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: 

Occupational Certificate: Electrical Line Mechanic: Overhead Lines 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91781  Occupational Certificate: Electrical Line Mechanic: Overhead Lines 
ORIGINATOR
DQP - Eskom Academy of Learning 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
QCTO - Quality Council for Trades and Occupations  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 12 - Physical Planning and Construction  Electrical Infrastructure Construction 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  510  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2022-06-30  

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 this qualification is to prepare a learner to:
Construct, inspect, maintain, repair and dismantle electrical distribution and transmission line equipment.
A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Construct electrical powerlines and install related equipment.
  • Maintain and repair electrical infrastructure and equipment.
  • Dismantle electrical infrastructure and equipment.

    Rationale:
    This qualification recognises the skills and knowledge required for the trade of Electrical Line Mechanic: Overhead Lines, in the context of Low and Medium Voltage infrastructure. This is a key occupation to deliver on the South African Government's Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP) which was established to provide basic access to electricity for all citizens of South Africa.

    In order to meet this ambitious target of providing electricity to an additional 14 million households, the number of people practising this trade has to be substantially increased. While such electrical line mechanics have been trained in the past, they have not had recognition through a formal qualification or through formal programmes such as apprenticeships or learnerships.

    Typically, learners will be unemployed youth drawn from the communities which are the focus of the electrification or upgrade programmes. Qualifying learners will generally be employed by SMME contractors who carry out the work for the utilities, to build, inspect, maintain, repair and upgrade electrical transmission, distribution and reticulation equipment. Some will be permanently employed by the utilities themselves. Once they have acquired sufficient experience, qualifying learners will be able to select from a number of vertical and horizontal career opportunities including performing more specialised construction and electrical maintenance work, and establishing their own contracting companies.

    A formal qualification is an essential mechanism to help ensure that the construction, inspection, maintenance and repair of the electrical infrastructure is performed according to the relevant design and operational standards and contractual agreements, which includes maintaining the quality and the continuity of electrical supply and ensuring that the impact of such work on the environment is minimised. Rigorous and extensive training is also required in order to ensure the safety of the workers, the public and ultimately the energy consumer. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the integrated assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Prior learning must be acknowledged by a statement of results.

    RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
    NQF Level 1 (General Education and Training Certificate) with Science and a 50% pass in Mathematics. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Standards:

    Knowledge Standards:
  • The occupational context, NQF Level 3, 7 Credits.
  • Tools and equipment, NQF Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • Electricity and electrical installations, NQF Level 4, 26 Credits.
  • Principles and concepts of electrical line construction, NQF Level 4, 25 Credits.
  • Powerline construction practices, NQF Level 2, 15 Credits.
  • Powerline construction health, safety, environment and quality fundamentals, NQF Level 3, 25 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Knowledge Standards: 110.

    Practical Skill Standards:
  • Use tools and equipment, NQF Level 2, 36 Credits.
  • Interpret drawings and diagrams, NQF Level 3, 16 Credits.
  • Erect powerline structures, NQF Level 4, 48 Credits.
  • Install powerline cables and conductors, NQF Level 3, 24 Credits.
  • Install powerline equipment, NQF Level 3, 28 Credits.
  • Perform administrative tasks, NQF Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • Inspect and maintain powerlines and equipment, NQF Level 4, 36 Credits.
  • Find, repair and report on powerline faults, NQF Level 4, 28 Credits.
  • Dismantle power lines and equipment and rehabilitate sites, NQF Level 4, 28 Credits.

    Total number of Credits for Practical Skill Standards: 256.

    This qualification also requires the following compulsory Work Experience Standards:
  • Powerline construction in a variety of conditions and situations, NQF Level 4, 32 Credits.
  • Interpersonal interactions and team work, NQF Level 3, 20 Credits.
  • Powerline construction planning and scheduling processes, NQF Level 4, 20 Credits.
  • Maintenance and repair processes, NQF Level 4, 36 Credits.
  • Dismantling and rehabilitation processes, NQF Level 4, 36 Credits.

    Total number of Credits for Work Experience Standards: 144. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Construct electrical power lines and install related equipment.
    2. Maintain and repair electrical infrastructure and equipment.
    3. Dismantle electrical infrastructure and equipment. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Powerlines and equipment are installed safely, to specifications and within the specified time.
  • All powerline construction and installation work is planned and carried out systematically and risk assessments are conducted for each aspect of the work.
  • Appropriate lifting and rigging equipment is selected and used according to specifications.
  • Knowledge and understanding of construction principles and regulations are demonstrated.
  • Construction and installation work is done neatly with due care and consideration for quality, craftsmanship and pride in the work.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Infrastructure and equipment is maintained safely, to specifications and within the specified time.
  • All infrastructure and equipment maintenance and repair work is planned and relevant risk assessments are conducted.
  • All faults are identified correctly and repaired to original design specifications.
  • Knowledge and understanding of maintenance specifications and processes are demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Powerlines and equipment are dismantled safely, to specification and within the specified time.
  • All powerline and equipment dismantling tasks are planned, carried out systematically and risk assessments are conducted for each task including confirming the integrity of the structure.
  • Appropriate lifting and rigging equipment is selected for each structure, conductor or piece of equipment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of dismantling principles, procedures and precautionary measures are demonstrated.
  • All dismantling work is done neatly with due care and consideration for quality, craftsmanship and pride in the work.

    Integrated Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant QCTO Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria.

    The external summative assessment will be a trade test as prescribed under section 26 D of the SDA and defined in the Trade Test Regulations. It will be conducted through an evaluation of written and practical tasks covering critical aspects in a simulated environment at an assessment centre accredited by QCTO and conducted by an assessor registered by the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). The assessment will take place over a minimum of 2 days and must be contextualised for distribution or reticulation. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Background to the occupation:
    Any country with an electrical transmission and distribution network needs to employ Electrical Line Mechanics: Overhead Lines to build, inspect, maintain, repair, upgrade and or dismantle of infrastructure to ensure the availability of electrical supply to customers. They are variously known as:
  • Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers (USA, SOC 49-9051).
  • Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers (Canada, NOC 7244).
  • Electrical Linesworkers (Australia).
  • Electrical Line Mechanics (New Zealand, ANZCO 342211).
  • Overhead Linesworkers (United Kingdom, SOC2010 5429).

    Those who work in the context of electrified railways are included by both Australia and Great Britain as a specialisation within this occupation (Railway Traction Line Worker and Railway Linesman respectively).

    An analysis of the occupations in the various countries shows that there is a great deal of similarity. This is due to the fact that the principles of construction processes, the equipment, the tools and the occupational challenges they face are all very similar. This similarity is found in:
  • The occupational descriptors for electrical line mechanics across these various countries.
  • The tasks they perform.
  • The equipment they work on.
  • The tools they use.
  • The occupational challenges.
  • The training they receive.

    The occupational challenges include working at heights, in inclement weather, across a wide range of terrains and on a variety of geographical sites.

    The occupational contexts are mostly broken down into transmission (high voltage, cross-country lines) and distribution (medium voltage and low voltage lines between substations and the client).

    Training of Electrical Line Mechanics: Overhead Lines:
    The training of Electrical Line Mechanics: Overhead Lines is generally based on an apprenticeship or apprenticeship-type system which combines a formal learning component with extensive on-the-job training and experience. Apprenticeships for Electrical Line Mechanics: Overhead Lines may last between 3 and 5 years. In the latter case this is because that particular apprenticeship is inclusive of low voltage, medium voltage distribution and high voltage infrastructure. The formal component of the qualification lasts between 20 and 26 weeks, which is equivalent to between 80 - 100 South African credits.

    The South Africa qualification does not include the construction and maintenance of high voltage transmission lines. This will be developed as a specialisation at a later stage.

    Country selected for comparison:
    A detailed comparison was conducted using the United States of America. The USA has one of the most sophisticated electrical infrastructures in the world as well as a highly developed training infrastructure. Formal training is delivered through community colleges and distance institutions. The offerings of several of these colleges were used to make the detailed comparison. The comparison was based on the following:
  • Entry requirements , duration, formal learning duration, material covered in formal learning, skills required, High voltage line construction, crane operating licence, heavy duty licence, nationally standardised summative assessment.

    Differences:
    Despite the sophistication of the USA training system, different standards apply in various states and within the utilities themselves. Thus there is no standardised national summative assessment. This has been built into the South African qualification to ensure a level of reliability and standardisation.

    The biggest difference between the two qualifications is the duration. This is due to the following:
  • The USA training is primarily done on-the-job, and advances slowly stage-by-stage through exposure to various different sites and different types of construction work.
  • The USA training includes high voltage work.

    The training process for Electrical Line Mechanics: Overhead Lines in South Africa will contain a significant portion (50% of the qualification's credits) of off-the-job training under expert practitioners. This will ensure that less time will need to be spent in the workplace before the final assessment.

    The South Africa qualification does not contain high voltage line construction work. This component has not been included in the South Africa qualification because the focus of this qualification lies in addressing the challenges of expanding access to electricity, i.e. the distribution of electricity, reticulation of cities, towns, industry and electrification of townships and remote rural areas. To achieve this, the priority for utilities is to install, maintain, repair, and upgrade medium and low voltage distribution and reticulation lines and equipment.

    Summary:
    The South African qualification is comparable to what is found internationally, in terms of what the qualification covers and the level of skills that have to be developed. It differs, however, in responding to current transformational challenges in South Africa. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The likely vertical progression for a qualified learner with this qualification is an NQF Level 5 Certificate in the Electrical field.

    This Occupational Certificate articulates horizontally with other qualifications in the Electrical field with cross-cutting credits in the Knowledge Specifications. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the QCTO website. 

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

    NOTES 
    Learners must meet the legal and medical requirements to function as an Electrical Line Mechanic (Overhead Lines) prior to registering for training; specifically, learners must have a fitness certificate for working at heights. Learners must also be able to distinguish colours.

    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of statements of results and work experience.

    Learners are also required to be in possession of a valid crane operator's licence.

    Foundational learning competence is a prerequisite for the awarding of this qualification. 

    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.