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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of Rock Engineering terminology, theory and mensuration 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256849  Demonstrate an understanding of Rock Engineering terminology, theory and mensuration 
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, knowledge and understanding of rock engineering terminology, theory and mensuration in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of the importance of rock engineering knowledge.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of rock engineering terminology and definitions.
  • Demonstrate understanding of rock engineering theory.
  • Apply rock-engineering theory through the completion of calculations. 

  • 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 understanding of the importance of rock engineering knowledge. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The subsets of rock engineering practice are listed and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Strata control.
  • Rock mechanics.
  • Slope stability.
  • Surface subsidence.
  • Seismology.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The consequences of inadequate rock engineering knowledge are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Legal requirements.
  • Health and safety.
  • Economic.
  • Environmental concerns.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate knowledge of rock engineering terminology and definitions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Rock properties are described in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Friction angle.
  • Coefficient of friction.
  • Cohesion.
  • Peak strength.
  • Residual strength.
  • Brittle failure.
  • Ductile deformation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Rock engineering concepts are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Yield stress.
  • Effective stress.
  • Pore pressure.
  • Stress distributions and concentrations.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Rock failure criteria are described and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Griffiths.
  • Mohr-Coulomb.
  • Hoek and Brown.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate understanding of rock engineering theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Rock engineering theory related to rock strength is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Stress-strain behaviour of rock in uni-axial compression.
  • Effect of confinement on rock strength.
  • Effect of confinement on stress-strain behaviour of rock.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Stress distributions around excavations are explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Stress distributions around tabular excavations with increase in depth.
  • Interaction of stresses with ground surface at shallow depth.
  • Effect of stress directions on stress concentrations and fracturing around circular, square, elliptical and rectangular tunnels.
  • Effect of k-ratio on stress distributions around above excavations.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The formation of stress fracturing is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Typical fracture patterns around excavations.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Stress distributions in pillars are explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Stress changes in a pillar from formation to compaction.
  • Stress-strain behaviour of pillars at width:height ratios of 2,4,6 and 8.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Support design methods are described and explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Arch formation.
  • Suspension.
  • Beam formation.
  • Energy absorption.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Apply rock-engineering theory through the completion of calculations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Calculations are performed using rock-engineering formulae. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Possibility of shear on a weakness plane using the Coulomb failure criteria.
  • Strength of intact rock using Hoek and Brown failure criteria.
  • Stress levels at a point near a circular excavation using analytical equations.
  • Stress levels on the boundary of a circular excavation using analytical equations.
  • Energy absorption capacity of support given their load-deformation curves.
  • Energy absorption requirements.
  • Barton and Choubey method to calculate the strength of a joint.
  • Support capacity for a tunnel under deadweight loading.
     


  • 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 
    The following essential embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:

    Knowledge and understanding that the assessor will evaluate:
  • Understanding of the importance of rock engineering knowledge.
  • Knowledge of rock engineering terminology and definitions.
  • Understanding of rock engineering theory.
  • Rock-engineering theory through the completion of calculations.

    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 IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note: The ability of the learner to relate the application of some rock engineering theories to conditions underground. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: The ability of the learner to collect the appropriate input parameters to calculations and evaluate the outcome of the calculations. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note: The use of science and technology is promoted through the use of recent rock engineering theories and computer aided software. 

    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 the application of basic rock engineering theory through the ability to calculate certain parameters can assist to ensure the health and safety of mining personnel confirms. 

    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, 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.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice.
  • Manufacturers Specifications.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • Risk Assessment Documents.
  • South African Bureau of Standards and other standards. 

  • 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.