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Programme Categories

BOSTON HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAMME – this refers to a Boston qualification, accredited by the HEQC of the CHE and registered by SAQA on the NQF (HEQSF), which is a higher certificate (minimum 120 credits) or diploma (minimum 360 credits) or first degree (minimum 360 credits) programme, with a minimum duration of one to three years depending on the particulars of the qualification. Learner credits are uploaded onto the NLRD.

BOSTON SHORT LEARNING PROGRAMME – this refers to a programme that is aimed at meeting a prospective Learner’s immediate skills and training needs, and as such is aimed at direct use in the workplace (continuous professional development), or is undertaken by the Learner for personal development. In line with the principle of RPL, these programmes may allow for possible access to a Boston Higher Education Programme as well as exemption from the relevant higher education module/s for which RPL has been awarded.

INSTITUTE LEARNING PROGRAMME – this refers to an external body’s programme. These may be credit bearing learning programmes or non-credit bearing learning programmes. If credit bearing, the exact information will be shown on the relevant page inside the prospectus under the header “On successful completion the Learner will be issued ….”

OCCUPATIONAL QUALIFICATION – this refers to a programme (minimum 120 credits) associated with a trade, occupation or profession resulting from work-based learning and consisting of knowledge, practical and work-experience unit standards. It is accredited and certificated by the QCTO or a delegated body i.e., SETA (DQP) / LQA, and is registered by SAQA on the NQF (OQSF). Learner credits are uploaded onto the NLRD.

OCCUPATIONAL SKILLS PROGRAMME – this refers to a short learning programme (less than 120 credits) which consists of units or a single unit standard of an occupational qualification. It is accredited and certificated by the QCTO or a delegated body i.e., SETA (DQP) / LQA, and is registered by SAQA on the NQF. Learner credits are uploaded onto the NLRD.

RPL – Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), refers to the acknowledgement of previous learning and experience (non-formal and informal) of a Learner assessed and/or evaluated against the learning outcomes required for a specified qualification, and its acceptance for purpose of entry and/or advanced placement (credit exemption) in the specified qualification. Applicants interested in applying for RPL will be considered individually by the Academic Committee based at the Head Office in Orange Grove.

CAT – Credit Accumulation & Transfer (CAT), refers to ‘the process whereby a student’s achievements are recognised and contribute to further learning even if the student has not achieved a qualification. In terms of the CAT scheme, any and all credits for an incomplete qualification may be recognised by the same or different institution as meeting part of the requirements for a different qualification, or may be recognised by a different institution as meeting part of the requirements for the same qualification. Individual mobility between programmes and institutions is thus determined by curriculum requirements and is flexible’ (The Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework, 2013, Council on Higher Education).   


Non-formal learning: planned learning, not specifically designated as learning towards the achievement of a qualification or part-qualification; often associated with learning that results in improved workplace practice (e.g., short courses, CPD, continuing education, popular education).

Informal learning: learning that results from daily activities related to paid or unpaid work, family or community life, or leisure.


HEQC:   Higher Education Quality Committee        

CHE:      Council on Higher Education

SAQA:   South African Qualifications Authority

NQF:      National Qualifications Framework

HEQSF:  Higher Education Qualifications Sub-Framework

OQSF:    Occupational Qualifications Sub-Framework


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