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.

Occupational Certificate: Beam House Machine Operator 
101551  Occupational Certificate: Beam House Machine Operator 
Development Quality Partner - FPMSETA (MAN) 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
Undefined  134  Not Applicable  NQF Level 02  Regular-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
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 qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Beam House Machine Operator.

A Beam House Machine Operator handles raw hides and operates machinery and equipment in the lime yard to prepare raw hides and skins for tanning and convert raw hides and skins into pelts ready for the tanning operations.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Handle raw hides/skins and operate a drum/paddle in the liming process to produce plumped hide/skin that has hair removed.
  • Handle raw hides/skins and operate a fleshing machine to remove fat and flesh from a hide/skin or limed hide/skin to produce a fleshed hide or a pelt.
  • Handle a limed and fleshed hide and operate a splitting machine by feeding in the pelt in such a way that there is as little variation in the thicknesses/substance of the split thus producing a grain split and a drop split.

    According to information available from the International Trade Centre (ITC), leather is one of the world's most widely traded commodities. The trade in leather and leather products - worth more than US$ 60 billion per year - is predicted to grow even further. Trade in hides and skins, and semi-processed tanned leather is a lucrative business. Exports of hides and skins have fallen in recent years to below 4%, and at the same time, the livestock population has jumped about 25% over the last decade, faster than the world trend.

    The ITC, with financial support from the Netherlands, launched its Integrated Leather Sector Export Development Programme for support to the leather manufacturing industry and to boost exports whereby the entire continent stands to benefit.

    The successful development of the sector could help reduce poverty in rural areas. As a labour-intensive industry, it is an important source of employment.

    A Blueprint for the African Leather Industry is a report commissioned by the United Nations (UN) Industrial Development Organisation and jointly prepared by ITC, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Common Fund for Commodities. It identifies Africa's potential and makes recommendations to players in the supply chain - governments, the private sector and international organisations. The report is the outcome of the "Meet in Africa 2002" meeting that brought together 25 African experts in Tunis. Information from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, on the leather manufacturing industry in South Africa shows that hides, skins and leather are by-products of farming stock and wild animals bred primarily for meat consumption and are mainly recovered from slaughterhouses and farms. Because the leather industry depends on the recovery of hides and skins of the farming stock and wild animals, availability of raw material directly depends on the size of the animal population, the take-off ratio and the weight/size of the hide/skin recovered.

    The quality of South African hides has been positively influenced by the rise in the number of feedlots operating in the meat industry, with animals thus spending less time in the open veldt. These hides are rated to be superior to other sub-Saharan African and most Asian hides, but inferior to most hides from Australia, Argentina, the United States (US) and Europe. Their relatively small size renders them just marginally suited for upholstery and automotive leather. However, over 60% of South African hides are regarded as suitable for automotive leather.

    The Motor Industry Development Program (MIDP) was introduced to support the leather manufacturing industry. The key component of the MIDP with regards to automotive upholstery is that it contained an import-export complementation scheme. Export of stitched leather seat covers responded positively to this incentive and increased the demand for local hides and skins.

    The raw skins, hides and leather industry are also an important earner of foreign exchange through the export of raw leather and tanned leather. The industry exports mainly to Europe (Italy, Turkey and Germany) and to Asia (Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong and China). 

    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 issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

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

    Entry Requirements:
  • Level 1 with Mathematics. 


    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Modules:

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 715501001-KM-01, Leather Lime Yard Processes Technology, Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 715501001-KM-02, Leather Fleshing Technology, Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 715501001-KM-03, Leather Splitting Processes Technology, Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 715501001-KM-04, Basic Leather Production and Manufacturing Concepts, Level 2, 6 Credits.
  • 715501001-KM-05, Applied Numerical Literacy in the Leather Industry, Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 715501001-KM-06, Applied English Literacy for the Leather Industry, Level 2, 4 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 30.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 715501001-PM-01, Adhere to process instructions to produce limed hide or skin, Level 2, 28 Credits.
  • 715501001-PM-02, Ensure that the blades of the fleshing machine remove all fat and flesh from the hide or limed pelt, Level 2, 16 Credits.
  • 715501001-PM-03, Perform a lime split of a hide to produce a grain split and drop split, Level 2, 28 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 72.

    This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:
  • 715501001-WM-01, Hide soaking and liming processes, Level 2, 12 Credits.
  • 715501001-WM-02, Green fleshing or after liming fleshing processes, Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 715501001-WM-03, Hide splitting processes (lime splitting or wet blue splitting), Level 2, 12 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 32. 

    1. Produce a limed hide/skin to company standards by operating a drum/paddle whilst complying with safety and company standards.
    2. Mix chemicals for a range of liquors used in the liming and soaking process.
    3. Interpret and apply the indicators on the liming process sheet.
    4. Apply basic calculations to the liming and soaking procedures in the beam house.
    5. Correctly identify and handle a range of raw hide and skin according to type, substance and consistency to conform to quality standards.
    6. Operate the fleshing machine by presenting the hide in the correct manner to the machine to produce a fleshed hide.
    7. Operate a splitting machine to perform a split of a hide/skin to produce a grain or drop split.
    8. Maintain the quality of the split.
    9. Comply with safety and health standards and requirements during operation of the fleshing machine. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The work instruction is correctly interpreted and information is applied in the liming operation to meet the set standard for the product.
  • The purpose of the operations and soaking and liming processes explained.
  • The causes, dangers and prevention of tangling of raw hides/skins during the liming process are explained.
  • Raw hide/skins are processed to pelt state by operating a drum/paddle.
  • The operation of a drum/paddle such as stopping the full drum with the door in the right place and opening and closing the drum door is demonstrated.
  • The raw hides/skins are checked at intervals during the process for complete hair loss and for plumping of the limed hide.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • A chemical recipe for a liquor used in the liming process is correctly interpreted.
  • All items on the recipe identified and correct quantities determined.
  • Thermometers are accurately used at the appropriate stages in the process.
  • The pH of the solution is determined using the appropriate indicators.
  • The correct amounts of reactants and raw materials are determined by using the correct measuring equipment.
  • Measuring equipment is used accurately and tarred when necessary.
  • Chemicals and liquors are handled and stored in a safe manner ensuring the prevention of incidents and accidents.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The time line of the process and accurate timing are applied.
  • The recipe indicators such as temperature, process conditions, and pH, are accurately applied.
  • The sequence order of addition of chemicals is applied to ensure compliance with safety and quality standards.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The quantity of substrate to be used is calculated.
  • The amount of chemicals required is calculated.
  • The calculation of chemicals required is rechecked.
  • Calculations used in the beam house such as add, subtract, multiply and divide simple numbers and percentages, volume and counting are accurately completed.
  • Volumes and weights of chemicals are verified by applying correct measuring skills.
  • Digital displays on digital scales are understood and analogue scales are read.
  • Recording of measurements is accurately completed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Raw hides/skins which are heavy, slimy and slippery are handled with dexterity.
  • Various types of hides and skins are correctly identified.
  • Substance differences are differentiated.
  • Raw hide and skin are correctly and safely handled to avoid accidents and injury.
  • Sections of hide and skin are correctly identified.
  • The parts and layers of hide that need to be removed are identified.
  • Raw hide and skin are correctly weighed and weight is accurately recorded.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • The amount of flesh removed from the hide during a trial run is visually compared with the quality sample to ascertain correctness.
  • The amount of flesh removed is adjusted to the section of hide being processed so that correct amount of flesh is removed from the respective sections (butt and belly) of the hide.
  • Topography of the hide (neck to butt) is identified and the correct end and side up is presented to the machine.
  • The through feed or return feed technique to flesh the hide/skin is applied.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • The various sections of the hide structure are identified to be subjected to the correct process.
  • Damage to the skins is identified in order to mitigate it.
  • The hide is handled in a safe and controlled manner when preparing for and during the splitting process.
  • The flesh and grain side are differentiated.
  • The hide is presented to the machine following the correct procedure including sequencing of actions and braking to ensure the hide is running straight.
  • A Vernier gauge is used to determine substance of the hide.
  • Calculations are applied during splitting operations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • The settings of the splitting machine are adjusted to conform to specification of a contract or customer.
  • The hide is presented to the machine in the correct way.
  • The substance of the hide is checked at prescribed places, according to a map of the hide, all over the hide for regularity and adjustments to machine settings are made to achieve the required substance.
  • A split variation of 0.2mm on the main part of the hide (butt and neck) is achieved.
  • The gauge for measuring substance is correctly set, read and use and machine settings are adjusted according to measurements.
  • The readings on the substance of the hide are recorded.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:
  • Safety signage and notices are understood and complied with.
  • Emergency stops are checked to ensure working order.
  • Safety equipment are used correctly.
  • Dangerous machinery is used with due respect.
  • Fat is washed off with hot water and some lime is thrown on the floor to prevent slipping risks.

    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 Occupational Certificate: Beam House Machine Operator has been compared to two international qualifications.

    The Footwear Repair Apprentice Training Service Pty Ltd presents the Certificate II in Leather Production - MST20316 at Level 2 and is a comprehensive unit standard based qualification with the compulsory and elective unit standards. The Certificate II reflects vocational outcomes for those performing a limited range of technical and operational tasks within a production environment. This qualification is typically used to develop skills and knowledge in the operations of a hide, skin and leather processing enterprise or an enterprise involved in the production of leather goods. As is the case with many unit standard based qualifications, these compulsory unit standards relate to generic skills and knowledge related to team work, quality, safety, maintenance and productivity whilst those aspects related to the leather processing and operation of machines are categorised as elective unit standards. The result is that the learner can acquire a plethora of unit standards and still not be competent in operating the relevant machines or conducting the relevant operations in the specific leather process. The qualification encompasses the full range of processes in leather processing and does not focus on a limited range of leather processing aspects. Some multi-skilled roles can be accommodated in this qualification due to the elective component.

    New Zealand:
    The New Zealand qualification - National Certificate in Hide Processing (Level 2) (Ref: 0717) focuses only on the fleshing component of hide/skin processing with limited reference to other leather processes. The qualification is therefore not very comprehensive and does not allow for multi-skilling.

    It can be concluded that the Occupational Certificate: Beam House Machine Operator compares favourably with the international offerings in terms of content. 

    This qualification articulates Horizontally with the following registered qualifications:
  • Occupational Certificate: Footwear Closing Production Machine Operator, Level 2, 130 Credits.
  • Occupational Certificate: Footwear Cutting Machine Operator, Level 2, 130 Credits.

    This qualification articulates Horizontally with the following occupational qualification currently being developed:
  • SAQA ID: XXXXX, Leather Tanning Machine Operator, Level 2, 154 Credits.

    This qualification articulates Vertically with the following registered qualifications:
  • National Certificate: Manufacturing, Level 03, 122 Credits.
  • National Certificate: Meat Processing, Level 03, 120 Credits.
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Process Plant Operations, Level 03, 130 Credits. 



    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.

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:
    The following restrictions apply:
  • Inadequate vision.
  • Lack of dexterity.
  • Lack of hand-eye-foot co-ordination.
  • Physical strength.

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the QCTO website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Beam House Machine Operator: 715501001.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • This is not a trade 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.

    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.