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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Describe the various rock mass rating systems typically used in mining 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256897  Describe the various rock mass rating systems typically used in mining 
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 the various rock mass rating systems typically used 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 term 'rock mass rating systems.
  • Describe the various rock mass rating systems.
  • Demonstrate understanding of application of rock mass rating systems. 

  • 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 term 'rock mass rating systems'. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The differences between rock sample - and rock mass characteristics are explained in the mining context. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The term 'rock mass rating' is briefly explained in the context of mining operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The need for rock mass rating systems is explained in the context of rock engineering principles. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the various rock mass rating systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Commonly used rock mass rating systems are listed in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Barton's Q system.
  • Bieniawski's Geomechanics Classification (RMR).
  • Laubscher's Mining Rock Mass Rating (MRMR).
  • Rockwall Condition Factor (RCF).
  • Rock Quality Designation (RQD).
  • Coal Mining Rock Mass rating.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The rock mass ratings systems are explained in terms of their input parameters. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Barton's Q system.
  • Bieniawski's Geomechanics Classification (RMR).
  • Laubscher's Mining Rock Mass Rating (MRMR).
  • Rockwall Condition Factor (RCF).
  • Rock Quality Designation (RQD).
  • Coal Mining Rock Mass rating.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate understanding of application of rock mass rating systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The meaning of the actual rock mass rating achieved after executing any of the systems is explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Rock mass quality.
  • Rock mass stability.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The application of the rock mass rating results is listed and explained in the context of mining operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Support requirements.
  • Stand-up time.
  • Indication of excavation stability.
  • Failure criterion parameter calculation (Hoek and Brown/Mohr-Coulomb).
  • Modulus of Elasticity calculation.
  • Comparison of conditions/requirements.
  • Indication of risk.
  • Identification of ground control districts.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The consequences of inadequate execution of rock mass ratings are explained in the context of mining operations. 


    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 and understanding that the assessor will evaluate:
  • The term 'rock mass rating systems'.
  • Various rock mass rating systems.
  • The application of rock mass rating systems.

    Causes and effects (Occupational Health and Safety):
  • 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 WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to explain the rock mass rating results and the potential impact on mining conditions to the team. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to understand that the execution of a rock mass rating according to set procedures and methods is essential in estimating rock mass stability. 

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

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to critically evaluate the input parameters to the rock mass rating system as well as the results. 

  • 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 the rock mass condition to production and other rock engineering personnel. 

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

    Note:
  • The use of rock mass rating systems and associated computer 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 rock mass rating results are used to determine excavation stability and support requirements to ensure a safe mining environment. 

  • 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 and 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 and S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications.

    Motivation in respect of number of specific outcomes:
  • Even though there are less than four specific outcomes in this unit standard it represents a whole competency. It is NOT merely a description of tasks, jobs or procedures but it focuses on outcomes of activity. It also has a broad application across a range of contexts as stipulated in the unit standard.
  • In addition this unit standard is considered as a milestone of learning in the sector. It is worth recognizing in its own right, as it is attributable to and achievable by an individual.
  • This unit standard is fit-for-purpose for the sector and the specific outcomes jointly meet all the competence requirements of the title of the standard.
  • In addition the unit standard has been integrated to avoid artificial distinctions between activities/processes. 

  • 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.