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Occupational Certificate: Telecommunication Line Mechanic 
119461  Occupational Certificate: Telecommunication Line Mechanic 
Development Quality Partner - QCTO (MANU) 
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Occupational Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
Undefined  548  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
Registered  EXCO 0522/24  2022-08-04  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 Telecommunication Line Mechanic.

The Telecommunication Line Mechanic performs several tasks to ensure optimum operation of telecommunication equipment and components:
  • Install telecommunication equipment and components and test for functionality.
  • Perform maintenance (preventative, scheduled, and unscheduled) on telecommunication equipment and components.
  • Analyse first-line test readings data and diagnose possible cause of faults.
  • Repair, remove and replace telecommunication equipment and components.
  • Find solutions to a range of problems within their defined context.

    A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Apply fundamental knowledge and principles of telecommunications and related electronic and electrical theory and practice.
  • Use hand tools, power tools, measuring instruments and test instruments when working on telecommunication cables and equipment.
  • Install, maintain, and repair telecommunication copper cables.
  • Install, maintain, and repair telecommunication fibre optic cables.
  • Install, maintain, and repair telecommunication equipment and components.

    The telecommunications industry has been impacted tremendously by the rapid evolution and expansion of new data and network services enabled by changing and advanced telecommunication technologies and infrastructure. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work, and relate to one another. It is a new chapter in human development, enabled by extraordinary technology advances and therefore the qualification will be one of key skills required for the Internet of Things (IoT).

    The Telecommunication Line Mechanic Occupation forms part of the 2018 list of Occupations in High Demand that have been identified by the Department of Higher Education and Training, and it has been listed as a trade occupation as per Government Gazette 35625, published on 31 August 2012, and identified as a trade occupation in terms of Section 26B of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No. 97 of 1998). It is for these policies that the QCTO prioritised the development of the Telecommunication Line Mechanic Occupational qualification.

    While it is noted that the Telecommunication Line Mechanic occupation is listed as a trade qualification, there is currently no structured training and no trade testing that is taking place for this trade qualification. The occupational qualification is aimed at new entrants as well as currently employed personnel. Qualified learners are likely to be employed across the economic sectors that include but not limited to security systems, data networks, broadcasting, rail, and mobile communication. This qualification will enable learners to perform first-line repairs, troubleshooting, maintenance, installation, and operations within the telecommunication related industries.

    This requires learners to be trained in line with the latest technologies that will empower them to become employed or self-employed and thereby contributing positively to the economy and society and further provide employment opportunities. 

    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:
  • An NQF Level 2 qualification with Mathematics and Science. 


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

    Knowledge Modules
  • 672204-000-00-KM01, Workplace Fundamentals, Level 2, 15 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-KM02, Telecommunication Skills Theory, Level 2, 36 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-KM03, Telecommunication Basic Theory, Level 4, 48 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-KM04, Telecommunication Site Installation, Level 4, 13 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-KM05, End-User Computing, Level 3, 10 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Knowledge Modules: 122

    Practical Skill Modules
  • 672204-000-00-PM01, Fabricate simple components or work pieces using basic hand skills and hand tools, Level 3, 21 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-PM02, Fabricate Components or Work Pieces Using Power Tools and Machinery, Level 3, 11 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-PM03, Use Test Instruments to Test Various Telecommunication Components, Level 3, 6 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-PM04, Install, Maintain and Repair Telecommunication Copper Cables, Level 4, 49 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-PM05, Install, Maintain and Repair Fibre Optic Telecommunication Cables, Level 4, 29 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-PM06, Install, Maintain and Repair Telecommunications Equipment and Components, Level 4, 63 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Practical Skill Modules: 179

    Work Experience Modules
  • 672204-000-00-WM-01, General Basic Workshop Practices, Level 2, 32 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-WM-02, Telecommunication Cables Maintenance and Repair Processes, Level 3, 60 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-WM-03, Telecommunication Cables Installation Processes, Level 4, 40 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-WM-04, Telecommunication Equipment and Components Maintenance and Repair Processes, Level 4, 65 Credits
  • 672204-000-00-WM-05, Telecommunication Equipment and Components Installation and Commission Processes, Level 4, 40 Credits.
  • 672204-000-00-WM-06, Structured Planning, Communication, and Control Processes in the Workplace, Level 4, 10 Credits.

    Total number of credits for Work Experience Modules: 247 

    1. Provide the correct answers to a range of formulated knowledge questions through a written assessment to assess fundamental knowledge and principles of telecommunications and related electronic and electrical theory and practice.
    2. Apply hand skills to perform telecommunication tasks by using hand tools, power tools and test instruments and measuring instrument.
    3. Demonstrate ways to install, maintain, and repair telecommunication cables.
    4. Use relevant knowledge to install, maintain, and repair telecommunication equipment and components. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Discuss and explain workplace health, safety and environmental protection in terms of workplace health and safety requirements, personal protective equipment, environmental protection and applicable regulations
  • Define, identify and explain preventative measures Telecommunication Equipment and Components Safety Precautions.
  • Interpret technical drawings and describe symbols.> Describe electrical and electronic theory in terms of defining electrical and electronic safety, explain electrical connections techniques, and differentiate electrical and electronic components colour coding.
  • Explain and define principles of operation of telecommunication equipment and components.
  • Identify and explain low voltage protection and lightning system protection in terms of its importance and the installation and maintenance procedures.
  • Identify and explain telecommunication technologies in terms of their interconnectedness, functions and operations.
  • Identify and explain telecommunication Systems.
  • Explain telecommunication cables installation, maintenance and repair process and procedures, identify types and sizes of cables i, and define common faults.
  • Explain telecommunication equipment and components installation, maintenance and repair process and procedures, define methods and statements, and explain common faults.
  • Explain International Telecommunications Standards.
  • Explain ICASA Regulations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Select, inspect, used and care for appropriate Hand Tools, Power Tools, measuring instruments, test instruments and equipment.
  • Adhere to and describe safe work procedures, precautions and Personal Protective Equipment required.
  • Identify, read and calibrate measuring instruments.
  • Read and interpret engineering drawing to determine step-by-step fabrication of metal components and quality specifications.
  • Protect tools and equipment from damage.
  • Avoid personal or bodily injury to persons.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Adhere to safety requirements demonstrates knowledge of risks involved
  • Select, inspect, use and care for the correct hand tools and test instruments.
  • Identify telecommunication cable as per specification.
  • Layout and suspend according to specifications.
  • Conduct functionality test d and record test readings.
  • Repair a cable.
  • Terminate and joint a cable.
  • Seal/close cable joint according to specifications.
  • Diagnose appropriate inspection, testing and troubleshooting techniques accurately.
  • Demonstrate splicing technique.
  • Protect tools and equipment from damage.
  • Avoid personal or bodily injury to persons.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of risks involved by adherence to health, safety and environmental requirements.
  • Identify telecommunication equipment and components as per specification.
  • Select, inspect, use and care for the correct hand tools and test instruments.
  • Haul and suspend cable according to specifications.
  • Conduct functionality test and record test readings according to standard.
  • Install telecommunication equipment and components according to standard.
  • Repair telecommunication equipment and components according to standard.
  • Replace and or adjust telecommunication equipment and components according to standard.
  • Carry out cable termination according to standard.
  • Demonstrate appropriate inspection, testing and troubleshooting techniques through accurate diagnoses.
  • Adhere to manufacturer's specifications.
  • Ensure that no equipment, instruments and tools are damaged.
  • Ensure no harm or bodily injury to persons.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide learners 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 external integrated assessment will be conducted through a trade test as prescribed under section 26 D of the Skills Development Act and defined in the Trade Test Regulations. It will be conducted through an evaluation of written and practical tasks covering critical aspects in a simulated environment at an assessment centre accredited by QCTO and conducted by an assessor registered by the National Artisan Moderation Body (NAMB). 

    The international comparability study conducted focused on identifying trade qualifications in the field of telecommunication qualification and the study compared qualification found in Australia and Germany.

    The Occupational Certificate: Telecommunication Line Mechanic has been compared to similar qualification found in Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) and German Qualification Framework (DQR) as follows:
    Germany has the following qualifications both qualifications take a period of three years to three and a half years to complete:
  • Electronics Technician: Information and Telecommunication Technology - DQR Lev 04
  • Information Technology and Telecommunications System Electronics Technician - DQR Lev 04
    The above qualifications are found in the German Qualification Framework and there are vocational qualifications which are accessed through dual vocational training methodology, the majority of the German companies in the field of telecommunications apply this training methodology to train new entrants to the qualification. The German companies like Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary T-Mobil and Kreutpointner employ apprentices who will gain experience while studying through the Vocational Schools under the Federal Institute of Vocational Education and Training (BIBB).

    Teaching of the knowledge, skills and competences needed for an occupation is based on the typical requirements of work and business processes and prepares the trainees for a specific job. The training is provided in a company and at part time vocational school: In the company, the trainees acquire practical skills in a real working environment. On one or two days per week, the trainees attend part-time vocational school, where they are taught general and vocational knowledge related to their training occupation.

    The qualification has the following unit of learning:
  • Support developers in the development and implementation of solutions for customers, the analysis of required functionality, the design of systems and software solutions, the selection of data communication media and hardware and software components
  • Assemble and test hardware components.
  • Install and configure information technology components and devices.
  • Install and configure sensors and actuators.
  • Install and configure operating systems and networks
  • Create user interfaces and user dialogues.
  • Create software components.
  • Adapt standardised software components, programme interfaces, integrate programmes into systems and solve compatibility problems.
  • Integrate hardware and software components.
  • Analyse problems in bringing together hardware and software components and develop possible solutions
  • Record and evaluate measured values.
  • Test components in systems under various environmental technical conditions.
  • Integrate systems into existing overall systems.
  • Provide support in the case of malfunctions, analyse malfunctions, determine the causes of faults in systems, analyse the source of errors for the purpose of quality assurance.
  • Deploy test software and diagnostic systems.
  • Test signals at interfaces.
  • Carry out network-specific tests.
  • Eliminate errors by modifying software or by changing components or sub-assemblies.
  • Work with English language documentation and communicate in English.
  • Under the provisions of the Prevention of Accidents Regulations, electronics technicians for information and system technology are deemed to be skilled electrical and electronic engineering workers.
  • Use IT systems, including in digitalised processes.
  • Apply regulations relating to data protection and information security.

    Entry requirements are not governed by legislation; as a rule, young people are admitted after completing (nine or ten years of) general education.

    The ICT 41219, Certificate IV in Telecommunications Engineering Technology - AQF Lev 04 offered by
    Comtech Training and TafeNSW, registered training providers in Australia has the qualification has the following unit standards:

    Core units
  • Use electrical skills when working with telecommunications networks
  • Locate, diagnose and rectify faults
  • Repair telecommunication system faults
  • Install, configure and test an internet protocol network
  • Solve electrical-based telecommunications circuitry and cabling problems

    Elective units
    Group A - Workplace
  • Address customer needs
  • Establish legal and risk management requirements of small business
  • Monitor and manage small business operations
  • Manage a small team
  • Supervise cabling project
  • Determine and confirm client business requirements
  • Set up and operate a contractor business
  • Operate a contractor business with employees
  • Estimate and quote for customer telecommunications equipment installation

    Group B - General
  • Implement and monitor environmentally sustainable work practices
  • Implement an environmental management plan
  • Schedule and supply cabling installation
  • Remotely locate and identify cable network faults
  • Locate and rectify digital reception equipment faults
  • Train customers in new technology
  • Create technical documentation
  • Install hardware to a network
  • Prepare activity plans and specifications for a fibre to the x installation
  • Test optical communications systems and components
  • Install and test a dense wavelength division multiplexing system
  • Schedule installation of customer premises equipment
  • Maintain hybrid fibre coaxial broadband cable network
  • Install and test power saving hardware
  • Install thin client applications for power over ethernet
  • Assign a transmission path
  • Install and configure a wireless mesh network
  • Effect changes to existing customer premises equipment systems and equipment
  • Cut over customer premises equipment major upgrades
  • Complete equipment and software upgrades
  • Commission an electronic system
  • Undertake routine maintenance of the telecommunications network
  • Undertake remote diagnosis and repair of network faults
  • Install and configure internet protocol TV in a home network
  • Install, configure, and test a router
  • Implement and troubleshoot enterprise routers and switches
  • Install and configure internet protocol TV in a service provider network
  • Design, install and configure a customer smart technology network
  • Identify requirements for customer telecommunications equipment
  • Install configuration programs on PC based customer equipment

    The qualification has the following areas of specialisation:
  • IT Use
  • Network Engineering
  • Radio Communications

    Entry into this qualification requires:
    A qualification at AQF level 2 or 3 in telecommunications from the ICT Information and Communications Technology or open registration as an ACMA registered cabler with certified evidence of at least 2100 hours of work experience within the customer premises doing cabling or telecommunications carrier work

    Scope and Similarities
    The Telecommunication Line Mechanic compares fairly with the qualifications from Australia, the qualification outcomes cover the installation, repair, configure and troubleshoot telecommunication systems. Each country has a specific methodology of determining the complexity of their qualifications, of which the complexity levels of the AQF and DQR qualifications compares favourably to SAQA Level Descriptors, and the training models applied are comparable to the South African methodologies of vocational/ occupational training.

    Both countries under comparison have structured learning in place to achieve the Qualification in respective countries, Australia uses the unit standard based approach, while Germany uses the apprenticeship model and applies dual vocational education and training model of learning, while the South African industries may choose the apprenticeship/learnership or dual vocational model of learning. The South African and German qualifications have a duration of a minimum three years to complete while Australia has a maximum of two years to complete. Both Australia and Germany qualifications cover the information technology (IT) learning content, while the South African qualification does not.

    The international comparability study has shown that the Telecommunication Line Mechanic Occupational Qualification, designed for the South African context and industries, favourably compares in terms of qualification outcomes and the complexity of the qualification to the Australian Qualification. 

    This qualification provides opportunities for horizontal and vertical articulation options.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Millwright, NQF Level 04.
  • Occupational Certificate: Lift Mechanic, NQF Level 04.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Occupational Certificate: Instrument Mechanician, NQF Level 05.
  • Occupational Certificate: Maintenance Planner, NQF Level 05. 

  • NOTES 
    Qualifying for External Assessment:
    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:
  • None

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers

    The curriculum title and code are: Telecommunications Line Mechanic - 672204-000-00.

    Encompassed Trade:
    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • Telecommunications Line Mechanic, SAQA ID 96327, F500.

    Assessment Quality Partner (AQP)
  • Services Sector Education and Training Authority (SSETA)

  • None. 


    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.