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.

Further Education and Training Certificate: Environmental Practice 
50309  Further Education and Training Certificate: Environmental Practice 
SGB Environmental Sc/Mgt & Waste Mgt 
LG SETA - Local Government and related Services Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Environmental Sciences 
Undefined  140  Level 4  NQF Level 04  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 is replaced by: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
121547  Higher Occupational Certificate: Environmental Practitioner  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  170  Complete 


This qualification is the fourth in a series for practitioners in the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. This series of qualifications will equip practitioners with the skills, knowledge and values to contribute towards the wise and effective use and management of our natural resources and ecological systems.

The specific purpose of this qualification represents the skills, knowledge and understanding required by competent practitioners to:
  • Apply environmental principles and practices to operations, audits, inspections and assessments, data management and communications, within the regulatory framework.
  • Engage with appropriate stakeholders to implement environmental interventions.
  • Plan and supervise operations and make the best use of resources within their area of responsibility.

    With this understanding, learners will be able to engage productively and responsibly in work- or community-related activities in the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. This qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning, and will equip learners with the knowledge, skills and values to participate meaningfully in society and contribute towards developing sustainable communities.

    This qualification is applicable to a range of contexts within the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management, such as local government, public and private waste management enterprises, cultural or natural heritage sites, community projects, recycling and recovery of resources, control and eradication of invasive and alien species, rural development and site preparation or rehabilitation. It is also suitable for employees with environmental functions in a range of industries such as mining, chemicals or manufacturing. The following are typical contexts in which this qualification can be assessed:
  • Waste management related activities, e.g:

    > Materials recovery and buy-back centres.
    > Waste reception.
    > Landfill operations.
  • Water course cleaning, care and maintenance.
  • Care of public places, open areas, cultural and natural heritage sites.
  • Maintenance of parks and sports fields.
  • Community projects and job creation schemes relating to environmental practice.
  • General industrial and extraction, ie activities with an environmental care or improvement focus.


    South Africa has a need to manage and protect its natural resources and ecological systems, while simultaneously using its resources in a sustainable manner to promote social, physical and economic development.

    There is also a need for people as individuals, and as members of social or workplace communities, to become aware of their responsibilities towards the environment and to be empowered to make informed choices regarding their own activities and the impact that these activities have on the environment. There is also a need for people to develop practices which will ensure that their activities, individually and collectively, result in the sustainable use of resources and minimise negative impact on the environment.

    Recent developments in environmental legislation have resulted in an increased demand for practitioners with the necessary skills, knowledge and values to fulfil these legislative requirements.

    Such practitioners - as learners, as employees and as members of social communities - need to be equipped to engage with the complexities and challenges which arise from this need to ensure that use and development is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable.

    This qualification will enable providers, assessors and learners to plan, implement and measure the outcomes of suitable learning programmes, or to recognize prior learning. It will recognise the skills, knowledge and values of learners who engage actively in activities relevant to the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. The qualification is suitable for learners who:
  • Have attended courses and then apply the knowledge and skills gained to activities in the workplace.
  • Are already employees and have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses.
  • Participate in skills programmes and the appropriate work experience.
  • Are part of a learnership programme which integrates structured learning and work experience.
  • Acquire their learning through any combination of the above. 

    It is assumed that learners accessing this qualification are competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 3
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3

    Recognition of prior learning:

    This qualification may be obtained through the process of RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and support should be provided to assist the learner in the process of developing a portfolio. While this is primarily a context-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes or Unit Standards.

    Access to the qualification:

    Access to this qualification is open.

    However it is preferable that learners first complete the National Certificate: Environmental Practice: NQF Level 3 before accessing this qualification.

    In order to develop the required skills and to be assessed for this qualification, the learner will need to be actively involved in appropriate activities in a suitable workplace. 


    The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.

    To be awarded the Qualification, learners are required to obtain a minimum of 140 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.
  • Communication in a Second South African Language at NQF Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.

    It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at Level 4 and the other at Level 3.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 72 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 46 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 12 credits. 

    1. Demonstrate an awareness of the applicable and appropriate environmental regulatory framework and the compliance requirements relevant to own area of responsibility.
  • Range: Awareness includes application where relevant.
    Appropriate regulatory framework includes international conventions and policies, laws, regulations, codes of practice and guidelines at national provincial, local and organisational level.
    Compliance relates to the application of appropriate environmental management principles, techniques, protocols and tools to address problems and reduce environmental impacts.

    2. Manage the collection, recording, maintenance and communication of data and information related to the environment.
  • Range: Data and information includes information related to audits, reports, inspections and assessments; data and information is relevant to the learner's area of responsibility.

    3. Supervise operations and activities at a site or facility.
  • Range: Sites and facilities include cultural and natural heritage sites; parks and sports fields; waste disposal sites; materials treatment and processing plants; transport operation of environmentally sensitive materials and waste, sites with an environmental care or improvement focus, etc.
    Supervise operations and activities: Supervisory activities will be guided by appropriate environmental management principles, techniques, protocols and tools; supervisory activities are applicable to the learner's area of responsibility.

    4. Develop and lead a team. 

  • The applicable aspects of the regulatory framework are described with an emphasis on compliance/non-compliance.
  • Compliance with applicable aspects of the regulatory framework is ensured in own area of responsibility.
    > Range: Compliance refers to the learner's own activities as well as to those of the team.

  • Collection, recording and maintenance of environmental performance data is supervised and monitored according to organisational and regulatory requirements.
  • Relevant data is used to determine compliance to applicable standards.
    > Range: Applicable standards include liquid, solid and gaseous emission standards; statutory and/or voluntary standards; environmental performance standards etc.
  • Relevant information related to the environment is communicated appropriately.
    > Range: Communicated appropriately includes reporting; sharing information during audits, inspections and assessments; public participation; stakeholder involvement; capacity development of stakeholder groups.

  • Work activities and operations in own area of responsibility are planned, prioritised, delegated and co-ordinated with other organisational units.
    > Range: Includes the allocation and use of resources, development of action plans, conferring with management and organisational units, development of job cards, etc.
  • Work activities and operations are monitored; problems, deviations and non-conformances are responded to and operational objectives are met using organisational procedures.
    > Range: Includes but is not limited to contribution to business strategy and business plan; co-ordinating activities with other organisational units; identifying, implementing and communicating appropriate solutions to customer problems.
  • Opportunities for environmental management improvements to site, operation or activity are planned, implemented, and evaluated.
    > Range: Environmental management improvements include but are not limited to, cleaner production, waste minimisation, modifications to plant and equipment, minor extensions to improve the capacity of sites or level of service, remediation of abandoned sites, upgrading of existing sites, clearing of invasive plants and coastal cleaning operations.
  • Relevant organisational assets and resources are maintained and their best use practised in accordance with environmental principles and organisational standards.
    > Range: Assets include machinery, plant and equipment, sites, infrastructure and facilities.
    Resources include staff, departmental finances, materials (including cleaning materials, lubricants, coolants), plant and equipment, appropriate stakeholders.
    Best use includes but is not limited to developing and enhancing working relationships, prioritising use of time, delegating activities to capitalise on individual strengths, organising and allocating work, reducing wastage and spillage and minimising waste.

  • Staff are trained, supported and motivated and conflicts are minimised.
    > Range: Trained includes coaching, on-the-job training, contributing to assessment Motivated includes creating a climate allowing self-motivated behaviour.
    Conflicts are minimised includes managing inter-personal conflict, disciplining staff, resolving grievances.
  • New members are selected and inducted.
  • Relevant operational, environmental management, occupational health and safety and quality standards are promoted throughout the learner's area of responsibility.
  • Individual and team performance is managed to meet individual performance levels and organizational objectives.

    Integrated Assessment:

    In order to achieve the aims of integrated assessment, it is recommended that the assessor assesses as many of the components of the learning as possible to ensure an integrated approach to assessment.
    It is recommended that learning components (i.e. fundamental and core) are combined into assignments and projects which are then included in the portfolio of evidence. This will form the basis for the bulk of the assessment. The assessor can then focus on specific areas for further probing and verification.

    The assessment process should:
  • Cover the explicit activities required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the concepts and principles which underpin the activities.
  • Establish how the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes have been advanced by the learning process.

    The integrated assessment must be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide will spell out how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Looking at records and reports in the portfolio and reviewing previous assessments.
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding.
  • Observing the learner at work (in the primary activity as well as in other interactions).

    The learner may choose in which language s/he wants to be assessed. This should be established as part of a process of preparing the learner for assessment and familiarising the learner with the approach being taken.

    While this is primarily a context-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Assessors should also evaluate evidence that the learner has been performing consistently to standard over a period of time. 

    Research was carried out to identify qualifications and educational initiatives for environmental practice at the level of the FETC: Environmental Practice in all parts of the world, including developing countries where the environmental impact of human activities has been severe.

    In developed countries, the trend is for qualifications in environmental science and environmental management to fall into the sphere of higher education, while qualifications for waste management are found across all levels of the educational spectrum. Organisations and companies frequently use in-house orientation or training for specific jobs to develop the skills of employees at operational levels. Internships may also be used to develop skills, particularly in the United Kingdom. At supervisory level the short-course approach is frequently used, with considerable variation in the content and duration of courses offered. The typical profile of skills and knowledge requirements for supervisory occupations within the environmental field contains many common elements, which are addressed by the FETC: Environmental Practice.

    In developing countries, even in countries which have experienced severe environmental degradation, evidence of national initiatives to raise awareness of environmental issues and develop skills to prevent or remedy environmental impacts is lacking, although there are calls for such interventions to be implemented. However, there have been notable interventions by individuals and international and regional agencies in a number of African and Asian countries to train local communities in sustainable development practices. Such initiatives vary widely in approach and scope, but have had some success in reversing deforestation and improving the quality of soil and water resources, with consequent improvement in the quality of life of local communities.

    The FETC: Environmental Practice is a generic qualification which serves the diverse needs of the broad field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. Although directly comparable qualifications in other countries could not be identified, qualifications for environmentally-related fields and qualifications for supervisors in operational or technical areas can provide some guidance and a basis for comparison.

    The Scottish Vocational Qualifications and National Vocational Qualifications (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) (S/NQVs) for the Waste Management Industry provide such examples of comparable qualifications, for example the qualification in Waste Management Supervision (Level 3), developed by the Waste Management Industry Training and Advisory Board and approved by the Department of Education and Employment, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and Scottish Qualifications Authority. Although it relates specifically to waste management, this qualification is valid for comparison because waste management is one aspect of the broad field covered by the FETC: Environmental Practice. This qualification also reflects requirements for waste management training determined by the International Solid Waste Management Association and thus reflects international standards of best practice.

    The Waste Management Supervision (Level 3), qualification includes the following mandatory Units:
  • Maintain activities to meet waste management requirements
  • Support the efficient use of resources on waste management facilities
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships on waste management facilities
  • Lead the work of teams and individuals to achieve objectives
  • Manage information for action on waste management facilities
  • Ensure compliance with health and safety protection of the environment and other legislation
  • Contribute to maintaining effective response to emergencies

    Candidates are required to select two of the following Optional Units:
  • Contribute to the selection of personnel for waste management facilities
  • Contribute to the training of personnel
  • Respond to poor performance in your team
  • Assist in the generation and retention of waste management business
  • Maintain transport operations
  • Identify opportunities to improve customer service in waste management
  • Initiate and evaluate improvements in customer service

    These competencies are included in the South African qualification, either at unit standard or specific outcome level. In addition, the South African qualification places greater emphasis on the understanding and application of the tools and methods of environmental management and science. The FETC: Environmental Practice is thus broadly comparable with the British (S/NQV) qualification, particularly with regard to the supervisory aspect. Both encourage the development of generic skills (eg planning and implementing improvement interventions, problem solving, communicating, working with information) and their application within a particular context. Both require the acquisition of knowledge relevant to the broad field and its application in practice in a specific context.

    In both cases, qualifications are standards-based, learning is workplace-based, assessment is observation- and portfolio-based, with competence being demonstrated through performance, documentation and questioning, and skills and knowledge are acquired, practiced and assessed within contexts relevant to the learner. However, the South African approach, and thus the FETC: Environmental Practice, places a greater requirement on the learner to demonstrate successful integration of the knowledge and skills acquired.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is widely regarded as representing best practice in environmental matters and is used as a model by other countries. In addition to its role in protecting the environment within the United States, the US EPA is also influential in skills development in the environmental field within the United States and in the many countries outside of the United States. The US EPA is instrumental in promoting the development of skills at all levels. It sets standards, establishes guidelines, provides funding and support for the development of resources and provision of training, and promotes the sharing and acquisition of knowledge through conferences, workshops and specialised training.

    Through SGB members' personal experience and knowledge of learning resources which meet US EPA standards (for example, in the field of waste management), it is known that the skills, knowledge and values that would be achieved through the FETC Environmental Practice are of a comparable standard to those determined by the US EPA.

    The FETC: Environmental Practice compares favourably in level and scope with other international qualifications for environmentally-related supervisory qualifications as it includes technical, organisational and supervisory elements and also supports the development of individual skills necessary to ensure occupational competency.

    Collectively, the SGB has close links with professional bodies and educational institutions which maintain links with their counterparts on an international level. This awareness of international trends in environmental practice and in environmental education has enabled the SGB to determine a realistic standard for this qualification and its associated unit standards, while at the same time enabling people to extend themselves within the learning context of this qualification.

    Selected references:
    Newsweek International Inc. 

    This qualification articulates to qualifications in environmental science, environmental management and waste management at NQF Level 5.

    This qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one context to another. Employers or institutions should be able to evaluate the outcomes of this qualification against the needs of their context and structure top-up learning appropriately. 

  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the Qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual Unit Standards.

    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. 

    Criteria for registration of assessors:

    The following criteria should be applied by the relevant ETQA:
  • Appropriate qualification in a relevant field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management at NQF Level 5 or above.
  • 2 years experience in a relevant context.
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

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


    Core  13941  Apply the budget function in a business unit  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123369  Implement environmental improvements to a site, facility, operation or process  Level 4  NQF Level 04  16 
    Core  13235  Maintain the quality assurance system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  114589  Manage time productively  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13224  Monitor the application of safety, health and environmental protection procedures  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123368  Process environmental data and organisational information  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  14427  Select and supervise the use and maintenance of plant, equipment and tools  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  118028  Supervise customer service standards  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  116380  Supervise workers at levels 2 and 3  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123372  Use appropriate tools and information systems to manage own information and communication  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8973  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  12155  Apply comprehension skills to engage written texts in a business environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    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  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  12153  Use the writing process to compose texts required in the business environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  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 
    Elective  12455  Perform the role of a safety, health and environmental protection representative  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  110053  Conduct a basic community needs assessment  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  119185  Maintain calibrated equipment and standards for plastics manufacturing processes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114215  Mentor a colleague to enhance the individual`s knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in a selected career path  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  13661  Participate actively in a local environmental action project  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  14043  Plan and conduct community meetings  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  14035  Promote environmental health to community members  Level 4  NQF Level 04 

    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.
    1. A.S.A.P Training and Consulting 
    2. A4 Consultancy CC 
    4. Asiphokuhle Training and Research Institute 
    5. AVAX SA 481 CC. T/A Mandisa Development Services 
    6. Avenida (Pty) Ltd 
    8. Bazalwane Business Partners 
    9. Boikgantsho Consulting & Events 
    10. Central Bridge Trading 109 
    11. CTC College(PTY) LTD. 
    12. Danearl (PTY) LTD 
    13. Deltasheq 
    14. Edutraining Business College 
    15. Elective Training Institute Enterprise CC 
    16. Escon 
    17. Gauteng Association Of Local Authorities 
    18. Giamanje TVET College 
    19. Growth Management Consulting 
    21. Hilmark Trading (PTY) LTD 
    22. Institute of Cooperatives and Community Economic Development 
    23. IQ Skills Academy (PTY) LTD. 
    24. Itumeleng Wellness Solutions 
    25. Jabukile Consultancy 
    26. Jerisi Development Propeller NPC 
    27. Josmap Training Institute 
    28. Kay Beez Development Projects 
    29. Keptel 
    30. Khantsha Projects NPC 
    31. Khehli Institute 
    33. Lee And Spirit 
    34. Lewerb Holdings (PTY) Ltd 
    35. Limsa Training Institute 
    36. M.I.C. Training and Development 
    37. Makhuba Development Projects CC 
    38. Mamuhle Academy 
    39. Masnas 
    40. Mcebo Technologies 
    41. Mementos Training Pty Ltd 
    42. Mintirho Development Services 
    44. Mod-Mosh Projects and Consulting (PTY) LTD 
    45. Mohlaje Solutions (Pty) Ltd 
    46. Mortarboard Training Solutions 
    47. Nemalale Eagles Consultancy CC 
    48. New Hope Revival Organisation 
    49. NGM Skills Transfer 
    50. Nkinane Trading Enterprise 
    51. Nonunu Projects 
    52. Nyankwavi Investment CC. 
    53. PFIM Trading (Pty) Ltd 
    54. Pioneer Business Consulting 
    55. PMA Holdings (PTY ) LTD. 
    56. Progressive School of Business and Engineering (Pty) 
    57. PTDEV (Pty) Ltd 
    58. Redefined Skills Training & Development (Pty) Ltd 
    60. Shakaneng Trading 
    61. Siphiwesihle 
    62. Siza Nesu Training and Consultants 
    63. Starplex 489 cc 
    64. Talent Emporium Academy (PTY) Ltd 
    65. Teemil Safety Health and Environmental Consultants PTY LTD 
    66. Tembe Service Providers 
    67. Thando Consulting Services 
    68. The Green Affairs Consulting 
    69. Thubelihle Graduate Institute 
    70. Thusanang Skills & Training 
    71. Timothy Fasheun Group Enviromentors (Pty) Ltd 
    72. TLD Consulting 
    73. Tovani Traiding 299 
    74. Tradesman Consulting and Training Solutions 
    75. Transafric Consulting Pty Ltd 
    76. Tshamutengo General Dealers CC. 
    77. Tshepang Consulting & Project 
    78. Tshwane Training Institute (PTY) LTD. 
    80. Umbuso Training Services 
    81. Umqondo Consultancy 
    82. University of Venda 
    83. Ursivox Interactive Systems 
    84. Vhutshilo Health And Training Organisation 
    85. Vumilia Africa Group 
    86. Wildlife and Enviroment Society of South Africa 
    87. World Pace Development and Training Institute 

    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.