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.

Certificate: Office Administration 
23618  Certificate: Office Administration 
Institute of Administration and Commerce (The) 
FASSET - Financial and Accounting Services SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Office Administration 
Undefined  120  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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. 

This programme provides an opportunity for the learner to acquire a range of administrative skills crucial to the successful functioning of any organisation. 

Depending on the curriculum selected, students should be aware that adequate language and numeracy skills are necessary for coping with the demands of the curriculum.

Apart from the formal requirements, learners who register for entry into this qualification at level 5 should
  • Have the information-gathering, analysis and presentation skills required at exit level 4 on the NQF
  • Be able to comprehend what they have learned and to communicate it reliably, accurately, and comprehensively in the required medium of instruction
  • Be able to begin to take responsibility for their own learning and its progress within a well-structured and managed learning environment
  • Be able to evaluate their own performance 



    Subfield: Communication
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in an organisational environment.

    Subfield: Public Relations
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will carry out simple communication tasks involving the analysis, contextualisation and synthesis of written material dealing with the basic principles and ideas underpinning public relations as a professional management discipline.

    Subfield: Administrative Practice
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will demonstrate a thorough understanding of current legal provisions regarding the administrative practice of corporate bodies in the South African context

    Subfield: Business and Office Administration
  • Level NQF5 - The competent learner will be able to perform the tasks of a junior secretary.

    Subfield: Financial Accounting
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will demonstrate an understanding of the functions and purposes of accounting and its purpose in the business environment; explain the accounting processes through practical examples, and develop experience and confidence in dealing with practical situations as a basis for further studies.

    Subfield: Cost and Management Accounting
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will demonstrate a basic understanding of the principles of cost and management accounting.
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner will show insight into the principles of Financial Management and Decision-making.

    Subfield: Marketing
  • Level: NQF5 - The competent learner can demonstrate a sound knowledge of the role of marketing, finding marketing opportunities, the marketing mix, and controlling marketing plans and programmes. 

    Subfield: Communication

    Level: NQF5
  • Understand, identify and apply concepts of communication theory
  • Understand text and apply appropriate communication principles as well as style, tone and choice of language to writing of business correspondence.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of groups and the procedures involved within an organization.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the formats for talks and oral presentations in a written format.
  • Understand and demonstrate the different graphic communication techniques available.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of advertising.

    Subfield: Public Relations

    Level: NQF5
  • Understand the background and context of communication.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of common definitions of public relations
  • Explain the purpose of public relations
  • Demonstrate a background knowledge of the milieu within which the profession of public relations has developed.
  • Explain the reasons for practising public relations at all, as well as illustrate the high degree of responsibility all organisations must accept for the effects of their actions on the societies in which they operate
  • Describe the way in which the public relations profession regulates itself.
  • Explain both the purpose of public relations activities as well as how particular public relations techniques are used to achieve particular aims and objectives of the organisations concerned.
  • Explain why an organisation should want to employ the services of a public relations practitioner in terms of what purposes professional practitioners are expected to fulfil.
  • Describe what technical tasks professional public relations people need to be able to do to achieve those purposes.
  • Explain what academic, experiential and professional qualifications are needed, as well as what kind of person will succeed in the profession.
  • Identify, and describe the nature of the many different forms of communication media available to the public relations practitioner. Learners should be able to point out the functional differences between those communication media with similar characteristics.
  • Draw a diagram clearly showing that public relations practice is a systematic and methodical process requiring the completion of specific steps, each of which covers a number of different actions.

    Subfield: Administrative Practice

    Level: NQF5
  • Explain how corporate personalities make use of individuals to think and act for them.
  • Identify and explain the proceedings at a general meeting.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of administrative practice with regard to meetings of clubs and companies
  • Draft minutes of meetings and write resolutions
  • Identify extracts from minutes
  • Draft reports
  • Describe the procedure at meetings other than clubs and companies
  • Define the term defamation and explain the defences that may be raised against accusations of defamation in meetings
  • Describe the conduct of a close corporation
  • Describe the conduct of a trust

    Subfield: Business and Office Administration

    Level NQF5
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role and function of a secretary in the organisation
  • Use the telephone as a resource in business
  • Demonstrate competence as a receptionist
  • Demonstrate competence in handling correspondence and mail.
  • Prepare correspondence
  • Understand the principles of reprography
  • Demonstrate competence in records management
  • Draft documentation relating to meetings
  • Demonstrate an understanding of security measures in a range of situations

    Subfield: Financial Accounting

    Level: NQF5
  • The business forms relevant to bookkeeping and accounts
  • Apply fundamental accounting equations
  • Understand the basic account cycle
  • Use the double entry system
  • Complete books of account
  • Handle reconciliations
  • Make adjustments
  • Calculate depreciation and disposal of assets
  • Apply the principles for vat
  • Manage stock and stock valuation
  • Draw up control accounts including salary control accounts
  • Draw up income statements
  • Draw up a balance sheet

    Subfield: Cost and Management Accounting

    Level: NQF5
  • Identify and understand the basic concepts of Cost and Management Accounting
  • Apply the principles of stock control.
  • Know the various methods of labour remuneration and the functions required for efficient labour administration.
  • Identify overheads, both fixed and variable.
  • Determine, apply and analyse overhead allocation.
  • Distinguish between Process and Job Costing.
  • Calculate equivalent units in an enterprise using a first-in-first-out method or a weighted average cost method.
  • Determine the profit of a task or job and deal with over- or under-applied overheads.
  • Explain the characteristics of long-term contracts.
  • Draw up contract accounts.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how computers are used in an enterprise for Cost and Management Accounting
  • Make accounting entries in the general ledger to cover all aspects of these concepts.

    Level: NQF5
  • Demonstrate the ability to allocate and apportion overheads to calculate rates of recovery.
  • Use these rates to calculate recoveries, and know how to treat under- or over-recoveries.
  • Demonstrate the ability to prepare budgets resulting in the budgeted income statement and balance sheet
  • Demonstrate the ability to flex a budget
  • Evaluate the necessary capital budgets.
  • Identify revenue and cost curves and demonstrate ability to highlight marginal revenues and costs.
  • Compute prices using cost plus or other strategies.
  • Produce a cash flow statement from information available.
  • Identify the components of working capital and determine strengths and weaknesses in policy, which they could use to prepare a new policy.
  • List the types of capital and costs of debt
  • Demonstrate the ability to calculate marginal cost of capital
  • Discuss the effects of financial leverage.
  • Explain the different forms of finance available and to choose optimum components.

    Subfield: Marketing

    Level: NQF5
  • Explain the nature of the marketing process.
  • Distinguish between a marketing orientation and other management orientations.
  • Apply marketing principles in the market-oriented workplace.
  • Identify the elements of the marketing environment and be able to illustrate its dynamics.
  • Differentiate between market segments and apply a segmentation process.
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of marketing information systems.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of consumer behaviour
  • Describe and conceptualise a product or service as the object of need satisfaction, its nature and development.
  • Relate products and their development to marketing decisions.
  • Relate pricing issues to marketing decisions
  • Discuss issues related to the logistics of marketing management.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of marketing communication.
  • Describe the strategic marketing process in detail.
  • Identify the nature of various marketing sectors and the implications of such sectors for marketing decisions.

    Integrated assessment appropriately incorporated to ensure that the purpose of the qualifications is achieved

    Assessment is conducted in several ways:
  • Self-assessment which is carried out by the learners on a daily basis, and which improves the quality of learning and mastery;
  • Formative assessment by means of contact tuition during the course of their studies
  • Continuous assessment incorporating assignments.
  • Summative assessment by way of examinations at six monthly intervals

    The above provides for a holistic approach to assessment. 


    IAC Preliminary Certificate in Business Studies (NQF Level 4)
  • Open Access
  • Matric/Grade 12/Mature Age Exemption/RPL

    IAC Certificate for Office Administration (NQF Level 5)
  • Matric/Grade 12/Mature Age Exemption/RPL
  • IAC Preliminary Certificate in Business Studies

    IAC Higher Certificate for Office Administration (NQF Level 5)
  • IAC Certificate for Office Administration

    IAC Diploma for Office Administration (NQF Level 6)
  • IAC Higher Certificate for Office Administration

    In addition, there are articulation possibilities with other qualifications as indicated below:

    Subject-for-Subject Exemptions
  • Only students who have passed subjects at tertiary (post-Senior Certificate) level may apply for exemptions.
  • Only subjects examined by formal academic institutions such as universities, technikons or recognised professional bodies are considered, especially where an M+3 rating from the Human Sciences Research Council applies.
  • The examining body must be recognised by the IAC.
  • The examinations and syllabuses must be comparable both in standard and content.

    The following examining bodies are recognised:
  • Technikons (National Certificates, Diplomas and higher qualifications).
  • South African Universities (Bachelor Degrees and higher qualifications). (These universities should be affiliated to the South African Vice-Chancellors` Association - formerly the Committee of University Principals).
  • Specific recognised foreign universities, polytechnics or colleges.
  • The London Chamber of Commerce & Industry Examinations Board (LCCIEB)

    The following professional institutes are recognised:
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Bankers in South Africa (IBSA)
  • Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (Fellowship level) (ICB)
  • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (CIS)
  • Institute of Marketing Management (IMM)
  • Institute of People Management (IPM)
  • Insurance Institute of Southern Africa (IISA)
  • South African Institute of Management (SAIM)

    Reciprocal arrangements exist with the bodies listed above.

    Exemptions are granted on a subject-for-subject basis.

    Subject exemptions must be applied for on the official IAC Subject Exemption Form and must be accompanied by:
  • Certified copies of detailed academic statements (indicating subject names, actual percentages/or an explanation of symbols)
  • The subject exemption fee(s). Exemptions will not be recorded until the student has paid the exemption fee(s).

  • The IAC does not exempt from Level 3 (major) subjects.
  • The IAC reserves the right to request whatever information it may deem necessary to consider any subject exemption, and its decisions regarding exemptions are final.
  • The maximum number of subjects that can be exempted in a single IAC diploma is ten. NB: This exemption policy (subject-for-subject) is relevant to students with complete OR incomplete qualifications.
  • An exemption will NOT be granted where a student has written and failed the IAC examination and later claims exemption by virtue of a pass with another examining body unless permission has been obtained in writing from the Exemption Committee. 

    Registration with the Financial Accounting Services SETA (FASSET) is pending. 

    Criteria for the registration of assessors
  • A tertiary qualification with at least a fourth year in the discipline
  • Business/lecturing experience for at least five years in the discipline or field
  • At least two years` examining experience
  • Not lecturing to IAC students in the subject which he/she examines
  • Membership of the Professional Institutes in the appropriate discipline (where applicable)
  • Able to set examination papers in English
  • Available in the time cycles after the examination for marking/moderation
  • Where the examiner is an academic, the moderator should ideally be a practitioner and vice versa
  • Qualified as an assessor with the SETA (this will become a requirement, for 2003) 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015. 



    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.