SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.

National Certificate: Hygiene and Cleaning Supervision 
20175  National Certificate: Hygiene and Cleaning Supervision 
SGB Hygiene & Cleaning Services 
SERVICES - Services Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 11 - Services  Cleaning, Domestic, Hiring, Property and Rescue Services 
Undefined  120  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 9999/99  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2026-06-30   2029-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

The contextualized purpose of this Qualification is to maintain the foundational, practical and reflexive competencies in an individual, required for a career in the Hygiene & Cleaning Services Industry, which will positively impact on the National social and economic transformation.

Central to the Qualification is the enhancement, implementation and maintenance of quality service and professionalism in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry. This Qualification intends to provide skilled supervisors who can sustain gainful employment and deliver qualitative and quantative results within an organization. This will also achieve the objectives and principles of the NQF.

Credits gained at this level for this Qualification will be portable and transferable throughout the NQF system, giving the learner the opportunity of building up credits, within the wider spectrum of employment in South Africa, towards additional Qualifications. This will contribute to the self and career development of the learner. The credits reflect the practical and theoretical education and training aspects of the Qualification.

Rationale for the qualification

The scoping exercise followed, (which included training priorities identified in the workplace skills plans) clearly indicated the need for a Qualification and incorporated Unit Standards that will allow employees in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry to obtain Qualifications and/or standards at NQF Level 3. This Qualification will promote advancement for learners in the industry from the NQF level 2 National Certificate: Specialist Hygiene and Cleaning Services.

This Qualification is needed to expand the knowledge and application in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services by:
  • Applying the rationale of performance management and continual improvement
  • Complying with international and world-class standards
  • Added value for the learner, society and the economy of the country

    The Qualification aims to:
  • Allow employees within the industry portability in terms of career advancement as well as career pathing
  • Develop a sense of achievement amongst employees about their performance within the industry
  • Integrate cleaning knowledge and skills within the industry amongst employees
  • Develop a sense of pride amongst employees for their jobs and their industry
  • Enhance a code of ethics inclusive of viable and sustainable environmental management practices
  • Provide consistent quality and safety standards
  • Educate clients about hygiene, for the purpose of using "best practice" cleaning methods
  • Create environmental awareness 

    It is expected that learners participating in NQF level 3 will have achieved competence at NQF level 2 in communication/language and mathematics/numeracy. They also would have achieved cleaning skills and knowledge in the cleaning sub-field applicable to their career path (e.g. commercial cleaning, laundry, carpet and upholstery, hospital cleaning, industrial cleaning etc).

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    Learners who already work in the cleaning industry and who believe that they possess the competencies to enable them to meet all of the outcomes listed in the Unit Standards will be able to present themselves for assessment against the Unit Standards of their choice and the Qualification. 


    To be awarded the Qualification learners are required to obtain a minimum of 120 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at NQF Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.
  • Life Skills at NQF Level 2 and 4 to the value of 7 credits.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:
  • The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 61 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:
  • The Elective Component consists of individual unit standards from which the learner must choose unit standards totalling a minimum of 16 credits relating to the following clusters:
    > Healthcare
    > Commercial (retail. pharmaceuticals, hospitality).
    > Carpe and upholstery.
    > Specialist floor care.
    > Laundry/dry cleaning.
    > Industry cleaning.
    > Food surface areas (HACCP/ CIP).
    > Static and dust sensitive areas.
    > Carwash.
    > High access cleaning/rope access. 

    The critical cross-field outcomes are integrated into the assessment criteria of each individual Unit Standard. Whilst each Unit Standard is designed to be assessed on its own, (including the critical cross-field outcomes), Unit Standards have been combined into modules of marketable skills which can be assessed accordingly.

    Thus, although the Qualification is aimed at providing the opportunity for learners to obtain a Qualification at Level 3 the modular approach enables them to become productive in a short time. Once a learner has completed all the modules successfully, s/he would have completed the full Level 3 Qualification.

    The assessment of critical cross-field outcomes are integrated with the modules and thus the module serves as an exit level outcome. In terms of the modular structure, the exit level outcomes for this Qualification are:

    1. Maintain equipment
    2. Maintain marble, terrazzo, and stone floors
    3. Restore marble, terrazzo, concrete and stone floors
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of surfaces and chemicals
    5. Remove spots from carpets - specialist
    6. Identify business opportunities in a cleaning environment 

  • The pieces of equipment to be maintained are identified and the relevant maintenance schedule is selected
  • The implementation of both the preventative maintenance procedures and the external maintenance agreements is monitored
  • The maintenance report is prepared and the equipment maintenance budget is monitored
  • The condition of a polished marble and terrazzo floor surface is assessed and crystallized using synthetic floor pads, grinding powder and the paste crystallization method
  • The condition of a tiled marble, terrazzo or concrete floor is assessed, the surface is prepared for maintenance and polished using an automated scrubber drier fitted with diamond discs
  • The condition of a polished marble, terrazzo, concrete or stone floor surface is assessed, the surface area is prepared by removing lippage and the surface is ground, honed and polished
  • The pH scale is applied to detergents that are applied to the various soilage types
  • Solvents and their applications are classified and disinfectant detergents are selected and used
  • Protective products and their applications are classified
  • Carpet fibres and their physical characteristics and the factors effecting spot removal are identified
  • The spot and spillage removal procedure is planned, prepared for and implemented using the relevant information in an instruction guide
  • Additional cleaning opportunities is identified and reported

    Integrated assessment

    The assessment of competence in the cleaning industry needs to remain practical in nature, and should be conducted in the workplace, as far as possible.

    The nature of the cleaning industry is such that labour is the most significant cost factor. To save costs it would therefore be advisable for learning and assessment to take place at his/her workplace while performing the actual job. In addition the assessment would thus take place in an environment familiar to the learner.

    Nature and type of assessment

    There is a need for two kinds of assessment:

    Ongoing formative assessment, aimed at the development of learners.

    This could include assessment of areas such as:
  • Hygiene
  • Client care
  • Communication skills
  • Individual skills and combinations of skills, under different circumstances
  • Critical outcomes such as problem solving, communicating with clients and colleagues, practicing environmental awareness, working effectively as a member of a team in a cleaning context, practicing personal time management and ensuring that there is always sufficient stock on hand to perform the tasks required for the job.

    Summative assessment in which it can be seen whether under real life working conditions and in the presence of an industry-based assessor, a learner is able to demonstrate competency against a particular Unit Standard. The summative assessment can also be used as a diagnostic assessment tool aimed at identifying the learners` skills gaps for the Qualification. 

    The SGB used the New Zealand and Australian cleaning standards as a point of departure in comparing the standards internationally. In addition, the appropriate UK Cities & Guilds standards (general cleaning), and the Scottish SVQ`s (Waste Management) were reviewed.

    Principles from a range of other international standards of practice have been incorporated into the Unit Standards. These include the HACCP, Coddex Alimentarius and AIB standards (applicable to food safety), GMP (applicable to pharmaceutica), the International Sanitary Supply Association (general cleaning practice), and the US Centre for Disease Control guidelines (applicable to hygiene, health care and contamination control.) IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) International guidelines on the use of ropes access methods for industrial purposes.

    Standards were further developed in such manner that it interfaces with ISO 9001, ISO 14000 and VDA 6 quality and environmental systems where these exist in the workplace.

    In addition the following SABS Codes of Practice were consulted:
    SABS 049 - Hygiene Management
    SABS 0330 - HACCP Food Safety
    SABS 0245 - Maintenance of Textile Floor Coverings
    SABS 0247 - Cleaning of Textile Upholstered Furniture

    The following standards developed by the National Contract Cleaners` Association were consulted:

    NCCA Cleaning Chemical Standard
    NCCA Cleaning Equipment Standard
    NCCA Window Cleaning Safety Standard 

    The learner will have multiple choices of both learning and career paths in the following areas of economic activity:-

    1. Health Care
    2. Waste Management
    3. Hospitality (Accommodation Services)
    4. Food Production
    5. Retail and Merchandising

    An example of horizontal articulation for this qualification is the National Certificate in Accommodation Services at NQF level 3.

    The National Certificate: Food and Beverage Manufacturing Technology: Cottage Cheese Technologist at NQF level 4 is an example of vertical articulation for this qualification. 

    The moderator has the following functions:
  • Monitoring and evaluating the standard of all summative assessments in terms of the ETQA policy.
  • To review both substantive and process related matters in the case of an appeal against an assessment decision.
  • Maintaining standards by exercising appropriate influence and control over assessors to ensure good standards of practice.
  • Exercising a moderation function in case of a dispute between assessors, or between any assessor and learner.
  • Giving written feedback to the relevant ETQA as and when required.
  • Submitting reports to the relevant ETQA in terms of its policy.

    The moderator does not necessarily have to be competent against the Unit Standards assessments under moderation, as his / her primary function is to ensure quality and due process. 

    Assessors will perform assessments of competence against the Unit Standards and the Qualification

    Assessments of competence against the Unit Standards include all kinds of assessment. It is foreseen that these assessors will be accredited at NQF Level 4. The degree of integrated competence required at this level does not require a final integrated assessment.

    Assessors will meet the following requirements:
  • Be a registered assessor in terms of ETQA Assessment Policy.
  • Be fluent in the official language in which the learner prefers to be assessed.
  • Be able to adequately record assessment responses, minutes of meetings between learner and assessor and any other information that may be needed for the performance of moderation activities.
  • Be competent and accredited against the Unit Standard to be assessed.
  • Be a fair and approachable person and have time available for assessment activities.
  • In the event of an outstanding appeal against an assessment decision, (lodged with the relevant ETQA), the assessor will not be allowed to perform further assessments.

    In addition to the criteria mentioned under the headings above, assessors need to demonstrate the following:
  • Have achieved an NQF Level 4 Qualification in Hygiene and Cleaning or related fields
  • Knowledge of the NQF and the role of SAQA and the ETQA.
  • Knowledge of the Unit Standards, the Qualification, the skills content and the assessments required.
  • Knowledge of assessment practices.
  • Knowledge of career structures and employment levels within the cleaning industry.
  • The ability to write reports and provide objective recommendations to the Accreditation Body. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 


    Core  12035  Apply personal safety practices on a wastewater treatment works  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13912  Apply knowledge of self and team in order to develop a plan to enhance team performance  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13914  Conduct a formal meeting  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13915  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS in a workplace, and its effects on a business sub-sector, own organisation and a specific workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13916  Identify and keep the records that a team manager is responsible for keeping  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13917  Indicate the role of a team leader ensuring that a team meets an organisation`s standards  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13911  Induct a new member into a team  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13919  Investigate and explain the structure of a selected workplace or organisation  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  13941  Apply the budget function in a business unit  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  10980  Induct a new employee  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  7839  Maintain the receipt, storage and issue of goods  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13947  Motivate a team  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  11813  Apply knowledge of self in order to make a life decision  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8973  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8555  Contribute to information distribution regarding HIV/AIDS in the workplace  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  110441  Crystallize polished marble and terrazzo floors  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110451  Maintain batteries in automatic scrubber-driers and auto sweepers  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110447  Maintain marble, terrazzo and concrete floors using an automatic scrubber-drier fitted with diamond discs  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  9926  Coach learners  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  110456  Identify additional value adding opportunities additional to an existing service level agreement in a cleaning environment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  110461  Implement the maintenance of equipment in the cleaning industry  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  13918  Manage time and the work process in a business environment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  110459  Demonstrate knowledge to advise on the application of commercial and industrial cleaning chemicals  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  12544  Facilitate the preparation and presentation of evidence for assessment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  110457  Grind and polish marble, terrazzo, concrete and stone floors using diamond discs  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243276  Manage the transportation of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWP)  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243273  Monitor and control the safety and operations of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243274  Monitor and control the use of prefabricated aluminium alloy scaffolding  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10983  Participate in the implementation and utilisation of equity related processes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10978  Recruit and select candidates to fill defined positions  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  243271  Supervise, inspect and control the use of Temporary Suspended Platforms  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  110460  Remove spots and spillages from carpets at a specialist level  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.

    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.