Contextual of the Level Descriptors for the South African National Qualifications Framework

1.The following principles underpin the application oft eh elvel descriptors across the trehee sub-frameworks of the NQF There is one common set of level descriptors for the NQF to be used in different contexts

    • The level descriptors incorporate ten competencies
    • The level descriptors are designed to meet the needs of academic as well as occupational qualifications
    • There must be correlation between qualification levels and occupational levels in the world of work
    • The Critical Cross-Field Outcomes of SAQA are embedded in the level descriptors
    • Level descriptors are cumulative i.e. there is progression in the competencies from one level to the next
    • Level descriptors are applicable to the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
    • Level descriptors are descriptive and not prescriptive
    • The nomenclature for qualifications is dealt with in the sub-frameworks of the NQF

2.. Level descriptors embrace learning in a wide variety of contexts (vocational, occupational, academic and professional) and environments (classroom, laboratory, field, clinic, community, etc.). Contextual interpretation of the level descriptors within each of the three sub-frameworks across academic, professional and occupational contexts is encouraged. In this regard, separate guidelines will be developed for each sub-framework.
3. Level descriptors provide a scaffold from which more specific descriptors can be developed by a variety of different sectors and practitioners, for example discipline- or profession-based. It is also recognised that in the processes of curriculum design and development, the interpretation of these generic level descriptors will be influenced by, for example, field-, discipline- and context-specific nuances.
4. The nomenclature for qualifications is dealt with in the sub-frameworks of the NQF.
5. Level descriptors are designed to act as a guide and a starting point for, inter alia:

    Writing learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria for qualifications and part qualifications
    • Pegging a qualification at an appropriate level on the NQF, used together with purpose statements, outcomes and assessment criteria
    • Assisting learners to gain admission through RPL at an appropriate level on the NQF
    • Making comparisons across qualifications in a variety of fields and disciplines pegged at the same level of the NQF
    • Programme quality management, used together with purpose statements, outcomes and assessment criteria.

6. Level descriptors provide a broad indication of learning achievements or outcomes that are appropriate to a qualification at that level.
7. The competencies listed at a particular level in the framework broadly describe the learning achieved at that level, but an individual learning programme may not necessarily meet each and every criterion listed.
8. Level descriptors do not describe years of study
9. In the level descriptors, the accessing, analysing and managing of information and communication in terms of reading, listening and speaking will, where applicable, include Braille and sign language to accommodate learners with special needs. In the case of sign language, listening and speaking refer to receptive and productive language use.

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