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 Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
376220  Demonstrate an understanding of Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics 
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  10 
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 are responsible for surface mining, underground mining and exploration geology, and must decide on the geotechnical techniques that are required in the mine design and the implementation of rock or soil support.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of Engineering Geology.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of Rock Mechanics.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the geotechnical information used in Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect and collate geotechnical information. 

  • 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 an understanding of the basic principles of Engineering Geology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The behaviour of discontinuities in a rock or soil mass and the effect of such discontinuities on the stability of excavations and structures is understood and described in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Faults.
  • Joints.
  • Bedding.
  • Foliation.
  • Intrusives and solution features.
  • Foundations.
  • Trenches.
  • Opencast mining.
  • Tunnels.
  • Shear strength characteristics of discontinuities.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Soil and rock behaviour characteristics must be described in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Soils and rocks.
  • Shear, compressive and tensile strengths.
  • Rheology.
  • Internal friction and cohesion.
  • Active and collapsing clay soils.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The importance of hydrogeological conditions in the stability of excavations and structures are described in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The hazards of sinkholes and other features of dolomitic and limestone terrains are explained in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Support and remedial measures to stabilize structures and excavations are listed and explained in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Rock and soil anchors.
  • Shotcrete and concrete.
  • Gabions.
  • Drains and geofabrics.
  • Piling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Geotechnical mapping methods and procedures are explained in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Investigation of soil, rock and hydrogeological characteristics by instrumentation and testing is described in terms of Engineering Geology principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Rock and soil characteristic tests.
  • Extensometers.
  • Piezometers.
  • Weathering resistance.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The requirements regarding work place entry and safety are explained in terms of specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The importance of personal protective equipment is explained in terms of specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    The consequences of inadequate knowledge of engineering geology are explained in terms of legal and site-specific requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Legal Requirements.
  • Health and safety.
  • Economic consequences.
  • Environmental concerns.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of Rock Mechanics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Elastic and inelastic response of various rock masses to stresses is understood and explained in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The variation of field and induced rock stress tensors with depth, environment and mining configuration is described in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Variations in horizontal and vertical stresses.
  • Principal stresses.
  • Shear stresses.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Support responses to rock movement and support characteristics are described in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Energy absorption and support resistance.
  • Areal support.
  • Temporary and permanent support.
  • Skin support and confinement.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The causes and amelioration of mining induced seismicity are explained in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Energy release and shear stress.
  • Regional support pillars and backfill.
  • Supporting for rockbursts.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The types of support and their characteristics are described in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Tendon supports.
  • Skin supports.
  • Timber and concrete packs.
  • Pillars.
  • Backfill.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Investigation of rock mass characteristics by instrumentation and testing is described in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Rock strength tests.
  • Extensometers and closure meters.
  • Rock stress tests.
  • Seismic monitoring.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The use of numerical modelling to analyse rock stresses and failures are described in terms of Rock Mechanics principles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The consequences of inadequate knowledge of Rock Mechanics are explained in terms of legal and site-specific requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Legal Requirements.
  • Health and safety.
  • Economic consequences.
  • Environmental concerns.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate knowledge of the geotechnical information used in engineering geology and rock mechanics. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The identification of geological features for geotechnical analysis is described in terms of engineering geology and rock mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Rock and soil types.
  • Geological aspects.
  • Structures and features including bed thickness, faults, slips, jointing, texture, types of bedding and cross bedding.
  • Weathering profile.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Geotechnical features and properties and rock mass classification are described in terms of engineering geology and rock mechanics principles. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Uniaxial compressive strength.
  • Triaxial compressive strength.
  • Weathering.
  • Rock quality designation.
  • Infilling type consistency and thickness.
  • Joint sets (spacing, dip, orientation, roughness and cohesion).
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Collect and collate geotechnical information. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The selection of suitable samples for laboratory testing for various tests is explained in terms of specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Uniaxial compressive strength.
  • Triaxial compressive strength.
  • Rheology.
  • Internal friction and cohesion.
  • Active and collapsing clay soils.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The requirements for marking, storage and transportation of samples are described in terms of specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The use of geotechnical mapping or maps drawn for rock mass classification and structural design purposes is understood and explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The various methods of reporting of geotechnical information are described in terms of legal and site-specific requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Tables.
  • Maps.
  • Sections.
  • Spreadsheets.
     


  • 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:
  • Basic principles of Engineering Geology.
  • Basic principles of Rock Mechanics.
  • Geotechnical information used in Engineering Geology and Rock Mechanics.
  • The ability to collect and collate geotechnical information. 

  • 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:
  • The ability of the learner to identify varying geotechnical and hazardous conditions, assess and take appropriate action. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community:
  • The ability and willingness of the learner to identify the need for problem solving correctly and to request assistance in an appropriate manner as a team member. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively:
  • Communicate to fellow workers his/her intentions and assistance required. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information:
  • The ability of the learner to reconcile the information from observation or reports and infer the need for specialist inputs. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations:
  • The appropriate communication with the relevant personnel of the need for engineering geology or rock engineering input indicates 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:
  • The understanding of instrumentation and testing techniques indicates effective use 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 geological and geotechnical features to a specialist confirms understanding the need for interdisciplinary knowledge. 

  • 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:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health and Safety Act, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives. 

  • 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.