Information Technology: Systems Support, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 58340: Certificate: Computer Technology, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 57208: Diploma: Information Technology: Programming, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation is possible with:
  • ID 63909: National Certificate: Business Analysis, 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 Education, Training, Quality, and Assurance (ETDQA) 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 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 
    This National Certificate: Electronics will be internally assessed by a provider registered by the South African Qualifications Authority or a relevant accredited ETDQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with SAQA. The mechanisms and requirements for moderation will be contained in the regulations of the relevant ETDQA.

    For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant needs:
  • To have achieved a minimum of a NQF Level 6 Qualification related to the focus area of electronics.
  • To have a minimum of three years practical, relevant occupational experience in the focus area of electronics.
  • To be registered as an assessor with the relevant ERTQA. 

  • 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  119256  Inspect and test electrical circuits  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14586  Monitor and control quality control practices in a manufacturing/engineering environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  263414  Process data using information technology  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  115392  Apply principles of creating computer software by developing a complete programme to meet given business specifications  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Core  386094  Collect and analyse operational or experimental data for preventative maintenance  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  114061  Demonstrate an understanding of Wide Area Computer Networks (WAN`s), comparing them with Local Area Networks (LAN`s)  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  386099  Demonstrate knowledge of applied electronics  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  386100  Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of electronic manufacturing process  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  244288  Demonstrate understanding of occupational health and safety legislation in the workplace  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  386095  Design and implement electronic circuitry and systems  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  386098  Diagnose and locate faulty circuit, component and equipment  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  386093  Inspect and test electronic equipment, components and assemblies using measuring and testing equipment  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  386056  Plan and design software testing activities  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Core  13102  Apply the processes of planning and control as it relates to budgeting, standard costing and decentralised control  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  15 
    Fundamental  116389  Write a technical report  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  10622  Conduct communication within a business environment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  386097  Apply basic Biomedical Electronics  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Elective  114074  Demonstrate an understanding of different computer network architectures and standards  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  243824  Develop an integrated Project Management plan for a simple to moderately complex project  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  117871  Facilitate learning using a variety of given methodologies  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  243812  Monitor and control the execution of the project management plan for a simple to moderately complex project  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Elective  386096  Perform acceptance test procedures to electronic telecommunications equipment  Level 5  NQF Level 05 
    Elective  10147  Supervise a project team of a technical project to deliver project objectives  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  14 
    Elective  115791  Use language and communication strategies for vocational and occupational learning  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Abinet (PTY)LTD 
    2. Ithemba IT Solution 



    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.