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 fossils 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
376164  Demonstrate an understanding of fossils 
ORIGINATOR
Task Team - Fabrication and Extraction 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
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 
This unit standard will be useful to people who could be responsible in the future for identification and dating of layers of sedimentary rocks, or investigating the ecology and evolution of previous eras.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the mechanisms of fossilisation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of evolution and extinction in geological time.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use of fossils in dating and identifying rock strata.
  • Understand the identification and classification of fossils and draw conclusions.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the methods relevant to the collection of fossils. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in the following:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the mechanisms of fossilization. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The sedimentary environments necessary for fossilization and the processes of fossilization are identified and described in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Impressions.
  • Casts.
  • Replacement.
  • Organic materials.
  • Oxidization and reduction.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The recognition of types of fossils is explained in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Plant, animal and trace.
  • Classification.
  • Microscopic fossils.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Work related hazards and associated risks that have an effect on a safe and healthy work environment are primarily related to field fossil collection and are dealt with in accordance with laid down procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include any one or a combination of the following:
  • Eye/facial injuries.
  • Hand and foot injuries.
  • Adverse weather conditions.
  • Potential exposure to diseases, such as malaria, tick bite fever and bilharzia.
  • Snake and insect bites.
  • Communications failure.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of evolution and extinction in geological time. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The concept of the geological record is described in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • The scale of geological time.
  • Facies.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    An understanding of the concept of the evolution of species is demonstrated in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Extinction and natural selection.
  • Uniformitarianism.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the use of fossils in dating and identifying rock strata. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The process of sedimentation must be described in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • The order of superposition.
  • The order of aging in undisturbed sedimentary layers.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    An understanding that seemingly identical strata can be distinguished by the fossil species and/or assemblages present, and thus put in chronological order, must be demonstrated in standard geological terminology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The synchronicity of strata and/or face changes with similar fossil assemblages must be described in standard geological terminology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The relationship of fossil dating with absolute and radiometric dating must be understood in standard geological terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Radiometric dating principles.
  • Other dating methods.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the identification and classification of fossils. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Classification systems for animals and plants must be understood in standard scientific terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Linnaean classification.
  • Orders.
  • Species and genus.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Methods of identifying fossils should be described in standard scientific terminology. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include:
  • Vertebrates.
  • Arthropods.
  • Mollusks.
  • Echinoderms.
  • Plant fossils.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The importance of fossil identification in identifying strata must be understood and explained in standard scientific terminology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The importance of fossil identification in identifying palaeoenvironments must be understood and explained in standard scientific terminology. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the methods relevant to the collection of fossils. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The requirements regarding work place entry and safety are explained in terms of specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The importance of personal protective equipment is explained in terms of specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The requirements regarding the collection of fossils are discussed in terms of legal requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The tools and equipment necessary for the collection of fossils are described and their use discussed in terms of accepted scientific practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The importance of describing the locality and lithology within which the fossil is located is discussed in terms of scientific practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The importance of describing the fossil in-situ is discussed in terms of accepted scientific practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The importance of removing the total fossil is discussed in terms of accepted scientific practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The means to transport and store a fossil are described in terms of accepted scientific practice. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this unit standard 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 unit standard 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, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this unit standard may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the context of the unit standard:
  • Sedimentary geology knowledge.
  • Biological classification knowledge.
  • Legal and site-specific requirements.
  • Analytical techniques. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to identify alternative identification procedures, recognise relationships between rock strata and fossils, derive solutions, identify complicating phenomena, as well as to assess and make appropriate conclusions. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community:

    Note:
  • The ability and willingness of the learner to liaise and interpret observations correctly. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note:
  • In preparation the learner must indicate what tools and personal protective equipment are required and communicate to fellow workers his/her intentions and assistance required. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to reconcile the information from fossil material relative to the expected geological environment. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note:
  • The appropriate communication with the relevant personnel with regard to the understanding of fossils will indicate his/her proficiency in effective communication. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.

    Note:
  • The use of computers, data sheets, as well as classification and dating methods indicates effective application of science and technology. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Note:
  • The ability of the learner to identify and refer anomalous observations to other practitioners and specialists confirms understanding that a specific observation, sample, action or decision can have more than one conclusion. 

  • 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 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • National Heritage and Environmental laws on collecting and disturbing fossils.

    Site-specific:
  • Geological and palaeontology texts.
  • Specific fossil assemblage lists.
  • South African fossil assemblages.

    Definition of Fossils:

    An organic trace buried by natural processes, and subsequently permanently preserved. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  77963   Further Education and Training Certificate: Mining/Exploration Geology  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    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.
     
    NONE 



    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.