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Occupational Certificate: Water Regulation Practitioner 
101471  Occupational Certificate: Water Regulation Practitioner 
Development Quality Partner - EWSETA -Agri 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Nature Conservation 
Undefined  216  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-ELOAC 
Registered  EXCO 04168/19  2019-09-11  2024-09-11 
2025-09-11   2028-09-11  

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. 

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the learner with the required knowledge, skills and practical experience to prepare a learner to operate as a Water Regulation Practitioner.

A Water Regulation Practitioner protects water resources and related infrastructure through the development and effective implementation of appropriate regulatory requirements (authorise, enforce, compliance monitoring, regulation and protection).

Qualifying learners will be able to:
  • Generate valid and updated water quality reports for a designated area.
  • Conduct inspections and audits to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Evaluate applications for the issuing of water use authorisations/permits.
  • Build and maintain productive relationships within the water quality management and utilisation community.

    Southern Africa is a semi-arid region where water is of critical strategic importance to all development in all economic sectors and for the maintenance and conservation of the essential biodiversity needed for sustainable human existence. It is of utmost importance that the scarce water resources are optimally utilised in order to benefit all current and future users. For this purpose, a range of legislative requirements were put in place with the National Water Act as the centrepiece.

    Different stakeholders and economic entities have various needs and expectations related to the availability and use of water. Each of the users require different levels of water quality and each of the users in a designated area will impact on the availability and quality of the water for the area and the total water system.

    The national water utilisation strategies are aligned with global leading practices and take the sensitive and interdependent availability of water into consideration. The successful implementation of these strategies require that the users and stakeholders understand the intention of the strategies and effectively comply with the legislative requirements.

    There is also a critical need to continually monitor the water availability and quality in catchment areas to ensure that early corrective actions can be taken when changes are imminent, to avoid the ultimate destruction of the sensitive balance in water availability, supply and demand.

    The Water Regulation Practitioner is an occupation within the water management system. Practitioners in this occupation work, mainly for government, but increasingly for private sector and they are ultimately responsible to ensure the effective implementation of the national and regional strategies and for the collection of valid, updated and relevant data, to inform proactive decision making regarding the management of this critical resource.

    There is a consistent global shortage of skilled people to execute this work. In South Africa this has been identified as a scarce and critical skills area. Employers currently employ qualified practitioners in related fields, such as civil engineering or biological or environmental sciences and then provide these employees with on-the-job exposure to become competent Water Regulation Practitioners.

    This qualification will structure the required learning in terms of knowledge, skills and work exposure and will provide the platform to standardise and fast track the learning of these practitioners. The qualification will also provide appropriate articulation opportunities and cater for meaningful career progression. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for Access to the External Integrated Summative Assessment:

    Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by experience record.

    RPL for Access to the Qualification:
    Issuing a statement of result or certifying a work.

    Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 7 in Environmental Health or Water Care or Natural Science's.
  • NQF Level 6 with 3 years' work experience in the Environmental Health or Water Care or Natural Science. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skills and Work Experience Modules.

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 213306-001-00-KM-01, Water Resource Science, Level 8, 26 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-KM-02, Integrated Catchment Risk Management, Level 8, 31 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-KM-03, Water Resource Engineering, Level 8, 12 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-KM-04, Water Regulatory Framework, Level 8, 10 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 79.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 213306-001-00- PM-01, Ensure the Availability of Valid Sample Results for a Designated Area, Level 7, 9 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-02, Generate and Manage Water Quality Reports, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-03, Conduct On-site Inspections, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-04, Conduct Incident Inspections, Level 8, 4 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-05, Implement Enforcement Actions, Level 8, 4 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-06, Advise Clients on the Need for Water Authorisations and Permits, Level 7, 6 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-07, Provide Comments for Land Use or Infrastructure Purposes (EIA, Rezoning), Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-08, Participate in Relevant Stakeholder Forums, Level 8, 6 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-PM-09, Provide Information and Stakeholder Education Regarding Water Management, Level 7, 6 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 53.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 213306-001-00-WM-01, Evaluate the Site Specific Water Quality Monitoring Processes, Level 8, 16 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-WM-02, Analyse the Compliance Auditing Processes, Level 8, 16 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-WM-03, Identify the incident Management Processes, Level 7, 16 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-WM-04, Review and Assess The Authorisation Processes, Level 8, 16 Credits.
  • 213306-001-00-WM-05, Identify the Stakeholder Engagement Processes, Level 6, 20 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 84. 

    1. Generate valid and updated water quality reports for a designated area.
    2. Conduct inspections and audits to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
    3. Evaluate applications for the issuing of water use authorisations/permits.. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Analyse complex biophysical data from a range of contexts and interpret it:
  • Identify all pollutants present in the given water system during the analysis.
  • Describe the sources of the pollution and indicate the most probable causes for the pollution.
  • Explain the impact on the natural environment, health of people and the infrastructure in the short, medium and long term.
  • Interpret and describe data to identify all the risks associated with various water quality conditions and will contain a detailed plan to mitigate and prevent the risks from causing harm to people, infrastructure and the environment.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Identify the appropriate parameters and limits in terms of the relevant national and international standards and legislation.
  • Annalyse a full range of environmental scenarios relating to audits and inspections and indicate the compliance requirements related to each of the given situations in terms of local and national legislation and global leading practices and standards.
  • Recommend corrective actions and determine the initiation of appropriate sanctions relevant to given scenarios that covers all possible eventualities that could occur within a typical area of responsibility within the Southern African context.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Identify all required information relating to a full range of water use applications and describe the sequence of all the activities required to process the applications.
  • Explain the reasons for each of the application process steps relevant to the quality requirements for the evaluation of applications.
  • Develop detailed plans for the execution of verification visits and inspections that covers all the required aspects and describe all the preparation needed to execute the visits and audits.
  • Conduct verification visits and audits according to the laid down procedures and identify and record all deviations from the standards in line with the generally accepted protocols.
  • Analyse, interpret and calculate a full range of biophysical data related to water quality and describe the impact of effluent management on the systems giving appropriate recommendations to deal with the consequences of the identified impact.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated Internal Assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This Formative Assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated Summative Assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (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 assessment will be conducted through:
    a. A national examination that assesses both theory and practical skills and is conducted electronically where possible. The examination will be based on nationally standardised examination question papers that will be marked by a panel of expert assessors appointed and registered by the Assessment Quality Partner.
    b. Professional registration: Learners that want to enrol for this qualification must register with WISA. Upon successful completion of the final integrated assessment their professional registration will be upgraded to that of "Associate".Further registration as a professional will be awarded upon completion of specified two years post qualification work experience and the successful completion of a Board Interview. 

    In preparation for registration of this Occupational Qualification an international comparability study was conducted. The study firstly identified the Occupational Status in various countries and then looked at the availability of comparable qualifications in those countries. For the purposes of this analysis reference will be made to United States of America and Canada.

    The global crisis in water quality and availability has created an intensive global dialogue regarding all the key issues relating to the effective management of this critical resource. A World Water Forum meets on a regular basis and they are continually working on synergising efforts to manage the resource. Some of the objectives formulated at the World Water Forum also focus on the creating of globally accepted learning and development initiatives. This qualification is in line with the thinking coming from the World Water Forum.

    In South Africa there is currently no qualification aimed exclusively at the development of the skills of water quality management specialists. Current qualifications in the Higher Education Sub Framework deals with the scientific issues related to environmental management and create a broad academic background to the discipline.

    United States of America (USA):

    In the United States the Occupation is seen as a specialisation to the Environmental Scientist. Entry requirements for the Occupation are a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in one of the Natural Sciences. Further training is then provided on the job and supported by a range of short courses covering the following skills:
  • Laboratory processes and equipment.
  • Water sampling methodology.
  • Analytical problem solving.
  • Legislation.
  • Communication.

    The current practices in the United States are similar to what we do in South Africa. This qualification covers all the aspects stated in the short courses and it provides a standardised process for building on the theoretical basis created by the relevant Degree or Diploma.


    In Canada Environmental Legislation is rigorously implemented. Professionals in the field are certified by professional bodies and specific on and off job learning is provided for these professionals. The Occupation similar to the South African Water Regulation Practitioner is that of Environmental Protection Officer: Water Quality.

    As in the United States of America and currently in South Africa the minimum requirements for entry into this Occupation is a Degree in Natural Sciences. Training is then provided by the Professional Body in:
  • Environmental Consulting: How to Work with employers, stakeholders and the regulator.
  • Professional Communication: Technical report writing, making presentations and conflict resolution.
  • Environmental Project Management: Scope of projects, time management, budgets and resources.
  • Environmental Law: Standards, compliance and when legal advice is needed.
  • Environmental Management Systems: ISO 14001.
  • Sustainability Management: Monitoring programmes, dealing with challenges.
  • Conducting Environmental Impact assessments: Consultation with stakeholders, assessing environmental issues, reports.
  • Conducting Site assessments: Scoping, review of historical data, visual inspections, collecting information, sampling, preparing assessment reports.
  • Developing site remediation: Estimating implications, recommending clean up actions, restoration, prevention.
  • Interpreting and enforcing standards.
  • Implementing pollution prevention.
  • Analysing sample data.
  • Conducting studies related to ecosystems and habitats.
  • Developing and implementing natural resource plans.
  • Developing environmental curricula for stakeholders.

    The learning provided above is done through a range of short courses, online training, seminars and on job training. The stated learning programmes compare favourably with the contents of the South African Occupational Certificate.

    The Occupational Certificate: Water Regulation Practitioner is custom designed for the Southern African environment. It will standardise the learning and align it with global leading practices and it will contribute towards achieving the stated objectives of the World Water Forum relating to the establishment of globally comparable learning programmes and modules. The learning in this qualification is significantly comparable with the learning provided in the USA and Canada and it brings this learning together in a nationally recognised qualification.

    213306-001-00-00 - Occupational Certificate: Water Regulation Practitioner. 

    Horizontal Articulation:

    This qualification articulates horizontal and vertical with the following qualification:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Water Management; National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 8.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Master of Science in Water Resource Management; NQF Level 9. 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    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 records.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:

    Criteria for the Accreditation of Providers.

    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Water Regulation Practitioner: 213306-001-00-00.

    Encompassed Trades:

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the National Learners' Records Database (NLRD):
  • This is not a trade qualification.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):

    Water Institute of Southern Africa.


    Part Qualifications:


    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.

    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.