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.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of Telecommunication switching systems 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
246674  Demonstrate an understanding of Telecommunication switching systems 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Telecommunications 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
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 unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
The aim of this unit standard is to provide an introduction to, and an understanding of, the architecture and major design issues relating to switching systems. It also covers the physical aspects of switched network connectivity and aims to develop an appreciation of associated configuration equipment.

Learners studying this unit standard will be able to appreciate the need for switching systems in a current network and the features which are a standard customer requirement. The need now is for networks to be seamless and transparent from the user as they span the globe and there is a shift towards unified networks incorporating different technologies in a multi-media environment.

This unit standard will contribute to the full development of any learner within the telecommunications environment at NQF Levels 4, 5, and 6.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Describe the need for switching systems and their evolution from analogue to digital.
  • List the technologies found in the Public Switched Telephone Network.
  • Explain the need for- and operation of the Private Networks.
  • List and describe Integrated Networks and how they are deployed in the telecommunications environment.
  • Explain the signalling used in the PSTN.

    This unit standard will contribute to the full development of the learner within the telecommunications environment by providing recognition, further mobility and transportability. The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard are essential for social and economic transformation and upliftment within the telecommunications environment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The learning assumed to be in place should be approximately on the same level of this unit standard.

    The following knowledge, skills attitude and/or equivalent:
  • Basic understanding of the telecommunications network (NQF Level 3 and above).
  • Communication and Language principles. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The typical scope of this unit standard includes but is not limited to:
  • Switching Systems.
  • Public switched telephone network.
  • Private networks.
  • Integrated networks. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe the need for switching systems and their evolution from analogue to digital. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The transition from an analogue to digital PSTN environment is discussed and historically mapped in context. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The call set-up process from the moment the handset is off-hook, until the call is completed is explained according to telecommunication theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A network hierarchy is described in terms of the impracticability to connect all subscribers together with reference to telecommunication theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Routing of a call between two subscribers by the recognition of codes and subscriber number allocation is described according to telecommunication theory. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate the ability to explain how the switching systems are deployed in the Public Switched Telephone Network and list the transmission mediums connected to it. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The basic principles that determine network hierarchy, from customer access layer through to international gateway, is described using a suitable industry standard switch and topological diagrams. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The need for a signalling system in various types of systems in current use both de facto and proprietary is described with reference to telecommunication signalling theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The use of Common Channel Signalling (CCS) in the types of systems in current use both de facto and proprietary is described with reference to telecommunication signalling theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    A virtual private network is described with the aid of topological diagrams. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The purpose of the Service Control Point and Service Switching Point is described with reference to telecommunication signalling theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Call processing is explained using service logic with reference to telecommunication switching theory. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate the ability to list and describe Private Networks as deployed in the telecommunications environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The advantages and disadvantages of private switching and public switching are listed with reference to telecommunication switching theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The network architecture of a current PBX equipped to accommodate both analogue and digital subscribers is describe with reference to telecommunication switching theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Narrow band integrated services digital network (ISDN) in terms of basic and primary rate access (BRA and PRA) and their connection configuration to a PBX are described according to manufacturer specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The features of a typical Private Branch Exchange are described by using telecommunication routing diagrams with reference to manufacturer specifications. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Including but not limited to:
  • Voicemail, ring back when free and call forwarding.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The need for signalling systems used in a PBX environment is explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate the ability to list and explain Integrated Networks in the telecommunications environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The need and principles that underpin the move away from PSTN technology to the Internet in terms of Voice over IP is explained with the aid of suitable telecommunication network diagrams according to telecommunication network theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The requirements for Centrex over IP and Video over IP and how it can be achieved is explained with reference to current telecommunication network technology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The operational principles on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology is described with reference to current telecommunications transport theory. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Including but not limited to:
  • A layered architecture and its suitability.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Broadband ISDN (BISDN) is explained with reference to telecommunication theory. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The concept of a unified network is described in detail, using network diagrams. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The purpose of deploying unified networks is described with reference to telecommunication network theory. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited as a provider through the relevant ETQA by SAQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Knowledge about the switching systems used in the telecommunications environment.
  • Knowledge about PSTN, Private Networks and Integrated networks.
  • Signalling used in the PSTN.
  • All elements to be completed within the normal range of time and cost that would be expected in a professional environment (eg. In a commercial or government organisation).
  • Apply decision-making and problem solving skills before and during operations, maintenance and fault clearance.
  • Demonstrate understanding of product facilities and operations.
  • Follow employer's policies and procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify switching equipment and use the knowledge in his/her daily activities. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of an organisation to solve problems. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise activities and manage oneself responsibly and effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively with other team members within the organisation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Learners are able to demonstrate an understanding of the switching equipment as a set of interrelated processes. Demonstrate an understanding of the world, as a set of related systems by recognising that problem solving contexts do not exists in isolation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to his/her full personal development and the social and economic development of the society at large by being aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively, exploring education and career opportunities and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Comment on this unit standard should reach SAQA no later than 26 October 2007.
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable and then focuses assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Ensure that the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgments should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the Assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means Assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.
  • Requirements for a portfolio are that it should be valid, reliable and authentic evidence (presented as a portfolio of evidence) from past achievements and experience, which serves to supplement the assessment of applied competence.

    The portfolio may include:
  • Written statements from persons (e.g. current and/or previous employer, colleague, peer, manager, external customers) confirming competence of the learner.
  • Relevant certificates or awards.
  • Previous assessment records.
  • Journals/logbook.

    The level assigned to this unit standard is appropriate because the learner:
  • Has basic knowledge of some main areas of a discipline/field.
  • Has basic understanding of a discipline/field's key term, rules, concepts, principles and theories.
  • Has the ability to use the above to solve routine problems within given frameworks.
  • Has a basic information gathering, analysis and presentation skill.
  • Has the ability to communicate information reliably and accurately in the required medium of instruction.
  • Learn within a well-structured and managed environment.
  • Evaluate own performance against given criteria.

    Legal Requirements:

    Compliance to the following legal requirements and standards are mandatory:
  • Employer's Policies and Procedures.
  • Environmental Management System.
  • Independent Communications Authority of South Africa.
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • National and International Standards.
  • Local Metropolitan Council Regulations. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59057   Further Education and Training Certificate: Telecommunication Network Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MICTS 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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. TELKOM SA SOC LTD 
    2. Tira Telecoms 
    3. Triple Play Fibre Optic Solutions 



    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.