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Postgraduate Diploma in Family Business Management 
99029  Postgraduate Diploma in Family Business Management 
Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Reregistered  SAQA 091/21  2021-07-01  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. 

The Postgraduate Diploma in Family Business Management is directed at enabling learners with related undergraduate qualifications and relevant qualifications to further develop their functional and strategic competencies in the field of Family Business Management.

The qualification is designed for young business leaders of family businesses who intend to manage their business or for individuals who aspire to work in family businesses. The envisaged target audience for this qualification are those occupying middle and senior positions within family businesses as well as those learners who have completed a cognate Bachelor's degree or equivalent qualification.

With a specialised focus in mind, the qualification strives to develop the knowledge and skills of learners within the field of Family Business Management. The qualification will provide a foundation for further Postgraduate study in Management.

The first quarter statistics on economic growth and unemployment for 2015, released by Statistics South Africa, have revealed a deteriorating state of unemployment levels in South Africa. The unemployment rate was at 26.4% in the fourth quarter of 2014. This picture is made even worse if one considers that the expanded definition of unemployment would raise the rate to as high as 40%, which translates to the fact that 4 out of 10 people between the ages of 15-64 are unemployed. On the other hand, youth unemployment is currently around 70% and this is one of the biggest challenges confronting the South African government, big business and all our communities. Other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries have similar challenges. In responding to this challenge, entrepreneurship must be viewed as the vehicle for job creation and wealth distribution. According to the South African National Development Plan, 90% of the 11 million jobs that should be created by 2030 are expected to come from small and medium businesses (SMEs). Of the 11 million jobs targeted, 5 million should be created in the next 6 years between 2015 and 2020.

The Postgraduate Diploma) in Family Business Management responds to national as well as industry needs for postgraduate qualifications within the field of family business management, as approximately 60%-80% of SMEs in South Africa are family-owned enterprises. If managed correctly, these family businesses would be able to grow and sustain themselves over generations, thus creating more job opportunities for the millions of unemployed South Africans.

Within the current economic and business climate of intense risk and uncertainty, a persevering and sustainable approach to managing businesses is required. According to the 2013 Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) family business survey, family businesses usually emerge from true entrepreneurship with the majority of these ventures being found to meet a specific demand. While business-related family differences and conflicts often receive headlines from the business press, recent studies have shown that family businesses, on average, outperform and last longer than non-family businesses. The Postgraduate Diploma in Family Business Management focuses on this vital and important economic sector. The qualification is directed towards learners who intend to or will enter into the management of family businesses, either their own family's or someone else's, or those who will do business with family firms or who will work with them in private wealth management, mergers and acquisitions, banking, consulting, outsourcing, and so forth.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Family Business Management is a comprehensive management qualification which has a focus on Family Business Management. It is intended for young business leaders of family businesses who intend to or are being prepared to manage their family business and for individuals, who aspire to be associated with, provide service to, or who are working for or intend to work for a family business.

The qualification is designed to enable working learners to continue to contribute to the success of their business. It will help learners understand their business better; prepare them to sustain it through phases of transition and to grow it in an environment of increased competition. The qualification draws from leading management practices in family business from across the globe and aims to groom business expertise in areas such as planning, objective setting and the development of astute management of their own or another's family business. While each family's situation is unique, there are many leading practices which can be applied to all family businesses. The dynamic within a family are often transferred to the family business s and these relationships and family arrangements are often not conducive to sound business management. Ways to identify negative family influences and techniques and methods to ameliorate them are important and are dealt with in the qualification. The balancing of family authority structures with sound business management structures must be dealt with as well as succession within and outside the family.

With the current skills need, and the lack of Postgraduate qualification in family business management, this qualification aims to produce graduates who are in possession not only of the knowledge and insights related to the specific nature and challenges related to running a family business, but also of the following general attributes:
  • Analytical thinking.
  • Ability to manage complex problems within the family business environment.
  • Ability to effectively direct a team towards an objective.
  • Effective communication skills.
  • Decision-making skills.
  • Ethical conduct.
  • An understanding of corporate governance principles.
  • Social responsibility. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    Prior learning may be recognised for purposes of access to the qualification. It is assumed that the learning derived from work or life experience will be a major element in the profiles of non-standard entrants primarily by means of a portfolio of evidence. Such 'non-standard' candidates will be selected on the recommendation of a senior manager from applicants' organisations/companies.

    Where appropriate, interviews will also be conducted to assess applicants for selection purposes. Some of the key criteria that will be used in evaluating 'non-standard' applicants include:
  • The applicant's motivation, maturity and realistic approach to postgraduate studies.
  • Job description, covering relevant area of work, giving examples of tasks carried out, possibly supplying references, linked to a portfolio of evidence.
  • The nature and level of life/work experience and prior study, and the learning which has resulted from such experience.
  • Details of in-company short courses, length, content of material covered, and standard achieved.
  • The clarity of the applicant's educational goals and objectives.
  • The extent to which the applicant can provide evidence of the threshold skills and knowledge for the qualification.

    This qualification may be obtained in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning. Where prior learning is recognised for advanced standing, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African higher education institutions.

    Credits may only be accumulated for modules which are prescribed for this qualification.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum admission requirement is:
  • An appropriate Bachelor's Degree, Level 7.
  • An appropriate Advanced Diploma, Level 7. 


    The qualification consists of eight compulsory modules at NQF Level 8 worth 15 Credits each, totalling 120 Credits.

  • Business Fundamentals of Family Enterprises.
  • Human Resource Management.
  • Governance and Professionalisation.
  • Technology and Information Management.
  • Accounting and Finance.
  • Organisational Behaviour.
  • Marketing Management.
  • Strategic Planning and Transgenerational Entrepreneurship. 

    1. Appreciate the value and culture of family businesses.
    2. Identify the contextual and other characteristics that differentiate a family business from other businesses.
    3. Develop expertise and skill in communication and conflict resolution in the context of various role players, including family business owners, managers, and family members.
    4. Learn to evaluate situations and problems in family businesses and propose solutions for their resolution.
    5. Develop family business competitive strategies.
    6. Define and understand concepts of ethics and business ethics. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The concept of 'family business' is understood.
  • The important role of entrepreneurship in the family business is explained.
  • Entrepreneurship and consideration of how everyone has the potential to be an entrepreneur is defined and the constituent elements of the entrepreneurial process are explored.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The ability to identify strategic issues and design appropriate courses of action is developed.
  • Different levels of strategy and strategic approaches in the family business are distinguished.
  • A Family business' quest for a competitive position and the need to create value for its stakeholders is critically evaluated.
  • An in-depth analysis on the issues of strategic choice followed by family businesses is conducted, in particular on the motives behind acquisitions, mergers, collaborative alliances, de-mergers and divestment decisions.
  • The risks inherent in family business decisions as compared to other businesses are assessed and appropriate strategies are recommended.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • An analytical understanding of negotiation and conflict management processes and their resolution is developed.
  • Negotiation skills used in various situations to resolve problems are examined, evaluated and applied to other contexts.
  • An understanding of skills needed to address the common challenges encountered by family businesses is developed.
  • Key resources required to exploit an innovative idea or opportunity to develop an existing business, launch a new venture, or initiate a social enterprise are examined.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The nature and scope of operations management functions is understood.
  • Accounting and Financial Management function within a business context are explained.
  • Information presented in the Statement of Financial Position, Statement of Changes in Equity, Statement of Comprehensive Income, and Cash Flow Statement are interpreted.
  • Ratio analysis to evaluate a firm's performance is used.
  • A pro forma statement is constructed.
  • Appropriate strategies in the management of each of the elements of working capital are implemented.
  • Firm's cost of capital as a weighted average of the component's costs of each type of capital is calculated.
  • Major capital budgeting decision techniques are applied and evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • The broad concepts of marketing strategy and planning are understood.
  • The applicability of strategic marketing to a range of family business contexts is evaluated.
  • The core concepts and techniques for operationalising marketing strategy, and the elements of the marketing mix are examined and applied.
  • The applicability of strategic marketing to a range of business contexts is evaluated.
  • The appropriateness of strategic marketing theories for small to medium-sized businesses is assessed.
  • Strategic marketing plans are applied and implemented.
  • The impact of technological advances on strategic marketing is critically evaluated.
  • The influence of increasing levels of management education on strategic marketing management and practice are critically evaluated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Increased awareness and understanding of moral issues in the business environment is acknowledged and ethical issues related to family business are recognised and applied.
  • Business situations and decisions are examined and evaluated from an ethical perspective.
  • The concept of corporate governance is defined.
  • The benefits of good and effective governance at both the family level and the business level are understood.
  • Policies and procedures for developing and practicing corporate and family governance particularly in mid-size family businesses which are on the threshold of transformation are interpreted and applied.
  • The need for various aspects of professionalisation of family businesses is appreciated.
  • The importance of succession planning and the various models used by family businesses in this critical task is explained.

    Integrated Assessment:
    All assessment will integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes and applied competence.

    Formative assessment: The scheme of work includes assignments based on the learning material and learners are given feedback. The process is continuous and focuses on smaller sections of the work and limited number of outcomes.

    Summative assessment: Examinations or equivalent assessment such as a research essay or portfolio in order to determine a representative selection of the outcomes practised and assessed in the formative stage. Summative assessment also tests the learner's ability to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge to achieve the stated outcomes of a module. 

    Desktop research was comprehensively undertaken in the field of Family Business Management, in the design of this programme, and the programme has been benchmarked against the following International universities in the following areas:

    The Durgadevi Saraf Institute of Management Studies in India offers a Post Graduate Programme in Managing Family Business. It contains knowledge and skills regarding vision and mission, strategic planning, marketing and succession planning as well as specific problem solving related to family businesses.

    The S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in Singapore presents a Post Graduate Programme in Family Managed Business. It has similar content to the qualification offered by the Durgadevi Saraf Institute, but places emphasis on the differences between management of a family business and the management of a conventional business.

    The qualification compares favourably with the cited qualification in terms of learner cohort, learning content, duration and level. 

    The qualification offers the following specific articulation opportunities with qualifications offered by MANCOSA:

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management, Level 8, (ID 84947).

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Master of Business Administration, Level 9 (ID 94871).

    Systemic articulation is possible with the following qualifications provided the learner meets the minimum entry requirements.

    Horizontal articulation:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Management, Level 8.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Master of Business Administration, Level 9.
  • Master of Business Management, Level 9. 





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    1. Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 

    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.