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: Farming 
20288  National Certificate: Farming 
SGB Primary Agriculture 
AgriSETA - Agriculture SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Primary Agriculture 
Undefined  120  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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. 

A learner assessed as competent against this qualification will be able to perform the necessary technical skills within the context of either agronomy, horticulture or animal husbandry as applicable to the agricultural commodity. The learner will be able to operate as part of the operational team.

In the case of the farm owner, the learner will be able to execute basic business skills and develop as a Small, Micro and Medium Enterprise.

In addition they will be well positioned to extend their learning and practice into other areas of agricultural commodities, or to strive towards agricultural standards and practice at higher levels.

Competent qualifying learners in this qualification will produce quality agricultural products whereby enhancing the overall agricultural process and gain opportunities to access local, national and international agricultural markets.


The range of typical learners that will enter this qualification will vary and includes:
  • School leavers wishing to enter the primary agricultural sector;
  • Complete novices wishing to enter the primary agricultural sector, i.e. individuals who are beneficiaries of the land reform processes;
  • Learners in possession of different levels of practical experience in farming operations, which will be assessed through Recognition of Prior Learning; and
  • Learners may come from both genders.

    The learner will engage in all farming activities relevant to farming operations within a specific context, namely horticulture, agronomy and animal husbandry. The farming activities will be determined by the agricultural commodity, which is produced.

    National processes such as the land reform processes and the acquisition of land by individuals who were previously excluded from such land ownership created a huge need in terms of relevant training. Individuals will benefit from such learning as they will receive entrance into a career path where they will be enabled to generate their own income either by establishing their own farming operation or be employed as farm operators.

    In many cases, communities will benefit from such endeavours as agricultural commodities will be available within a specific community. Furthermore, the opportunity to trade commodities in joining SADC countries, could be explored. 

    It is assumed that a learner entering a programme leading to this qualification has achieved numeracy, literacy and technical skills pertaining to agricultural activities equivalent to NQF 1.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification may be achieved in part or in whole through the recognition of prior learning. Credit will be given to learning, which has already been acquired, through the appropriate process of assessment.

    For example:
  • Learners who have acquired skills and competencies in this qualification through for instance experience in the industry will be assessed against the unit standards the qualification comprises of prior to entering learning. Credits will be allocated to those unit standards and exit level outcomes in which the learner is found competent. The outstanding unit standards will then be sequenced according to an appropriate learning programme.
  • Should a new entrant into the industry wish to enter this learning programme, recognition will be given to all appropriate learning acquired through the schooling system.
  • In terms of fundamental unit standards, competencies could be acquired through life experience.

    Any learner wishing to be directly assessed may arrange to do so, without attending further training or education. The assessor and learner will decide together on the most appropriate assessment route to take. 



    On achieving this qualification the learner will be able to:

    1. Compile and implement a basic business plan with a short-term focus, which includes a basic sales plan and basic budgeting plan. This plan will be specific to his/her own context of operation and agricultural commodities, whether horticulture, agronomy or animal husbandry.

    2. Utilise unsophisticated and/or manual technology and solve problems within a specific context (either horticulture, or agronomy, or animal husbandry) and appropriate to a commodity(ies) of own choice.

    3. Understand and apply operational safety and hygiene standards applicable to the industry and market, taking into account the level of operational requirements.

    4. Be aware of and apply applicable legislation.

    5. Distinguish between different production systems appropriate to a specific commodity.

    6. Monitor and support disaster management and conservation management.

    7. Collect data and information.

    8. Demonstrate a basic understanding of and apply basic principles of communication within the farm operations.

    9. Work effectively with others and operate as part of a team by applying basic teamwork principles.

    10. Understand and apply basic ethical principles, values, and norms applicable to the workplace with specific reference to relationships with co-workers, clients, him- or herself as well as the environment.

    11. Identify and access basic resources.

    12. Apply basic principles of entrepreneurship (should the learner choose to include this elective in the learning programme). 

    1. A short-term business plan, which is specific to the context of operation and the agricultural commodity(ies), is compiled and implemented. The business plan includes a basic marketing plan and basic budgeting plan.

    2. Problems specific to the utilisation, care and maintenance of technology are identified and solved appropriately.

    3. Safety and hygiene standards applicable to the industry and market are explained and applied.

    4. Applicable legislation is named and applied.

    5. Different production systems appropriate to a specific commodity are distinguished.

    6. Disaster management and conservation management are supported and monitored.

    7. Correct information and data is collected in an appropriate format.

    8. Communication with fellow workers, supervisors and other colleagues are clear and effective.

    9. Basic team-work principles are applied.

    10. Basic ethical principles, values and norms and how they influence the agricultural process, interaction with co-workers and clients, as well as work related conflict situations are explained. Furthermore, the effect of his or her work activities on family and social life are described and appropriate steps to improve relationships are taken. Failure and/or success are dealt with constructively.

    11. Agricultural basic resources are identified and accessed timeously and effectively.

    12. An own farming unit is operated as an own business by applying basic entreprenuerial skills with the necessary support.

    NOTE: Assessment should be specific to the area of operation (either horticulture or agronomy or animal husbandry) and the agricultural commodities of the learners own choice.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Integrated assessment at the level of the qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show that they are able to integrate concepts, ideas and actions across unit standards to achieve competence that is relevant and coherent in relation to the purpose of the qualification.

    Integrated assessment must judge the quality of the observable performance, but also the quality of the thinking that lies behind it. Assessment tools must encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that underpin their demonstrated performance. Some assessment practices will be of a more practical nature while others will be of a more theoretical nature. The ratio between action and interpretation is not fixed, but varies according to the type and level of qualification.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge maintained so that each takes its rightful place. 

    In the case of the primary agricultural context, especially at NQF 2, it is difficult to compare the qualification and unit standards because of the vast differences in the level of mechanisation, the level of literacy of the farm operators, climate and other conditions as well as the variety in commodities.

    However, New Zealand and Australian qualifications and unit standards were sourced and evaluated for applicability. Also, during two separate study visits, agricultural practices were compared in the Netherlands and France. But it was clear that at this level, there is no real comparability because of the reasons above. 

    A learner will be able to progress vertically from one category to another, namely horticulture, agronomy or animal husbandry. He/she will be able to do this without re-doing the whole qualification, but by only completing the necessary elective unit standards.

    Furthermore, the learner can move from being employed as a farm worker to being an entrepreneur, running his/her own farming operation.

    The learner will also be able to articulate with other occupations within the agricultural pharmaceutical operations such as laboratory assistant. 

    Anyone assessing a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
    Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this qualification, or assessment against this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
    Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to agreed ETQA procedures.

    Therefore anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution which is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

    Assessors need:
  • A minimum of 2 (two) years` practical experience;
  • Competence in the generic assessor unit standards; and
  • Technical competence at, at least one NQF level above the assessee. 

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

    The Minimum Credits for this qualification have been corrected from 152 to 120.

    This qualification is being reviewed, and will soon be replaced by a new, up to date version. 

    Core  12621  Collect, use and communicate data that relate to farming  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12618  Demonstrate a basic understanding of agricultural production systems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12615  Demonstrate a basic understanding of the primary agricultural industry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8494  Demonstrate an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its implications  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12619  Identify pest and diseases relevant to an agricultural commodity learner is associated with  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12617  Maintain hygiene measures  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8493  Maintain occupational health and safety  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8420  Operate in a team  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12646  Perform quality checks  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12616  Operate and perform routine maintenance on equipment and tools  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  12537  Identify personal values and ethics in the workplace  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Fundamental  8963  Access and use information from texts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9009  Apply basic knowledge of statistics and probability to influence the use of data and procedures in order to investigate life related problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7480  Demonstrate understanding of rational and irrational numbers and number systems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9008  Identify, describe, compare, classify, explore shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional shapes in different contexts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8962  Maintain and adapt oral communication  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7469  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal and community life  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9007  Work with a range of patterns and functions and solve problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8964  Write for a defined context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8973  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  13999  Demonstrate an understanding of basic accounting practices  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  13995  Demonstrate an understanding of contracts and their sources  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  14001  Demonstrate an understanding of managerial expertise and administrative capabilities  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  13998  Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of supply and demand, and the concept: production  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  13994  Identify and discuss different types of business and their legal implications  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  13996  Identify, discuss, describe and compare major economic systems, with emphasis on the South African economy  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  12623  Control weeds  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  7547  Operate a personal computer system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12622  Perform routine maintenance on farm installations  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12630  Support disaster and conservation management  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12631  Apply basic entrepreneurial principles to farming  Level 3  NQF Level 03 


    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.
    1. 42020 Vision Training and Consulting 
    2. Abanguni College of South Africa 
    3. AGB Finance (Pty) Ltd 
    4. Agri RDA Holdings Pty Ltd 
    5. Agri Skills Transfer (PTY) Ltd 
    6. Aptenia Training and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    7. Career Builders Academy Pty Ltd 
    8. Centre For Africa Capacity Building & Development (Pty) Ltd 
    9. Dinako tsa Marang Consultancy 
    10. Dynamic Training Centre 
    11. Ekhozi Rural Development Services 
    12. Elgin Community College 
    13. GA Community Care Consultants 
    14. Go Eden Farm Produce Pty Ltd 
    15. Hoedspruit Hub(Pty) Ltd 
    16. Hot To Go Training College and Services 
    17. HWM Consultancy (Pty) Ltd 
    18. Hymike Trading Enterprise CC 
    19. Ikageng Training 
    20. Ikhwezi Drakensburg Rural & Urban Development Chamber 
    21. In House Media Instruction 
    22. Innopad Holdings (Pty) Ltd 
    23. Intsukaze Training Center 
    24. Jaji Lithabile Skill Training and Consulting (Pty) Ltd 
    25. Kawome and Co (Pty) Ltd 
    26. Kgomo-Lesiba Investments 
    27. Khululekani Training Centre 
    28. KK Nzori (Pty) Ltd 
    29. Knowledge For Ever 
    30. Lanqa Enterprise (Pty) Ltd 
    31. Lavinda Trade and Invest Pty Ltd 
    32. Leruo ke Matla Training and Enterprise Development Services 
    33. Linhle Enterprise Services (Pty) Ltd 
    34. Lizalise Training and Consultation ( Pty) Ltd 
    35. Lovedale Public TVET College 
    36. Malwande Business School 
    37. Mananthatshema Skills Dev. Centre 
    38. Masikila Training Solution (Pty) LTd 
    39. Megro Learning 
    40. Millenium Skills (Pty )Ltd 
    41. Mogotoane Business Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    42. Mortarboard Training Solutions 
    43. Mponeng Projects Pty Ltd 
    44. Mthashana FET College - Vryheid Campus 
    45. Mthonyama Development Enterprise & Agriculture 
    46. Mzanzi Training Institute 
    47. New Hope Revival Organisation 
    48. No Limits Trading Enterprise 
    49. Orange Language Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    50. Panaroger Pty Ltd 
    51. PPP4 Rural Development (Pty) Ltd 
    52. Prempie Business Solutions Pty Ltd 
    53. Rekopane Training Centre CC 
    54. Riverwalk Training CC 
    55. Safrisafe 
    56. Scientific Roets (Pty) Ltd 
    57. Sego Hludi Trading Enterprise 
    58. Setlakala Business Development 
    59. Shukela Training Centre 
    60. Sinovuyolethu Trading Pty Ltd 
    61. Siyasanga Training Centre 
    62. Skills for All 
    63. Tatelo Group (Pty) Ltd 
    64. TCEP (Pty) Ltd 
    65. Thuto Ya Setshaba Training Services (Pty) Ltd 
    66. Tirisano Ya Bakwena Consultants Cc 
    67. Tloumogale Business Development & Consulting 
    68. TPLR and Training Services (PTY) LTD 
    69. Try Easy Electrical Solutions Pty Ltd 
    70. Twoline Training Skills For Africa Pty Ltd 
    71. Uluntu Skills Development Centre 
    72. Visionary Skills Academy 
    73. Vuyani Agri (Pty) Ltd 
    74. Water Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd 
    75. Womiwu Rural Development 

    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.