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 UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical rock mechanics principles 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256846  Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical rock mechanics principles 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
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 unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people who are pursuing a career in rock engineering.

This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, demonstrating the knowledge and understanding of theoretical rock mechanics principles in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of rock mechanics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of stress.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of rock behaviour.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical rock behaviour models and rock strength criteria. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical literacy at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge of rock mechanics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The term 'rock mechanics' is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The effect of excavation creation on rock mass equilibrium is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The variables studied in rock mechanics are listed and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Rock strength/behaviour.
  • Rock stress.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of stress. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The concept of stress is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • In terms of force and area.
  • Rock mechanics sign conventions (2D and 3D).
  • Engineering sign conventions.
  • Principal stresses.
  • Shear stress.
  • Normal stress.
  • Tensile stress.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The existence of stress in the underground environment is explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Strain as a result of applied stress is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • In terms of deformation.
  • Principal strains.
  • Shear strain.
  • Normal strain.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Special conditions of stress and strain are described and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Plane stress.
  • Plane strain.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of rock behaviour when tested. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The most commonly used methods of determining rock strength are listed and briefly explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Uni-axial.
  • Tri-axial.
  • Point Load Index.
  • Brazilian Disc.
  • Shear box.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Components of rock strength obtained from testing is listed and related to the testing method in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Consequences must include:
  • UCS.
  • Tri-axial.
  • Shear.
  • Tensile.
  • Residual strength.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Common terms related to stress strain behaviour of rock are listed and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Rock fracture.
  • Peak strength.
  • Residual strength.
  • Brittle failure.
  • Ductile deformation.
  • Yield.
  • Effective stress.
  • Pore pressure.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The behaviour of rock is described in principle by means of using stress-strain graphs. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Description must include:
  • The stress-strain behaviour of brittle rock in uniaxial compression.
  • The effect of confinement on rock strength.
  • The effect of confinement on stress-strain behaviour of rock samples, with particular attention to what happens to rock after it has reached its peak stress.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Mechanical properties commonly used to describe elastic rock behaviour are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Hooke's Law in 2D.
  • Young's Modulus.
  • Poisson's ratio.
  • Modulus of rigidity/shear modulus.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate an understanding of theoretical rock behaviour models and rock strength criteria. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Stress-strain graphs are described and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Stiffness.
  • Yield stress.
  • Failure.
  • Strain hardening.
  • Strain softening.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Basic rock behaviour is described and explained using stress-strain graphs in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Elastic.
  • Plastic.
  • Ductile.
  • Visco-elastic.
  • Elasto-plastic.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The foundation of strength criteria used in rock mechanics are listed and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Mohr-Coulomb.
  • Hoek-and-Brown.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The significance of each parameter in the different strength criteria is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Mohr-Coulomb.
  • Hoek-and-Brown.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The strength of intact rock is calculated by means of using the different strength criteria. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Mohr-Coulomb.
  • Hoek-and-Brown.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Knowledge that the assessor will evaluate:
  • Knowledge of rock mechanics.
  • Knowledge and understanding of stress.
  • Knowledge and understanding of rock behaviour when tested.
  • Knowledge and understanding of theoretical rock behaviour models and rock strength criteria.

    Causes and effects (Occupational Health and Safety):
  • Use of equipment.
  • Use of personal protective equipment.
  • Adherence to occupational health and safety requirements.
  • Work related hazards and associated risks.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies and standards:
  • Occupational health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to understand that rock mechanics knowledge is essential if a career in rock engineering is pursued. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: The ability of the learner to communicate rock mechanics knowledge with the use of graphs and mathematical equations. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The use of physics as base for rock mechanics. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The understanding that rock mechanics knowledge forms the basis for the application of knowledge and understanding in rock engineering. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act and Regulations, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site-Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  62796   Further Education and Training Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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.