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Occupational Certificate: Retirement Fund Trustee 
118693  Occupational Certificate: Retirement Fund Trustee 
Development Quality Partner - INSETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-ELOAC 
Registered  EXCO 0522/24  2022-02-03  2025-12-31 
2026-12-31   2029-12-31  

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 Retirement Fund Trustee.
A Retirement Fund Trustee directs, controls, and oversees the operations of a retirement fund in terms of the applicable law, including common law, rules and the objectives of the Fund. A competent learner shall demonstrate among others the following attributes: honesty, punctuality, initiative, critical analysis, decision making, integrity, ethical, etc.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Direct the governance functions of the Fund by the Board of Trustees
  • Oversee the operations of the Fund
  • Oversee the Fund investment activities

    The Regulatory framework within the financial, insurance and banking services sectors has evolved into a 'Twin Peaks' model of regulation, which resulted in the overhaul of the Regulatory landscape. This requires users to continually undergo training and development to master the changes and amendments introduced by the new Regulatory framework.

    The review of this qualification has necessitated the development of a part qualification which comprises the minimum requirements prescribed by the Regulator as well as additional competencies.

    This qualification is aimed at learners who are new entrants or currently serving as trustees, principal officers, and retirement fund functionaries with demonstrable experience in retirement funds and have a desire to fulfil the requirements of this function and have access to a Fund.

    The qualification allows for career progression both horizontally and vertically for learners who aspire to pursue careers such as tracers, secretarial, management committee members, administrators, human resources related occupations, to name but a few, within the financial sector.

    Learners who successfully complete the Retirement Fund Trustee qualification can progress their careers, with additional training, to pursue careers including but not limited to compliance officers, company secretary, employee benefit administrator, deputy principal officer, independent trustee and labour related occupations.

    The retirement fund industry and society at large can be confident about the skills and leadership abilities acquired by Retirement Fund Officers meeting regulatory standards. Thus, enhancing the reputation and credibility of Board members in respect of protecting the interest of members through ethical conduct and adherence to globally accepted practices.

    The qualification was reviewed in collaboration with Council for Retirement Funds for South Africa. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
  • Learners will gain access to the qualification through RPL for Access as provided for in the QCTO RPL Policy.
  • RPL for access is conducted by accredited education institution, skills development provider or workplace accredited to offer that specific qualification/part qualification.
  • Learners who have acquired competencies of the modules of a qualification or part qualification will be credited for modules through 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 result.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • NQF Level 4 qualification. 


    This qualification is made up of compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skill and Work Experience Modules totalling to 120 Credits.

    Knowledge Modules
  • 134910-001-01-KM-01 Governance, Strategic Direction and Control, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-02 Fundamentals of Retirement Fund Legislation, Operations and Governance, Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-03 Legal Requirements (Common Law, Statutes, Regulations, Directives, Guidance Notices, Circulars and FSCA Standards and, Interpretation Rulings), Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-04 Rules and Operations of a Retirement Fund, Level 5, 4 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-05 Performance of Fund Assets, Level 5, 11 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-06 Financial Requirements of a Retirement Fund, Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-KM-07 Risk Management, Level 5, 4 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 45 Credits.

    Practical Skill Modules
  • 134910-001-01-PM-01 Govern the Activities of the Board, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-PM-02 Select and Conduct On-going Assessment of Service providers in the Process of Overseeing the Day-to-Day Operations of the Fund, Level 5, 4 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-PM-03 Approve Financial Statements, Rule Amendments and Applicable Regulatory Submissions, Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-PM-04 Formulate the Investment Strategy and Monitor the Performance of Fund Assets in Terms of Applicable Laws and Fund Policies, Level 5,28 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 48 Credits.

    Work Experience Modules
  • 134910-001-01-WM-01 Processes Related to Contributing to Governance of the Board, Level 5, 7 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-WM-02 Process Related to the Oversight of the Operations of the Fund, Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 134910-001-01-WM-03 Processes Used to Formulate the Investment Strategy and Monitor the Performance of Fund Assets in Terms of Applicable Laws, Regulations, Fund Rules and Policies, Level 5, 12 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 27 Credits. 

    1. Direct the governance functions of the Fund by the Board of Trustees.
    2. Oversee the administration relating to the Fund.
    3. Oversee the Fund investment activities. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Apply the Code of Conduct established for and by the Board.
  • Appoint the Principal Officer (and Deputy Principal Officer where applicable) and independent trustees (where applicable).
  • Constitute the Board.
  • Keep proper registers, books, and records of the operation of the Fund.
  • Identify dependants and nominated beneficiaries.
  • Distribute benefit payments to members and death benefits to dependants and nominated beneficiaries in accordance with the Act and the rules.
  • Coordinate fund activities/operations by the Board on an on-going basis.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Negotiate the terms of contract with service providers.
  • Evaluate/ assess the performance of service providers is against contract criteria.
  • Oversee the transfer of records/ assets to the new service providers.
  • Generate, analyse, interpret, and approve financial statements.
  • Review and approve rule amendments for submission, registration, and approval by the Regulator.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Develop and review an investment policy statement/ strategy.
  • Assess/ evaluate the investment strategies against the investment objectives.
  • Monitor performance of service providers.
  • Review reports from service providers to ensure that regulatory limits are reviewed for regulatory compliance.

    Integrated Assessment:
    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 together with work experience leads to entrance in the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant QCTO Assessment Quality Partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria.

    The assessment will be conducted through written assessment and the evaluation of practical tasks at decentralised approved assessment sites by a panel of assessors evaluated by assessor(s) registered with the AQP within a period of 1 day. 

    The South African Retirement Fund Trustee qualification has been compared with qualifications offered in United Kingdom (UK) and New Zealand (NZ).

    United Kingdom
    The Pensions Management Institute offers a Retirement Provision Certificate (RPC), the object of which is to provide a broad introduction to pensions and related benefits in the UK. It is aimed at employees new to pensions industry, support staff and professionals working in related fields.

    There are no formal prerequisites, knowledge or experience required for admission.

    The qualification is not regulated by the UK Qualifications Regulator and has not been benchmarked against the national qualifications framework but is generally regarded as a level 4 qualification.

    RPC could be taken as a standalone qualification or as a compulsory component of the Diploma in Employee Benefits and Retirement Savings, the Diploma in Retirement Provision, or the Advance Diploma in Retirement Provision qualifications. Since then, it is a standalone qualification.

    Tower Watson a UK based training provider provides an e-learning short-course for trustees called Trustee and Scheme Management. The aim of the short-course is to empower trustees with the required knowledge for them to perform their functions effectively. The content of the sort-course includes understanding the law relating to pensions and trusts, the funding of pension schemes, and the investment of scheme assets.

    New Zealand
    The New Zealand Financial Services Council from 1 July 2019 incorporated the Workplace Savings New Zealand. It offers a Workplace Savings NZ Certificate in Trusteeship. It is a modular structured course consisting of the following modules:
  • Development Module 1 - Introduction to Trusteeship (broader understanding of legal obligations associated with governance of a trust such as trustee powers, duties, and the exercise of discretions)
  • Development Module 2 - Current Good Practice Governance (effective, efficient, and responsive board of trustees)
  • Development Module 3 - Introduction to Wholesale Investing (inform and educate trustees about wholesale investments fundamentals).
  • Development Module 4 - Trustee investment Decisions (selecting and mixing fund managers, selection a consultant, evaluating investment surveys understanding different types of vehicles and evaluating the option of own assets.)

    These are offered either in contact sessions, e-learning, distance learning or in the form of conferences or seminars.

    The NQF levels of the qualifications vary from NQF Level 4 through to NQF Level 6, depending on the scope of the content of the qualification. The duration of the qualifications offered has also been found to vary from being a two-day workshop to a six-day workshop.

    Qualification content covered by the training providers compares favourably with that covered in the South African occupational qualification. It has also been established that in all the qualifications offered by the training providers, the objective is to empower trustees to comply with various legislative requirements and regulatory framework stipulations that prescribe to the retirement fund industry.

    Access to the qualification is somewhat open with recommendations for individuals with a Bachelor of Commerce, Legal or Administration qualification. The qualifications are aimed at learners who are the employer's representative, employees' representatives, interested parties and individuals who are involved in advising the Boards on the distribution of members' funds.

    In conclusion, the South African Retirement Fund Trustee Occupational qualification compares with the qualifications offered in countries compared regarding the content and competencies. 

    This qualification provides opportunities for horizontal and vertical articulation options.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Certificate: Financial Planning, Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Financial Advisor, NQF Level 6. 

  • NOTES 
    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.

    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 are: Retirement Fund Trustee: 134910

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

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP)
  • Council of Retirement Funds for South Africa (Batseta)

    Related Part-qualification
  • Occupational Certificate: Trustee, NQF Level 4. 


    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.