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: Chemical Plant Controller 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
111359  Occupational Certificate: Chemical Plant Controller 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - CHIETA (Chemical) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Physical Sciences 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  180  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
78529  Further Education and Training Certificate: Chemical Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  140  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to provide learners with the required knowledge, practical skills and workplace based experience to prepare a learner to operate as a Chemical Plant Controller. Chemical Plant Controller controls and monitors the safe and efficient operation of a chemical process plant, according to specification.

Qualifying learners will be able to:
  • Control operations according to production schedule.
  • Perform plant operations as per Standard Operating Procedures and/or work instructions.
  • Perform quality controls as per quality standards.

    Rationale:
    The Occupational Certificate: Chemical Plant Operator has been developed at NQF Level 5, through the realignment process with the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) for registration by South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). This excludes the control room operations, internal and external stakeholder interactions, management of chemical operations personnel, management of chemical operations in refinery (both mining and chemical manufacturing industry or any other relevant industries), oil and gas rig, pipelines and platform, interface with computer/panels (DCS) and making decisions on anomalies and abnormal trends.

    Currently, no enhanced qualifications exist for this occupation, across industries, hence the request to develop an occupational qualification for Chemical Plant Controllers. Mostly, pockets of training are done against the historically registered Chemical Operator, with SAQA ID no. 78529.

    This qualification will be utilised to formally recognise the functions and responsibilities of the Chemical Operations Control Room Operator. This qualification will become the basis for formal training for Chemical Plant Controllers. Training for such is often offered by individual organisations. The main objective for the development of this qualification is to formalise these types of training by developing nationally recognised modules. The formalisation process will assist in supporting staff retention strategies and in diminishing employment instability. Organisations consulted include employers from various sectors such as mining, chemical and pharmaceutical, training providers, organised labour and Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).

    This qualification is aimed at:
  • Experienced chemical plant employees working as Chemical Plant Operators.
  • Learners who gained experience in chemical related fields wishing to pursue their careers as Chemical Plant Controllers.

    Upon completion of this qualification, learners may gain employment as Chemical Plant Controllers in a variety of organisations within the mining, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. Qualified learners will be able to safely and efficiently control and monitor the operation of a variety of plants and carry out a range of complex operations with minimum supervision.

    Learners who successfully complete this qualification can advance their careers by enrolling for higher level qualifications. Upon completion the latter will enable them to assume higher level responsibilities in leadership and management of plants.

    Qualified Chemical Plant Controllers who efficiently, effectively and safely perform their roles with minimum wastage contribute to the economy, society and the country at large. Attainment of this qualification will also enhance employability across industries. 

  • 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
  • National Certificate: Vocational: Process Plant Operator at NQF Level 4. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

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

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 313301-000-00-00- KM-01, Chemical Plant Production Processes, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- KM-02, Management Principles as they apply to Process Control, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- KM-03, Emergency Procedures, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- KM-04, Production Targets, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- KM-05, Technology as it applies to Plant Control, Level 5, 15 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 45.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 313301-000-00-00- PM01, Plan and Execute Plant Operations according to Production Schedule, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- PM02, Perform Plant Operations, Level 4, 30 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- PM03, Apply Quality Control Measures to ensure Conformance, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- PM04, Apply Optimisation Techniques to Achieve Improved Plant Performance, Level 5, 5 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 60.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 313301-000-00-00- WM01, Exposure to the Execution of Plant Operations, Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- WM02, Controlling and Monitoring Plant Operations Effectively, Level 5, 35 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- WM03, Responding and Reacting to Emergencies; and Contributing to Maintenance Activities within the Plant, Level 5, 20 Credits.
  • 313301-000-00-00- WM04, Quality Control Interventions in a Plant, Level 4, 15 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 75. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Plan and execute plant operations.
    2. Control and monitor plant operation as per the Standard Operating Procedures and/or work instructions.
    3. Perform plant operations.
    4. Perform quality controls.
    5. Perform shift hand-overs. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of general principles and critical issues relating to performing plant operations safely and efficiently according to Standard Operating Procedures and/or work instructions.
  • Obtain clearance for operation or start up.
  • Interpret the plan correctly, and perform the necessary planning activities to ensure safe and smooth implementation of the production plan.
  • Inform other role players of the scheduled execution of the production plan.
  • Source, gather and prepare the required resources for the execution of the production plan.
  • Implement the production plan according to Standard Operating Procedures and/or work instructions.
  • Conduct and implement safe making, start-up, emergencies and shut-down operations of the plant.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the general principles and critical issues relating to plant control and monitoring processes.
  • Use data to perform various calculations from the process.
  • Make adjustments in compliance with the plan.
  • Monitor and control the process on an ongoing basis.
  • Act on deviations and respond to emergencies.
  • Report progress is reported continuously.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the general principles and critical issues relating to safe making, start-up, emergencies and shut-down operations.
  • Perform checks to establish plant pre-start-up conditions.
  • Control and monitor plant against parameters.
  • Perform trouble shooting for deviations from parameters.
  • Act upon alarms and apply corrective actions.
  • Establish stable operations.
  • Perform the necessary plant shutdown operation as per Standard Operating Procedures and/or work instructions (routine, emergency and forced shutdown).
  • Conduct and implement safe making, start-up, emergencies and shut-down operations of the plant.
  • Contribute to maintenance activities.
  • Record and report all relevant activities where required.
  • Perform all activities according to safety and environmental requirements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of parameters and product quality requirements.
  • Obtain and interpret sample results against required standards.
  • Perform and verify authenticity checks on data received.
  • Control the process against given parameters.
  • Make system adjustments as required.
  • Monitor and control the process continuously.
  • Perform routine checks on all systems.
  • Record findings on process log-sheets and report to relevant role-players.
  • Perform all activities according to safety and environmental requirements.
  • Use various systems.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of shift hand over requirements.
  • Communicate via approved documents.
  • Do a plant shift hand-over within the specified timeframe.
  • Acknowledge and accept plant shift hand-over.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding regarding the impact of insufficient shift hand-over.
  • Record and report Incidents, accidents and deviations.

    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 Integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) 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 written exercises and practical observations by registered assessors at accredited assessment centres. Assessment duration will be agreed upon in the pre-assessment meeting between assessor and candidate. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    International comparability has been done against qualifications registered on the New Zealand and Australian Qualifications Frameworks.

    New Zealand:
    New Zealand has registered a qualification titled Energy and Chemical Plant Control Room Operations, NQF Level 5, ID number 2305 with strands in Chemical Plant, Steam Generation Plant, and Plant Outage Coordination. The qualification has credits ranging between 110-120 and is aimed at providing learners who have gained experience within the chemical plant industry with knowledge and skills that will allow them to operate as control room operators.

    Entry into this qualification is the attainment of the New Zealand Certificate in Energy and Chemical Field Operations, NQF Level 4, ID Number 2307, with strands in Process Plant Equipment, Steam Plant, Geothermal Operation, Petrochemical Operation, Petrochemical Station, and Petrochemical Transfer and Storage.

    Upon completion of the qualification, learners, within the specific area of specialisation (Chemical Plant; Steam Generation Plant and Plant Outage Coordination) will be able to:
  • Apply safe and efficient work management systems in an energy or chemical plant.
  • Control process conditions and operate plant systems in an energy or chemical plant.
  • Analyse the commercial implications of an energy or chemical plant operation.

    The South African Chemical Plant Controller's qualification has been compared with this qualification in terms of target learners, entry requirements, content covered, NQF level, duration, and learning delivery modes.

    Learners are likely to be employed by organisations within the energy or chemical plant sectors. These are likely to occur within petrochemicals, agri-nutrients, power generation, dairy processing, meat processing and wood fibre manufacturing or other plants that operate with a combination of high temperature, pressure, steam and/or chemicals in gas, liquid or solid form.

    Australia:
    The Australian Qualifications Framework has registered a suite of qualifications for Processes Plant Technicians ranging from NQF Level 1-6. The comparison has been done against the Certificate IV in Process Plant Technology, ID number PMA40116, as well as the Diploma of Process Plant Technology, ID number PMA50116. These qualifications have core unit standards from group A and a range of elective unit standards to choose from, depending on the area of specialisation a learner wishes to pursue. The areas of specialisation are chemical, hydrocarbons and refining industries.

    In both qualifications, it has been found that content covered in some of the unit standards from chemical, hydrocarbons and refining industries areas of specialisation, has been covered in the South African Chemical Plant Controller's qualification. Upon completion of the Australian qualifications, learners will be able to, amongst others:
  • Optimise production systems.
  • Provide operational expertise to a project team.
  • Control the process during abnormal situations.
  • Manage utilities.
  • Plan plant shutdown.
  • Coordinate plant shut down and develop a colour formulation.
  • Manage risks.

    Upon completion of these qualifications, learners as Chemical Plant Technicians will be able to independently perform technical roles, solve complex problems associated with the plant according to the needs of the work in the chemical, hydrocarbons and refining industries, i.e. Emergency Response or Process Plant Project Coordinator.

    Each of these qualifications is offered in the form of an apprenticeship over 6 months. Entry into the Certificate IV in Process Plant Technology, ID number PMA40116, is Certificate III in Process Plant Operations, ID number PMA30116, whilst the Diploma of Process Plant Technology, ID number PMA50116, builds on Certificate IV in Process Plant Technology, ID number PMA40116.

    Similarities:
    Similarities between the South African Chemical Plant Controller's qualification and those registered on New Zealand and Australian National Qualifications' Framework have been found to be in relation to the content covered, NQF Levels, target learners, entry requirements, competencies to be demonstrated and level of responsibilities.

    These qualifications are all pegged at NQF Level 5 with entry into the qualification being the NQF Level 4 qualification.

    It has also been found that qualified learners of these qualifications will demonstrate similar competencies in a variety of chemical related environments.

    Differences:
    Differences have been noted with the structure of the South African Chemical Plant Controller qualification. This qualification is designed to cover Knowledge Modules, Practical Skills Modules and Work Experience Modules, whilst the internationally compared qualifications have core unit standards as well as elective unit standards to choose from.

    Differences have also been noted with duration and credit values, although credit values have not been specified for the Australian qualifications.

    Conclusion:
    The South African Chemical Controller qualification compares favourably with qualifications of the countries compared to. 

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

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Electrical Substation Operations Technician (Power System Controller), NQF Level 5.
  • Occupational Certificate: Industrial Water Process Controller, NQF Level 5.
  • Occupational Certificate: Nuclear Power Plant Operator, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Fossil Power Plant Process Controller, NQF Level 6.
  • Occupational Certificate: Hydro Power Plant Process Controller, NQF Level 6.
  • Occupational Certificate: Nuclear Power Plant Process Controller, NQF Level 6.
  • National Diploma: Plastics Technology, NQF 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: Chemical Plant Controller: 313301-000-00-00.

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

    Assessment Quality Partner:
  • Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA).

    MODULES:

    COMPONENT, ID, MODULE TITLE, LEVEL, CREDITS:

    PART-QUALIFICATIONS:
    There are no part-qualifications. 

  • 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.