For the hundreds of thousands of South Africans who want to fast track their career and get a qualification that is in demand by employers, but who do not have matric or do not meet the entry requirements for other types of qualifications, an occupational certificate presents the best opportunity for realising their career dreams.
“An occupational certificate is a qualification that is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated competence in a specific occupation or trade. It is a nationally recognised qualification that is based on industry standards and is designed to equip learners with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in a particular occupation,” explains Siyavuya Makubalo, Marketing Manager at Oxbridge Academy, a brand of ADvTECH, South Africa’s leading private education provider.
In South Africa, occupational certificates are developed and managed by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), which is a public entity responsible for quality assurance and the oversight of the design, accreditation, implementation, assessment and certification of occupational qualifications, part-qualifications and skills programmes.
“One of the advantages of occupational certificates is that they provide an alternative pathway to education and training for students who have not completed their matric or who do not meet the entry requirements for other types of qualifications. Occupational certificates are divided into three components: theory, practical and work-based, which allow the learner to gain relevant knowledge, practical skills and work experience,” Makubalo says.
“Provided students have the necessary foundational learning competence (FLC) or recognition of prior learning (RPL) for the specific occupation or trade, they are able to enrol for an occupational certificate programme without having to complete their matric first, and still get a nationally recognised qualification that is relevant to a specific occupation or trade.”
Some examples of occupational certificates that do not require matric are:
- Early Childhood Development
- Health Promotion Officer
- Cash Office Clerk
- Home-based personal care assistant
- Home-based personal care worker
Makubalo says in South Africa, occupational certificates cover almost all sectors including agriculture, business, construction, education, health, hospitality, manufacturing, mining, transport. Interested students can find more information about the different occupational certificates on the QCTO website or on the SAQA website.
“By getting an occupational certificate without matric, you can fast track your career and gain access to the labour market by gaining a qualification that is in demand by employers and which prepares you to fill a specific role,” says Makubalo.
“You can also improve your chances of finding employment or starting your own business in a specific occupation or trade. Additionally, you can progress to higher levels of learning within the same or related occupational fields, as some occupational certificates are articulated with other qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
“So if you are a student who wants to fast track your career without matric, an occupational certificate could be the answer to making your dream career a reality.”