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.

National Certificate: Freight Handling 
57831  National Certificate: Freight Handling 
SGB Transport and Logistics Operations 
TETA - Transport Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 11 - Services  Transport, Operations and Logistics 
Undefined  128  Level 3  NQF Level 03  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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
14574  National Certificate: Freight Handling  Level 3  NQF Level 03  120  Complete 


The safe handling of freight is dependant upon the applicable people complying with the relevant procedures and applying the necessary skills to their handling. This Qualification, therefore, is aimed at providing learners in the Freight sector with:
  • An integrated practical and theoretical grounding in Freight Handling.
  • The ability to work more effectively with others.
  • The skills necessary to maintain and enhance the level of service and quality of service expected by customers.
  • An awareness and understanding of key business principles that lead to transformation, transferability, economic growth and social development in the freight handling industry.

    The key areas of specialisation identified within the Freight Handling Industry are as follows:
  • Warehousing and Distribution.
  • Port Operations.
  • Stevedoring.
  • Courier Operations.
  • Bulk Handling.
  • Airfreight.
  • Forwarding and Clearing.

    Learners completing this Qualification, in whatever area of specialization selected, will be able to demonstrate the ability to consider a range of options related to their chosen field in order to make decisions and improve performance around, inter alia, freight handling administration, planning; goods handling, storage, transport planning, and basic freight handling equipment maintenance.


    People involved in freight handling play a key role in the movement of goods since they represent the physical link that ensures that the freight is efficiently and safely handled. The required knowledge and skills can be used in many other goods handling environments or equally as well in a full warehousing environment. On-the-job experience can progressively lead to positions of more responsibility in the safe handling of goods and freight.

    The majority of learners for this Qualification are likely to be either unemployed persons wishing to enter the industry, or persons currently working in the greater freight handling sector that wish to improve their skills and enhance their own career path opportunities.

    The Qualification will provide learners with the opportunity to acquire the essential knowledge needed to further their studies in differing specialist areas within the transport sector of the South African economy.

    This Qualification reflects workplace-based needs in the wider Freight Handling Industry, both now and for the future. Freight Handling is diverse in its nature, so a fairly wide range of competencies are required by employees. The Qualification aims to provide the foundational and initial skills required for an individual in the industry to handle freight successfully; be an effective team member and undertake those tasks required to contribute to the effective processing of freight. 

    It is assumed that learners accessing this Qualification are competent in:
  • Communication at NQF level 2 or equivalent.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 2 or equivalent.

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL):

    Historically within the Freight Handling Industry, most employees have experience, but no formal underpinning knowledge. It is therefore essential to recognise prior learning and the application in the work place. Therefore the assessment processes will recognise experience and theoretical knowledge. Portfolios of evidence will be important contributions to the assessment process.

    All Recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited Education, Training, Quality, and Assurance Body.

    Access to the Qualification:

    This Qualification is open to everyone. However, access to certain unit standards (e.g. Operate defined purpose lift trucks) within the Qualification is limited where legislated and where physical and psychomotor requirements are specified in that particular unit standard. In some cases a license is required prior to commencement of learning or operation.

    It is advisable that learners should already have addressed the areas reflected under "Learning Assumed to be in Place" before embarking on learning towards this Qualification. 


    The Qualification is made up of a combination of learning outcomes from Fundamental, Core and Elective Components, totalling 128 credits.
  • All 36 credits allocated for Fundamental are compulsory.
  • All 59 credits for Core are compulsory.
  • A minimum of 33 credits must be selected by the learner from the 186 credits available in the Electives. 

    1. Understand the principles of the freight handling business in South Africa.
    2. Understand the composition of the supply chain in the transport industry.
    3. Understand legislated and company-required health, safety, environmental and security practices.
    4. Act responsibly when handling freight. 

  • The different modes of transport and transport services offered in South Africa are explained relevant to the area of specialization.
  • The different types of businesses and their legal implications are explained with examples.
  • The way in which the principles are applied is described with examples.

  • The aim of the supply chain is explained according to the selected specialist stream.
  • The role and function of the organisation within its supply chain(s) is explained according to international principles.

  • The requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and in-house policies and practices concerning health and safety in the working environment are described and explained according to requirements.
  • The requirements of industry specific environmental legislation polices and practices are explained with examples.
  • The impact of HIV/AIDS and the handling of persons with HIV/AIDS are explained with examples.
  • The effects of poor hygiene and health on the organisation and the country are explained using examples.

  • Procedure for safe packing, handling and securing of freight are applied in accordance with standard operating procedures.
  • Operating practices are complied with in the handling of freight according to legislation and regulations.
  • Freight handling equipment is used and operated in accordance with safe and legislated requirements.

    Integrated assessment:

    Development of the competencies may be through a combination of informal and formal learning, self-learning, training programmes and work-based application. Providers should conduct diagnostic and formative assessment. Formative, continuous and diagnostic assessments should also take place in the work place. The learner should be able to assess him or herself and determine readiness for a summative assessment against this Qualification.

    Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.

    Assessment of communication, language, literacy and numeracy should be conducted in conjunction with other aspects and should use authentic Freight Handling contexts wherever possible.

    A variety of methods must be used in assessment and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role-plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment. The term 'Integrated Assessment' implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together.

    Assessment should ensure that all Specific Outcomes, Embedded Knowledge and Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of Specific Outcomes and Embedded Knowledge. 

    The Freight Handling industry is an area that is conducted on a global basis and therefore has globally recognised legislation, best practices, standards and training. The countries used in this comparison have the legislation, best practice and standards incorporated within their programmes and qualifications. This Freight Handling Qualification used these as a comparison to ensure that it meets both the international and local best practice requirements. The countries most recognised as leaders in freight handling are the United States of America, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

    Below are listed the Qualifications, Courses and Standards which were used in the comparability. Because the carriage of specific goods are regulated international agreements and technological advances, most areas were found to be of a similar nature, with some differences because of domestic regulations and conditions.

    New Zealand Unit Standards:

    Level 2 Unit Standards:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of transport industry sectors (ID 13230, 2 Credits).

    Level 3 Unit Standards:
  • Operate a powered industrial lift truck (PILT) fitted with attachments on a worksite (ID 10852 - 3 Credits).
  • Operate a powered industrial lift truck fitted with forks (forklift) (ID 10851, 7 Credits).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the international freight forwarding industry (ID 21803 - 6 Credits).
  • Prepare for freight forwarding of dangerous goods by sea (ID 21809, 3 Credits).
  • Process import documentation that governs the carriage of international goods (ID 21806, 5 Credits).
  • Select, cost, and recommend an international transport service and route for given consignments (ID 21805, 6 Credits).
  • Select a rail transport unit for a given consignment and route (ID 13233, 2 Credits).
  • Select an aircraft type for a given consignment and route (ID 13232, 2 Credits).

    Level 4 Unit Standards:
  • Prepare for freight forwarding of dangerous goods by air (ID 21810, 6 Credits).
  • Process export documentation that governs the carriage of international goods by air (ID 21808, 7 Credits).
  • Process export documentation that governs the carriage of international goods by sea (ID 21807, 5 Credits).
  • Cost distribution centre activities in a logistics operation (ID 19017, 4 Credits).
  • Demonstrate knowledge of inventory management in a logistics operation (ID 19018, 12 Credits).
  • Determine mode of transport for a given consignment (ID 19033, 4 Credits).

    Research showed a few similar unit standards do exist. However, it was difficult to benchmark with the New Zealand approach, which did not examine the different areas of specialization under one umbrella Qualification, but under separate distinctive Qualifications for different areas of specialisation.

    The Irish International Freight Association

    Programme Content covers topics such as:
  • General knowledge of the Industry.
  • Sea Transport.
  • Road Transport.
  • Air Transport.
  • Customs Procedures.
  • Warehousing/Logistics.
  • Transport Insurance.
  • Manual Handling Training (City and Guilds).

    The Irish International Freight Association (IIFA) Traineeship in Freight Forwarding programme that culminates in a: National Skills Certificate (NSC) and an internationally recognised International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) certification. Once again similarities were found as well minor differences that relate to local regulations and requirements.

    Other training programmes that were referred to are found in England and America. These programmes include:


    Civil Aviation Authority:
  • Training for Shippers.
  • Training for Freight Forwarders.
  • Training for Handling Agents.


    Transport Training International:
  • Freight Broker Training School.
  • Introduction to the Freight Broker Industry.
  • Owner Operator Academy.
  • Freight Broker Authority.
  • Motor Carrier Authority.
  • Hazardous Material Permits.

    In both cases above the training courses showed very similar content with the exception of the USA which covered the transportation of motor vehicles in much more detail. It also had the subject of Freight Handling Brokers, which are not covered at all in the South African Qualification.

    Based on the above exercises it was very evident that many elements in all those areas covered by the comparability study showed the South African Qualification compared well with its international counterparts. As already stated the major differences come from local legislative issues and in the United States of America the training of Freight Handling Brokers. 

    This Qualification provides the learner with the flexibility to pursue different careers within the transport industry and other sectors. The level of flexibility within the range of electives allows the individual to pursue studies across the greater transport industry.

    Horizontal articulation possible with:
  • National Certificate: Professional Driving, NQF Level 3, NLRD 50285
  • National Certificate: Rail Operation, NQF Level 3, NLRD 23893
  • National Certificate: Road Transport, NQF Level 3, NLRD 48437
  • National Certificate: Freight Forwarding, NQF Level 3, NLRD 22442
  • National Certificate: Customs Clearing, NQF Level 3, NLRD 22440

    Vertical progression is possible with:
  • FET Certificate: Road Transport Management in the Public Sector, NQF Level 4, NLRD 49489
  • FET Certificate: Road Transport Supervision, NQF Level 4, NLRD 48439
  • FET Certificate: Shipping, NQF Level 4, NLRD 49155
  • National Certificate: Rail Operations, NQF Level 4, NLRD 14498
  • National Certificate: Customs Clearing, NQF Level 4, NLRD 44221
  • National Certificate: Freight Forwarding, NQF Level 4, NLRD 22443 

  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must register as an assessor with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) Body.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation; in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQA's (including professional bodies); and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed immediately below.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the Qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should encompass achievement of the competence described in the Qualification. 


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

    This qualification replaces qualification 14574, "National Certificate: Freight Handling", level 3, 120 credits.
  • An individual selecting any Elective Unit Standard dealing with the operation of machinery and/or equipment must ensure that an appropriate licence is obtained prior to the completion of the Unit Standard.
  • It is required that Learners who access this Qualification build into their learning a theoretical understanding of lifting equipment to give them a greater appreciation of the greater industry and an understanding of the industry as a set of related systems. 

    Core  8000  Apply basic business principles  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13915  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS in a workplace, and its effects on a business sub-sector, own organisation and a specific workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  242875  Describe basic freight logistic principles  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  8037  Ensuring customer satisfaction and competitive practice  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  8016  Maintaining occupational health, safety and general housekeeping  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  7996  Operating computer systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  8021  Taking basic care of freight handling machinery  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  110009  Manage administration records  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  7997  Managing self-development  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Core  8035  Processing and controlling documentation  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  8022  Allocating freight for packaging and grouping  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242983  Arrange the distribution of small to medium sized consignments door-to-door  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  8025  Controlling and locating stock  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  123259  Convey dangerous goods by road  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117833  Handle a crime situation  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242984  Implement administrative and financial procedures for handling freight  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  113843  Obtain and communicate road transport operational information  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  110234  Provide customer service in a sales and distribution environment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  8024  Receiving and dispatching freight, and handling freight returns  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242975  Use gangway communication signals to direct ship cargo lifting appliances  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242979  Work with temperature controlled stock  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242662  Apply knowledge of fire exposures in order to manage the potential fire risk  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  8020  Controlling hazardous/dangerous and dangerous goods  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  117668  Demonstrate an understanding of the basics of local and international trade  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  8036  Packing, handling and securing freight  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  242980  Understand basic ship design, classification in relation to cargo handling  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  242973  Understand, interpret and apply ship stowage plan  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 

    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.

    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. Aldabri 106 Institute for Quality Pty Ltd 
    2. Andebe Group 
    3. Bev Short Training Consultants 
    4. BPL Academy 
    5. DB Schenker Logistics Campus MEA Pty Ltd 
    6. DQ Staffing Solutions 
    7. EDU - FLEET 
    8. Edu Wize Group Pty Ltd 
    9. Global Maritime Legal Solutions Pty Ltd 
    10. Imperial Logistics & Transport A Div Of Imper 
    11. Innovative Shared Services 
    12. Learning Exchange Pty (Ltd) 
    13. Limadi Industrial Projects 
    14. Makwedeng Training 
    15. Networx for Career Development 
    17. Open Learning Group 
    18. P and R Development and Training (Pty) Ltd 
    19. Quantum Leap College Pty Ltd 
    21. SA Maritime School and Transport College 
    22. School of Shipping 
    23. Shipping And Transport College Pty Ltd 
    24. SPINA Consultancy cc Cape Town 
    25. TIESPRO (Pty) Ltd 
    26. Training Consultant and SD College 
    27. Training Force 
    28. Triton Express (Pty) Ltd 
    29. Triton Express 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.