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.

General Education and Training Certificate: Grain Handling Processes 
57829  General Education and Training Certificate: Grain Handling Processes 
SGB Secondary Agriculture: Processing 
AgriSETA - Agriculture SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Secondary Agriculture 
Undefined  120  Level 1  NQF Level 01  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "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. 


Learners acquiring this qualification will be able to combine Fundamental, Core, and Elective unit standards in order to obtain competence linked to best practice.

Learners will, once assessed and qualified, be able to:
  • Demonstrate competence in basic grain handling principles.
  • Perform routine maintenance.
  • Care for tools and equipment.
  • Perform cleaning functions related to the grain handling industry, according to prescribed industry quality standards.

    Acquiring these skills and knowledge will allow for progression towards other qualifications within grain handling as well as portability of learning to other qualifications in Secondary Agriculture Processing.


    The sector for secondary agriculture processes conducted a field analysis study that eventually pointed out at two major areas, namely, the gap that exists between NQF level 1 and NQF level 2 qualifications in terms of skills need and the level of literacy in foundational knowledge required to carry out certain functions in the sub-sector. The learners who are currently employed in the sector don't necessary hold a formal qualification at NQF level 1. Findings confirmed the need to ensure progression and access to level 2 on the NQF.

    This qualification is aimed at equipping learners who have no foundational knowledge and the necessary skills required in the areas of grain handling and processing of agricultural product. Currently, the category of learners employed at the entry level do not necessary have the required skills. Those that have the skills have not gone through a formal recognition process. This qualification will also provide learners with access to basic knowledge and skills required to perform routine maintenance and grain handling at NQF level 2 in the grain handling industry. 

    Learners who would like to access this qualification should have demonstrated competency in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at ABET level 3.

    Recognition of prior learning:

    The qualification may be achieved in part or as a whole through the Recognition of Prior Learning process for the unit standards. 


    This qualification consists of a minimum of 120 credits, composed of:
  • Fundamental: 39 credits.
  • Core: 65 credits.
  • Electives: 16 credits. 

    1. Demonstrate an understanding and use of work place related tools and equipment, safety practices and technology associated with Grain handling processes.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of intake and grain storage hygiene.
    3. Perform duties to collect representative grain samples according to statutory requirement.
    4. Apply communication and numeric skills effectively in a Grain handling environment. 

  • The processes to care for hand tools, utensils and electronic equipment are explained and utilized according to worksite requirements.
  • Appropriate procedures for dealing with safety, health and environmental emergencies or incidents in the work place are recognised and applied.

  • The process to inspect contamination in grain is explained.
  • The grain dispatch containers are disinfected and sealed according to industry based standards.
  • The grain bins are depleted according to safety regulations.

  • Tools and equipment are identified and utilized to collect grain sample.
  • Effects of noxious seeds are explained.
  • Process of sifting sample is explained and demonstrated.

  • Appropriate communication strategies are used and applied in a coherent manner to accommodate cultural diversity.
  • Numeracy and mathematical skills are recognized and applied in personal financial transactions.

    Integrated assessment

    The integrated assessment allows the Learners the opportunity to show that they are able to utilize concepts, ideas and actions across the unit standards. This will allow Learners to achieve competency that is in keeping with the purpose of the qualification.

    An integrated assessment will indicate how theoretical learning is demonstrated in a practical environment in such a way that the application of the work learnt becomes second nature.

    In conducting an assessment, the quality of the performance must also be evaluated that is both the performance and the thinking behind the action must be qualitative.

    The assessment should include both formative and summative options and should use various assessment tools that are not by observation only. It is required that a Portfolio of evidence should form part of the summative assessment, with practical outcomes being demonstrated in a simulated or real work place situation.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and foundational knowledge being maintained.

    It is recommended that the assessment tools give Learners the opportunity to account for their decision-making and problem solving in line with the specific outcomes and related assessment criteria.

    As a result of this qualification being generic in forming the foundation for a career in Grain Handling processes, learners should be assessed in occupational contexts and activities. The assessment should ensure that the foundational skills are portable and prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. 

    Benchmarking was done on an international basis and a search was done to find international unit standards, qualifications and courses specific to the grain handling industry. The United States of America is one of the world's leaders in grain production and handling and therefore it was more extensively used in the comparability study. It must be noted that their requirements differ from the South African Qualification.

    However, unit standards in the milling area were found but nothing specific to grain handling could be found. It must be noted that extensive short courses or programmes were found which is extensively done by organizations and companies involved in the industry, no formal qualification exist on level 1 or below. The type of training offered is mainly for learners working in storage facilities and handling equipment but not specifically related to the grain handling industry. This training is predominantly designed to prevent injuries, death as main causes in the industry.

    Furthermore, an extensive investigation was done in Industry Training Advisory Bodies within the sector and evolving learning strategy was considered as best practice for the market.

    In conducting research the following countries were looked at:
  • United States of America.
  • Zambia.
  • India.
  • New Zealand.

    These were examined, and the notable similarities and dissimilarities are:

    The following programmes and courses were examined:

    1. RSI Educational Foundation
    1.1 One-day Grain Handling Operations Safety Training Seminar.
    1.1.1 Content:
  • How to deal with common health hazards.
    > Dust.
    > Fire.
    > Explosions.
    > Pesticides.
    > Fumigants.
    > Falls.
    > Confined Space.
    > Man Lifts.
    > Tool Safety.
    > Guards & Shields.
    > Electrical.
    > Hazard Communications.
    > Bucket Elevator leg Safety Issues.

    1.2 Three-day Grain Handling Operations Safety Training Seminar.
    1.2.1 Course Content:
    > General Safety Orientation.
    > Hazard Communications.
    > Bucket Elevators.
    > Dust Control.
    > Contractor Safety.
    > Electrical Equipment Control & Hazards.
    > Emergency Action Planning.
    > Fires & explosions.
    > Grain Dust Hazards.
    > Hot Work Permits.
    > Housekeeping.
    > Ladders.
    > Lock-out/Tag-out.
    > Man lifts.
    > Pesticide & Chemical Handling.
    > Rail Car Handling.
    > Preventative Maintenance.
    > Respiratory Protection.
    > Dump Truck Operations.
    > Walkways & Work Surfaces.
    > Safety Procedure Development.

    Conclusion: These two courses do not compare well with ours as they focus on educating the people on hazard recognition, safe work practices and compliance with OHSA. They do not focus on the actual handling of grain and the maintenance required. The only operator training is for elevators and dump trucks.

    2. Systems Interface Consultants

    2.1 Grain Handling Facility.
    2.1.1 Course Content:
    > Emergency Action Plan.
    > General Precautions & Hazards.
    > Entry into Bins, Silos and Tanks.
    > Contractors.
    > Housekeeping.
    > Grate Openings.
    > Filters.
    > Preventative Maintenance.
    > Grain Stream Processing Equipment.
    > Emergency Escape.
    > Continuous Flow Bulk Raw Grain.
    > Inside a Bucket Elevator.

    Conclusion: This course also focuses mainly on the health and safety aspects of working with grain in storage, with some emphasis placed on preventative maintenance. It also appears to be for a higher level than level 1.

    3. Worldwide Training: Food & Agriculture Organisation Of The United Nations

    3.1 Grain Storage Techniques.
    3.1.1 Course content
  • Economics of Grain Handling.
  • The Biodeterioration of Grain and the Risk of Mycotoxins.
  • Quality and Grading of Grain.
  • Grain Harvesting, Threshing and Cleaning.
  • Drying Methods.
  • Storage at Farm/Village Level and in Warehouses.
  • Bulk Storage.
  • Insect Control.
  • Rodent Control.

    Conclusion: The above learning is not comparable at this level and it is evident this course is for a much higher level than our Qualification. Although it covers areas of grain storage it looks at it from a management and control perspective.

    1. The In-Service Training Trust Of Zambia

    1.1Grain Management
    1.1.1 Course content:
  • Accounting & Budgeting.
  • Preparation of Business Plans.
  • Capital Investment.
  • Costing and Pricing.
  • Grain Quality Determination.
  • Sampling, Grain Drying, Cleaning and Shelling.
  • Storage structures.
  • Stacking & Grain Handling Equipment.

    Conclusion: It is evident from the title that this course is for a much higher level and therefore does not compare well with our Qualification. The only similar areas are that of Grain Handling Equipment.

    1. Indian Grain Storage Management & Reaseach Institute

    1.1 Long Term Training (two months) on 'Scientific Methods of Storage and Inspections of Food grains'

    1.1.1 Course Details
    > Storage Pest Management and Fumigation.
    > Pesticide Residue Analysis.
    > Chemical and Physical of Food grain.
    > Rodent Control.

    Conclusion: The above course like many of its counterparts does not compare well with the level 1 South African one as it is pitched at a much higher level and focuses on pest and rodent control as opposed to our s which deals with the actual grain handling skills.

    1. National Qualifications Framework - Grain, Seeds and Crops.
    1.1 ID9088 - Operate grain, seed or pulse storage equipment and facilities - Level 3 - 15 credits.
    1.2 Organise Crop Storage - Level 3 - 9087 - 2 credits.

    Conclusion: These two standards compare quite well with this Qualification in that they deal with the actual process of handling and storing grain.


    Other qualifications found in related industries cannot be compared against this qualification. The reason is that other qualifications concentrate on structures and equipment but to the handling of grain. In other countries different methods and systems are used for storage of grain.

    The Industry conducted a filed analysis for training and development in grain handling, the outcome was that this qualification offers best practice in the following areas:
  • Collect representative grain samples.
  • Routine maintenance.
  • Apply grain storage hygiene principles.
  • Apply communication and numeric skills effectively in a grain handling environment.

    The above mentioned best practise makes the distinction between South-African Qualification and that of other countries. It is believed that this qualification will not be only of benefit to the learner but also to the industry as a whole.

    There is no doubt a shortage of standards, courses and qualifications in the international arena from which to make direct comparisons. It must be stated therefore that no formal qualifications exist at this level. Most of what does exist deals with best practices for entering and working within grain storage structures and all Occupational Health and Safety issues pertaining to this. 

    This qualification lends itself to vertical articulation possibilities. These possibilities ensure both mobility and progression for the learner in the fields of learning within the agricultural industry such as feed production and will provide the learner with an opportunity to progress at a higher level of learning:

    This qualification articulates with the following qualifications:
  • National Certificate: Grain Milling at NQF Level 2 ID: 48648.
  • National Certificate: Farming at NQF Level 2 ID: 20288. 

    Anyone assessing a learner against these unit standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA and have the experience or in depth knowledge of the Agri Trade or Wholesale and retail industry.

    Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of these unit standards or will assess these unit standards must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA. Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedure.

    Therefore anyone wishing to be assessed against these unit standards may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution which is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

    Assessors must:
  • Be accredited as assessors by the relevant ETQA.
  • Have experience or in depth knowledge of the Grain Handling or Milling industry.
  • Meet any other requirements that may be stipulated by the relevant ETQA. 

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


    Core  12511  Apply quality principles in everyday cleaning tasks  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8182  Care for handtools, utensils and protective equipment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8156  Collect representative grain sample  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8186  Conduct routine maintenance of technical- and site equipment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8190  Demonstrate an understanding of the grain handling industry  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8180  Deplete grain bin  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  113966  Identify security, safety and environmental risks in the local environment  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8167  Inspect stored grain  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  15092  Plan and manage personal finances  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12513  Plan and manage time in the workplace  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12512  Practice environmental awareness  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8176  Prepare grain dispatch containers  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8139  Store stock  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8163  Unload grain consignments in bulk  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  8177  Apply grain storage hygiene  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8494  Demonstrate an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its implications  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8618  Organise oneself in the workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  119373  Describe and represent objects in terms of shape, space and measurement  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119368  Describe, interpret and represent mathematical patterns, functions and algebra in different contexts  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119635  Engage in a range of speaking/signing and listening interactions for a variety of purposes  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119364  Evaluate and solve data handling and probability problems within given contexts  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119641  Identify and respond to selected literary texts  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119640  Read/view and respond to a range of text types  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  119636  Write/Sign for a variety of different purposes  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  12620  Apply basic safety principles in the context of conservation  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  8184  Collect a representative groundnut sample  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  8185  Prepare unshelled groundnut sample for grading  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  8179  Repair bags and tarpaulins  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  116177  Operate a tractor  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8420  Operate in a team  Level 2  NQF Level 02 


    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.
    1. Brightspark Academy 
    2. College of Vocational Studies (Pty) Ltd 
    3. Good Harvest Academy Pty Ltd 
    4. Hybrid Dynamics 
    5. Impumelelo Agribusiness Solutions (Pty) Ltd 
    6. K Boneng Consulting Services P 
    7. Morero Agricultural Academy 
    8. Mzansi Agricultural College 
    9. Oos Vrystaat Kaap Bedryf Beperk 
    10. Potchefstroom College of Agriculture 
    11. Shazini Farms 
    12. Tau Tau Training Enterprises Pty Ltd 
    13. Thuto Ya Setshaba Training Services (Pty) Ltd 
    14. Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute 
    15. Twoline Training Skills For Africa Pty Ltd 

    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.