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 Support Worker 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
111143  Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Support 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  55  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  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 does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Support Worker is part of the Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Worker registered at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 5. The purpose of this qualification is to provide the learner with the required knowledge, practical skills and workplace-based experience to operate as a Social Counselling Support Worker. A Social Counselling Support Worker offers supportive counselling functions to individuals, raise awareness of their services and refer individuals to appropriate services.

Rationale:
There is an urgent need for a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 qualification in counselling as there is currently very limited recognition or regulation of counsellors functioning at NQF Level 4. There is very little consistency in standards and counselling contexts across and within provinces in South Africa. Unqualified counsellors currently work in a variety of contexts often in environments where mental health professionals such as psychologists and social workers are not necessarily accessible to the majority of the population. The qualification will provide a consistent basis for evaluating and regulating counselling at NQF Level 4 and will ensure greater access to counselling services.

Counselling enables one or more people to go through the process of finding solutions to their concerns or difficulties. Counselling may take various forms and may include individuals, couples, families, domestic units and groups. This qualification will allow counsellors to be recognised and will address current national health and social service priorities. Ideally, qualifying learners will operate under supervision.

This qualification is aimed at both new entrants and learners who are already working in welfare environments such as communities, church-based groups and private practices, and will provide learners with knowledge and skills to facilitate and enhance client's well-being by applying counselling techniques.

This qualification offers a variety of learning pathways in areas such as public health and wellbeing, social work, community work, nursing and emergency care and incorporates all different religious backgrounds.

Learners who successfully complete the qualification can advance their careers and further their studies by enrolling for the Social Counselling Worker qualification that is pegged at NQF Level 5. This qualification will provide them with knowledge and skills to screen and/or assess clients under supervision and refer them to appropriate services.

Completion of higher-level counselling qualifications will also allow learners to take up more responsibilities as supervisors and/or managers in areas specific to their own practices 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 empower learners to access employment opportunities. Society in general will benefit from the qualification because they will be served by qualified Social Counselling Support 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 counselling experience. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

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

    Knowledge Modules:
  • Knowledge, 263501-000-00-00-KM-01, Fundamentals of Screening and/ or Assessment within the Scope of Counselling, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • Knowledge, 263501-000-00-00-KM-02, Counselling Skills, Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • Knowledge, 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:
  • Practical, 263501-000-00-00-PM-03, Apply Basic Counselling Skills in a Problem Saturated Situation, Level 4, 10 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 10.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • Work Experience, 263501-000-00-00-WM-03, Application of Basic Counselling Skills in a Problem Saturated Situation, Level, 4, 15 Credits.
    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 15. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Screen and/or assess well-being in supportive counselling services.
    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 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 Support 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. The part qualification, Social Counselling Support Worker qualification was considered in this comparison study.

    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. Competent learners of this qualification, who would have acquired the 'Counsellor' status, will work in defined and supported counselling roles in established agencies rather than in independent practice.

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

    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), Credits 40.
  • Certificate in Counselling, Level 5 (EQF) 20 Credits.

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

    Similarities:
    Similarities between the South African Social Counselling Support Worker qualification and qualifications registered on both the Australian and Scottish Qualifications Frameworks have been found to be in relation to course content covered in units of leaning. This applies to learning theories in counselling and establishing and confirming the counselling relationship. There are also similarities in credit values.

    Differences:
    The South African Social Counselling Support Worker qualification is pegged at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4. Due to the fact that the level at which units of learning covered in the Australian qualification has not been provided, it was challenging to make a comparison in this regard.

    The South African Social Counselling Support Worker qualification is a part qualification of the Social Counselling Worker qualification. This implies that learners who complete this qualification will be awarded a certificate which will qualify them to function under supervision. In other countries, units of learning that were found to comprise competencies that are covered in the South African qualification, are included in the qualification in its totality. Therefore, learners who complete learning against the two units of learning, will not be credited to function as qualification holders.

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

    Conclusion:
    The South African Social Counselling Support 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:
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Development, Level 4.
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Business Administration Services: Employee, Level 4.
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Development: Volunteerism, Level 4.
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Health Work, Level 4.

    Vertical 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.
  • Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Worker, Level 5. 

  • 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 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 Support Worker: 263501-000-00-01.

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

    Parent Qualification:
  • 263501-000-00-00, Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Worker, Level, 5.

    Part-Qualifications Related to the Occupational Certificate: Social Counselling Support Worker:
  • None. 

  • LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS 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.