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.

Further Education and Training Certificate: Performing Arts 
48808  Further Education and Training Certificate: Performing Arts 
SGB Performing Arts 
CATHSSETA - Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Performing Arts 
Undefined  150  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
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 qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

This qualification provides qualifying learners with the underlying performing arts knowledge, skills and values in order to become competent and professional practitioners of the performing arts; be employed or self-employed within the performing arts industry and apply for further learning in specific areas of the performing arts

The qualifying learner is capable of:
  • Presenting performances that engage the audience using appropriate elements of performance craft and technique, as well as
  • Interpreting and conceptualising performance using knowledge of the text, context, forms and approaches of the performing arts.


    The aim of this qualification is to produce qualified, professional performing artists who will contribute to the South African Performing Arts Industries in creative and meaningful ways. It will equip qualifying learners with basic competencies in the performing arts in order to work successfully as actors, dancers, composers, choreographers, directors, writers, collaborators, administrators and technical staff.

    Qualifying learners should be innovative, multi-skilled and competitive in the competencies necessary to ensure employment in the performing arts and be able to manage their own careers in ways so as to generate employment and to reinvigorate the performing arts in South Africa. At level 4 it is important that learners are equipped with a range of competencies across possible roles or areas of activity, as in South Africa, performing artists are usually required to fulfill a range of functions in order to sustain their career. 

    Learners should be able to read, write and communicate in TWO official languages at the level of NQF Level 3, contained in the following unit standards:
  • Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication (8968), NQF Level 3, 5 credits.
  • Interpret and use information from texts (8969), NQF Level 3, 5 credits.
  • Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes (8973) NQF Level 3, 5 credits.
  • Write texts for a range of communicative contexts (8970), NQF Level 3, credits.
    Furthermore, learners should have developed the competencies associated with the GET certificate, which include general competencies relating to arts and culture.

    Learners who register for this qualification need to demonstrate an acceptable level of potential in their chosen performing arts area, through a fair and unbiased appraisal of their abilities in an audition situation by experts in the field.

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    RPL takes place through a process of assessment of previously obtained competence. This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning, which includes formal, informal and non-formal learning and workplace experience, in terms of the criteria laid out. Any learner wishing to be directly assessed may arrange to do so, without participating in further training or education.

    This has particularly important ramifications for entry into Higher Education and Training. The use of auditions or other practical assessments to ascertain whether learners have the competencies implied by the Unit standards can be used to determine entrance into a Level 5 or 6 Performing Arts qualification.
    RPL will be recognised through a process of assessment of previously obtained skills and knowledge. 


    The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.

    To be awarded the Qualification, learners are required to obtain a minimum of 150 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at NQF Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.
  • Communication in a Second South African Language at NQF Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.

    It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at NQF Level 4 and the other at NQF Level 3.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 70 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 96 credits in a number of specializations each with its own set of Unit Standards. Learners are to choose a specialization area and Elective Unit Standards at least to the value of 24 credits from the Unit standards listed under that specialization.

    If the specialization contains fewer credits than the minimum, learners are to choose additional Elective Standards from other specialisation.

    Performance (total 49 credits):
  • ID 114548: Create original performances, NQF Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • ID 114549: Direct performances, NQF Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • ID 114552: Design aspects for performances, NQF Level 4, 10 Credits.
  • Perform performance form (Note: This unit standard must be a different performance form in the same or different discipline as in the unit standard that forms part of the core component) (15 Credits).

    Technology (total 38 credits):
  • ID 114511: Set-up and Strike Equipment, Material and tools, NQF Level 4, 15 Credits.
  • ID 114516: Operate (Apply) Equipment, Material and tools, NQF Level 5, 15 credits.
  • ID 114553: Stage manage performances, NQF Level 4, 8 Credits.

    Administration (total 24 credits):
  • ID 114554: Perform arts administration functions, NQF Level 4, 10 Credits.
  • ID 10385: Develop a business plan for a small business, NQF Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • ID 10388: Interpret basic financial statements, NQF Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • ID 10387: Investigate ways of managing financial risk in own lives, NQF Level4, 6 Credits. 

    Fundamental and Core

    1. Communicate in a variety of ways
    2. Use mathematics in practical applications
    3. Present performances that engage specific audiences using appropriate elements of performance craft
    4. Integrate elements of performances using all appropriate knowledge of performance (methods, and performance craft)
    5. Critically reflect on and evaluate performances and performance texts
    6. Work in groups accepting constructive criticism, using knowledge of group dynamics and communication techniques within the performance context

    Elective (at least one outcome required to qualify)

    7. Create, direct, design or perform within the creative process of the performing arts
    8. Use a range of performance technology, resources and terminology
    9. Administer basic financial and marketing plans for performances 

    Fundamental and Core
    1.> Oral and written communication is sustained in a variety of contexts
  • Texts are analysed and evaluated in a variety of contexts
  • Language is used effectively within the performing arts sphere
  • Creative and functional aspects of language are utilised

    2.> Financial aspects of personal, business, and national issues are investigated using accepted financial principles
  • Findings on life-related problems are logical and based on statistics and probabilities
  • Physical quantities of craft materials are accurately measured, estimated and calculated
  • Geometrical relationships in two and three-dimensional space are correctly applied in performing arts' contexts

    3.> Performances, characters, roles or messages are developed using appropriate knowledge of performance text, contexts, methodologies and approaches
  • Performance skills and techniques are demonstrated in performance in various contexts
  • Performances are adapted to audiences and performance contexts by applying appropriate theatrical and cultural conventions
  • Features of audiences are identified and reflected upon to inform performances

    4.> A range of literacies are used simultaneously to communicate effectively in performance
  • Resources, technologies and techniques in the performing arts are used effectively to communicate with the audience
  • Performances are based on developed concepts
  • Aspects of performance craft inform performances

    5.> Performance texts are analysed according to generic principles and specific criteria
  • Performance texts are interpreted within the appropriate context using knowledge of the text, context, as well as of the forms and approaches used
  • Own and others' performances are evaluated according to given criteria
  • Cultural and aesthetic sensitivity is used when evaluating

    6.> Concepts of effective group dynamics are developed in planning and rehearsal processes
  • Personal, artistic and social discipline are used to contribute to effective work in an ensemble
  • Constructive criticism is given and accepted in appropriate contexts
  • The role of each member of the performing arts team is identified and understood

    Elective (at least one outcome required to qualify)

    7.> Conceptualisation of performance informs all creative processes
  • Visual and aural aspects of performance are considered in the conceptualisation
  • Problem-solving skills and team work skills are used to ensure an effective working process
  • Processes and schedules for performance are achieved
  • Competent performances are presented which are visually and aurally effective

    8.> Performance resources, technologies and techniques are utilised appropriately and innovatively
  • Safety procedures are followed when using performance technology
  • Technical terminology is appropriately utilised for clear communication between team members
  • Performance and rehearsal processes are managed for efficient running
  • Technological elements are integrated to ensure the realisation of the performance concept

    9.> Marketing plans for performances are developed
  • Business plans for performances are developed
  • Budgets are developed and monitored
  • Basic computer operational skills are used in planning for performances
  • Spreadsheets are used to exercise basic financial control
  • Word processing skills are used in presenting, recording, researching and planning for performances

    Integrated assessment

    Integrated assessment at the level of qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show that they are able to integrate concepts, ideas and actions across unit standards to achieve competence that is grounded and coherent in relation to the purpose and exit level outcomes of the qualification. Integrated assessment should show how already demonstrated competence in individual areas can be linked and applied for the achievement of a holistic outcome. Integrated assessment must judge the quality of the observable performance, and also the quality of thinking that lies behind it. Assessment tools must encourage learners to explain the thinking and decision-making that underpin their demonstrated performance.

    The assessment criteria in the unit standards are performance-based (applied competence as opposed to required knowledge only). This means that workplace experience may be recognised when awarding credits towards this qualification.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge maintained so that each takes its rightful place. Unit standards in the qualification must be used to assess specific and critical cross-field outcomes. During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflexive competencies.

    While the foundational component (literacy, communication and numeracy skills) of this qualification on NQF level 4 can be assessed through occupational contexts and activities relating to the performing arts, care must be taken in both the learning programme and the assessment to ensure that these foundational skills are truly portable. The primary aim of this qualification is to ensure that learners have a sound base of general education to prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. 

    Various international Qualifications Authorities have Performing Arts qualifications which relate closely to this qualification:

    New Zealand and Australia both have National Certificates and Diplomas in Performing Arts, which range across vast levels (New Zealand from Level 1 to 6, and Australia from Certificate to Advanced Diploma). The approach of these qualifications are, like the one presently proposed, that learners can choose a stream which will then apply to the Unit Standards. Also, learners need to choose alternative performing art forms for the elective components of the qualifications. 

    This qualification will articulate vertically upward with the NQF Level 5 National Diploma in Performing Arts (currently being written), the National Diploma in Live Event Technical Production Services (NQF level 5), the NQF level 5 National Certificate in Popular Music Performance (NQF Level 5), the Professional Diploma in Education (Dance) at NQF Level 5, and other similar certificates or diplomas, including the following certificates and diplomas:
  • National Certificate in Popular Music Sound Engineering (Level 5).
  • National Certificate in Popular Music Composition (Level 5).
  • Diploma in Light Music (Level 5).
  • Diploma in Contemporary Music (Level 5).

    It will articulate vertically downward with Learners who have achieved the GETC and those who have achieved Unit standards in Performance at levels 2 and 3 on the NQF. It will articulate horizontally with those learners who have successfully completed the FETC, taking such subjects as Dance, Dramatic Arts and Music. These learners will have achieved the qualification partially and may decide to supplement their FETC with the relevant unit standards in order to achieve this National Certificate in Performing Arts at NQF Level 4. It will also articulate horizontally with the National Certificate in Live Event Technical Production Services: NQF level 4. 

    Moderation of assessment and accreditation of providers shall be at the discretion of a relevant ETQA as long as it complies with the SAQA requirements. The ETQA is responsible for moderation of learner achievements of learners who meet the requirements of this qualification.
    Particular moderation and accreditation requirements are:
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA. Providers offering learning towards achievement of any of the unit standards that make up this qualification must also be accredited through the relevant ETQA accredited by SAQA.
  • The ETQA will oversee assessment and moderation of assessment according to their policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation, or in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between the relevant ETQA and other ETQAs and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed here.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments for the qualification, unless the relevant ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in Unit Standards as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification.
  • Internal moderation of assessment must take place at the point of assessment with external moderation provided by a relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

    Assessment of learner achievements takes place at providers accredited by the relevant ETQA (RSA, 1998b) for the provision of programs that result in the outcomes specified for this qualification. Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the ETQA. Assessors registered with the relevant ETQA must carry out the assessment of learners for the qualification and any of the Unit Standards that make up this qualification.

    To register as an assessor, the following are required:
  • Detailed documentary proof of relevant qualification/s, practical training completed, and experience gained, at a level above this qualification.
  • NQF recognised assessor credit.

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments:
  • Focus the initial assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcomes expressed in the titles of the Unit Standards to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember that the learner needs to be declared competent in terms of the qualification purpose and exit level outcomes.
  • Where assessment across Unit Standard titles or at Unit Standard title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes. Take special note of the need for integrated assessment.
  • Make sure evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies.

    In particular, assessors should assess that the learner demonstrates an ability to consider a range of options by:
  • Measuring the quality of the observed practical performance as well as the theory and underpinning knowledge.
  • Using methods that are varied to allow the learner to display thinking and decision making in the demonstration of practical performance.
  • Maintaining a balance between practical performance and theoretical assessment methods to ensure each is measured in accordance with the level of the qualification.
  • Taking into account that the relationship between practical and theoretical components is not fixed, but varies according to the type and level of qualification.

    All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well-documented principles:
  • Appropriate: The method of assessment is suited to the performance being assessed.
  • Fair: The method of assessment does not present any barriers to achievements, which are not related to the evidence.
  • Manage: The methods used make for easily arranged cost-effective assessments that do not unduly interfere with learning.
  • Integrate into work or learning: Evidence collection is integrated into the work or learning process where this is appropriate and feasible.
  • Valid: The assessment focuses on the requirements laid down in the standards; i.e. the assessment is fit for purpose.
  • Direct: The activities in the assessment mirror the conditions of actual performance as close as possible.
  • Authentic: The assessor is satisfied that the work being assessed is attributable to the learner being assessed.
  • Sufficient: The evidence collected establishes that all criteria have been met and that performance to the required Standard can be repeated consistently.
  • Systematic: Planning and recording is sufficiently rigorous to ensure that assessment is fair.
  • Open: Learners can contribute to the planning and accumulation of evidence. Learners understand the assessment process and the criteria that apply.
  • Consistent: The same assessor would make the same judgement again in similar circumstances. The judgement made is similar than the judgement that would be made by other assessors

    In evaluating performances, specifically, the following points should be taken into consideration:
  • Preparation for and understanding of performance.
  • Communication through visual and aural media.
  • Stage craft and performance technique.
  • Creation of appropriate genre, style, performance form.
  • Professionalism and performance discipline.
  • Assessment of and adaptation to audience needs. 

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


    Access to this qualification is open. Learners who register for the qualification should have fulfilled all the existing requirements of the previous level. 

    Core  114546  Identify job opportunities within the performing arts industry  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  116662  Rehearse performance form  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  114551  Analyse performance texts in context  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  114543  Conceptualise performance texts and performances  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  114542  Perform performance form  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Core  114547  Practice physical techniques for communication in performance  Level 4  NQF Level 04  20 
    Core  114545  Use audience responses in performing  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8973  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9015  Apply knowledge of statistics and probability to critically interrogate and effectively communicate findings on life related problems  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  9016  Represent analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8979  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  8976  Write for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114548  Create original performances  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  114552  Design aspects for performances  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  10385  Develop a business plan for a small business  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114549  Direct performances  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Elective  10388  Interpret basic financial statements  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  10387  Investigate ways of managing financial risk in own lives  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114554  Perform arts administration functions  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  114511  Set-up and strike equipment, material and tools  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  114553  Stage manage performances  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  114516  Operate (apply) equipment, material and tools  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 


    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. ADK Drama Kunste Pty Ltd 
    2. Astute Performing Arts Academy of SA 
    3. BE-UP 
    4. Campus Of Performing Arts 
    5. Indigo Theatre 
    6. Mahuma Group Pty Ltd 
    7. Mangaung Drama and Dance Group 
    8. Matambwaashu Performing Arts Academy Pty Ltd 
    9. Mmabana Arts, Culture & Sports 
    10. Moving Into Dance Mophatong Trust 
    11. Music Academy of Gauteng 
    12. Ntho di Teng IT Services 
    13. Oakfields College 
    14. Puo Media (PTY) LTD 
    15. Sibikwa Community Theatre Project 
    16. Star Quality (Pty) Ltd 
    17. Thiba Tlala Education & Projects (Pty) Ltd 

    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.