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Umalusi - Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training

Research

Umalusi Council has always grounded its work in well considered research based on issues within its mandate and education and training as a whole. The Council is formally mandated to conduct research on matters relating to the sub-framework of qualifications it is responsible for namely The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework.

The Council's research agenda and research projects are supported and critiqued by a Research Forum consisting of prominent academics and experts.

The research function is overseen and reported on by the Statistical Information and Research Unit (SIR), although research is also conducted in each of the other units in Umalusi.

Certificates Umalusi Issues

Application for a certificate

Umalusi issues certificates for the following qualifications:

Matriculation qualifications:

  • The Senior Certificate (SC) which was offered before 2008 and is being phased out - its final examination will be administered in 2014
  • The National Senior Certificate (NSC) which replaced the Senior Certificate and commenced in 2008
Vocational qualifications:
  • The National Technical Certificate N3
  • The National Senior Certificate: Colleges - phased out at the end of 2011
  • The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) - commenced in 2007
Adult Education and Training qualifications:
  • The General Education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC: ABET)

Requirements for Certification

In order for Umalusi to certify a qualification, the qualification must be registered on The General and Further Education and Training Qualifications Framework , which is a sub-framework of the National Qualification Framework. Further, the assessment of the qualifications must be nationally conducted, either by the state or by an assessment body accredited by Umalusi, and the provider of tuition for the qualification must be either a public provider or a private provider accredited by Umalusi.

National Examinations

National examinations are conducted by the state or accredited assessment bodies throughout the year for the various qualifications as follows:

Matriculation qualifications Examinations
The Senior Certificate (SC) which was offered before 2008 and is being phased out - its final examination will be administered in 2014 Once annually in June / July
The National Senior Certificate (NSC) which replaced the Senior Certificate and commenced in 2008 Once annually commencing in October, with supplementary examinations in February of the following year
Vocational qualifications
The National Technical Certificate N3 (Engineering Studies) Three times annually in April, August and November.
The National Senior Certificate: Colleges - phased out end of 2010 No examinations are currently offered
The National Certificate: Vocational (NCV) - commenced in 2007 Once annually in November, with supplementary examinations in February
Adult Education and Training qualifications
The General education and Training Certificate for Adults (GETC: ABET Level 4) Twice annually in June and October.

Quality Assurance of Assessment and National Examinations

In order for learner achievements to be certifiable, Umalusi puts extensive measures in place to ensure that the internal assessment, which is carried out at learning sites, and the examinations conducted by the state and private assessment bodies, are fair, reliable and valid. This work is carried out by the Quality Assurance of Assessment Unit (QAA) annually through various moderation and monitoring processes.

Standardisation

Standardisation is one of the processes Umalusi Council uses to mitigate the effect of factors other than the learners' knowledge and aptitude on the learners' performance and to finally approve results.

Approval of Results

Umalusi Council is responsible for approving the release of results, a complex process. Approval of results is determined by how well the assessment bodies responsible for the examinations have complied with all the policies, directives and guidelines related to the qualification being resulted. These policies and directives are issued by Umalusi and the Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education and Training. Approval is also dependent on whether any irregularities have undermined the credibility and integrity of the examinations. Once the standardization decisions have been agreed upon, the assessment bodies are required to apply them to the marks of each subject. The standardized subject results are returned to Umalusi for quality assurance checks, and once the Council is satisfied that the decisions have been properly applied, the assessment bodies may finally result the individual candidates.

Certification Process

The process of certifying the November results takes place in the new year after the re-marking and re-checking processes are completed. At that point the data sets are finalized by the respective assessment bodies and sent through for certification. The bulk certification traditionally takes place in April and May of each year. Certification of supplementary examinations traditionally takes place in July/August.

Umalusi issues certificates for full qualification as well as subject certificates/statements for candidates who have passed subjects, but have not yet qualified for the full certificate. Candidates may apply to have two or more of their subject certificates/statements combined into a full qualification, if their results conform to the qualification requirements.

Certification continues throughout the year for adult and vocational examinations such as the N courses and the GETC for Adults. There is also a steady flow of requests for re-issues, combinations and replacement certificates. Such applications are made through the state or an accredited assessment body.

Umalusi remains responsible for the results that it has certified, and uses this data to assist with verification enquiries.

Related documents

2015 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 1998

Date Title
16 Apr 1998 Improving the quality of teaching

What should learners know

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Issue 11 : March 2016
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