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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Polymer Composite Fabrication 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
36155  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  130  Level 3  NQF Level 03  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 produce composite components of some complexity using more demanding resin, reinforcement and impregnation techniques. This capability requires an understanding of the laying out and marking off of shapes; the setting up and use fabrication equipment; development and fabrication from drawings and sketches, the cutting and joining of components, the manufacture of simple moulds and room temperature cure repairs. Hand 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 maintain and support the various policies and procedures related to the safety, health, environment and quality systems that govern their workplace. Qualified learners will also understand diversity and how to resolve conflict in the workplace, the basics of business finance and how to manage their own work time effectively.

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 safety critical products, fabrication processes requiring elevated temperature cure, setting up equipment with more complex control systems, manufacturing of moulds and tooling, and developing products from drawings.

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 second 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 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 (Level 2). If the learner does not already have such a qualification, learning in preparation for this qualification would also have to include:
  • Language and maths beyond basic literacy and numeracy
  • Basic concepts of science and technology related to composite fabrication methods, composite materials, tools and equipment used in the fabrication process
  • An ability to produce simple components using contact moulds excluding spray processes
  • 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 a process of 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 
    N/A 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate the ability to produce components and assemblies of some complexity, including the manufacture of simple moulds, the commissioning and repairing of tooling using a variety of fabrication methods and operations, resins, reinforcements, core material and impregnation techniques.

    2. Demonstrate the ability to read drawings, plan composite fabrication processes, develop work instructions, lay out, mark off and cut reinforcing and core materials.

    3. Demonstrate the ability to select and apply appropriate quality checks to determine whether components and assemblies comply with specifications.

    4. Select procedures to solve familiar problems within a composite fabrication environment and operate within clearly defined contexts, with some scope for personal decision-making and responsibility.

    5. Contribute to workgroup efforts and support the maintenance of a safe, effective and efficient workplace.

    6. Demonstrate the ability to communicate with peers and members of supervisory / management levels and to use information which has been gathered and summarised from a range of sources to produce simple written reports. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1.

    1.1 Ratios of materials are calculated, measured and mixed correctly and with due allowance for changing environmental conditions

    1.2 Fabrication processes are completed consistently well and within standard times

    1.3 Fabrication processes are performed safely with due care for self, fellow workers and the environment

    1.4 Fabricated products made from the manufactured, repaired or newly commissioned tooling meet specifications

    1.5 Repair options are discussed and the various steps or stages are demonstrated

    1.6 Steps in commissioning of tooling are discussed and explained

    1.7 Issues related to the theoretical principles of composite fabrication and the various fabrication methods and their respective operations at this level are discussed and understanding is demonstrated by responding to questions.

    2.

    2.1 Requirements for resins and re-inforcing and core materials are interpreted from drawings and reinforcing and core materials to be used are selected

    2.2 Material lists are compiled

    2.3 Work instructions are clear, logical and comprehensive

    2.4 Re-inforcing and core materials are cut to shape and according to required orientation

    2.5 The ability to plan fabrication processes for a variety of different situations and projects is demonstrated.

    3.

    3.1 A range of common quality checks is demonstrated

    3.2 Checks are appropriate to the quality and the needs of the fabricated product and its end use

    3.3 Specifications are explained

    3.4 Can respond appropriately to questions and discuss issues related to various quality checks and procedures and the principles underpinning such quality checks.

    4.

    4.1 Appropriate procedures are selected to solve problems

    4.2 Problems are solved in an efficient and effective manner

    4.3 Corrective actions include steps to minimise the future occurrence of the problems experienced

    4.4 Unfamiliar problems are accurately reported to appropriate personnel

    4.5 Can respond appropriately to questions and discuss issues related to familiar problems in the composite fabrication of components and assemblies.

    5.

    5.1 Production schedules and assignments are met

    5.2 Production workflow is managed efficiently

    5.3 Safe working practices are adhered to

    5.4 Workgroup goals are met

    5.5 Assistance and support is provided where required

    5.6 Active participation in workgroup discussions, in workgroup problem solving activities and in the implementation of solutions occurs

    5.7 Relevant information is received and passed on.

    6.

    6.1 Information is gathered from a range of sources and accurately summarised

    6.2 Information is presented clearly, in a timely manner and in the required format to appropriate parties

    6.3 Relationships with peers and supervisory / management levels are established and functioning.

    Integrated Assessment:

    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 (both in primary activities as well as other interactions) or by relevant simulations
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding
  • Looking at records and reports

    The learner may choose in which 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 composite 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.

    A broad comparison can, however, be made and is summarised as follows:

    Australia

    Scope
    Broad in scope

    Approach
    Course-based

    Level
    Not specified

    Context
    De-contextualised

    Assessment
    Institution-based

    Essential embedded knowledge
    Theory specified

    Credits
    Nominally 43

    Fundamental learning
    Not formally specified

    Business relations
    Not formally specified

    Working with and developing others
    Not covered

    Life skills
    Not covered

    New Zealand

    Scope
    Nominal competence in a wide range of fabrication methods

    Approach
    Task based

    Level
    Level 4

    Context
    Partly contextualised

    Assessment
    Institution or work-based

    Essential embedded knowledge
    Not clear

    Credits
    212

    Fundamental learning
    Not formally specified

    Business relations
    Not formally specified

    Working with and developing others
    Not formally specified

    Life skills
    Not formally specified

    South Africa

    Scope
    Mastery of specific fabrication methods in context

    Approach
    Skills development-based

    Level
    Level 2, 3 and 4

    Context
    Contextual

    Assessment
    Work-based and portfolio-based

    Essential embedded knowledge
    Specified

    Credits
    360

    Fundamental learning
    Specified

    Business relations
    Specified

    Working with and developing others
    Specified

    Life skills
    Specified

    In summary, there are considerable similarities in the technical competence required but the approach of the South African series of qualifications looks at whole-person development in not only technological, but also in team- and business-related skills and makes explicit assumptions related to level of schooling and life skills. 

    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 polymer composite fabrication at NQF level 4 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 interpersonal 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 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  12457  Develop learning strategies and techniques  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  14688  Develop work instructions for thermoplastic fabrication using drawings  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  14700  Lay out and mark off regular and irregular shapes for thermoplastic fabrication  Level 3  NQF Level 03  25 
    Core  9526  Manage basic business finance  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  9530  Manage work time effectively  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  110280  Produce complex polymer composite products  Level 3  NQF Level 03  28 
    Core  116720  Show understanding of diversity in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  9533  Use communication skills to handle and resolve conflict in the workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    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  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  10567  Transport personnel, material and equipment using Light Delivery Vehicle  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  116231  Operate a cab controlled overhead crane  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116254  Operate a mobile crane  Level 2  NQF Level 02  20 
    Elective  243272  Operate a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP)  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Elective  116235  Operate a pendant controlled overhead crane  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  262824  Operate a Sideboom  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116255  Operate a tower crane  Level 2  NQF Level 02  20 
    Elective  116253  Operate a truck mounted loader crane  Level 2  NQF Level 02  20 
    Elective  13214  Operate and monitor a drilling machine to produce simple components  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  13205  Operate and monitor a lathe to produce simple components  Level 2  NQF Level 02  12 
    Elective  13204  Operate and monitor a milling machine to produce simple components  Level 2  NQF Level 02  12 
    Elective  242981  Operate defined purpose lift trucks  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  242976  Operate overhead/gantry cranes  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12484  Perform basic fire fighting  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12483  Perform basic first aid  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  243021  Shift loads using lifting equipment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  14720  Adapt to working in a client`s work environment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  244407  Lift and move a load using mechanical lifting equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260798  Operate a cantilever container crane (ship to shore)  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  260777  Operate a container side loader  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260818  Operate a counter balanced lift truck in excess of 15 tons  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260763  Operate a floating crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  260760  Operate a inland container crane (rail mounted)  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  260761  Operate a reach stacker  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  260765  Operate a rubber tyred gantry crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Elective  260817  Operate a scotch derrick crane (ship mounted)  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  260764  Operate a ships crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260797  Operate a sideloader lift truck  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260757  Operate a straddle carrier  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  260780  Operate a sugar cane crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  260781  Operate a telescopic boom handler  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  260758  Operate a wall-mounted jib  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242972  Operate advanced defined purpose lift trucks  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242974  Operate counter-balanced lift truck  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242982  Operate heavy crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03  14 
    Elective  260762  Operate rough terrain/earthmoving/agricultural equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03  11 
    Elective  123260  Operate tailgates and tail-lifts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  242978  Operate truck-mounted cranes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  8039  Operating cranes  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  8038  Operating lift trucks  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253658  Perform a lifting task by using a mobile crane  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  7567  Produce and use spreadsheets for business  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  7570  Produce word processing documents for business  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117001  Use a mobile crane to carry out pile driving  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243273  Monitor and control the safety and operations of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  116583  Perform tandem lifting  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  253660  Supervise advanced mobile crane operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  20 


    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.