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: Hydro Power Plant Operation 
23735  National Certificate: Hydro Power Plant Operation 
SGB Power Plant Operations 
Was EWSETA until Last Date for Achievement  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
Undefined  150  Level 4  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L4  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 0160/05  2007-08-07  2009-02-18 
2010-02-18   2013-02-18  

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 is replaced by: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
61569  Further Education and Training Certificate: Power Plant Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  130  Complete 

Learners obtaining this qualification will be recognized on a national level for performing operational activities on Hydro driven Power Plant auxiliary systems/processes and related equipment. The qualification will ensure professionalism, proficiency and excellence in the operating of Hydro power plants. It will also assist in changing perceptions on the status and functional levels of operators in the work place. The qualification will provide the operators with pride, self worth and enhance their morale.

Worth to the employer will be manifested in the competence of the employee in terms of safe, sound and efficient operations performed by the operator. This qualification will provide for recognition of prior learning of existing operators` competence throughout the industry and allowed credits to be obtained in cross- functional learning fields.

The qualification will provide the foundational requirements for mobility and vertical progression into Hydro power plant control.

A person acquiring this qualification will have skills, knowledge and behavioural competence in the following areas:
  • Energy conversion process and the impact of specific plant on this process.
  • Planning and organising of own job requirements
  • Legislation regarding safety, health and environment on the specific plant area.
  • Technical understanding of mechanical, electrical and instrumentation components.
  • Dangers of chemicals used in his/her direct work environment.
  • Lessons learned from trends/incidents related to his/her specific plant.
  • Problem solving and decision making.
  • Big Picture Thinking.
  • Process plant operating philosophies and configuration.
  • Communication, structures, procedures and processes.
  • Duties and responsibilities of persons within the functional area.

    Rationale of the qualification

    This qualification is based on the industry needs in building competencies in the workplace for Hydro Power Plant Operator. The qualification therefore sets national standards for field operators on Hydro driven Power Plants.

    This qualification provides the learner with accessibility primarily to be employed within the functional areas of Hydro driven power plants but does not exclude horizontal movement to other power utilities.

    Other considerations in national interest addressed by this Qualification are:
  • Setting national standards of practice in this specific learning field
  • Building individual capacity in this specialised profession
  • Ensure entry, progression and mobility into Life Long Learning in this specific learning field
  • Addressing Power Plant Operations Industry specific employment requirements
  • Enhancing of professional competence on a national level
  • Providing an avenue of upliftment for the previously disadvantaged into this professional discipline
  • Providing a Qualification to be used in a learnership in this field
  • Enhance social and economic development 

  • National Certificate in Power Plant Auxiliary System Operation NQF 3.

    Learners should also be competent in:
  • Communication and language studies NQF 3
  • Mathematical literacy NQF 3

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    This qualification will be achieved in part or in whole through recognition of prior learning for those qualifications previously issued by the ESKOM AND ALLIED INDUSTRIES TRAINING BOARD (EAITB), i.e. Power Plant Operator Certificate. (Currently being issued by the ENERGY SETA)

    Any other evidence of prior learning should be assessed through formal RPL processes to recognise achievement thereof. 


    Level, credits and learning components assigned to the qualification in hydro power plant operations

    This Certificate is made up of a combination of learning outcomes that have a defined purpose and will provide the learner with applied competence and a good foundation for further personal development in continuous process plant operations.

    Minimum credits required to complete this qualification are 150, which is the sum of fundamental and core credits and 30 electives to be selected to meet specific industry needs.

    The majority of credits relates directly to the purpose of the Qualification with maximum portability between power utilities. 

    1. Solve complex problems through the application of mathematics in a variety of contexts.
    2. Communicate effectively in the workplace.
    3. Display understanding of leadership concepts related to power plant operations.
    4. Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements associated with power plant operation.
    5. Operate Hydro Turbine Generator processes and associated equipment within safe operating parameters.
    6. Perform basic functions on a stand alone computer.

    Exit points for learners who do not complete the Qualifications

    Learners will be credited with Unit Standards in which they have proved competence and retain these credits, however, should the contents of these standards change significantly in future the validity of the credits may be affected.

    Critical cross-field outcomes:

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the assessment criteria for each exit level outcome and within the unit standards associated with each exit level outcome:
  • Identifying and solving problems in which responses indicate that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
  • Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one`s activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information.
  • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral/written persuasion.
  • Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Learning programmes directed towards this qualification will also contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making individuals aware of the importance of:
    1. Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
    2. Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
    3. Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
    4. Exploring education and career opportunities; and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • Problems identified using appropriate techniques.
  • Problem solving strategies are appropriate to the problems at hand in real work situations.
  • Root causes identified and solutions derived are appropriate to the problems.
  • Problem solving approach is communicated in a clear and structured manner using appropriate terminology.
  • Solutions are validated in terms of the problem situation.
  • Technology is used effectively to assist in problems solving as required.

    First Language:
  • Language structure and features are applied effectively to accommodate workplace requirements.
  • Appropriate media is used to communicate in a clear and structured manner.
  • Media used for communications contributes to effective communication.
  • Communication barriers are identified and addressed as appropriate to the situationSecond Language:
  • Text in written and oral communication interpreted against set standards.

  • The role of self management is explained within the context of transformational leadership.
  • The role of management practices is explained within the context of transformational leadership.
  • Leadership attributes are integrated to meet the strategic intent within the organisation.
  • Understanding of leadership concepts contributes to the safe, efficient and effective operation of power plants.

  • Regulatory requirements in workplace procedures are described and interpreted within the context of the Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Non-compliance to statutory requirements is described in terms of the potential impact on the micro environment.
  • Interrelations between related regulatory requirements are described in terms of standard operating procedures.

  • Plant operations are performed according to operating standards.
  • Out of normal emergency conditions are identified and acted upon using Power Plant Engineering Principles.
  • Interrelation of Hydro Systems are interpreted and contextualised within Power Generation.
  • Principles of teamwork are applied according to operational requirements.

  • Basic functions on a stand alone computer support Power Plant operational communication activities.
  • Structure and format of communications via computer meet organisational standards.
  • Basic functions are performed in line with manufacturer`s guidelines.

    Integrated Assessment

    The applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective competencies) of this qualification will be achieved if a learner is able to achieve the exit level outcomes of the qualification as per the rules specified. Applicable critical cross field outcomes must be assessed during any combination of practical, foundational and reflexive competencies assessment methods and tools to determine the whole person development and integration of applied knowledge and skills.
  • Certain exit level outcomes are measurable and verifiable through assessment criteria assessed in one application
  • Applicable assessment tools to assess the foundational, reflective and practical competencies within the power plant operations environment.
  • A detailed portfolio of evidence is required of the practical, foundational and reflective competencies of the learner
  • Assessors and moderators should develop and conduct integrated assessment by making use of a range of formative and summative methods. Assessors should assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired (RPL) through any form of learning
  • Unit standards associated with this qualification must be used to assess specific and critical cross -field outcomes. During integrated assessment, the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, foundational and reflective competencies.

    Formative assessment
    Assessment criteria for formative assessment are described in the various unit standards. Formative assessment takes place during the process of learning and assessors should use a range of appropriate assessment methods and tools that assesses competence holistically. These methods include but not limited to the following:
  • On-the-job observations
  • Role-play and/or simulations
  • Knowledge tests, exams, case studies, projects, logbooks, workbooks
  • Verbal report backs (presentations)
  • Portfolios of evidence (RPL)
  • Working in teams (360 degrees evaluations)
  • Scenario sketching
  • Incident reports

    The assessment tools and methods used by the assessor must be:
  • Fair, not to hinder or disadvantage the learner in any way,
  • Valid, to measure what is intended to measure,
  • Reliable, consistent and delivers the same output across a range of learners and assessors

    Summative assessment
    Summative assessment is carried out at the end of each meaningful competence level achieved by the learner. A detailed portfolio of evidence is required to prove the practical, foundational and reflective competencies of the learner.

    Assessors and moderators
    Work place assessors should develop and conduct integrated assessments by using appropriate methods and techniques. Moderation to be done according to laid down requirements. 

    The qualification is based on a study conducted by ESKOM on various European countries with leading power producers. The German model (with minor changes) was adopted as the basis for this qualification. Operator qualifications after this were registered under the manpower-training act and accredited by the ESKOM and Allied Industries Training Board (EAITB). This qualification was further developed to meet the SAQA requirements for registration.

    In South Africa there are a number of Hydro Power stations as well as two Pump Storage schemes. The training and development of Hydro operators and controllers take place in South Africa where a number of these utilities have been benchmarked against EPRI standards.
    Hydro Operator Training in Sub-Saharan Africa is provided at Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre which was funded by the Norwegian government. A number of short courses are offered where candidates from the following countries are trained: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mauritius, Uganda and Kenya. 

    This qualification provides the learner with the flexibility to pursue different careers in the power generation industry. The level of flexibility within the range of elective utilities (hydro, nuclear, fossil and electrical control) will allow the individual to pursue further learning within those development areas. Other articulation fields could be the following: human resource development, process engineering, functional supervision, system specialization, quality assurance and health and safety. 

  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant SETA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant SETA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant SETA according to the SETA`s policies and guidelines
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards, exit level outcomes as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification.
  • A learner wishing to be assessed for this Qualification can only be assessed through an accredited assessment provider/centre. 

    The assessor must be:
  • Competent on the standard at which the assessment is conducted
  • At least 12 months experienced in performing the outcomes for which she/he is registered for
  • Recognised as a subject matter expert in the specific industry
  • Registered with the relevant SETA. 

  • NOTES 
    This qualification has been replaced by qualification 61569, which is "Further Education Training Certificate: Power Plant Operations", Level 4, 130 credits. 

    Core  14062  Demonstrate Knowledge of Safe Entry into Prohibited and/ or Restricted Areas  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  14217  Operate Bulk Lubrication Oil Systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  14212  Operate hydro generator cooling system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14216  Operate Hydro Generator Plant Bearing Systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  10900  Operate hydro power generation common cooling water  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13633  Operate hydro power generation drainage and dewatering systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13638  Operate hydro power generation station plants - Emergency standby electrical systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14211  Operate hydro power generation transformer auxiliary systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13673  Operate hydro power generation turbine plant main pump and/or turbine system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14213  Operate hydro power generator mechanical brake and jacking system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  14215  Operate Hydro Power Generator Starting and Braking Devices  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13652  Operate hydro turbine plant bearing systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13666  Operate hydro turbine plant blow down air system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13645  Operate hydro turbine plant cooling water system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13664  Operate hydro turbine plant governing systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13658  Operate hydro turbine plant main inlet valve system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13665  Operate hydro turbine plant shaft sealing system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8972  Interpret a variety of literary texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9015  Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8974  Engage in sustained oral communication and evaluate spoken texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8975  Read analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  9016  Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8979  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8976  Write for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  7572  Demonstrate knowledge of and produce computer spreadsheets using basic functions  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  7547  Operate a personal computer system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  14063  Apply Self Management through the Concepts of Positive Self-esteem and Resiliency  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  14064  Understand Constructive Thinking  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  14061  Understand Management Practices  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  14060  Understand transformational leadership  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  13600  Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements for permit to work systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 

    When qualifications are replaced, some of their learning programmes are moved to being recorded against the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replacement.

    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.