The South African Qualifications Authority Act (1995) created a new framework for education and training in South Africa by:

    • Creating a single, unified system of classifying qualifications (the National Qualifications Framework or NQF)
    • Creating the institutions and infrastructure to ensure that these qualifications are of a high quality.
    • The NQF is a framework on which qualifications, courses, and learning programmes are registered. Achievements obtained by learners are recorded and recognized nationally. It is therefore an integrated approach towards education and training.

The objectives of the NQF are as follows:

    • Create an integrated national framework of learning achievements;
    • Facilitate access to, and mobility and progression within education, training and career paths;
    • Enhance the quality of education and training;
    • Accelerate the redress of past unfair discrimination in education, training and employment opportunities, and thereby
    • Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the nation at large.

The Qualifications Framework is broadly structured into three bands, and 10 levels of education and training: