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 QUALIFICATION: 

Occupational Certificate: Apparel and Related Manufacturing Machine Mechanic 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
102582  Occupational Certificate: Apparel and Related Manufacturing Machine Mechanic 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - FPMSETA (MAN) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  576  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Registered  SAQA 9999/99  2021-03-25  2026-03-25 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2027-03-25   2030-03-25  

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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
65651  National Certificate: Sewing Machine Mechanics  Level 3  NQF Level 03  122  Complete 
65650  Further Education and Training Certificate: Sewing Machine Mechanics  Level 4  NQF Level 04  121  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as an Apparel and Related Manufacturing Machine Mechanic. An Apparel and Related Manufacturing Machine Mechanic repairs, maintains, services and set-up a range of sewing machines and related auxiliary equipment used within the clothing manufacturing processes.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Repair, maintain and adjust a range of basic sewing machines and equipment to ensure that machines and all related equipment are fully functional.
  • Repair, maintain and adjust a range of intermediate sewing machines to ensure that machines and all related equipment are fully functional.
  • Repair, maintain and adjust a range of advanced sewing machine types and equipment to ensure that all machines and all related equipment are fully functional.
  • Set up a range of sewing machines and related equipment according to style specification.
  • Select, attach, maintain, adjust and modify a range of attachments, including folders, binders, hemmers, guides and specific feet.
  • Repair, maintain and adjust a range of cutting machines and related equipment to ensure good working order.
  • Repair, maintain and adjust a selection of three of a range of fusing machines, portable steam generators, pneumatic systems and electro-mechanical tasks on sewing machine motors.

    Rationale:
    In order for any clothing manufacturing firm to function effectively and efficiently, it would need to ensure for the on-going maintenance, repair and service of the sewing machines and related equipment. One of the ongoing measurements relative to efficiency is machine downtime and minimising the costs related thereto. The role of the Sewing Machine Mechanic, is thus of importance in respect of one of the key assets within the manufacturing firm.

    This three-year qualification is needed within and amongst the clothing manufacturing firms and represents a first of its kind in clothing manufacturing. It addresses the need within industry for the services of a professional Sewing Machine Mechanic, able to do repair and maintenance work across a broad range of machinery and related equipment found within a clothing manufacturing firm.

    The qualification will allow for existing learners/staff members who have been employed within industry for many years, to receive recognition for previous experiences and competencies acquired, through gaining access to the assessment. It also will allow new entrants, the opportunity of entering a career pathway, with no experience, and to qualify as a professional sewing machine mechanic. Qualifying learners will continue to be employed by their respective firms, where applicable, or even creating self-employment opportunities to those learners in pursuant of positions as consultants within industry.

    Minimising machine downtime, performing a range of repair and maintenance tasks across a range of sewing machines, are central aspects which are addressed in the qualification, along with a focus on effective communication and time management skills, and transference of skills in the workplace environment which has progressed in terms of world class manufacturing systems and processes, where applicable.

    This qualification equips learners with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to become professional sewing machine mechanics, not only contributing toward the development of individual skills but toward a pool of professional individuals who would be an invaluable asset to the future success and sustainability of clothing manufacturing sector, especially given the environmental changes within which fashion businesses complete. This qualification will further resolve the on-going concern within the sector of recruitment of young, new sewing machine mechanics. There is no doubt that qualifying learners will add immense value to their respective organisations. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    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 results or by 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:
    The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • NQF Level 1 qualification with Mathematics and Communication. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules:

    Knowledge Modules
  • 684901-001-00-KM-01, Safe Workshop Practices and Administration, Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-02, Lock Stitch Machines (Drop feed single needle lock stitch (plain) machine), Level 2, 16 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-03, Lock Stitch Machine (double needle/zig zag lock stitch machine) - Functioning of Specific Devices (e.g. oscillating shuttles/trimmers), Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-04, Over-edge Stitch Machine (range of machines: over-lock machine/safety/mock safety) (machine type 2, 3, 4 thread), Level 2, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-05, Over-edge Stitch Machine (range of machines: 5/6 thread), Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00--KM-06, Lock-stitch Fixed Cycle Machines (bartack machine), Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-07, Fixed Cycle Chain Stitch Machines (button sew on machine 2 holes 4 holes shank), Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-08, Chain Stitch Machines (range of machines: cover seam/single needle/multi needle/elasticator): Single Needle Chain-stitch, Level 3, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-09, Fixed Cycle Lock Stitch Machines (button hole machine), Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-10, Fixed Cycle Lock Stitch Machines (Button Sew on Machine), Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-11, Chain Stitch Machine (range of machines: cover seam/single needle/multi needle/elasticator): Multi-needle Chain Stitch Machine, Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-12, Basic Knowledge of Fabrics, Level 2, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-13, Basic Electronics Knowledge, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00--KM-14, Introduction to Basic Pneumatics, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-15, Repair and Maintenance of Portable Cutting Machines and Equipment, Level 3, 12 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00--KM-16, Repair and Maintenance of Fusing Machines and Equipment, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-17, Repair and Maintenance of Steam Generators, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-KM-18, Repair and Installation of Folders, Guides and Attachments, Level 2, 8 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 176
  • 684901-001-00-PM-01, Perform a Range of Minor Repairs and Maintain and Service a Range of Basic Sewing Machines, Level 2, 32 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-02, Repair, Maintain and Service a Range of Intermediate Sewing Machines, Level 3, 32 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-03, Perform Major Machine Repairs across a Range of Advanced Sewing Machines, Level 4, 30 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-04, Maintain a Range of Sewing Machines and Related Equipment to Ensure Good Working Order/Condition, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-05, Set Up and Adjust a Range of Sewing Machines and Related Equipment According to Style Specification, Level 2, 16 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-06, Select, Attach, Maintain, Adjust and Modify a Range of Attachments, Including Folders, Binders, Hemmers, Guides and Specific Feet (to be inclusive of soldering), Level 3, 16 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-07, Repair, Maintain and Adjust Cutting Machines, Level 3, 16 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-PM-08, Repair, Maintain and Perform Preventative Maintenance across Auxiliary Machines, Level 4, 36 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 184.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-01, Repairing and Maintenance of Two Types of Basic Lock-Stitch Sewing Machines, Level 2, 40 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-02, Repairing and Maintenance of Two Intermediate Lock-Stitch Sewing Machines, Level 3, 32 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-03, Repairing and Maintenance of Advanced Sewing Machines, Levels 4, 24 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-04, Preventative Maintenance to Minimise Downtime, Level 3, 32 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-05, Production Line Setup According to Style Specification in order to Achieve Quality Standards and Maximize Time Utilisation, Level 2, 32 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-06, Attachment Modification Including Folders, Binders, Hemmers, Guides, Specific Feet, Level 3, 20 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-07, Repair of Cutting Machines, Level 3, 16 Credits.
  • 684901-001-00-WM-08, Repair of Auxiliary Machines in the Clothing Manufacturing Sector, Level 3, 20 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 216 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Identify a range of machine faults.
    2. Undertake a range of tasks for the repair one out of a range of machines according to manufacturer specification within set time limits.
    3. Set up the machine for integration into the line and be functional on a range of fabric types.
    4. Comply with occupational health and safety requirements.
    5. Read and interpret technical diagrams, service instructions and job cards.
    6. Understand and explain the underpinning principles of machine repairs, set up and fault finding. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Inspect sewn products to identify faults.
  • Apply an approved fault finding sequence to diagnose a range of machine faults.
  • Apply an approved fault finding sequence to diagnose faults related to attachments and folders.
  • Apply an approved fault finding sequence is to diagnose a range of product faults.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Repair faulty sewing machine mechanisms by dismantling, conducting the repair and assembling machine parts.
  • Conduct the selection and installation of correct spare parts for a specific repair function.
  • Recondition and replace machine parts (which are within tolerance).
  • Clean and lubricate sewing machine components and parts where required.
  • Do repairs utilising the right sequence and process.
  • Repair machine faults through applying mechanical or engineering principles.
  • Select the correct equipment and consumables are selected for the task.
  • Repair the machine without causing damage to the machine.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Apply all machine settings according to the (machine) manufacturer's specification.
  • Use correct techniques and tools to set the machine.
  • Apply correct machine set up for a range of fabric types to produce a fault free product.
  • Use accurate machine settings for the operations to be performed.
  • Select, install, adjust and set-up attachments for a specific product (fabric and operation) and machine.
  • Conduct a test run on the fabric provided and make final adjustments.
  • Produce ten (10) samples that conforms to specifications.
  • Inspect sewn samples for correct stitch formation, tension, seam pucker, size (where applicable) etc.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Apply safe work practices when dismantling, repairing and assembling sewing machines.
  • Switch off the machine, replace parts and repair the machine, and switch it back on.
  • Apply safety rules in relation to handling, storage and waste disposal of chemicals.
  • Follow safety procedures when working with tools and machinery.
  • Adhere to housekeeping practices in order to maintain a clean healthy environment.
  • Maintain safe workshop practices.
  • Utilise machine safety mechanisms/devices on the sewing machines in order to comply with safety guidelines.
  • Wear and or use personal protective equipment/clothes in compliance with health and safety practices.
  • Check all safety mechanisms and guards for correct installation and set-up.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Read, follow and comply with the information contained in resources such as instruction manuals to ensure for correct parts specification, machine dimensions and capabilities and machine settings.
  • Read and interpret illustrated parts books, technical diagrams and parts manuals to ensure correct selection and ordering of spare parts.
  • Use illustrated parts book and technical diagrams to identify spare parts.
  • Use machine manuals and/or company specification data to identify different stitch types and sewing operations.
  • Interpret job cards and related/similar communication data correctly, relative to machine operations, settings and faults.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Explain safe workshop practices relative to working with sewing machines.
  • Discuss the correct use of hand tools and or power tools when repairing and setting up machines.
  • Describe the importance of compatibility in respect of fabric, thread & needle selection.
  • Explain company specific set up processes and procedures are explained as it pertains to the lock stitch sewing machine.
  • Explain company specific set up processes and procedures as it pertains to the overlock sewing machine.
  • Explain company specific set up processes and procedures as it pertains to the chain stitch sewing machine.
  • Explain the function and purpose of a range of folders, guides and attachments relative to company specific products.
  • Identify basic pneumatics and basic electronic functions and describe their effects on machines.
  • Produce electronic or manual technical reports to ensure effective communication.
  • Describe and understand time management principles.
  • Identify and discuss best practices so as to understand the impact on the mechanic's work processes.
  • Explain best utilisation of product, time and effort to minimise waste and reduce company costs within the sphere of work conducted by the mechanic.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The Skills Development Providers 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 QCTO Assessment Quality Partner is required to issue this qualification. The External Integrated Summative Assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification was compared with related qualifications from India and New Zealand:

    India:
    The ALT Training College offers a Diploma in Sewing Machine Mechanic, which include two years of experiential training. The qualification specifically references the following performance criteria:
  • Setting up of machines wherein so doing various machine settings are covered, such as needle change, threading, set up of bobbin unit, pressure foot, take-up spring, tension, stitch length, foot pedal.
  • Performing of preventative machine maintenance and cleaning processes are focused upon, with reference made to tools used for cleaning and maintenance work.
  • The lubrication of the machines, inclusive of lubrication points and oil levels.

    In addition to the above mentioned performance criteria, the qualification also goes onto drawing reference to the following knowledge or theory components:
  • Generic contextual knowledge such as safe work practices, company specific procedures, guidelines and standards.
  • Technical knowledge relative to different types of machines.
  • Parts of the sewing machine and their functions.
  • Stitch formation.
  • Different types of feed mechanism.
  • Threading.
  • Needles.
  • Lubrication systems.

    Further to the above, the Indian Qualification, then also is inclusive of the following broad modules:
  • Dealing with faults and troubleshooting machine problems.
  • Maintenance of tools and machines.

    New Zealand:
    The National Certificate in Clothing Manufacture (Mechanic) Level 3, offered by Competenz, is geared toward people working in the sewing machine maintenance and servicing areas of the Clothing Manufacturing industry. The compulsory sections of the qualification ensure that all holders have knowledge of workplace practice. This qualification also provides the basis for further education and training leading to the National Certificate in Clothing Manufacture (Mechanic) Level 4. Essentially, the qualification spans Levels 2, 3 and 4, with credits allocated at each of the three levels. Across Levels 2 and 3 of this qualification, the following standards would be achieved:
  • Knowledge of workplace practice in apparel industry.
  • Knowledge of safe working practices in the apparel industry.
  • Maintain and adjust industrial sewing machines.
  • Service lockstitch sewing machines.
  • Service overlock sewing machines.
  • Maintain fabric cutting equipment.
  • Maintain fabric laying up and ancillary cutting room equipment.
  • An added elective area within the qualification pertains to apparel cutting and sewing processes.

    The Level 4 qualification is geared toward people working at senior level in the clothing manufacturing industry. It is designed to recognise the on-job competence of a skilled tradesperson able to organise and supervise all maintenance activities of the sections under their responsibility.

    This Level 4 qualification builds on the aforementioned Level 3 qualification and specifically then comprises the following modules:
  • Evaluating and selecting industrial sewing machine attachments, folders, and guides.
  • Servicing of fixed cycle lockstitch sewing machines.
  • Servicing of chain-stitch buttonhole sewing machines.
  • Servicing of chain-stitch sewing machines.
  • Service fixed cycle chain-stitch sewing machines.
  • Maintain and adjust pneumatic and electronic sewing machinery.
  • Service lockstitch buttonhole sewing machines.
  • Service safety stitch sewing machines.
  • With an added focus on communication skills.

    Conclusion:
    This qualification compares favourably with the above qualifications in terms of content and complexity. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification provides opportunities for horizontal and vertical articulation options.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Electro-Mechanics, NQF Level 4.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • National Certificate: Clothing Production: Pattern and Garment Construction, NQF Level 5. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required knowledge and practical modules by means of statements of results and a record of completed work experience including Foundational Learning Competences.

    Additional Legal or Physical Entry Requirements:
  • None.

    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: Apparel and Related Manufacturing Machine Mechanic: 684901-001-00-00.

    Encompassed Trade:
    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • None.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):
  • National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB).

    Related Part-Qualifications:
  • Occupational Certificate: Sewing Machine Mechanic Repairer, Level 2.
  • Occupational Certificate: Cutting Machine Maintenance Assistant, Level 3.
  • Occupational Certificate: Sewing Machine Mechanic Operator, Level 3.
  • Occupational Certificate: Ancillary Machine Maintenance Assistant, Level 4.
  • Occupational Certificate: Sewing Machine Maintenance and Repair Technician Assistant, Level 4.

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION
    None 

  • LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS 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.
     
    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.