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: Radiation Monitoring 
49596  National Certificate: Radiation Monitoring 
SGB Radiation Protection 
EWSETA - Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Physical Sciences 
Undefined  120  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "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. 

Qualified learners are able to take appropriate action, given a set of prescribed procedures, and are expected to be able to do this during normal and emergency operations. They participate in programmes for radiation protection of workers, radiation protection of the public through control of radioactive discharges, waste management, and transport of radioactive materials. They have an understanding of radiation monitoring concepts and/or are able to work in areas of radiation protection. Finally, this qualification has been developed to assist with professionalisation across the radiation protection sector. It is intended to allow qualified learners to gain membership of registered professional bodies in the radiation protection industry.

The qualification is aimed at providing a nationally recognised qualification in the radiation protection environment, and at improving professional standards within the discipline.

The unit standards in this qualification will allow vertical and horizontal progression and mobility to obtain other qualifications and competencies credited on the National Qualifications Framework. Achievement of the elective unit standards allow for progression and career pathing into specialist areas within radiation protection. The qualification will make provision for the movement between different sub-disciplines of radiation protection.

A learner who has achieved this qualification is competent to perform radiation protection monitoring functions. Qualified learners are capable of:
  • Communicating in a variety of ways in the radiation sector
  • Using mathematics during radiation monitoring activities
  • Selecting radiation and contaminant measurement instruments for specific contexts
  • Monitoring radiation and contaminants according to specified requirements
  • Managing own workplace relations for optimal productivity
  • Adhering to radiation protection measures according to given procedures
    In addition, the elective component of the qualification is designed to ensure flexibility, for learners to access different career paths that are related to radiation monitoring, in the areas of measurement, control and instrumentation, occupational safety, hygiene and environment, project management, nuclear power plant operation, fossil power plant process control, power plant auxiliary systems operation, and wastewater reticulation services.


    This qualification reflects the workplace-based and broader environmental needs of the radiation protection sector that are expressed by employers, employees and society at large for both current and future purposes. It allows learners employed in the radiation protection field to participate in further learning in the areas of implementation and maintenance of radiological control programmes, standards development, assessment and programme design, and to perform relevant roles in the broader radiation protection environment.

    Target learners include mainly helpers in the radiation protection field, as well as medical professionals, waste disposal workers, and industrial radiographers, and everyone who wishes to pursue a career in radiation protection, health and safety and physical sciences sectors. Also, achieving these competencies will impact on members of the public who are protected against ionising radiation by gathering data. In the same manner, learners achieving this qualification will contribute to the establishment and maintenance of radiologically safe workplaces and environments. This National Certificate is intended to be an entry-level qualification, at the Further Education band, in the area of radiation protection. It aims to enhance readiness for further learning in radiation protection and related fields at the Further Education level, as well as providing for initial employment in the radiation protection field.

    Learners come from schooling or the workplace and can be with or without school-based learning achievements. One of the most important needs for this qualification is to provide recognition of prior learning. There are currently no unit standards based registered qualifications for radiation protection monitoring. Training is currently not provided against nationally recognised qualifications based on unit standards, which this qualification will be addressing. 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 is internationally comparable and improved competence in this area will improve South Africa's ability to compete. Based on legal requirements for facilities, employees are appointed to work in this area, and, therefore, by implication, appointment of qualified learners will ensure that they meet the requirements for competence.

    Qualified learners are employed for surveying radiation. There are known health risks, as exposure to radiation is a known carcinogen causing cancers and illness. Environment and political sensitivity is required and the sector is under environmental and political pressure to ensure good practice in terms of occupational health, safety and the environment. International standards are currently stricter in terms of allowable levels of radiation than in South Africa. Prior to the 1980s, the area of employment was closed to specific race groups. This qualification will improve access to employment and provide a formal qualification for experience, with the resulting access to further learning and career pathways.

    The qualification is designed to:
  • Provide qualified learners with an entry into the field of basic radiation monitoring
  • Prepare qualified learners for initial employment in the radiation protection industry
  • Allow many of the listed unit standards to be used in learnership schemes in the radiation protection sector, as well as other sectors where radiation monitoring is a key requirement
  • Provide a qualification for people who are pursuing a career in the radiation protection fields. 

    The qualification design assumes that learners are already competent at:
  • NQF Level 2 Mathematic Literacy
  • NQF Level 2 Communication
  • Balancing constitutional and legal rights of individuals with the competence to legally infringe those rights in the service of maintaining a safe and secure society
  • Natural and Physical Sciences at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

    This qualification can be achieved wholly, or in part, through recognition of prior learning. Evidence can be presented in a variety of forms, including previous international or local qualifications, reports, testimonials, mentoring, functions performed, portfolios, work records and performance records. As such, evidence should be judged according to the general principles of assessment described in the notes to assessors below. Learners who have met the requirements of any Unit Standard that forms part of this qualification may apply for recognition of prior learning to the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance body (ETQA). The applicant must be assessed against the specific outcomes and with the assessment criteria for the relevant Unit Standards. A qualification will be awarded should a learner demonstrate that the exit level outcomes of the qualification have been attained. 


    All the Fundamental Component Unit Standards are compulsory (36 credits).
    All the Core Component Unit Standards are compulsory (52 credits).
    For the Elective Component learners are required to attain at least 32 credits out of the available 78 credits. 

    1. Communicate in a variety of ways regarding radiation monitoring
    2. Obtain radiation and contaminant measurement instruments appropriate for specific contexts
    3. Monitor radiation and contaminants according to specified requirements
    4. Adhere to radiation protection measures according to given procedures
    5. Managing own relations for optimal productivity 

  • Completion of appropriate documentation meet specified requirements
    Range: documentation includes work permits, clearance certificates, recording of pre- and post-operational monitoring results, recording of personnel records regarding dosimetry, etc.
  • Communication is appropriate for specific audiences and contexts
  • Reporting regarding radiation instrument testing and monitoring of radiation and contaminants meets specified requirements

    Range: Instruments are portable hand-held, bench top instruments, and not in-plant/fixed installations; instruments refers also to equipment
    > Instruments selected are appropriate for the location of, type of and reason/purpose for measurement
  • Instruments are handled safely and according to principles of operation
  • Pre and post operational instrument testing meets specified operational, legal and safety, health and environmental requirements
    Range: operational requirements relate to the use of sources to check instruments, checking reading range acceptability, confirming instrument setting correctness, applying calibration/correction factors such as efficiency calculations, conversions etc. to instrument readings

    Range: radiation, surface contamination, airborne contamination (inc. radon), radioactive waste, environmental samples such as grass, water, air etc. are included in monitoring
  • Number bases and measurement units are used correctly when monitoring radiation and contaminants
  • Workplace areas are identified correctly according to given area classification systems
    Range: identification includes mapping, area classification, and reasons for classification)
  • Surveys are conducted according to specified procedures
  • Hazardous conditions are accurately identified
  • Results obtained during monitoring are verifiable
  • Monitoring take place in the correct locations
  • Samples are taken according to procedures
  • Handling of samples prevents contamination
  • Recording, storage and handover of results to relevant persons meet specified procedural requirements

  • Requirements of specified radiation protection programs, procedures, and operations are met
  • Occurrences are identified and reported according to specified procedures
  • Radiation protection measures are enforced at all times within own area of responsibility
  • Segregation and categorisation of radioactive and non radioactive materials is based on specified activity limits in accordance with specified standards
  • Radioactive materials handling meets specified requirements
  • Control of personal dosimetry meets specified requirements

  • Problem solving techniques are justified in terms of specific contexts
  • Techniques employed to manage stress are justified in terms of the causes of stress
  • Explanation of diversity management meets given criteria

    Integrated assessment

    The assessment criteria in the unit standards are performance-based, assessing applied competence of radiation monitoring practitioners, rather than only underpinning knowledge, or only skills. The Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are also achieved in the unit standards. In addition to the competence assessed to achieve the unit standards, learners must demonstrate that they can achieve the outcomes in an integrated manner. They must deal effectively with different and random demands related to radiation monitoring practitioner occupational and learning contexts, to qualify. Assessment approaches used should be appropriate for assessing applied competence of radiation monitoring practitioners. Integrated assessment is meaningful if there are clear relationships between the purpose statement, exit level outcomes and integrated assessment of this qualification.

    Learners who qualify must be able to integrate concepts, ideas and behaviours across unit Standards to achieve the purpose of the Qualification. Evidence (as specified in the associated assessment criteria) is required that the learner is able to achieve the Exit Level Outcomes of the qualification as a whole and in an integrated way, and thus its purpose, at the time of the award of the qualification.

    Evidence of integration may be presented by learners when being assessed against the unit standards, and separate assessment for integration may not be necessary. Workplace experience can be recognised when assessing towards this qualification. Integrated assessment should include observable performance as well as the quality of thinking behind such performance. Formative assessment can be employed during learning towards the unit standards and during integration to achieve exit level outcomes, to ensure that integration takes place when summative assessment is employed.

    The applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective competencies) of this qualification will be achieved if a learner is able to achieve all exit level outcomes of the qualification. The identification and solving of known problems, team work, organising self, using of data, implication of actions and reactions in the world as a set of related systems 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 tool(s) to establish the foundational, reflective and embedded knowledge to problem solving and application of the world as a set of related systems within the radiation protection environment. Competence will be assessed when conducting formative and summative assessment.

    Development of the competencies may be through a combination of formal and informal learning, self-learning, training programmes and work-based application. The practical, applied, foundational and reflexive competencies demonstrated for the group of assessment criteria in this qualification, must prove that the whole competence is more than the sum of the parts of the competencies. Providers should conduct diagnostic and formative assessment. Formative, continuous and diagnostic assessments should also take place in the work place, if applicable. The learner should also be able to assess him or herself and determine readiness for a summative assessment against this qualification.

    During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflexive competencies. Input to completing the Integrated Assessment typically makes use of combinations of the following assessment methods:
    1. Time-constrained written examinations
    2. Coursework Evaluations
    3. Continuous Evaluation
    4. Practical Evaluation
    5. Evaluation of Portfolios of Evidence

    The 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 assessment methods and tools that support each other to assess total competence.

    These tools include the following:
  • In-situ (on-the-job) observations
  • Role-play simulations
  • Structured group discussions
  • Knowledge tests, exams, case studies, projects, registers, logbooks, workbooks
  • Oral report backs (presentations)
  • Portfolios of evidence
  • Projects
  • Experiential learning
  • Working in teams
  • Scenario sketching

    The assessment methods and/or tools used by the assessor must be fair in a sense that they do not hinder or advantage the learner, valid in a sense that they measure what they intend to measure, reliable in a sense that they are consistent and delivers the same output across a range of learners and practical in a sense that they take into account the available financial resources, facilities, equipment and time.

    Summative assessment/terminal assessment is carried out at the end of the learning programme to assess the achievement of the learner. A detailed portfolio of evidence is required to prove the practical, applied and foundational competencies of the learner.
    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments:
  • Focus the initial assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcomes expressed in the titles of the Unit Standards to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember that the learners are declared competent in terms of the qualification purpose and exit level outcomes.
  • Where assessment across Unit Standard titles or at Unit Standard title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes. Take special note of the need for integrated assessment.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies.

    In particular, assessors should assess that the learner demonstrates an ability to consider a range of options by:
  • Measuring the quality of the observed practical performance as well as the theory and underpinning knowledge.
  • Using methods that are varied to allow the learner to display thinking and decision making in the demonstration of practical performance.
  • Maintaining a balance between practical performance and theoretical assessment methods to ensure each is measured in accordance with the level of the qualification.
  • Taking into account that the relationship between practical and theoretical components is not fixed, but varies according to the type and level of qualification.

    All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well-documented principles:
  • Appropriate: The method of assessment is suited to the performance being assessed.
  • Fair: The method of assessment does not present any barriers to achievements, which are not related to the evidence.
  • Manage: The methods used make for easily arranged cost-effective assessments that do not unduly interfere with learning.
  • Integrate into work or learning: Evidence collection is integrated into the work or learning process where this is appropriate and feasible.
  • Valid: The assessment focuses on the requirements laid down in the standards; i.e. the assessment is fit for purpose.
  • Direct: The activities in the assessment mirror the conditions of actual performance as close as possible.
  • Authentic: The assessor is satisfied that the work being assessed is attributable to the learner being assessed.
  • Sufficient: The evidence collected establishes that all criteria have been met and that performance to the required Standard can be repeated consistently.
  • Systematic: Planning and recording is sufficiently rigorous to ensure that assessment is fair.
  • Open: Learners can contribute to the planning and accumulation of evidence. Learners for assessment understand the assessment process and the criteria that apply.
  • Consistent: The same assessor would make the same judgement again in similar circumstances. The judgement made is similar than the judgement that would be made by other assessors 

    Internationally, training in radiation protection and the safe use of radiation sources distinguishes between different types and levels of learning. The International Atomic Energy Agency identifies eight types of learners: qualified experts, radiation protection officers, workers, qualified operators, health professionals, managers, staff of regulatory bodies and emergency response personnel. The equivalent of this qualification is radiation protection officers and qualified operators. The main countries involved in radiation protection training internationally are the United States of America (USA) and Australia. In Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, and Nigeria are involved with radiation protection services and training. In Zambia, a radiation protection Diploma and Degree exists, both at a higher level than this qualification. Zambia also has a Radiation Protection Officer's Training Course, but information regarding this and other African countries' courses was not available. South Africa is by far the most active country in Africa.

    In Australia, training addresses all components contained in this qualification, namely, the nature of ionising radiations and their interactions, quantities (dose, dose rate, activity, half-life), measurements (monitoring, dosimetry, techniques), legal requirements, and principles (time, distance, shielding, and containment). Elective components include specialization regarding open sources (e.g. unsealed radioactive work), closed sources (e.g. industrial density gauge work), X-rays (e.g. security scanner work), construction (e.g. nuclear density gauges), and non destructive testing (e.g. Radiography).

    Equivalent training in the USA is focused at a Higher Education level, in the form of continuing education. The courses address concepts such as atoms and nuclei, radiation, radiation units, biological effects of radiation, risk and protection, internal and external radiation protection, dose and exposures, contamination control, sampling, surveying and monitoring, handling and storage of radioactive materials, radioactive waste management, safety and contingency planning, record keeping and reporting. Most of these areas are all addressed, albeit at a less complex level, in the South African qualification. Most USA programs are University based. 

    Vertical articulation is possible with the Further Education and Training Certificate: Radiation Protection NQF Level 4, Further Education and Training Certificate: Measurement, Control and Instrumentation NQF Level 4 (48919), National Certificate: Occupational Safety, Hygiene and Environment NQF Level 2 (48804), National Certificate: Generic Project Management NQF Level 4 (21160), National Certificate: Nuclear Power Plant Operation NQF Level 4 (23733), and National Diploma: Fossil Power Plant Process Control NQF Level 5 (23679).

    Horizontal articulation on the NQF is possible with all NQF Level 3 qualifications through the Fundamental component, and specifically also with the National Certificate: Measurement, Control and Instrumentation NQF Level 3 (48696), National Certificate: Power Plant Auxiliary Systems Operation NQF Level 3 (23677), and National Certificate: Wastewater Reticulation Services NQF Level 3 (48905). 

    Moderation of assessment and accreditation of providers shall be at the discretion of a relevant ETQA as long as it complies with the SAQA requirements. The ETQA is responsible for moderation of learner achievements of learners who meet the requirements of this qualification. Particular moderation and accreditation requirements are:
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or through a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA. Providers offering learning towards achievement of any of the unit standards that make up this Qualification must also be accredited through the relevant ETQA accredited by SAQA.
  • The ETQA will oversee assessment and moderation of assessment according to their policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation, or in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between the relevant ETQA and other ETQAs and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed here.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments for the qualification, unless the relevant ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in Unit Standards as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification. All moderators moderating the assessment of a learner for this qualification must be registered with the relevant ETQA
  • Internal moderation of assessment must take place at the point of assessment with external moderation provided by a relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA.

    To ensure that national standards are maintained, the final assessment should be conducted on the following basis, which will be under the control of the relevant ETQA:
  • Integrated assessment of the learner needs to be undertaken using the necessary assessment tools (viz. ETQA approved assessor guides) to ensure consistent integrated assessment. The setting of assessor guides can be performed by the ETQA itself or a nominated body or bodies.
  • Assessment can be institutional and/or workplace-based, but must be done by a registered assessor.
  • ETQA verification (external moderation) will be undertaken as required, to ensure that the quality of NQF standards is maintained nationally. 

    Assessment of learner achievements takes place at providers accredited by the relevant ETQA (RSA, 1998b) for the provision of programmes that result in the outcomes specified for this qualification. Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. Assessors registered with the relevant ETQA must comply with the requirements for assessors as prescribed by the relevant ETQA and must carry out the assessment of learners for the qualification and any of the Unit Standards that make up this qualification.

    Assessors and moderators should develop and conduct their own integrated assessment by making use of a range of formative and summative assessment methods. Assessors should assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.

    Unit standards associated with the qualification must be used to assess specific and critical cross-field outcomes. During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies

    To register as an assessor, the following are required:
  • Detailed documentary proof of relevant qualification/s, practical training completed or experience gained at an NQF level above the level of this qualification
  • Declared competent in all the outcomes of the National Assessor Unit Standards as stipulated by SAQA, registered as assessors with the relevant ETQA, in accordance with the policies and procedures defined by the ETQA, and certificated by the ETDP SETA or by the relevant ETQA in agreement with the ETDP SETA in this regard
  • A minimum of two years practical, relevant occupational experience 

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


    Core  114952  Apply problem-solving techniques to make a decision or solve a problem in a real life context  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119497  Collect data regarding radiological conditions  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  115093  Control workplace hazardous substances  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119496  Implement radiation protection measures  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  119495  Select radiation or contaminant measurement instruments  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  119494  Test radiation or contaminant measurement instruments  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    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 
    Elective  114941  Apply knowledge of HIV/AIDS to a specific business sector and a workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116534  Carry out basic first aid treatment in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114620  Demonstrate fault finding techniques on field instrumentation  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116523  Demonstrate knowledge of basic occupational hygiene principles  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  14036  Describe plant instrumentation and process measurement used on Power Generation plant  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  12457  Develop learning strategies and techniques  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114932  Explain how to manage diversity in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  115109  Grade the potential of specified industrial processes to impact on environmental receptors  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114946  Identify causes of stress and techniques to manage it in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114615  Maintain analytical equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116524  Measure environmental factors and take appropriate action  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  14019  Plan team work functions and complete reports  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  7567  Produce and use spreadsheets for business  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  7575  Produce presentation documents for business  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  7570  Produce word processing documents for business  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  10150  Provide assistance in implementing and assuring project work is conducted in accordance with the project quality plan  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.

    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.