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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Polymer Composite Fabrication 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
36153  National Certificate: Polymer Composite Fabrication 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Plastics Manufacturing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
MERSETA - Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  154  Level 4  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L4  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2022-06-30  

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 does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
The purpose of this qualification is to provide learners, education and training providers and employers with the standards and the range of learning required to work effectively in the polymer composite fabrication industry and to meet the challenges of such an environment.

This qualification recognises the skills, knowledge and values acquired by learners involved in polymer composite fabrication. The chief skill that is recognised in this qualification is the ability to plan and co-ordinate fabrication activities to produce specialised fabricated composite components and complex assemblies. Successful learners described in this qualification manufacture or repair the following types of product:

1. Aircraft parts, including structural components such as helicopter blades, control surfaces, radomes, tail assemblies

2. Automotive assemblies including canopies, vehicle bodies (commercial as well as motor sport), motor cycle rims, tanker bodies

3. Chemical plant including tanks, pressure vessels, reactor bodies, material handling, pipes, valves and flow control

4. Sports and other water craft, including boats, yachts and ships

5. Building assemblies such as decorative panels, roof sheets and structures

6. Electrical and engineering parts such as distribution boxes, busbars, machine parts and covers

7. Composite moulds to fabricate the above products

This capability requires an understanding of needs analysis, planning and sequencing activities, the monitoring and maintenance of quality and the verification of the conformance of completed components and assemblies. Interpersonal skills play a role in this qualification.

Qualifying learners will be able to relate what they are doing to scientific principles and concepts. They will also be able to contribute to the implementation and maintenance of the various policies and procedures related to the safety, health, environment and quality systems that govern their workplace. Qualifying learners will also be able to contribute to the implementation and maintenance of business processes.

What learners achieve in this qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning where they will further develop their skills and knowledge to include optimising fabrication processes, maintaining fabrication efficiencies, scheduling and arranging maintenance and managing inventory to meet production requirements.

This qualification can be obtained in the following contexts:
  • Spray lay-ups
  • Vacuum processes
  • Resin transfer moulding
  • Autoclaving
  • A combination of vacuum processes and autoclaving
  • Aircraft composite components manufacture
  • Aircraft composite components repair


    Rationale for the qualification:

    This is the third qualification in a series for learners who want to follow a career in polymer composite fabrication processes. This qualification focuses on developing skills and knowledge necessary to progress in such a career.

    The polymer composite fabrication industry operates in a competitive and challenging environment. The finished fabrications have to respond to a wide variety of exacting customer and consumer requirements. In addition, the industry has to respond to international competition, on-going development of new products as the result of changing customer needs, and environmental issues.

    The fabrication of composites requires the combination of two or more different materials to form a product. What makes composites unique is that a composite material is formed at the same time as the structure itself is being fabricated. This means that the person who is making the structure is creating the properties of the resultant composite material, and so the manufacturing processes that are used have an unusually critical part to play in determining the performance of the resultant structure. Composites are not like metals, where a sheet might be made in one factory and shaped into a car roof in another. With composites it all happens at once. The products are often subjected to considerable or sometimes extreme stress when in operation and the manufacturing process needs to be consistent and accurate.

    There were previously no qualifications for general industry. There were, however, two designated trades for specialist areas in the industry: transport and aerospace. This series of qualifications will replace those trades to ensure uniformity across all industries. The general industry consists of many micro and small enterprises and very few people have any sort of formal qualification. Industry has low barriers to entry and invests little in developing people`s skills. This, together with the ignorance of clients, has led to widely differing standards. Many products and services are safety critical in nature and there is a need to create skills standards to alleviate this problem. The qualifications have been designed in a contextual way so that a learner is accredited for applying a generic set of skills in a specific context. This means it is not necessary to write unit standards for every variation of process or material.

    This qualification forms part of a series at different levels to create opportunities for development, a career path and greater security of employment within the polymer composite fabrication industry.

    This qualification enables learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace to obtain credits through the RPL process. This qualification also forms the basis for further development in polymer composite fabrication in particular and the plastics manufacturing industry in general. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    This qualification assumes learners have a National Certificate in Polymer composite fabrication (NQF Level 3). If the learner does not already have such a qualification, learning in preparation for this qualification would also have to include:
  • Language and maths related to organising and controlling their environment
  • An ability to fabricate polymer composite components and assemblies of some complexity using a variety of methods
  • An ability to set up and assemble equipment and perform routine maintenance on equipment and tools
  • Concepts of organising factors in labour, business and the economy
  • Role and purpose of procedures related to workplace relationships, roles and responsibilities.

    Recognition of prior learning

    This qualification may be obtained through RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed on the mechanism to be used and support and guidance should be provided. Care should be taken that the mechanism used provides the learner with an opportunity to demonstrate competence and is not so onerous as to prevent learners from taking up the RPL option towards gaining a qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Fundamental Component:

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component (46 credits) are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 74 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    Learners are to choose Elective Unit Standards to the value of 34 credits from the Elective Unit standards listed so as to attain a minimum of 154 credits for this qualification. 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate the ability to produce specialised components and complex assemblies using a variety of fabrication methods and operations, setting up equipment, meeting output requirements and working safely with due care for fellow workers and the environment.

    2. Demonstrate the ability to read, interpret and produce detailed engineering drawings and to plan fabrication sequences, processes and work instructions.


    3. Demonstrate an understanding of quality specifications and an ability to interpret these and evaluate fabricated components to determine compliance with specifications.

    4. Maintain and support procedures to solve a variety of problems, both familiar and unfamiliar, within a polymeric composite context and operate within both familiar and new situations, taking responsibility and making decisions.


    5. Co-ordinate work team activities, ensure a safe and efficient workplace, and develop the skills and performance of workgroup members.

    6. Interact, liaise and communicate with peers, the work group, members of supervisory / management levels and end-users.

    7. Gather, summarise and analyse information from a range of sources in order to identify problems, determine trends and produce documentation for a variety of purposes. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1.
  • Output and quality requirements are met
  • Fabrication time limits are adhered to
  • Safe working practices are adhered to
  • Issues related to the theoretical principles of fabrication and the various fabrication methods and their respective operations at this level are discussed and an understanding is demonstrated by responding to questions.

    2.
  • Components and assemblies to be fabricated are identified and requirements are interpreted from drawing
  • Drawing is produced to meet project requirements and appropriate drawing standards
  • Fabrication sequence, fabrication processes and material lists are compiled and detailed work instructions are developed.

    3.
  • Quality specifications are interpreted and applied to fabricated components and compliance is determined and reported
  • Issues related to quality specifications and the principles underpinning such methods are discussed and an understanding is demonstrated by responding to questions.

    4.
  • Solutions to polymeric composite -related problems are based on a clear analysis of information gathered through diagnostic procedures
  • Procedures are modified to respond to unfamiliar problems where appropriate
  • All actions related to problem solving are accurately recorded for future reference
  • Issues related to familiar problems in the fabrication of components and assemblies are discussed and an understanding is demonstrated by responding to questions.

    5.
  • Production schedules and assignments are met
  • Production workflow is managed efficiently
  • Workgroup goals are met
  • Provide leadership in workgroup discussions, in workgroup problem solving activities, and in the implementation of solutions
  • Relevant information is received, processed and passed on
  • Workgroup members are supported, coached and influenced to work effectively, efficiently and safely.

    6.
  • Conditions, evidence and incidences are reported accurately in a timely manner and discussed with peers and management
  • Information is clearly presented in a timely manner in the required format to appropriate parties
  • Relationships with peers and supervisory / management levels are established and functioning.

    7.
  • Information is gathered from a range of sources and accurately summarised
  • Data gathered through diagnostic procedures is examined systematically and analysis is repeated until problem is solved (see Exit Level Outcome 4)
  • Records are available for scrutiny and future reference.


    Integrated Assessment:

    The purpose of assessment for this qualification is not to re-assess the outcomes of unit standards but to assess the evidence in terms of the exit level outcomes. The exit level outcomes represent an integration of the various unit standards.

    Integrated assessment at the level of the qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show they are able to integrate concepts, actions and ideas achieved across a range of unit standards and contexts. Integrated assessment must evaluate the quality of observable performance as well as the thinking behind the performance.
    Some assessment aspects will demand practical demonstration while others may not. In some cases inference will be necessary to determine competence, depending on the nature and context within which performance takes place.

    The assessor will collect evidence of the learner`s competence by:
  • Observing the learner at work (in primary activities as well as in other work-related interactions) or by relevant simulations
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding
  • Looking at records, reports, the portfolio and assessment reports for individual unit standards

    The learner may choose in which official language s/he wants to be assessed. This should be established as part of a process of preparing the learner for assessment and familiarising the learner on the approach being taken.

    Since this is a foundational qualification, it is necessary to ensure that the fundamental part of the qualification is also targeted to ensure that while the competence may have been achieved in a particular context, learners are able to apply it in a range of other contexts and for further learning. The assessment should also ensure that the critical cross-field outcomes have been achieved. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This series of qualifications (NQF level 2 - 4) was compared to:

    1. The Certificate in Polymer Processing from the Casey Institute of Technical and Further Education in Australia, which consists of 14 modules making up 432 hours. These modules cover only the technical areas that this series of qualifications covers from Level 2 to Level 4.

    2. National Certificate in Composites (Level 4) registered on the National Qualifications framework in New Zealand. This qualification covers a range of specific skill sets related to composites as well as generic engineering skills. The qualification also allows for 33 credits to be selected from anywhere on the New Zealand NQF

    A comparison is made difficult because:

    1. In both the Australian and New Zealand cases, neither the fundamental learning elements nor some of the generic core elements are specified.

    2. In both the Australian and New Zealand cases, the learning required crosses several levels.

    3. The Certificate in Polymer Processing does not require time to be spent producing portfolios.

    4. While both qualifications require the learner to master a wider range of polymer composites techniques than the South African qualifications do, they do not specify the level of complexity that has to be achieved. The applied competence in the South African qualifications focuses on achieving a specific level of competence required by a person working in a real-world fabrication context in which a degree of specialisation, experience and problem-solving ability is required. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one context to another, within the composite fabrication environment. Learners may need to receive structured top up learning when moving to a thermoplastics or Industrial rubber environment. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA
  • Any institution or learning provider offering learning towards the achievement of this qualification should be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA
  • Moderation of assessment should be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines provided for in this qualification as well as the agreed ETQA guidelines. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The following criteria should be applied by the relevant ETQA:

    1. Appropriate qualification in the field of plastics fabrication at NQF Level 5 and a minimum of 2 years` experience in a polymer composite fabrication environment. The subject matter experience of the assessor can be established by recognition of prior learning. Until there is a sufficient body of competent people, interim arrangements may have to be adopted.

    2. Appropriate experience and understanding of assessment theory, processes and practices

    3. Good inter-personal skills and the ability to balance the conflicting requirements of:
  • Maintaining national standards
  • The interests of the learner
  • The need for transformation and redressing the legacies of the past
  • The cultural background and language of the learner

    4. Registration as an assessor with the MERS ETQA or any other relevant ETQA.

    5. Any other criteria required by the MERS ETQA or any other relevant ETQA. 

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

    NOTES 
    Notes on unit standards

    Gen: Titles are Generic Standards submitted to NSB 06 - currently in SAQA registration process
    Eng: Titles are Mechanical Engineering standards - now registered, but still need to find out NLRD numbers. Not available on current consolidated list from NSB 06
    TPW: Contextualise Thermoplastics Fabrication unit standard - submitted to NSB 06 in January 2003 for registration
    AMO: Draft unit standards from the Aircraft Maintenance and Overhaul SGB. 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  13298  Produce detailed engineering drawings  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  13254  Contribute to the implementation and maintenance of business processes  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  110283  Fabricate specialised polymer composite parts and complex assemblies  Level 4  NQF Level 04  28 
    Core  110276  Maintain the quality of fabricated polymer composite products  Level 4  NQF Level 04  24 
    Core  14710  Manage and develop the performance of work group members in fabrication activities  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9528  Communicate with clients  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9529  Compile feasibility and commissioning reports  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  12429  Develop a personal financial plan  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9506  Communicate in an assertive manner with clients and fellow workers  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8974  Engage in sustained oral communication and evaluate spoken texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8975  Read analyse and respond to a variety of texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  116389  Write a technical report  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8976  Write for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  12484  Perform basic fire fighting  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12483  Perform basic first aid  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  114315  Undertake factory performance calculations  Level 2  NQF Level 02  15 
    Elective  12488  Complete feasibility and commissioning reports  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  14783  Conform to and apply legislation and operational instructions in chemical processing  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242812  Induct a member into a team  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116714  Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  12455  Perform the role of a safety, health and environmental protection representative  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  116986  Sling complex loads and communicate during crane operations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  120385  Apply a range of project management tools and techniques  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  13941  Apply the budget function in a business unit  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  115274  Assemble aeronautical metal components and/or composites by bonding  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  115267  Assemble, track and balance helicopter main and tail rotors  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  14708  Commission and hand over thermoplastic fabrications  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  114737  Cost and price a product  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  242822  Employ a systematic approach to achieving objectives  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  117156  Interpret basic financial statements  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  13235  Maintain the quality assurance system  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  9505  Manage basic business and personal finance  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  13224  Monitor the application of safety, health and environmental protection procedures  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  242819  Motivate and Build a Team  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  123253  Operate a rigid heavy vehicle  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  242817  Solve problems, make decisions and implement solutions  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  15237  Build teams to meet set goals and objectives  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  7818  Conduct on-the-job coaching  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  13203  Counsel workgroup members in respect of HIV/AIDS  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  12458  Develop the skills of a work team  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  11286  Institute disciplinary action  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  9897  Manage inventory  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  113851  Manage the transportation of dangerous goods  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  119168  Order and ensure delivery from external suppliers for plastics manufacturing processes  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  14609  Participate in management of conflict  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  119170  Plan, schedule and monitor plastics production  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  119183  Test and evaluate the quality of plastics raw materials and finished products  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS 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. Plastics Federation of South Africa (MAITLAND) (TP) 
    2. Plastics Federation of South Africa (MIDRAND) (TP) 
    3. Plastics Federation of South Africa (WESTMEAD) (TP) 



    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.