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Occupational Certificate: Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) Developer 
119242  Occupational Certificate: Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) Developer 
Development Quality Partner-MICT SETA 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Information Technology and Computer Sciences 
Undefined  185  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Registered  EXCO 0522/24  2022-06-21  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 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer. The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer works with other developers and solution architects to develop robotic processing automation software to emulate the business process defined by the process owner and documented by the business analysts. They configure software RPA solutions to perform automated business processes that typically interact with multiple applications and data.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Develop RPA solutions which emulate human actions during the project development stage using platform knowledge and data analysis capabilities.
  • Execute test procedures for evaluating the performance of the RPA solution through test cases and decide whether it passes or fails.
  • Modify and improve existing RPA solutions and build reusable components (post-production).

    Amongst other reasons, this qualification has been developed in response to the report of the Presidential Commission on the 4th Industrial Revolution. This report forefronts human capital and the future of work and refers to growing skills instability. It states that work will change, and that robotic process automation (RPA) will play a more pivotal role in the execution of tasks. The 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) is a fusion of advances in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, process automation, the Internet of Things (IoT), genetic engineering, quantum computing, cyber security, cloud computing, and data science. Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic, repetitive tasks across software applications. RPA creates and deploys a software robot with the ability to launch and operate other software.

    It is estimated that globally, digital process automation will grow annually by 13,3%. 74% of organisations are actively looking for new use cases for automation. Between 2017 and 2019 companies using automation for mission-critical processes rose from 16% up to 50%. This growth establishes the need for developing a qualification for business automation. Robotic process automation will become one of the key focus areas for technology investment as the drive toward digital transformation intensifies in South Africa.
    RPA, as other many technologies is impacted by Artificial Intelligence and various sources of structured and unstructured of data. RPA will not evolve without AI. The World Economic Forum report on South Africa states that Process Automation Specialist is the number one emerging job needed.

    Robotic process automation (RPA) is transforming the way organisations operate by streamlining manual processes and reducing the burden of mundane human activities. RPA is changing the world of work and the growth of RPA software has exploded across all industries and in all functions, from healthcare to financial services to human resources and call centre automation. Opportunities for automation thus exist virtually everywhere throughout every business, enabling greater organisational performance and efficiency, but it is an opportunity that will be missed without people having skills to design, implement and maintain automated processes.

    RPA is useful in any industry. For example, in healthcare, RPA robots are helping schedule patient appointments, including data entry for processing claims, and billing. They can validate data, enter information across multiple systems, and interact with a human user. RPA robots are capable of mimicking many if not all human user actions on IT applications. If one thinks about tasks only, they log into applications, move files and folders, copy and paste data, fill in forms, extract structured and semi-structured data from documents, scrape browsers, and more.

    The qualification will play an important role in the digital transformation in South Africa. It will address the demand for RPA skills whereby benefitting the economy as well as the IT sector. The RPA Developer designs RPA solutions which eliminate defects, errors and problems with business or customer service processes. Society will benefit from RPA solutions in terms of reduced risk, reduction in manual errors, faster service, and reduced workload.

    No similar qualifications are registered on the National Qualifications Framework. The target group for this qualification is school leavers, qualifying learners from TVET colleges, new entrants into the sector and existing employees who have experience in this field, but without formal recognition of skills and competencies.

    Typical occupations of an Occupational Certificate: Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) Developer would be RPA Associate, Junior RPA Developer, Process Automation Specialist or Digital Transformation Specialist which is the first level towards growing as a Digital Transformation Leader.

    No professional registration or licencing is expected for RPA Developers to seek employment in the sector. 

    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 result.

    RPL for Access to the Qualification
  • 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 is 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.

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


    This qualification is made up of compulsory Knowledge, Practical Skills and Work Experience Modules:

    Knowledge Modules
  • 251201-004-00-KM-01, Overview of Robotic Process Automation, Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-02, Basic Calculations and Logical Thinking: Revision, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-03, Computers and Computing Systems, Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-04, Computing Theory, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-05, Data, Databases and Data Scraping, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-06, Introduction to RPA for Automation of Processes, Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-07, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-08, Introduction to RPA Governance, Legislation and Ethics, Level 4, 1 Credit.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-09, Fundamentals of Design Thinking and Innovation, Level 4, 1 Credit.
  • 251201-004-00-KM-10, 4IR and Future Skills, Level 4, 4 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 47

    Practical Skill Modules
  • 251201-004-00-PM-01, Basic Calculations for Programming, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-02, Basic Programming, Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-03, Access, Analyse and Visualise Structured Data using Spreadsheets and Scraping Tools, Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-04, Model and Develop Robotic Automated Process (RPA) Solutions, Level 5, 14 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-05, Execute Test Procedures for Evaluating the RPA Solution Performance, Level 5, 10 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-06, Deploy RPA Solutions which Emulate Actions of a Human Interacting within Digital Systems, Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-07, Modify and Improve Existing RPA Solutions, Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-08, Function Ethically and Effectively as a Member of a Multidisciplinary Team, Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-PM-09, Apply Design Thinking Methodologies, Level 4, 4 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Practical Skills Modules: 66

    Work Experience Modules
  • 251201-004-00-WM-01, RPA Solution Design Interpretation and Development, Level 5, 28 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-WM-02, RPA Solution Performance Testing, Level 5, 24 Credits.
  • 251201-004-00-WM-03, RPA Solution Deployment, Modification and Improvement, Level 5, 20 Credits

    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 72 

    1. Analyse the Solution Design Document (SDD) for the RPA solution and prepare the Technical Design Document (TDD).
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of knowledge of RPA and application of best practices when developing resilient RPA solutions in accordance with the design documents.
    3. Execute test procedures (prior to deployment) for the RPA solution to determine performance.
    4. Apply technical expertise to resolve workflow incidents, maintain the deployed RPA solution, and implement changes ensuring continuous improvement.
    5. Demonstrate an ability to work as a member of a multidisciplinary team and function ethically and effectively in the workplace. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Analyse and interpret the SDD to identify the process, workflows, objects and how different components of the RPA solution interact with each other.
  • Define deployment related specifications such as RPA solution layout.
  • Outline the best practices of coding and RPA solution development as well as compliance and audit requirements, using platform knowledge.
  • Compile and update the TDD describing low-level design specifications in the case of changes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of RPA solution related decisions on business and organisation.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Identify the objects for RPA solution development from the TDD.
  • Generate the software code or automated process for each component of the RPA solution
  • Integrate various modules of the RPA solution.
  • Develop modular codes or programs so that they can be reused.
  • Apply code quality principles and best practices, such as secure coding practices, naming convention standards and compliance, zero usage of junk code, componentization, etc., to maintain readability of the code.
  • Document the software code for consumption and feedback from relevant stakeholders and include pertinent information such as screenshots, possible exceptions, error handling, etc.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Define the types of testing and testing requirements for the developed RPA solution.
  • Create or modify software test cases in accordance with requirements and automated where possible.
  • Run he simulated test cases and evaluate the outcomes to identify improvement opportunities.
  • Compile documentation on the tests or simulations according to the best practices.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Apply troubleshooting procedures to analyse the cause of the error and to determine whether it is related to the tool, the RPA solution or the target application.
  • Identify and log the line of code where the bug occurs and the bug type.
  • Repeat debugging and logging processes until the RPA solution runs smoothly.
  • Log all activities and analyse the logs to identify improvement opportunities.
  • Maintain the deployed RPA solution through regular checking and implementing changes and updates and introducing improvements.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Ensure compliance with the code of conduct and workplace policies and procedures in pursuit of ethical conformance.
  • Collaboration between team members takes place within support of the ongoing process between RPA solutions, business processes, other tools and problem solving.
  • Clearly communicate with peers, mentors, and others with on ongoing progress, concepts, goals, decisions and processes.
  • Perform work independently as well as collaboratively, applying efficiency principles.

    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.

    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.

    Integrated Summative 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 external integrated summative assessment will be conducted through a theoretical assessment and the evaluation of practical tasks at decentralised approved assessment sites in a simulated environment and conducted by an assessor(s) registered with the relevant AQP 

    The Occupational Certificate: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer was compared with the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Design & Development qualification is offered by Simplilearn in India and the Robotic Process Automation qualification which is provided by IBM in the USA.

    There is currently no country world-wide that has established a national qualification framework for a RPA Developer, although progress has started in some countries. UiPath has been chosen as a comparison benchmark due to reports of the independent analyst who considers this company to be the global leader for the third year in the row. Other leaders are Microsoft, IBM, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism. These companies have high-stakes, proctored certification exams which are appreciated by employers.

    It should be noted that the Information Technology and Computing industry is highly competitive and each vendor has its own certification exam. Typically, prospective learners for the exams will enrol for a vendor specific short qualification prior to the exam. These certifications are globally recognised within the IT industry.

    The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Design & Development qualification is offered by Simplilearn, an online education technology company headquartered in India which is accredited by UiPath to present this qualification. The delivery mode adopted by Simplilearn is a blended learning method and is in essence self-paced. It is advertised in terms of 15 hours online learning, 40 hours live virtual classes, lifetime access to self-paced learning, 12 comprehensive industry projects and 9 comprehensive use cases and 7 real-time case studies which is not specified in terms of hours of learning. The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Design & Development qualification offers comprehensive knowledge and professional-level skills focused on developing and deploying software robots. The qualification assumes no prior knowledge of RPA. It starts with the basic concepts of Robotic Process Automation. It further builds on these concepts and introduces key RPA Design and Development strategies and methodologies specifically within the context of UiPath products.

    A learner undergoing the qualification shall develop the competence to design and develop a robot for a defined process. The qualification also prepares the Learner for - UiPath RPA Associate v1.0 Exam. The qualification consists of a 40 hours' theory component and an associated 20 hours of practice/ lab exercises component. This qualification is intended for industry professionals and University Engineering learners who want to acquire the skills for designing and developing robots for process automation.

    Upon successful completion of this qualification, learners should be able to:
  • Prepare to become Junior RPA Developers.
  • Learn the basic concepts of Robotic Process Automation.
  • Develop familiarity and deep understanding of UiPath tools.
  • Develop the ability to independently design and create robots for business processes.
  • Develop skills required to pass UiPath RPA Associate v1.0 Exam.

    Qualification Outline
    The 40-hour Theory component of the qualification is divided into 8 lessons:
  • Lesson 1: Robotic Process Automation Basics.
  • Lesson 2: Introduction to UiPath.
  • Lesson 3: Variables and Arguments.
  • Lesson 4: Selectors.
  • Lesson 5: Control Flow.
  • Lesson 6: Data Manipulation.
  • Lesson 7: Automation Concepts and Techniques.
  • Lesson 8: Orchestrator.

    Lab component
  • The Lab component of the qualification consists of 20 hours of exercises mapped to the Theory portion. Each exercise helps the learners practice and apply the skills learned in the Theory section of the qualification.

    Delivery Method
  • Instructor-Led (in-class or on-line).
    Similarities: Both qualifications have similar learning objectives. Both qualifications have similar methods of assessment for the theoretical component.

    The intended target group is different since professionals operating within the IT domain are targeted. Stated entry requirements are different, since the Occupational Certificate: RPA Developer requires no previous IT knowledge neither experience. This count for the difference in duration where the Occupational Certificate runs over a full year, but the duration of the Simplilearn qualification is much shorter. The UiPath qualification offered by Simplilearn does not include the workplace component, credits are different and entry requirements are not specified. The Occupational Certificate: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer includes soft skills such as ethics and working in a team and it also supply a bridging in terms of mathematics and computing theory. The two qualifications have different target groups - the Occupational Certificate: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer targets school leavers and qualifying learners from TVET Colleges, whereas the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Design & Development qualification targets industry professionals and University Engineering learners.

    United States of America (USA)
    The Robotic Process Automation qualification is provided by IBM as an e-learning, interactive learning experience with lab exercises throughout the qualification. The qualification is intended for developers and the prerequisites are stated as:
  • Practical knowledge of data structures.
  • Understanding of SQL syntax.
  • Basic understanding of web services.
  • Experience with modern programming techniques.

    Qualification content includes:
  • Creating bots.
  • Integrating with common desktop applications.
  • Writing data from a text file to an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Copying spreadsheet data to a Windows application.
  • Reading and writing from a DB2 database.
  • Hardening bots against common exceptions.
  • Debugging bots using the debugging feature.
  • Applying good practices for coding bots.
  • Handling corrupt data or an incorrect file.
  • Extracting data from web pages.
  • Performing basic string operations.
  • Sending and receiving emails.
  • Downloading email attachments.
  • Extracting data from Adobe PDFs.
  • Implementing conditional logic.
  • Adding interactive components.
  • Calling REST web services.
  • Basic arithmetic operations.
  • Defining bot triggers.
  • Iterative looping.
  • Error handling.
  • Running bots from the Workbench and the Control Room.
  • Using and assigning user and system-defined variables.
  • Creating a Meta bot to handle an application login.

    Key differences:
    The target group is identified as developers and pre-requisites to this learning experience refer to prior programming knowledge. In the case of the OC: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Developer, these pre-requisites are included in the qualification to provide the necessary bridging, thus no previous experience in the IT field is required. No reference is made to work experience, but it can be inferred based on the target group which is developers, who will be employed and thus have access to a work environment.

    Key similarities:
    Lab exercises provide for honing of practical skills. On analysis of the outcomes of both qualifications, it can be stated that both qualifications prepare the learners similarly and towards the same competencies. The level of the qualification is not stated, but once again, based on the outcomes, it can be reasoned that both qualifications are similar in complexity.

    From the comparison above, it can be concluded that the Occupational Certificate: Robotic Processing Automation Developer will prepare learners with similar outcomes as the two international qualifications, even though the learning path will be somewhat different in terms of a longer duration but that the complexity of the competencies is at the same level. 

    This qualification allows possibilities for both vertical and horizontal articulation.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Computer Technician, NQF Level 5.
  • Occupational Certificate: Artificial Intelligence Software Developer, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Diploma in Information Technology, NQF Level 6. 



    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    To qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of a statement of results and statement of work experience as well as proof of successful completion of the following subjects and modules or alternative programmes where applicable.

    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: Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) Developer: 251201-004-00-00

    Encompassed Trades:
  • This is not a trade qualification

    Assessment Quality Partner:


    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.