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The purpose of this qualification is to build a foundational entry into the field of Computer Sciences and Information Technology, specifically into the field of Systems Support, covering basic knowledge needed for further study in the field of Systems Support at Higher Education Levels.
The qualification can be acquired in the traditional way of formal study as well as in the workplace, through learnerships. Acquiring the qualification through learnerships has the potential of addressing the problems of the past, where newly qualified people getting into the industry struggled to get employment, because they were required to have practical experience. The workplace experience can now be gained while acquiring the qualification through the various learnership schemes that are planning to use this qualification.
A Qualifying learner at this level will be a well-rounded entry-level Systems Support professional with a good fundamental knowledge of the Information Technology field, coupled with interpersonal and business skills, allowing for specialisation in one of the following Systems Support fields:
- Hardware and Infrastructure Support for Personal Computers
- Hardware and Infrastructure Support for Office Products
- Data Communications and Networking
- (and any new field not specified yet, allowing for new specialisations in this area)The qualification is designed to:
- Provide learners with an entry level for further study in Information Technology and related fields, as well as for initial employment in the computer industry.
- Allow many of the listed unit standards to be used in Learnership Schemes in the Information Systems and Technology sector, as well as other sectors where Information Technology is a key requirement.
- Provide a foundational qualification for people who are pursuing a career in the computer industry, or related fields. People with this qualification have an introductory level of understanding about computer industry concepts and/or are able to work in areas of Information Technology with little technical complexity. Examples of the areas covered are entry-level hardware, software, electronics and network support, on mainly (but not limited to) desktop and hand-held devices and local area networks.
- Allow the credits achieved in the National Certificates in Information Technology (Level 2 & 3) to be used as foundation (i.e. learning assumed to be in place) for the requirements of this qualification.
- Have a flexible structure to allow for changing requirements in the computer industry, and to allow providers to create learning programmes with a predominantly Information Technology Support component but tailored to meet the local, national or international needs.
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This qualification has been formulated such that it reflects the workplace-based needs of the Information Technology Industry as expressed by its stakeholders.
The input has been used to ensure that the qualification provides the learner with accessibility to be employed within the IT Industry.The introduction of national qualifications in Information Technology based on unit standards will allow learners to qualify for a national qualification by accumulating the required credits via short learning programmes or workplace practical experience or both.
It also allows learners to achieve the qualifications through recognition of prior learning and/or learnerships schemes, overcoming past barriers in the methods of achieving formal qualifications.
Academically this National Certificate is intended to be an entry-level qualification in the area of Systems Support. The qualification builds on knowledge areas covered in National Certificates and short learning programmes at NQF level 2 to 4, and it facilitates entry into the Systems Support field. It aims to enhance readiness for further study in Information Technology and related fields at the Further Education level, provides a pathway into further study at Higher Education level, as well as providing for initial employment in the computer industry.
One of the most important needs for this qualification is to provide for the recognition of prior learning. There are currently no unit standards based registered qualifications in the Systems Support area. However, hardware and networks are being installed, maintained and upgraded on a daily basis in a number of different industry sectors. People with workplace experience in the areas covered by this qualification will now be allowed to request assessment and get recognition for prior learning.
The qualification provides the learner with the flexibility to articulate in the IT environment with a wide variety of specialisation options and articulation within the Telecommunications, Information Technology and Electronic Industries and other industries where IT is a key component, like the Financial Services Industry.
LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING
It is assumed that the learner is competent in skills gained at the further education and training band, with exposure to computing as an advantage, but not a requirement. A learning assumption of this qualification is foundational skills in English and Mathematics at NQF level 3. Further learning assumed is the ability to use a personal computer competently, and competence in the unit standard, “Participate in formal meetings”, NQF Level 2 (ID 14911).
The assumed learning can be acquired in the traditional way of formal study as well as in the workplace. Acquiring the competencies in a workplace (either via formal learnerships or normal on-the-job training) has the potential of addressing the problems of the past, where formal qualifications were only obtainable by way of formal study.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL)
Many of the competencies used in the Information Technology profession has traditionally been acquired through short courses and on-the-job training, which did not provide formal recognition of the knowledge and skills acquired. These competencies are still today viewed by most industries as invaluable, with the sad reality that there is no formal recognition. The nature of the Information Technology field means that competence is developed experientially; therefore the assessment processes should recognise experience versus theoretical knowledge. Recognition of prior learning will now allow people with these valuable competencies to be assessed and recognised formally.
Any learner wishing to be assessed may arrange to do so without having to attend further education or training. For recognition of prior learning the learner will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence of relevant experience, in a prescribed format, to be assessed for formal recognition. The assessor and learner will decide jointly on the most appropriate assessment procedures, subject to the assessment rules of the relevant ETQA. Learning assumed to be in place must be assessed by the assessor prior to any assessment relating to this qualification.
RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING?
The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.
To be awarded the Qualification learners are required to obtain a minimum of 163 credits as detailed below.
The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
- Mathematical Literacy at Level 4 to the value of 16 credits
- Communication at Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits
- Communication in a Second South African Language at Level 3 to the value of 20 credits
It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at Level 4 and the other at Level 3
All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.
The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 56 credits all of which are compulsory.
The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 77 credits all of which are compulsory.
The elective component consists of a number of specialisations. Learners are to choose a specialisation and complete unit standards totalling 30 credits from those listed for the specialisation.
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FET Certificate Information Technology Technical Support NQF Level 4
08/12/2015 02:00 to 08/13/2025 02:00
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