What is the South African Qualifications Authority?

The South African Qualifications Authority is a body of 29 members appointed by the Ministers of Education and Labour. The members are nominated by identified national stakeholders in education and training. The functions of the Authority are essentially twofold:

  • To oversee the development of the NQF, by formulating and publishing policies and criteria for the registration of bodies responsible for establishing education and training standards or qualifications and for the accreditation of bodies responsible for monitoring and auditing achievements in terms of such standards and qualifications;

  • To oversee the implementation of the NQF by ensuring the registration, accreditation and assignment of functions to the bodies referred to above, as well as the registration of national standards and qualifications on the framework. It must also take steps to ensure that provisions for accreditation are complied with and where appropriate, that registered standards and qualifications are internationally comparable.

SAQA must advise the Ministers of Education and Labour. The Authority is required to perform its tasks after consultation and in co-operation with all bodies and institutions responsible for education, training and certification of standards which will be affected by the NQF. It must also comply with the various rights and powers of bodies in terms of the Constitution and Acts of Parliament. The office of SAQA is responsible for implementing the policies and decisions of the Authority.

In 1998 SAQA published the National Standards Bodies (NSB) Regulations whereby provision was made for the registration of National Standards Bodies and Standards Generating Bodies. These bodies will be responsible for the generation and recommendation of qualifications and standards or registration on the NQF. The Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) regulations were also published in 1998 and provided for the accreditation of Education and Training Quality Assurance bodies. These bodies will be responsible for accrediting providers of education and training standards and qualifications registered on the NQF, monitoring provision, evaluating assessment and facilitating moderation across providers, and registering assessors.