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: Laundry Worker 
117369  Occupational Certificate: Laundry Worker 
Development Quality Partner - Services SETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Preventive Health 
Undefined  60  Not Applicable  NQF Level 02  Regular-ELOAC 
Registered  SAQA 12129/20  2020-07-30  2025-07-30 
2026-07-30   2029-07-30  

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 Laundry Worker. A Laundry Worker sorts, classifies, cleans, finishes and packs laundry items (textiles, clothing and other textile items) within an industrial and commercial laundering environment.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Sort and classify soiled laundry items and prepare loads ready for cleaning.
  • Use machines and chemicals to clean laundry items.
  • Conduct finishing functions for laundry operations.
  • Pack and assemble cleaned laundry items for dispatch to customers.

    This qualification will address the skills of the current and future employees serving as laundry workers. The industry will draw learners from the cohort of current employees who perform the function without a qualification. The currently registered qualifications do not provide employees with the requisite skills or recognition. Equally important is the high number of young people without the necessary qualifications who seek elementary occupations.

    There are hundreds of small and large public and private laundries facilities across the country, and all serve different interests across various economic sectors. These sectors could be security (prisons and places of safety), health facilities and hospitality facilities. Qualified learners will increase productivity and enhance customer satisfaction for the business. The qualification will also restore the dignity of many employees who occupied these positions without any recognition of their professional service and will enhance job security. The employment opportunities exist for young people and women in particular.

    The qualification will open new opportunities to the learners for growth into supervision and management responsibilities. The subsector has a huge operational range from two machines to a very large operation using large industrial machines. The scope for occupational mobility for qualified employees is significantly large, and qualified learners can move between economic sectors as well. For instance, qualified learners can work in hospitality, medical and old age homes, domestic as well and security facilities.

    The qualification requires basic knowledge of the materials and textile and a significant amount of on the job practice and experience. However, the actual training and turnaround need to be quick to justify the investment. Otherwise, an expensive and lengthy training will defeat the purpose, hence low credits for both the actual qualification and the part-qualifications. 

    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 1 with Mathematical Literacy. 


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

    Knowledge Modules:
  • 812101-000-00-00-KM-01, Workplace Fundamentals, NQF Level 2, 6 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-KM-02, Common Fibres and Textiles used in Laundry, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-KM-03, Fundamental Principles of Sorting and Washing of Soiled Textiles in Laundry, NQF Level 2, 5 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-KM-04, Fundamentals of Laundry Finishing, NQF Level 2, 3 Credits.
    The total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 18.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-01, Receive, Verify, Classify and Make up soiled Laundry Loads Ready for Cleaning, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-02, Wash Laundry Items, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-03, Identify Stains on Laundry Items, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-04, Tumble Dry and Pre-condition Washed Items, NQF Level 2, 3 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-05, Process Flatwork using Roller Ironer, NQF Level 2, 3 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-06, Prepare and Press Textiles, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-07, Finished Textiles using Tunnel Finisher, NQF Level 2, 3 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-PM-08, Inspect, Assemble and Dispatch Orders, NQF Level 2, 3 Credits.
    The total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 28.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 812101-000-00-00-WM-01, Procedures Receive, Verify and Classify and Make up Soiled Laundry Loads, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-WM-02, Processes for Hygienic Washing and Treatment of Textile, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-WM-03, Processes for Tumble Drying and Finishing, NQF Level 2, 4 Credits.
  • 812101-000-00-00-WM-04, Procedures for Inspecting, Assembling and Dispatching Orders, NQF Level 2, 2 Credits.
    The total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 14. 

    1: Sort and classify soiled laundry items and prepare loads for different washing programmes.
    2: Use machines and chemicals to clean different loads of soiled laundry items to prescribed specifications.
    3: Conduct finishing operations and prepare cleaned laundry items for dispatch to different customers. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Explain the importance of identifying different types of textiles.
  • Identify marks, spots and dirt on textiles.
  • Follow procedures for sorting in acordance with standard industry practices.
  • Explain labels and symbols on items to be laundered using the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Explain the reasons for handling laundry items with care in terms of the benefits to the customer and the business.

    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Identify cleaning methods for different textile types.
  • Explain the reasons to decant the correct amount of washing agent and/or softener
  • Choose the correct washing cycle for different washing loads in compliance with standard procedures.
  • Explain why the washing machine is loaded in a specific manner.
  • Wash high-risk items at the correct temperature according to standard hygiene practices.
  • Explain the importance of cleaning the washing machine and areas.
  • Explain the reasons for storing washing agents and/or softener.
  • Explain the importance of the use of chemicals in the laundry process.
  • Explain the effect of each chemical on the different types of fabric with examples.
  • Explain the reasons for using sour (acid), antichlor, fabric conditioner and starch in terms of their benefits to the quality and finish of items.
  • Explain the reasons for applying laundry principles in the laundry environment in terms of the quality and successful completion of work and customer satisfaction.
  • Describe the use of water during the wash process in terms of the amount, the quality and the hardness of the water.
  • Describe the effect of time on the wash and rinse process in terms of the type of soiling, degree of loading and items being washed and rinsed.
  • List the basic principles of tumble drying in accordance with industry best practice.
  • Explain the performance of a tumble in terms of the filters, the fans, the airflow, correct loading and a well-sealed tumble dryer.

    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Explain the result of incorrect folding and preparation.
  • Explain the reasons for checking the quality of the pressed and ironed items.
  • Check items for spots, overall cleanliness and the quality of pressing and ironing.
  • Store the pressed and ironed items in the correct store
  • Adhere to safety rules during the storing of pressed and ironed items.
  • Explain faults in the condition of the garments when presented for the steam or air cabinet finishing process in terms of how the finished condition of the garments is affected.
  • Redirect items not suitable for steam or air cabinet finishing to the appropriate location.
  • Check finishing equipment before use to ensure it is safe and ready to use.
  • Make adjustments to the steam pressure, airflow and timers according to the requirements of the garment and or fabric.
  • Inspect garments that have been finished using the steam or air cabinet finishing process.
  • Remove and redirect unsatisfactory garments in accordance with industry and or worksite procedures.
  • Report problems identified during the steam or air cabinet finishing process in accordance with the worksite procedure.
  • Explain the care labels and symbols on laundry items in terms of the impact of the flatwork finishing process on the items.
  • Describe the types of fibres and fabrics in terms of their reaction to heat and pressure and how they must be dealt with during the flatwork finishing process.
  • Explain the safety precautions and operational procedures when operating ironers and ancillary feeding and folding machinery in terms of employee safety.
  • Adjust and check ironers to ensure they are safe and ready for use.
  • Stop and report malfunctioning ancillary feeding or folding equipment in accordance with work site procedures and manufacturer's instructions and according to worksite procedures.
  • Pass on finished items for packing and dispatch according to worksite procedure.
  • Describe types of fibres and fabrics in terms of their reaction to the heat applied as part of the tumble-drying process and how they must be dealt with during and after the drying process.
  • Explain the tumble-drying process to demonstrate knowledge and understanding using standard operating procedures.
  • Types of fibres and fabrics are described in terms of their reaction to the heat applied as part of the tumble-drying process and how they must be dealt with during and after the drying process.
  • Unload tumble dried items from the tumble dryer.
  • Remove and redirect unsatisfactory and damaged items in accordance with work site procedures.

    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. 

    An International comparability exercise was undertaken to compare the current Occupational Certificate: Laundry Worker with related qualifications from specific countries in terms of their scope, duration and curriculum content. The purpose of this exercise is to compare the qualification against existing and comparable practice internationally. The exercise was conducted with two countries Britain and Australia.

    In Britain, the Guilds of Cleaners and Launderers provide a short laundry worker training course. The course provides the following short modules: Reception/collection: accepting articles, checking for damage or stains and labelling, Sorting articles are sorted manually/automated by colour, size, type of fabric and the required cleaning process. Cleaning/washing using water and chemicals to remove stains as necessary before processing. Loading items into machines and monitoring the cleaning process. After drying, carrying out an inspection and, if necessary, sending for re-processing before finishing. Additional modules include; finishing: drying, pressing and folding articles and lastly packing where a laundry worker will pack linen into bags or baskets and hang items of clothing or fold them for placing in lockers on customers' premises. The worker will also be expected to perform customer service by handling payments and dealing with any customer complaints.

    Victoria Skills gateway provides Laundry Worker (General) courses that cover the following specific areas in 6 months or at least 31 weeks. Checking and removing stains from garments, and replacing buttons and making minor repairs; loading and unloading washing machines, driers and extractors; adding cleaning agents and starches to articles; smoothing articles and guiding them through cleaning and pressing machines; stopping and starting machines to untangle, straighten and remove articles and ironing and pressing clean articles. The one specific difference between the proposed South Africa (SA) qualification, and this one is elements related to operating the machine. In the SA context, this function will be performed at a higher level Laundry Machine Operator.

    The two countries and specific institutions provide qualifications comparable to the proposed qualifications. The Victoria Skills Gateway's provisioning period equivalent to the proposed duration of the SA qualification. 

    This qualification offers the following articulation possibilities.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • National Certificate: Home-Care Practices, NQF Level 2.
  • National Certificate: Home Based Personal Care Assistant, NQF Level 2.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • National Certificate: Home Health Care, NQF Level 3.
  • National Certificate: Home Based Personal Care Worker, NQF Level 3. 



    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:
    Medical certificate for health fitness.

    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 Laundry Worker: 812101-000-00-00.

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

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP):
    Services Seta.

    Parent Qualification:
  • 812101-000-00-00, Laundry Worker, NQF Level 2.

    Related Part-Qualifications:
  • 812101-000-00-01, Occupational Certificate: Laundry Sorter, NQF Level 2.
  • 812101-000-00-02, Occupational Certificate: Laundry Washer, NQF Level 2.
  • 812101-000-00-03, Occupational Certificate: Laundry Finisher, NQF Level 2. 


    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.