What is an NQF qualification?

It’s generally accepted that a child must begin their journey at primary school, then it’s off to high school where they will choose the subjects that will be in line with their future career prospects. 

Once that’s completed, the next step is finding, applying and being accepted to a tertiary institution that offers the diploma, degree or other qualification that applies to their career choice.

A lesser known and equally valuable option does exist and may be the better for you if your finances are limited or your child’s learning style is more practical than theoretical.

This can be done by obtaining an NQF qualification. 

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) provides all South Africans access to education and training outside of the prominent format through the NQF levels. 

The qualifications begin at Level 1, which covers Adult Basic Education and Training and ends at Level 10, which is equal to a Doctorate or Post-doctoral research degree.

The NQF is monitored and regulated by the South African Qualification’s Authority and is available to young learners who are interested in careers paths in specific fields such as: 

  • Nursing
  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • IT
  • Management
  • Tourism
  • Hospitality
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Quantity Surveying

These are just a few examples. 

NQF levels are also suitable for older South Africans who, for whatever reason, was not able to complete their schooling, or who want to further their education and skills set.

Scroll through the table below for the NQF levels and their mainstream qualification equivalent: 

Where to study 

An NQF qualification can be obtained from a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college or Further Education and Training (FET) college, and South Africa has no shortage of them in every province. 

Is your child struggling to decide whether to attend a college or university? Tell us by emailing to chatback@parent24.com and we could publish your letter. Do let us know if you'd like to stay anonymous.  

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