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: Social Counselling Worker 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
111142  Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Worker 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - HWSETA (Social Work) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 07 - Human and Social Studies  General Social Science 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  143  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Registered  SAQA 10126/19  2019-10-24  2024-10-24 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2025-10-24   2028-10-24  

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
49256  Further Education and Training Certificate: Counselling  Level 4  NQF Level 04  140  Complete 
58203  Certificate: Methods of Counselling  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  120  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to provide the required knowledge, practical skills and workplace-based experience to prepare a learner to operate as a Social Counselling Worker. A Social Counselling Worker provides supportive counselling services to individuals, families, groups and/or communities within various contexts.

Qualifying learners will be able to:
  • Screen and/or assess well-being in supportive counselling services.
  • Facilitate appropriate interventions based on various clients' needs.
  • Compile client intervention plan.
  • Apply appropriate referral procedures as per organisational processes and procedures.

    Rationale:
    The counselling qualifications, Further Education and Training Qualification and the Certificate for Counselling, currently registered are required to be realigned to the occupationally based qualifications of the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). This requirement prompted industry stakeholders, in collaboration with the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) to initiate a process of realigning the registered counselling qualifications to the QCTO model. In addition to this, it was found that the two registered qualifications were not fit for purpose.

    The training currently offered to 'Lay Counsellors' is diverse and not standardised. This qualification is aimed at formalising the standard of training offered to individuals who offer supportive counselling in various contexts.

    The realignment process is aimed at addressing the need for counsellors. Currently there are individuals who operate as 'Lay Counsellors' who often work in a variety of contexts in environments where mental health professionals such as psychologists and social workers are not necessarily accessible to the majority of the population.

    This qualification is aimed at both new entrants as well as learners who are already working in welfare environments, which include but are not limited to, educational facilities, faith communities, health communities, the criminal justice system as well as the youth and the elderly. The qualification will provide learners with knowledge and skills that will enable them to apply counselling techniques to facilitate and enhance client well-being.

    The qualification offers a variety of learning pathways in areas such as public health and wellbeing, social work, community work, religious communities, nursing and emergency care. Learners who successfully complete the qualification may take up more responsibilities as supervisors and/or managers in areas specific to their own areas of practice or pursue entrepreneurial opportunities. Learners who have gained knowledge and skills through experience will be assessed through the process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in order to recognise their competencies.

    It is recommended that qualified learners should register with South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) recognised Statutory and/or Professional Bodies upon completion of the qualification. This qualification will benefit learners to access employment opportunities. Society in general will benefit from the qualification because they will be served by qualified Social Counselling Workers. 

  • 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:
  • NQF Level 4 qualification.
    Or
  • At least two (2) years' assessed experience in counselling. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

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

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 263501-000-00-00-KM-01, Fundamentals of Screening and/or Assessment within the Scope of Counselling, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-KM-02, Counselling Skills, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-KM-03, Professionalism and Ethical Compliance applicable to Counselling, Level 4, 10 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 30.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 263501-000-00-00-PM-01, Compile the Client Profile, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-PM-02, Facilitate appropriate Interventions, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-PM-03, Apply Basic Counselling Skills in a Problem Saturated Situation, Level 4, 10 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-PM-04, Facilitate the Quality of Multi-Level Optimal Functioning, Level 5, 8 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 48.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 263501-000-00-00-WM-01, Processes Related to the Compilation of Clients' Profiles in relation to Different Social and Environmental Context, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-WM-02, Facilitation of Resolutions, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-WM-03, Application of Basic Counselling Skills in a Problem Saturated Situation, Level 4, 15 Credits.
  • 263501-000-00-00-WM-04, Facilitation of Multi-Level Functioning, Level 5, 15 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 65. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Screen and/or assess well-being in supportive counselling services.
    2. Facilitate appropriate interventions based on various clients' needs.
    3. Compile client intervention plan.
    4. Apply appropriate referral procedures as per organisational processes and procedures. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Screening and/or assessment processes are explained.
  • The screening and/or assessment tools are chosen for the applicable scenario.
  • Contextual influences in relation to situational context are considered.
  • Various techniques are used to build rapport with the client.
  • The client immediate needs are identified.
  • The magnitude of the problem is assessed and the necessary action is taken.
  • Coping mechanisms are identified and the support system is explored.
  • The client understanding of the immediate challenge/threat is determined.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Various techniques are used to build rapport and give client an opportunity to expresses themselves.
  • A variety of interventions in relation to the client immediate needs are explored.
  • Client responses are clarified and/or confirmed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Recommendations are made to assist possible outcomes.
  • Different role players' roles and responsibilities are clarified.
  • An intervention plan is developed based on given scenarios.
  • Development plan is communicated to client and affected parties as per agreed protocols.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The organisational referral list is utilised.
  • The organisational contingency plan explored for viability.
  • Policies and process are adhered to.
  • Appropriate documentation is completed and stored for record keeping according to organisational policies.

    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 integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (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.

    The external summative assessment will be conducted through inclusive assessment strategies by registered assessors at accredited assessment centres. The assessment will take place over a minimum of 1 day. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The South African Social Counselling Worker qualification has been compared with similar qualifications offered in Australia and Scotland in terms of complexity, duration and levels. The two countries were chosen because of easy access to the required information. In this international comparability study, the part qualification, Social Counselling Support Worker, was considered.

    Australia:
    Two qualifications, Diploma of Community Services, reference number-CHC52015 and Diploma of Counselling, CHC51015 are registered on the Australian Qualifications Framework.

    The Diploma of Community, reference number-CHC52015 is offered over a period of 18 months. This qualification reflects the roles of community services, case management and social housing workers involved in managing, co-ordinating and/or delivering of person-centred services to individuals, groups and communities. Upon completion of the qualification, learners will be able to provide direct support to individuals or groups of individuals through the application of specialised skills in community services.

    On the other hand, the Diploma of Counselling, CHC51015, which is offered over a year, is aimed at learners who work with clients on personal and psychological issues using established counselling modalities. Upon completion of the qualification, learners are able to use communication, micro-counselling and interviewing skills and draw on varied counselling therapies to assist clients. Learners who successfully complete this qualification will work in defined and supported counselling roles in established agencies rather than in independent practices.

    Units of learning that are covered in the two above-mentioned qualifications are listed below:
  • Support counselling clients in decision-making processes (Diploma in Counselling).
  • Apply learning theories in counselling (Diploma in Counselling).
  • Apply specialist interpersonal and counselling interview skills (Diploma in Counselling).
  • Establish and confirm the counselling relationship (Diploma in Counselling).
  • Facilitate the counselling relationship and process (Diploma in Counselling).
  • Select and use counselling therapies (Diploma in Counselling).

    Scotland:
    Qualifications registered on the Scottish Qualifications Framework are listed below:
  • Introduction to Counselling Skills, Level 5 (EQF), 30 Credits.
  • COSCA Counselling Skills Certificate, Level 5 EQF), 40 Credits.
  • Certificate in Counselling, Level 5 (EQF) 20 Credits.

    These qualifications are for learners working in a caring or helping role who wish to begin in counselling. Upon completion of these qualifications, learners would have learnt about counselling models and theories. They would also have gained interpersonal and communication skills, basic counselling skills and improved their self-awareness.

    Similarities:
    Similarities between the South African Social Counselling Worker qualification and qualifications registered on both the Australian and Scottish Qualifications Frameworks have been found to be in relation to course content, complexity, intended target population (learners) and duration.

    Differences:
    Qualifications registered on the Scottish Qualifications Authority address small units of learning whilst the South African Social Counselling Worker qualification covers a wide spectrum of learning. This provides the learner who received training against the South African Social Counselling Worker qualification with the required skills and competencies to handle a variety of challenges experienced by different types of clients.

    The South African Social Counselling Worker qualification has a high credit value when compared to Scottish registered qualifications.

    Regarding Australian qualifications, the comparison with regards to credit values and levels was not possible as information pertaining to these was not provided.

    Differences have also been found with the structure and layout of the South African Social Counselling Worker qualification. This qualification comprises Knowledge, Practical Skills and Work Experience Modules, whereas the qualifications in the two countries comprise units of learning.

    Conclusion:
    The South African Social Counselling Worker qualification compares favourably with qualifications chosen for this comparison in terms of scope, complexity and typical learners. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification articulates horizontally and vertically with the following qualifications:

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Certificate: Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) Counselling and Management, Level 5.
  • Higher Certificate in Christian Counselling, Level 5.
  • Higher Certificate in Community Counselling, Level 5.
  • Higher Certificate in Pastoral Counselling, Level 5.
  • Higher Certificate: Counselling and Communication Skills, Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Advanced Certificate: Counselling and Communication Skills, Level 6.
  • Diploma: Counselling and Communication, Level 6. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    In order to qualify for the external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of a statement of results and work experience records.

    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 Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) website.

    The curriculum title and code is: Social Counselling Worker 263501-000-00-00.

    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:
    Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).

    Related Part-Qualification:
  • 263501-000-00-01, Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Support Worker, Level 4. 

  • 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.