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: Lift Installation and Maintenance 
58271  National Certificate: Lift Installation and Maintenance 
SGB Manufacturing and Assembly Processes 
MERSETA - Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Engineering and Related Design 
Undefined  136  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. 


This qualification will equip learners with the skills, knowledge and values to contribute effectively to workplace activities within the elevator and escalator installation and maintenance industry. Learners who achieve this qualification will be able to:
  • Assist competent persons to install, maintain and repair lifts. (if the relevant elective is selected, the learner will also be equipped to install escalators)
  • Perform routine maintenance activities on mechanical and electrical components.

    Qualifying learners will be able to relate what they see and experience to scientific and technological principles and concepts. They will also understand how they are affected by legislation, regulations, agreements and policies related to their work environment.

    The core technical skills and knowledge described in this qualification relate to lifts; a learner may also elect to include technical skills and knowledge related to the installation of escalators.

    This qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning in the lift and escalator field at NQF level 4 where learners will be equipped to install lift systems and ensure that lift components operate correctly. If the relevant elective is chosen, the learner will also be equipped to maintain escalators.

    This qualification will contribute to social upliftment and development by allowing employees who previously did not qualify to become apprentices to gain recognition for their skills and knowledge through the recognition of prior learning. This qualification will also contribute to broad-based black economic empowerment initiatives, especially by the opportunities it affords for small business initiatives.


    This is the second of three related qualifications for the installation and maintenance of lifts and escalators, which together replace a legacy qualification for the trade of lift mechanic and provide a developmental pathway for the full range of lift and escalator installation and maintenance activities.

    Learners who achieve this qualification will be able to perform a range of installation, repair and routine maintenance activities within the lift and escalator industry. They would perform tasks semi-autonomously within the context of an overall team. In most instances this role does not represent a recognised position in the organisation, but is a stage in the learner's occupational development. After achieving this qualification, learners would be able to continue their occupational development in the field of lift maintenance and installation by completing the Further Education and Training Certificate in Lift Installation and Maintenance. Other career alternatives after NQF Level 3 could be found in the field of engineering repair and maintenance.

    This qualification is designed for learners who engage actively in installation and maintenance activities. It recognises skills, knowledge and values relevant to a workplace and requires workplace experience. Typical learners would have already achieved the National Certificate in Lift Installation and Maintenance: NQF Level 2, or have qualified in another maintenance trade. This qualification is suitable for learners who:
  • Attend courses and then apply the knowledge gained to activities in the workplace (Portfolio to reflect formative assessment). or
  • Are already employed and have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses (RPL can be done through the summative assessment and portfolio of evidence). or
  • Participate in skills programmes and have the appropriate work experience. or
  • Are part of a learnership programme which integrates structured learning and work experience. or
  • Acquire their learning through any combination of the above.

    The outcomes of this qualification combine skills and knowledge in the technical, inter-personal and business spheres, enabling the learner to perform the operational aspects of the work, function within a team context and contribute to value-adding processes within the organisation.

    Together with the other qualifications in the series, this qualification leads to an occupation which benefits society and the economy. It will contribute to the development of skilled employees and thus to ensuring safety and efficiency in the operation of lifts and escalators. It also emphasises the learner's role in conserving resources, in behaving responsibly towards the environment in general, and in observing all legal requirements. It will also assist the industry to meet equity targets and will contribute to the establishment of small and medium sized enterprises.

    This qualification will help achieve the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework as it will contribute to the full development of the learner and provide recognition for skills and knowledge achieved, thereby forming the basis for further advancement in the occupation. It will also provide a basis for further mobility and transportability as it recognises skills and knowledge that are applicable to other sectors of the economy. 

    The following competencies are assumed for a learner embarking on this qualification:
  • Communication and Literacy, NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematical Literacy, NQF Level 2.

    In addition, learners are assumed to have the following skills and the relevant experience at NQF Level 2 in the context of the lift and escalator installation and maintenance industry:
  • Perform basic engineering operations.
  • Assist competent person to perform maintenance on lift equipment and components.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of safety rules and regulations applicable to the industry and perform related practices.
  • Contribute to installation activities.

    These skills and the relevant work experience form the basis for determining the credit allocation in this qualification. If a learner does not have such experience, the learning time will be increased. The allocation of credits is also based on the assumption that the learner will be working towards this qualification as part of a learning programme which integrates the unit standards.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    This qualification may be obtained through a 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. The guidelines for integrated assessment should be used to develop the RPL assessment process. As with integrated assessment, while this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Access to the qualification

    There is open access to this qualification. A workplace is, however, a prerequisite to obtaining the relevant work experience and evidence required for the assessment of the Exit Level Outcomes. 


    The rules of combination for this qualification are reflected in the matrix.

    The total number of credits for this qualification is 136:
  • The total number of credits in the Fundamental component is 36.
  • The total number of credits in the Core component is 88.
  • The minimum number of Elective credits is 12.

    The elective credits should be chosen in accordance with the requirements of the selected context and the interests of the learner. 

    1. Perform inspection and repair of lift equipment and components.
    Range: Work is performed under supervision of a competent person. Inspection will include the inspection of mechanical and electrical safety components.
    2. Perform routine maintenance and solve problems on lift equipment and components.
    3. Communicate with peers, supervisors, customers and the public.
    4. Install a range of lift components and associated equipment.
    Range: Components will include but are not limited to hoist way, landing doors, counterweight, buffers, sheaves, rams, main motor, gear box, governor, controller equipment. 

  • Worn or damaged components are identified and recorded correctly.
  • Faulty components are repaired or replaced according to manufacturer's specifications.

  • Correct maintenance methodology is applied.
    Range: Maintenance methodology includes preventative maintenance.
  • Maintenance tasks are performed in accordance with company standards, manufacturer's specifications and statutory requirements.

  • Oral and written instructions are followed correctly.
  • Relevant information is communicated to and obtained from customers effectively.
  • Relevant contribution is made to the team effort.

  • All components and equipment are installed according to engineering and layout drawings and to manufacturer's specifications.
  • Installation conforms to applicable statutory requirements.

    Integrated assessment

    The integrated assessment should be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide will specify how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Evaluating evidence in a portfolio of evidence, particularly projects which integrate various aspects of the qualification and which demonstrate the integration of all aspects of learning: fundamental and core; knowledge, skills and values; the development of the critical outcomes.
  • Observing and listening to the learner at work, both in primary activities as well as in other interactions, or in relevant simulations.
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding and to verify other evidence.
  • Looking at records and reports.
  • Formative and summative assessment of unit standards.

    Assessment of competence for this qualification is based on experience acquired by the learner in the workplace, within the particular context. The assessment process should cover the explicit tasks required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the underlying concepts and principles. The assessment process should also establish how the learning process has advanced the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes.

    The learner may choose in which language he/she 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 workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be presented if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Assessors should also evaluate evidence that the learner has been, and is, able to perform consistently over a period of time. 

    Introductory note:

    South Africa has had a long standing apprenticeship for the lift mechanic occupation, and is one of only a few countries in the world where this occupation is accorded the status of a registered trade. Local experts responsible for the training of apprentices assert that this trade qualification has been regarded by their international counterparts as best practice. South African companies provide training in African countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia, in accordance with South African standards. South African companies also provided training in a range of other countries, including the Middle East, India and Australia.

    Internationally, the lift and escalator installation, maintenance and repair industry is characterised by large multinational companies which extend their influence across the world. The quality and scope of training is thus determined by international standards for safety and quality in addition to specific product or company issues and localised statutory requirements.

    Many countries, for example European countries, do not have national qualifications for lift installation and maintenance. Instead, the industry recruits people who have already qualified in related fields and then provides them with in-house training specifically for lifts and escalators. In many countries where lift and escalator specific training is provided, for example in Canada and the United States of America, the full range of learning is not necessarily engaged with in order to qualify, as practitioners usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work.

    The United Kingdom provides an example of combining the top-up approach with comprehensive lift- or escalator-specific training starting at the entry level. Typically, people with apprentice or technician-level qualifications in the fields of mechanical, electrical, electronic or operations and maintenance engineering undergo on-the-job training leading to a range of work-based awards specifically for the lift and escalator industry. Such training may be company-specific, or it may lead to National Vocational Qualifications such as the Installation and Commissioning NVQ, Level 3, which has pathways for equipment installation, commissioning, traction lift installation, hydraulic lift installation and escalator installation and commissioning. There are also Level 3 National Vocational Qualifications for service and repair of lifts and escalators. Courses and qualifications in this field can also lead to Higher National Certificates and Diplomas and engineering degrees.

    Australia has been selected for detailed comparison for two reasons: it has a national system of training and national qualifications for lift installation and maintenance, and conditions in the industry are similar to those in South Africa.

    The Australian qualifications (Certificates II, III and IV) correspond to the apprenticeship system, with a further level, the Diploma, which recognises skills equivalent to those of the commissioning engineer.

    The qualifications are based on a clustering of unit of competence, covering a combination of compulsory core and elective units to allow flexibility in meeting training needs of enterprises and individuals. Learning may comprise a wide range of learning methods and programmes, provided that an integration of theoretical learning and workplace experience is achieved. Assessment is workplace based and includes the use of portfolios of evidence.

    The Certificate III in Lift Systems (Electrical) is relevant for comparison with NQF Level 3. People gaining this qualification are able to install, maintain, service and/or repair lifts, escalators and moving walks. The learning time is 1020 nominal hours.

    The Core Units of Competence are as follows:
  • Install wiring systems.
  • Repair electrical circuit faults.
  • Replace lift components.
  • Release passengers from lifts.
  • Participate in the training of others.

    The Elective Units of Competence are as follows:
  • Install lift mechanical equipment.
  • Maintain escalators/moving walks.

    The South African qualification includes these competencies, except for 'releasing passengers from lifts' and 'maintaining escalators/moving walks', which are included at NQF Level 4.

    The South African qualifications are thus very similar to the Australian qualifications in terms of purpose and content.


    The South African qualifications follow a system of training for lift maintenance and installation practitioners very similar to that of Australia. The South African qualifications are broadly comparable with the Australian national qualifications in content and scope. Both sets of qualifications require an integration of theoretical learning and workplace experience, and they share a common approach to assessment. The Australian version does not specify fundamental learning or organisational competencies.

    This series of qualifications has been structured to meet local practices. In South Africa, qualified practitioners in this field are expected to be equipped with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge required to both install and maintain lifts, so the qualifications have been designed to meet this need. This contrasts with the situation in many other countries where people are recruited from related trades and then given industry-specific training. It also contrasts with conditions in countries where union resistance to multi-skilling restricts the breadth of training.

    The qualifications being submitted include the contents of the long standing and internationally well regarded trade qualification and have been extended to align with NQF requirements. The well established base of expertise and experience that has been built up in South Africa to develop the skills required for lift and escalator maintenance and installation is now being reflected in these qualifications.


    Southeast Asia, Korea, China, Japan

    Europe and United Kingdom
  • bnet2/K/B2710101alternat_t.html

    Australia and New Zealand
  • National Training Information Service
  • ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industry Skills Council
  • Australian National Training Authority (ANTA)
  • Department of Science, Education and Training (DEST)

    Canada and the USA

    This qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one context within the lift and escalator installation and maintenance field to another. They would have to acquire the specific knowledge related to the new context and adjust their skills and values accordingly.

    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. Holders of other qualifications may be evaluated against this qualification for the purpose of RPL and placement in learning programmes.

    This qualification articulates vertically with the Further Education and Training Certificate in Lift Installation and Maintenance (ID 58275).

    This qualification articulates horizontally with other engineering qualifications at this level such as the National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Fitting NQF Level 3 (ID 23274). 

    Moderators for the qualification should be qualified and accredited with an appropriate ETQA.

    To assure the quality of the assessment process, the moderation should cover the following:
  • Assessor credentials
  • The assessment instrument
  • The assessment process

    Moderators should be qualified assessors in their own right. 

    The following criteria should be applied by the relevant ETQA:

    1. Appropriate NQF Level 4 technical qualification with a minimum of 5 years' post qualification experience of lift and escalator installation and maintenance. The subject matter expertise of the assessor can also be established by recognition of prior learning.
    2. Be active in the industry and be familiar with the particular types of lifts and escalators in which the learner has contextualised his/her skills and knowledge.
    3. Appropriate experience and understanding of assessment theory, processes and practices.
    4. Good interpersonal skills and ability to balance the conflicting requirements of:
  • Maintaining national standards
  • The interests of the learner
  • The need for transformation and redressing the legacies of the past
  • The cultural background and language of the learner.
    5. Registration as an assessor with a relevant ETQA.
    6. Any other criteria required by a relevant ETQA. 

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

    Terms used in this qualification are defined as follows in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, (Act no.85 of 1993):
  • 'Lift' means any permanent lifting installation used for the conveyance of persons, persons and goods or access goods only lifts by means of a conveyance or platform running on a fixed guide or guides and serving landings.
  • 'Escalator' means a power driven inclined stairway with moving steps and handrails intended for the transportation of persons from one level to another.
  • 'Competent person' means a person who has completed a learnership in the trade of lift mechanic or has completed an accepted associated trade training and who has had one year's post-qualification general practical experience on lifts.

    This qualification uses the term 'lift' in order to maintain coherence with other South African qualifications and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993). The term 'lift' as used in this qualification is interchangeable with the term 'elevator'.

    Where this qualification refers to 'escalator', this includes 'passenger conveyors and moving walkways' which refers to equipment which transports persons from one point to another either horizontally or at an inclined angle. 

    Core  13136  Install, test, maintain and commission basic electrical circuits  Level 2  NQF Level 02  16 
    Core  10618  Terminate and connect a low voltage cable to a source of supply  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  10281  Connect and commission a three-phase direct on line motor control system  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  12456  Explain and use organisational procedures  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  116652  Fault find and repair an elevator  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  243768  Install main lift components  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Core  243775  Install or replace lift roping systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  116714  Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13283  Maintain bearings in machines and equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  243778  Perform routine maintenance on lift equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03  18 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed 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  119457  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  119467  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  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  10624  Install a lighting system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  9268  Manage basic personal finance  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  10270  Construct Basic Electronic Circuits  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243766  Install escalators  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117877  Perform one-to-one training on the job  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  12455  Perform the role of a safety, health and environmental protection representative  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.