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: Agricultural Extension 
59409  National Certificate: Agricultural Extension 
SGB Agricultural Extension 
AgriSETA - Agriculture SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Primary Agriculture 
Undefined  156  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  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. 


Qualifying learners will gain competencies that will promote expertise in this sub field by being able to:
  • Apply integrated knowledge and skills and values of the principles and philosophy of extension in an intervention.
  • Select and apply inter personal skills which are conducive to an extension setting.
  • Interact with a group towards fulfilling their objectives and goals within their own potential.
  • Apply knowledge of extension management to complement the role of all stakeholders and role players towards sustainable development.
  • Implement and manage an extension project plan, meeting the objectives and criteria within an extension programme.
  • Apply business principles, food system and the business approaches.


    Learners who wish to enter extension as a profession need knowledge and skills to work in the complex and rapidly changing agricultural environment.

    The Department of Agriculture initiated the development of a qualification framework based on a research study conducted in all the provinces suggesting active skills enhancement. The research culminated in "An Agricultural Education and Training Strategy" which outlines the need for training of extension officers to support small scale farmers to be able to produce for profit including addressing poverty, managing food security and natural resources.

    This qualification is aimed at learners who wish to enter a career in extension and have acquired experience in related sub fields of technical skills, experience and knowledge. Qualifying learners could render services to:
  • Farmers, farm workers, Rural communities, Departments of Agriculture (National and Provincial), CBOs, NGOs, Faith-based organisations, Universities, Agricultural Colleges, Local Governments, DWAF, Social and Economic, Private sector, Agricultural Research Council.

    This qualification is a blend of knowledge, skills, behaviour and attitude that a person can apply in the work environment. All learners of extension at this level must accordingly be competent in the following areas:
  • Willing and able to deliver services effectively and efficiently.
  • Exchange information and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Explain, persuade, convince and influence others to achieve the desired outcomes.
  • Plan, manage, monitor and evaluate specific activities in order to deliver the desired outputs.
  • Promote the generation and sharing of knowledge and learning in order to enhance the productivity of farmers.
  • Explore and implement new and innovative ways of delivering services that contribute to the improvement of productivity of farmers.
  • Identify, analyse and resolve existing and anticipated problems in order to reach optimum solutions.
  • Display and build the highest standards of ethical, moral and professional conduct in order to promote confidence, credibility and trust in extension.

    Extension is a dynamic profession that constantly change in response to changing policy and clientele needs or requirements.

    Learners who already have a National Diploma in Conservation, Plant Production, and Animal Production or any other related technical subfield and wishes to gain knowledge on Extension will benefit from this qualification. This qualification also allows for vertical advancement from NQF Level 4 qualification/practice. Qualifying learners can progress vertically to the National Diploma: Extension Level 5 and the National Certificate: Extension Level 6.

    Services rendered by a qualifying learner would further the participation of target communities in development programmes and increase the sustainability of specific development projects and programmes for improved and accelerated upliftment of their livelihoods.

    This qualification provides benefits to the economy and society as it addresses the skills shortage as identified in the National Skills Development Act of 1998 and the Critical and Scarce skills identified by the Department of Labour. Furthermore, it supports the national initiatives of the National Department of Agriculture as explained in the following strategic documents:
  • National Education and Training Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in South Africa-Department of Agriculture 2005.
  • Norms and Standards for Extension and Advisory Services in Agriculture - Department of Agriculture June 2005.
  • The Strategic Plan for South African Agriculture - Department of Agriculture 2003.

    This qualification more generally supports the following national initiatives:
  • Land reform initiatives and programmes.
  • Black economic empowerment.
  • Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy. 

    It is assumed that the learner is competent in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 and in other related technical knowledge such as animal production, plant production, or nature conservation.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    The structure of this unit standards based qualification makes the Recognition of Prior Learning possible. This qualification may therefore be achieved in part or completely through the recognition of prior learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.

    The learner should be thoroughly briefed on the mechanism to be used and support and guidance should be provided. Care should be taken that the mechanism used provides the learner with an opportunity to demonstrate competence and is not so onerous as to prevent learners from taking up the RPL option towards gaining this qualification.

    If the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this qualification the appropriate credits should be assigned to the learner. Recognition of Prior Learning will be done by means of Integrated Assessment as mentioned above.

    The Recognition of Prior Learning may allow:
  • Accelerated access to further learning at this or higher levels on the NQF.
  • Gaining of credits towards a unit standard.
  • Obtaining of this qualification in part or in whole.

    Access to the qualification:

    Open access. 


    This qualification consists of:
  • Fundamental component: 27 credits.
  • Core component: 119 credits.
  • Electives component: 10 credits.

    To obtain this qualification a minimum of 156 credits is required. 

    1. Apply integrated knowledge, skills and values of the principles and philosophy of extension in an intervention.
    > Range for intervention includes but not limited to: Programmes, projects, setting, plan.

    2. Select and apply inter personal skills which are conducive to an extension setting.
    > Range for inter personal skills includes but not limited to: One to one, face to face, group, mass media.

    3. Interact with a group towards fulfilling their objectives and goals within their own potential.

    4. Apply knowledge of extension management to complement the role of all stakeholders and role players towards sustainable development.

    5. Implement and manage an extension project plan, meeting the objectives and criteria within an extension programme. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Community dynamics are observed and interpreted to plan an intervention which mobilizes community participation.
    1.2 Extension approaches is selected and applied according to the interpretation of organizational and institutional structures.
    1.3 The philosophies and principles of extension are described and considered for different settings.
    1.4 Extension ethics are explained and applied in a professional manner.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 The theory of basic communication is interpreted and applied in an extension intervention.
    2.2 Coaching and mentoring strategies are developed to promote experimentation and learning within communities.
    2.3 The fundamentals of behavior are applied when interacting with beneficiaries of an extension intervention.
    2.4 The effect of personal characteristics and traits is identified and counteractive approaches are considered for different target groups.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 The principles of group dynamics are considered when utilizing a group in an extension programme.
    > Range for principles includes but not limited to: Leadership, atmosphere, communication, group size, cohesion.
    3.2 Relevant processes to change are considered to enhance development in communities.
    3.3 Group facilitation skills are applied to explore the full potential of a group.
    3.4 The role of groups are recognized and explored in the broader context of community development.
    3.5 Group participation is encouraged to ensure optimum functionality and empowerment of a group.
    3.6 Group activities within different groups are coordinated to ensure optimum development.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 The political, institutional and legislative environment is considered and adhered to in the designing and planning of extension/development programmes.
    4.2 Context within which the client/beneficiaries operates is explained within a macro setting with reference to the impact of all systems on development.
    > Range for systems includes but not limited to: Funding, agricultural input/output, value chain, resources, extension agents, economy.
    4.3 The role and functions of Multi-disciplinary teams are considered to interact and participate meaningfully in development initiatives.
    4.4 Networks are established to improve the support base in extension management.
    4.5 Full pro-active participation in the analysis, planning and management of a sustainable agri-business is obtained taking into consideration a volatile and competitive business environment.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:

    5.1 All the phases of a project cycle is managed to meet the objectives and criteria as identified with the beneficiaries.
    > Range for project cycle includes but not limited to: Initiation, planning, design, execution and evaluation.
    5.2 Managerial principles are applied to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the project plan.
    > Range for managerial principles includes but not limited to: Plan, organize, lead and control.
    5.3 Communication structures within the project are followed to support the flow of information to all stakeholders.
    5.4 All relevant data is collected and recorded for purposes of analysis and interpretation.
    5.5 Interventions and opportunities for the transfer of technology are integrated in the project plan.

    Integrated assessment:
  • To ensure that assessment practices are open, transparent, fair, valid, and reliable and to ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, an integrated assessment approach in incorporated into the qualification. Assessment practices will also integrate practical and theoretical assessment.
  • Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably interwoven. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.
  • Assessment of communication should be integrated as far as possible with other aspects and should use practical administration 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 or will work.
  • The term 'integrated assessment' implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. During integrated assessments, the assessor should make use of a range of formative and summative assessment tools, methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.
  • Assessors must assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.
  • Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated in an integrated manner. 

    Comparison with similar qualifications internationally difficult to establish. Traditionally extension is treated in one of three ways internationally:
  • As a top-up qualification to a previously acquired agricultural qualification.
  • As modules within a technical agricultural qualification (e.g. National Diploma: Plant Production).
  • A general qualification without a technical agricultural focus.

    Further, internationally extension is usually either offered as agricultural extension or as extension education. The qualifications sit within agricultural faculties of universities, education faculties of universities and in agricultural training institutes. In other cases, extension is offered as an area of learning within an agricultural qualification. This qualification fits into the third category cited above in it is aimed at a more generic qualification that can be applied to a number of technical specialisations and qualifications. It designed to accommodate the unique transitional issues facing South Africa.

    Comparison within SADC:

    No one-year diplomas or certificates were found in the SADC region (other than within South Africa) that could be compared to this qualification.

    The Universities of Namibia and Swaziland each offer a 3-year diploma in agriculture in which agricultural extension features significantly. The areas of learning covered are similar to those in the SAQA qualification but to a very limited degree. Again, however, these are both 3-year diplomas unlike the proposed one-year certificate.

    Comparison with other International Institutions:

    University of Mauritius:
  • Certificate in Agricultural Extension.
  • One-Year Qualification.

    The University or Mauritius offers a Certificate of Agricultural extension. The course is designed to train the students to develop a good understanding of the principles and theory underlying agricultural extension. On successful completion of the programme, they will be able to apply these practical extension works and have the ability to evaluate extension activities and programmes.

    Although the qualification is grounded in agriculture, this certificate closely resembles the proposed certificate in many ways. The areas of greatest similarity to the proposed certificate are:
  • Basic principles of extension. Human behaviour and learning. The Communication process. Communication and extension. Approaches, methods and techniques of extension. Adult education. Design and running of Training courses.
  • Information transfer (in agriculture). Communication and information technologies: Print and audiovisual communication. Emerging trends. Multimedia. Internet and Worldwide Web. Design and production of communication material.
  • Working objectives and preparation of extension programmes. Selection of appropriate methods, tools and techniques. Monitoring and evaluation. Staff Management. Extension organisation in Mauritius.
  • Urban and rural areas. Characteristics of rural communities. Gender issues. Traditional farming and Modern agriculture. Rural organisations and cooperatives. Rural Development and policy implications.
  • Institutions (agricultural). Producer groups. Institutional development. Legislation (agricultural). Emerging issues, concepts and technologies.

    It covers areas of learning similar to those in the SAQA qualifications including:
  • Extension principles and methods.
  • Management of extension programmes.
  • Communication and media in extension.
  • Farming systems research.
  • Social aspects of agriculture.
  • Data analysis and computing techniques.
  • Agricultural organisation and services.

    Areas not directly covered in the proposed certificate, but covering the similar concepts:
  • Farming systems research. Participatory rural appraisal. Participatory diagnosis of farm problems. Farmer-extension-research linkages. On-farm research. Agricultural information systems. Sustainable agricultural development.

    Areas not covered in the proposed certificate:
  • Basic economic principles. Farm Management. Planning, implementation and control functions. Planning tools. Records. Farm development and project preparation. Capital and credit. Marketing. Implications of Government Support Policies.
  • Collection, organisation and presentation of data. Data handling and analysis. Computer hardware operation. Application Softwares e.g. wordprocessing, spreadsheet and database. Computer applications in agriculture.

    North Carolina State University, USA:
  • Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Education.
  • One-Year Qualification.

    The qualification is grounded in agriculture and is more directly concerned with education. As such is it dissimilar to the proposed certificate.

    One area of similarity to the proposed certificate is:
  • Programme Planning in Agricultural and Extension Education.

    Areas of marginal similarity are:
  • Practicum in Agricultural and Extension Education.
  • Youth Program Management.

    Areas of dissimilarity:
  • Agricultural Education, Schools and Society.
  • Occupational Experience in Agriculture.
  • Instructional Design in Agricultural and Extension Education.
  • Curriculum Development in Agricultural and Extension Education.
  • Teaching Agriculture in Secondary Schools.
  • Effective Teaching in Agriculture and Life Sciences.

    University of The West Indies:
  • Diploma in Agricultural Extension.
  • One-year qualification.

    This qualification is open to learners who have completed a first degree or who hold a recognised technical or professional qualification in addition to practical experience or other qualifications of special relevance to the course of studies. This is a very similar approach to the proposed certificate in that it is intended for learners (especially learners with field experience) in a technical field to which they can add an extension qualification. Again, although it is embedded in agriculture, this diploma has much in common with the proposed certificate.

    The areas of similarity to the proposed certificate are:
  • Community Analysis.
  • Extension Philosophy and Principles.
  • Communications Theory and Practice.
  • Current Issues in Agricultural and Rural Development.
  • Managing Extension for Agricultural and Rural Development.
  • Rural Social Systems.

    This qualification has a Field Research Project which the proposed certificate does not have.

    Other institutions included in the search for international comparability included the following:
  • Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia (Management Department: Business Economics Faculty).
  • Bangladesh Open University, Bangladesh.
  • Botswana College of Agriculture, Botswana.
  • Bukalasa Agric College, Uganda.
  • Ewing Christian College, India (Allahabad Agricultural Institute).
  • Guru Ghasidas University, India (Faculty of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension).
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India (Rural Development Centre).
  • Maharajah Sayajirao University of Baroda, India (Department of Extension and Communication: Faculty of Home Science).
  • Ministry of Agriculture, India (Institute of Agricultural Extension Management).
  • Ohio State University, USA.
  • University of Bath.
  • University of Kerala, India (Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension).
  • University or Mauritius.
  • University of Melbourne, Australia (Institute of Land and Food Resources).
  • University of New South Wales, Australia, (Hawkesbury College of Advanced Education).
  • University of Queensland, Australia.
  • University of Reading, UK (International and Rural Development Department).
  • University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
  • University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago ( Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension).


    In conclusion, the proposed National Certificate compares very favourably with similar level extension qualifications offered by numerous institutions internationally. It is consistent with the approach of providing extension training to learners with a previous relevant technical qualification such as a diploma in agriculture. It covers the essential areas of extension that are used internationally, but it unique in two ways:
  • It is designed to address transformational issues peculiar to South Africa particularly in agriculture, land reform and Black economic empowerment.
  • Specifically, t is not (as are most extension qualifications internationally) tied strictly to agriculture, but can be applied to a broader range of specializations thereby increasing access and applicability to South Africa's development needs. 

    The National Certificate: Extension Level 5 articulates directly with the following learning programmes, unit standards and qualifications in the "Extension field".
  • Empower team members through recognising strengths, encouraging participation in decision making and delegating tasks Level 5.
  • National Certificate: Business Advising NQF Level 5, ID 48886.
  • National Diploma: Plant Production NQF Level 5, ID 49101.
  • National Diploma: Animal Production NQF Level 5, ID 49011.
  • National Certificate: Landcare Facilitation NQF Level 5, ID 49626.
  • National Certificate: Natural Resource Management: Terrestrial NQF Level 5, ID 20416. 

  • A person assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement if this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA and/or HEQAC according to the ETQAs and/or HEQAC policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQAs and/or HEQAC (including professional bodies) and in terms of the moderation guideline.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA and/or HEQAC policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards, exit level outcomes as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification. 

    For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant needs:
  • Assessment competencies and subject matter experience of the assessor can be established by recognition of prior learning.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills, subject matter and assessment experience.
  • To be competent in the planning and conducting assessment of learning outcomes as described in the unit standard: Plan and conduct assessment of learning outcomes NQF Level 5.
  • Well-developed subject matter expertise within extension.
  • A relevant tertiary qualification and/or 3 years experience in the relevant field.
  • To be registered with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance Body.
  • Detailed documentary proof of educational qualification, practical training undergone, and experience gained by the applicant must be provided (Portfolio of evidence). 

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


    Core  114215  Mentor a colleague to enhance the individual`s knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in a selected career path  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  116291  Participate in the development and management of an agri business plan  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120382  Plan, organise and support project meetings and workshops  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  252469  Apply group dynamic principles in order to guide a group towards independence and sustainability  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252463  Apply the fundamentals in the practice of extension as a profession  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252490  Demonstrate an understanding of extension management  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Core  252476  Develop and implement an extension programme plan  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  116412  Develop and manage a data collection plan to support an agricultural enterprise  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252473  Develop and update networks for extension delivery  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  252471  Display cultural awareness in dealing with clients and extensionists  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252479  Empower clients and communities to make sound scientific decisions  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252478  Establish sustainable extension structures in a community  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  252475  Evaluate an extension programme in a simple setting  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252477  Facilitate a group to achieve a stated objective or solve a problem  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  252474  Implement strategies for behaviour change and innovation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  8665  Lead a team  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252470  Manage volunteers in an extension project or event  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  252464  Plan and implement interventions and opportunities for transfer of technology  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  8662  Analyse and communicate workplace data  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  9242  Analyse external factors influencing people who have special needs  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  8647  Apply workplace communication skills  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Fundamental  8648  Demonstrate an understanding of professional values and ethics  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  8664  Examine social features as pertaining to the workplace  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  7818  Conduct on-the-job coaching  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  116324  Plan a farm and select a site  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  8663  Plan and conduct a research project  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    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. ACS Academy Pty Ltd 
    2. Afrivet Training Services (Pty) Ltd 
    3. Bex Business Consulting 
    4. Brightspark Academy 
    5. Ga Lechuti Transformational Talks (Pty) Ltd 
    6. Hupco Communications 
    7. Hygiene Pot Investment and Projects Pty Ltd 
    8. Lemang Agricultural Services Pty Ltd 
    9. Masikila Training Solution (Pty) LTd 
    10. Masithuthuke Holdings 
    11. Mlasimbi Catering Primary Cooperative Limited 
    12. Morero Agricultural Academy 
    13. Moshia Holdings Pty Ltd 
    15. Ndondo Trading cc 
    16. Noble Development Projects Pty Ltd 
    18. Orange Language Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    19. Overberg Training and Development Initiative 
    20. Phil Chemics Enterprise (Pty) Ltd 
    21. Potchefstroom College of Agriculture 
    22. South African National Women Development Secondary Cooperative 
    23. Spirinex NPC 
    24. Toutele Agriculture College South Africa Pty Ltd 
    25. Trog Business and Development Pty Ltd 
    26. Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute 
    27. Twoline Training Skills For Africa Pty Ltd 
    28. Ukundiza Development Institute NPC 
    29. Univen Continuing Education 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.