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: Community Health Work 
64769  National Certificate: Community Health Work 
SGB Ancillary Health Care 
HW SETA - Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
Undefined  140  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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
49128  National Certificate: Community Health Work  Level 3  NQF Level 03  120  Complete 


A learner who has achieved this qualification will integrate a range of awareness and competencies to practice the roles of health promoter, health provider and health net-worker within a community development context.

Learners who complete this qualification will have a better self and social awareness and will possess a range of thinking and problem solving skills. In addition, they will possess the competence required to perform community health functions in a complex developing world context. They will have the skills required for employment by a range of health, social and other sector employers and will be in possession of a recognised qualification.

Qualified learners in this field will provide a service that will assist communities to better manage their own health and wellness. They will have the skills to work as team members and as providers of support services within a multi-disciplinary health care team. Practitioners will generally carry out their role within the context of the client's home, a community care centre and/or the broader community.


The South African Government is committed to combining the national human resource development strategy with the rapid upgrading of service delivery to all of the nation's communities.

Integral to this strategy are initiatives to strengthen the ability of communities to empower themselves to participate in the political, economic, social and development spheres of South African life. Two key components in this empowerment are the ability of communities to integrate with and access state services, and their abilities to further the health and wellness of community members.

There is no doubt from the international experience of Community Health Workers (CHW) that they play a vital role in improving the basic health status of communities. In South Africa, the important supportive role of CHWs in the provision of health care services has been extensively documented. This contribution is further exemplified in those parts of the country where there is a shortage of professional health workers to provide the necessary health care services based on identified needs.

The Department of Health is leading the implementation of a multi-professional team-based approach to health care delivery, where each member of the team has a defined role to ensure that there is no duplication and overlapping of functions.

Since Ancillary Health Care workers are found throughout the country - from established urban areas to scattered farms and deep rural areas - the type of learner to enter for this qualification is equally varied. The first level qualification in the bouquet is at NQF Level 1, ABET Level 4 and the last qualification is the FETC: Community Health Work at NQF Level 4. As a result, learners will vary in age, in background and in level of formal schooling. The common denominator is the desire to help their fellow beings. 

  • Communication at NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the defined exit level outcomes and/or individual unit standards. Evidence can be presented in various ways, including verified international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records. All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment described above and the requirements for integrated assessment.

    The structure of this Unit Standard based Qualification makes the Recognition of Prior Learning possible. Learners who are able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this Qualification and/or any of its constituent Unit Standards must receive the appropriate credits. Assessment of Prior Learning must be done by means of Integrated Assessment.

    Recognition of Prior Learning may allow for:
  • Accelerated access to further learning at this or other levels on the NQF.
  • Gaining of credits towards a Unit Standard.
  • Obtaining in whole or in part of this Qualification.

    All recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.

    Access to the Qualification:

    Access to this Qualification is open, bearing in mind the Learning Assumed to be in Place itemised below. 


    The Qualification is made up of Unit Standards classified as Fundamental, Core and Elective. A minimum of 140 credits is required to complete the Qualification.

    Fundamental Component:

    All the Fundamental Unit Standards, totaling 36 credits, are compulsory.
  • Unit Standards to the value of twenty credits in Communication including oral and written communications. The Communication component also includes communication in occupational learning programmes.
  • Sixteen credits in Mathematical Literacy have also been included in the Fundamental Component.
  • These Fundamental Unit Standards will add value to learners both socially and economically in terms of their ability to operate as literate and numerate workers in a global economy.

    Core Component:

    All the Unit Standards in the Core Component, totaling 64 credits, are compulsory.

    The Unit standards in the Core Component will equip the learner with the essential skills and knowledge required to effectively perform the Ancillary Health Care function. The Core Unit Standards consist of competencies relevant to problem solving to achieve health care objectives, participating in teams or groups to maximise ancillary health care services, providing information about HIV and AIDS treatment options, and assisting in facilitation and implementation of primary health care projects within the community via home based care, promoting nutritional programmes, identifying and referring abused persons and managing the prevention of fatigue in workplace.

    Elective Component:

    Learners are required to select Unit Standards from the Elective Component that total at least 40 credits.

    These Unit Standards continue from the Core Component in focusing on learning areas pertinent to the core functions of Ancillary Health Care and will enable learners to gain specialist knowledge and skills, particularly in the stream of learning that complements the job context. It is recommended that the learner focus on one stream of Ancillary Health Care, e.g., Rehabilitation, and do all the unit standards related thereto to make the learning more relevant to own context in conjunction with the core standards that provide an integral foundation to the chosen Electives. 

    1. Implement primary health care to achieve objectives identified within own work context and community.

    2. Assist in facilitation and implementation of primary health care projects within the community.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    a) Identify and solve problems related to community health work in effectively assist in implementing community health care programmes.
    b) Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community to promote primary health care in the community and participate in effectively in community health care projects.
    c) Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly to ensure that all primary health care functions in relation to own job context are organized and administered effectively, within given timeframes and according to overall community programme requirements.
    d) Collect, organise and critically evaluate information relating to health care developments, trends, legislation and own community programme plans in order to effectively perform one's own function in primary health care programmes.
    e) Communicate effectively using visual, mathematics and language skills in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion to engage stakeholders and promote primary health care within the community.
    f) Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others in order to effectively communicate and administer all functions relating to own primary health care working context.
    g) Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts relating to primary health care not exist in isolation and that a variety of external factors, including political, socio-economic, capacity, resources, budgets and community needs will affect how a community health project is planned and administrated. 

    Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Reactions arising from traumatic events are recognised and managed in a proactive way.
    1.2 Fatigue is recognised in the workplace and steps are taken to manage and prevent this.
    1.3 Information is provided about HIV and AIDS and treatment options to support community care and education programmes.
    1.4 Nutritional programmes are planned and promoted in order to improve community health and awareness relating to nutritional programmes.
    1.5 Support relating to home based care is provided within context of own community projects.

    Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Community needs assessments are evaluated to determine priority health care projects within the community.
    2.2 Health care projects are identified and planned and stakeholders are identified and engaged in consultation with the community to ensure effective impact of primary health care projects.
    2.3 Health care projects are implemented, monitored and evaluated in line with priority needs in own work context.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Because assessment practices must be open, transparent, fair, valid, and reliable and ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, an integrated assessment approach is incorporated into the Qualification. Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.

    Assessment of the communication, language, literacy and numeracy should be conducted in conjunction with other aspects and integrated into the various unit standards that make up this Qualification.

    A variety of methods must be used in assessment and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role-plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment.

    The term 'Integrated Assessment' implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.

    Assessors and moderators should make 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.

    Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge. 

    There are no internationally recognised qualifications for ancillary health care workers. This qualification, as an outcomes' based education programme, is uniquely South African and is appropriate for the unique requirements in this country. It can be adapted to neighbouring (SADC) and other third-world countries.

    Countries affected by the global shortage in the health sector workforce have responded with initiatives using community health workers and have created facilitative training initiatives for them. However much ancillary health training is reactive in response to regional needs rather than proactive as this qualification attempts to be. Although the content of qualifications and skills programmes vary from country to country based on current urgent needs, they are comparable in content and level. Common themes enable community health workers to act as a bridge between the community and the health care system and deal directly with some simpler community based problems.

    The academic background and training of community health workers vary widely in different regions. According to the World Health Organization community health workers should have a level of basic education that enables them to read, write, and do simple mathematical calculations.

    Globally, community health workers provide basic health services to a large number of populations, including poor people from rural areas. However, their efficiency is limited by lack of knowledge and skill. Continuing medical education and training programmes should provide problem oriented education, which would enable community health workers to conduct programmes and provide primary health care.

    Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, South East Asia:

    Countries and continents using Community Health Workers include, but are not limited to, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Brazil, South East Asia and Africa.

    United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom:

    In some parts of the United States of America (USA), Canada and the United Kingdom (UK), in response to changing demographics and an influx of immigrants from diverse regions (Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand) ancillary health care programmes to and training for community health workers have also been introduced.

    An example of such a programme is that of the United the Minnesota Department of Health. This organisation uses bilingual community health workers to act as health guides or bridges between the health care system and patients in immigrant communities. Their roles include informal counselling, social support, and health education, enrolment in health insurance programmes, advocacy, and referral and follow up services. Community health worker programs have been found to be cost effective and to improve health outcomes among minority and immigrant populations. Training programmes have been developed by the Healthcare Education Industry Partnership and the BlueCross Blueshield Foundation and are presented at a number of institutions for example The Minneapolis Community and Technical College, which provides a Community Health Worker Enhanced Role Certificate consisting of 17 Credits made up as follows:

    Course No; Course Name; Credits:
  • HCCC 1010; Behaviours for Success in Health Careers; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1020; Communication in Healthcare; 1.00 credits.
  • HCCC 1030; Awareness and Sensitivity to Client Needs; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1040; Respecting Client and Staff Diversity; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1050; Healthcare Safety and Standard Precautions; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1060; Legal Issues in Health Care; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1070; Ethics; 0.50 credits.
  • HCCC 1080; Nursing Assistant Skill Set; 2.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1000; The Community Health Worker: Role, Advocacy and Outreach; 3.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1015; Organization and Resources: Community and Personal Strategies; 2.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1025; Teaching and Capacity Building; 2.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1035; Community Health Worker: Legal and Ethical Responsibilities; 1.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1045; Community Health Worker Coordination, Documentation and Reporting; 1.00 credits.
  • CMHW 1055; Communication Skills and Cultural Competence; 2.00 credits.

    Other states with diversity issues utilising such programmes include, but are not limited to, Texas and California.


    In much of Africa ancillary health care worker training is project based training as part of international aid projects. In Kenya, the community based HIV/AIDS Prevention and Support Project used and trained community health workers using a 'cascading' method. A group of 250 master trainers trained larger groups of trainers who trained even larger groups of community health workers and HIV/AIDS counsellors in community home-based care. Through this process almost 1,500 community health workers were trained and provided continuing support to over 71,000 primary care givers. Community health workers taught primary caregivers simple nursing skills such as the proper way to turn a client, how to wash the client in bed, nutritional needs, proper storage of drugs and monitoring adherence, and the importance of encouragement and avoiding stress. Community health workers also helped patients and their families identify resources such as food security and financial support provided by local community and faith-based organizations.


    Although most countries comprising the South African development Community (SADC) are aware of the needs that can be met by such programmes, South Africa seems to be taking the lead in this regard. There is no doubt that this Qualification, once registered, will be taken up by the various SADC countries, as well as by various formal and informal providers of community health services. 

    This Qualification articulates horizontally with:
  • ID 49993 National Certificate: Auxiliary Nursing, NQF Level 3.

    It articulates vertically with:
  • ID 64697: Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Health Work, NQF Level 4.
  • ID 58396: Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Development: HIV/AIDS Support, NQF Level 4. 

  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with a 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 ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA 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. 

    For an applicant to register as an assessor for this Qualification, the applicant must:
  • Be accredited as an assessor by the relevant ETQA or ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Hold at least the National Diploma: Nursing, NQF Level 5 and have actual experience in community health work. 

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

    This qualification replaces qualification 49128, National Certificate: Community Health Work, Level 3, 120 credits.
    This Qualification has been replaced by Qualification 94597, which is Occupational Certificate: Health Promotion Officer (Community Health Worker), Level 3, 163 credits. 

    Core  244608  Demonstrate ability to lead a team or group  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  244611  Apply problem-solving techniques to make a decision or solve a problem in a real life context  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  244578  Describe how to manage reactions arising from a traumatic event  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  260577  Explain the management of fatigue in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  260558  Identify and refer an abused person  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  260597  Provide information about HIV and AIDS and treatment options in community care and support situations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  260598  Provide support relating to home based care  Level 3  NQF Level 03  16 
    Core  260406  Assist in facilitating and implementing primary health care projects within the community  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Core  260383  Plan and promote nutritional programmes to improve health  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    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  260600  Assist and support a client with a breathing problem  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  254222  Demonstrate stress management techniques as a self-help tool  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260599  Facilitate the optimal functioning of the person with a psychiatric disorder by promoting activities of daily living  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  260601  Maintain the optimal functioning of a person with dementia  Level 3  NQF Level 03  14 
    Elective  260602  Promote independence in an adult with a physical disability  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260559  Promote optimal functioning in activities for daily living for a child with a disability  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117507  Develop and implement a client ARV treatment plan  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  260380  Facilitate the optimal functioning of the client with intellectual disability  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  260382  Institute preventive measures to reduce the potential impact of disasters  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  11473  Manage individual and team performance  Level 4  NQF Level 04 

    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced qualification.

    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. Mako Centre for Health t/a Mako Institute 
    2. Malaikas Education & Resourcing Consultants 
    3. National Institute Community Development and Management (NICDAM) 
    4. Whitestone College 

    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.