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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Describe the normal anatomical and physiological functioning of the body 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
262379  Describe the normal anatomical and physiological functioning of the body 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Integrated Health Professions 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  25 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
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 unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will enable learners to understand the basic requirements for the maintenance of human life.

Learners credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Describe the fundamental structure of the human body.
  • Describe the operation of systems within the human body.
  • Describe how the human body is sustained.
  • Describe how the human body protects itself. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe and explain the fundamental structure of the human body. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The organisation of the human body is described utilising suitable anatomical terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Organisation includes appropriate references to the following:
  • The orientation of the human body with regard to directions, planes, cavities, divisions utilising suitable anatomical terminology.
  • The basic composition of matter.
  • The constituents, role and movement of body fluids.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The structure, survival needs and functions of the body are described at the level of composite cellular structure and divisions, tissue types, organs and systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Mechanisms for the transportation of substances across cell membranes are described and explained in terms of membrane properties and purpose. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Different tissue types are identified and described in terms of their structure, purpose, deterioration and regeneration. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The structure of various glands is described and explained with reference to purpose and functioning in the body. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The role of nutrients in the maintenance of a healthy body at cellular level is described and explained with reference to their properties and effect on cells and cellular regeneration. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Sources of essential nutrients are identified in relation to their specific contribution to the physiological needs of the body and homeostasis. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the operational systems of the body. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The components of blood and their functions are described in terms of the role of blood as a communication system within and its importance for survival of the human body. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Composition includes:
  • Formed elements, plasma, platelets.

    Function includes:
  • Regulation, transport, protection.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The position, component parts and physiology of the cardiovascular system are described with specific reference to the transport and protection roles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Component parts include:
  • Heart, blood vessels, blood vessel pathways.

    Function includes:
  • Oxygenation, extract of carbon dioxide (support of life and breathing), transport of blood.

    Protection includes:
  • Role of blood pressure, pulse and circulation of blood in survival.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The component parts and physiology of the lymphatic system are described in relation to the cardiovascular and capillary systems and their joint role as part of the body's defence mechanism. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Component parts include:
  • Lymph (lymphocytes, proteins, fats), lymph nodes, spleen, the thymus, lymph nodes and lymph ducts (right lymphatic duct, thoracic duct).

    Function includes:
  • Role in the immune system (filtering out organisms that cause disease, production of certain white blood cells, generation of antibodies, elimination of products of cellular breakdown); distribution of fluids and nutrients in the body; absorbing fats from the intestines.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The location, component parts and physiology of the nervous system are described with respect to the role as an internal communication control mechanism. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Component parts include:
  • Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), peripheral nervous system, autonomic nervous system.

    Location:
  • Central (skull, spine); peripheral - dermatomes (anterior body and the posterior body).

    Function includes:
  • Mechanism of transmission of impulses (dermatomes - important clues about injury to the spinal cord or specific spinal nerves).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The anatomical placement and functioning of component parts of the endocrine system are described and explained with reference to types of secretions and their role in internal communication control. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Anatomical placement:
  • Hormone producing glands and their relation to bloodstream and transporting organs and tissues.

    Function includes:
  • Physiological processes, hormones production and hormone activity in regulating metabolism, growth and sexual development.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The anatomical placement and functioning of component parts of the external communication system are described and explained in relation to their function and role in the protection of the body. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    External communication system includes:
  • Mechanisms of hearing and balance, sight, olfaction, taste, thermostasis, oral communication.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe and explain the importance of intake of raw materials and elimination of waste in the survival of the body and the maintenance of homoeostasis. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Intake and output through:
  • The respiratory, digestive and urinary systems. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The anatomical positioning of component parts of the upper and lower respiratory tracts are accurately described and explained in relation to the respiratory system as a whole. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The function of the respiratory system is described and explained with reference to the passage of air from the external environment to uptake in the blood and the role of th system in the maintenance of homeostasis. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Role includes:
  • Excretion of waste products from the lungs, mechanism of gaseous exchange and lung capacity, mechanism of inspiration and expiration of gases, control of respiration.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The composition, structures, anatomical positioning and functioning of the alimentary tract are described in terms of basic principles of nutrition, and the role of the tract in ingestion, digestion and excretion. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Function includes:
  • Passage of ingested matter from the external environment to excretion from the tract; mechanism of digestion and absorption; metabolism in the role of energy production and basal metabolic rate.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The structure, anatomical position and function of the component parts of the urinary system are described in relation to their roles in filtering and cleaning blood and disposal of waste products. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Structure includes:
  • Kidneys, ureters, urethra.

    Position:
  • In relation to the stomach, small and large intestines, the bladder, the rectum and the anus.

    Function:
  • Filter system for the blood (cleansing poisonous materials, reabsorbing glucose, salts and minerals), transport and disposal of waste (urine production and composition, movement of urine to bladder via ureters), control of excretion.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Describe the composition of external and internal protection factors, movement and reproduction in the survival of the body. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Protection and survival relates to:
  • Integument, immune, skeletal, muscular and reproductive system. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The anatomical structure and functioning of the component parts of the skin are described in relation to their roles in external protection of the body. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Structure includes:
  • Function includes: sensory function; absorption, assimilation and excretory functions.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The importance of maintaining skin integrity, as well as mechanisms for maintenance, are explained in relation to the role of the skin as an external protector. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The internal body mechanisms related to resistance and immunity are explained with reference to their specific role in the survival of the body. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The anatomical structure and functioning of component parts of the skeletal system are described in terms of their role in protection and movement of the body. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Structure includes:
  • Segmentation into axial and appendicular skeleton; classification and structure of joints.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The anatomical structure, placement and functioning of the component parts of the muscular system are described in relation to protection and movement. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Structure includes:
  • Attachment and enervation of muscles; mechanism of movement; involuntary (cardiac and smooth) and voluntary (skeletal) muscles; role of muscle groups; maintenance of the integrity of muscle function.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The anatomical structure and role of the male and female reproductive systems are described and explained with reference to changes at puberty, function of component parts and the continuation of the human species. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The process of gestation is described and explained with reference to its impact on the structure of the female system. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA by SAQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identifying and solving problems and making decisions using critical and creative thinking is demonstrated in successfully learning and understanding this unit standard. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organising and managing oneself and own activities responsibly and effectively is demonstrated by the ability of the learner to manage own learning. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information is demonstrated by the ability to identify and interpret different body systems and their functions. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicating effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations are demonstrated by the ability to process and communicate knowledge. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:
  • Homoeostasis: The ability or tendency of an organism or cell to maintain internal equilibrium by adjusting its physiological processes; a relatively stable state of equilibrium or a tendency toward such a state between the different but interdependent elements or groups of elements of an organism, population, or group.
  • Anatomical: Related to the structure of an organism; the art of separating the parts of an organism in order to ascertain their position, relations, structure, and function.
  • Physiological: Being in accord with or characteristic of the normal functioning of a living organism; characteristic of or appropriate to an organism's healthy or normal functioning. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Fundamental  65609   National Diploma: Allied Health Therapies  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2012-06-30   


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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.
     
    NONE 



    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.