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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Further Education and Training Certificate: Probation Work 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
50041  Further Education and Training Certificate: Probation Work 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Probation Work 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
HW SETA - Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  142  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
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 qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

This qualification is an entry-level qualification for those who want to enter the field of Probation Work as a potential career. It allows for entry 'from the workplace' rather than an academic route. It builds on practical experience and community-based learning, and equips people for their role as an assistant probation officer. As such the qualification will also be valuable for those who may have been practising within the field, but without formal recognition. In particular, this qualification will be useful for:
  • Assistant Probation Officers; Social auxiliary worker
  • Correctional officers; Monitoring officers
  • Community prosecution and/or community courts; Community development workers
  • Youth workers; Child and youth care workers
  • Police services (youth desk); Justice / NPA
  • Educators; Health educators and workers

    Recipients of this qualification will be able to:
  • Communicate in a variety of ways
  • Use mathematics in real life and education, training and development situations
  • Develop professional and personal competence in auxiliary probation work
  • Provide support for persons in trouble with the law
  • Communicate with and on behalf of persons in trouble with the law
  • Promote safe and healthy work practices
  • Assist in community project development

    Assistant Probation Officers (APOs) will carry out their role at all times:
  • Under the supervision of a Probation Officer
  • As a member of a team

    APOs will not do statutory work (including professional assessments), or professional counselling.

    Rationale:

    This qualification is a response to an Act of Parliament (the Probation Services Act; and the Probation Services Amendment Act 2002) and attempts to develop a qualification that addresses the conditions giving rise to the Acts. Crime levels are high in South Africa and there is a growing need for the management of people in trouble with the law and/or ameliorating the conditions that give rise to crime.

    A National Youth Service Project - a volunteer programme, comprising a year long Learnership in the Probation Work sector, has been initiated. The programme will be available for new applicants aspiring to work in this sector, as well as to those already working in support roles the sector without formal qualification, who might have their prior learning recognised by means of this qualification. Once the National Youth Service Project is completed, successful candidates will be able to apply for Assistant Probation Officer positions in the provinces. There is currently a shortage of professional practitioners to do probation work, and this project will amount to the creation of employment opportunities for those involved.

    This qualification will also provide an important to link with Social Work in general. There is a shortage of people in the social work field, and this qualification provides opportunities for social workers to gain additional skills and be able to work as qualified probation officers as well. A social work background is seen as ideal background to probation work.

    Traditional learning streams are proving inadequate to equip people for probation work contexts, and there is an increasing call for the skills particular to probation work across the entire justice system. South Africa's unique combination of threats and circumstances presents a special challenge in the area of children and all persons in trouble with the law. Those who work with persons in trouble with the law must be empowered to promote and facilitate their reintegration into society where possible. Current experience suggests that the degree of sophistication and expertise demanded requires specialist input and time-related on-the-job mentored experience.

    This qualification aims to address some of the needs of the large numbers of enthusiastic but generally poorly trained people for high quality learning and assessment opportunities if they are to meet the requirements of the Probation Work sector. The possibilities for incremental learning, which builds on generic social work, must be created if the sector is to make the equitable distribution of skills a reality. In addition, there are people who have been working in the sector for some time, and who have gained the additional skills and expertise required through systematic on-the-job training or practical experience. This qualification offers possibilities for appointment in line with their recognised skills. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is also assumed that candidates are already competent in Communications and Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 3 when starting to learn towards this qualification.

    Recognition of prior learning:

    The Probation Work sector in South Africa understaffed at present. It is further characterised by large numbers of generally poorly trained people who need access to high quality learning and assessment opportunities if they are to meet the requirements of the sector. There are also people who have been working in the sector for some time (some in related professional areas), and who have gained skills and expertise required through systematic on-the-job training or practical experience. The possibilities for incremental learning, which builds on generic social work, must be created if the sector is to make the equitable distribution of skills a reality. In this sense, the aim of this qualification is consistent with SAQA's own transformation goals, and with principles of access and articulation.

    This qualification can make an invaluable contribution to personal, organisational and sectoral skills development by providing for the recognition of the skills gained in this manner, through a systematic RPL process. The qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the defined exit level outcomes and/or individual unit standards.

    Evidence can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

    All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment described above and the requirements for integrated assessment.

    Access to the qualification:

    Open 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    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 142 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.
  • Communication in a Second South African Language at 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 Level 4 and the other at 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 50 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 16 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Communicate in a variety of ways.
    2. Use mathematics in real life and education, training and development situations.
    3. Develop professional and personal competence in probation work.
    4. Provide support for persons in trouble with the law.
    5. Communicate with and on behalf of young persons at risk for developmental and therapeutic ends.
    6. Promote safe and healthy work practices.
    7. Promote community-based child and youth care work.

    Critical cross-field outcomes:

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the associated unit standards:
  • Identifying and solving problems in which responses indicate that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
  • Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information.
  • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral/written persuasion.
  • Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Learning programmes directed towards this qualification will also contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making individuals aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
  • Exploring education and career opportunities; and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    1.
  • Communication within and about the ETD process is clear, understandable and effective.

    2.
  • The mathematics is applied within a variety of ETD contexts.

    3.
  • Key concepts in probation work are outlined in relation to work in the field and own development as a practitioner.
  • Knowledge of risk and protection factors in crime prevention as well as underlying social issues are outlined in relation to probation work.
  • Development strategies for own professional and personal development are described with reference to their significance for individual competence and the development of the profession as a whole.

    4.
  • Range of support services provided, relating to crime prevention, supervision and rehabilitation and diversion programmes, meets identified needs in a probation context.
  • Boundaries to own involvement are clearly articulated and cases referred to appropriate authorities and services as required.

    5.
  • Communication is respectful of cultural diversity and promotes interaction with relationship-reluctant young persons.
  • Communication with stakeholders is assertive and promotes the well-being of the person in trouble with the law.

    6.
  • Knowledge is used pro-actively and in an integrated manner to promote safe and healthy behaviour.

    7.
  • Financial and management skills are applied to identify, set up and monitor community based projects which provide for effective child and youth care work.

    Integrated assessment:

    Assessment should take place within the context of:
  • Given Quality Assurance policies, procedures and processes.
  • A guided and supported learning environment.

    Assessment will take place according to the detailed specifications indicated in the unit standards associated with each exit level outcome.

    Over and above the achievement of the specified unit standards, evidence of integration will be required as per the following broad criteria, all within the context of an active learning environment.

    Assessors should note that the evidence of integration (as below) could well be presented by candidates when being assessed against the unit standards - thus there should not necessarily be separate assessments for each unit standard and then further assessment for integration. Well designed assessments should make it possible to gain evidence against each unit standard while at the same time gain evidence of integration. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    There are no relevant qualifications in Africa or the SADC region at present. This qualification is seen as critical for the SADC region and Africa at large, where there has been a great deal of interest shown.

    International qualifications were examined to ensure that the qualifications model and unit standards proposed are comparable in terms of qualification levels, scope of qualifications, and competencies covered.

    Qualifications from the following countries were examined:

    New Zealand:

    The NZQA lists a number of unit standards that deal with the justice system, youth justice system and criminal justice system alternatives. There is no registered qualification for Probation Work.

    Australia:

    Certificate II in Justice Services

    This qualification covers competencies which are relevant to staff who work in the industry but who do not have statutory responsibilities. The staff will, in most cases, be directly supervised in their work duties. This may include staff who have no direct responsibility for offender supervision, or who have narrow specialised roles in offender supervision such as escort support or community liaison. The qualification may also be relevant to professional and support staff who have qualifications in specialist occupations but require competency in essential functions necessary to authorise their operational safety in a correctional environment. The qualification may also be achieved in pre-vocational programs achieved as part of an employment selection or preparation program.

    AQF Certificate III

    The qualifications at this level apply to staff who are entering operational roles with a general qualification or specialisation for custodial staff and community corrections staff.

    Custodial staff will be enrolled in induction training to meet entry level competencies which demonstrate their capacity to assume custodial officer responsibilities. At the completion of this qualification, officers will be expected to assume full custodial duties.

    Community Corrections staff will be supervising offenders in the community under direct or indirect supervision and within specified parameters of responsibility defined by work activities or the complexity of assessed offender needs and risks.

    The general qualification will apply to all non-operational staff, and staff whose work roles are not defined in specialist sector responsibilities.

    AQF Diploma

    The generalist qualification at this level reflects the advanced skills which can operate across sectors and services. The qualification is designed to allow flexibility in the selection of core and optional units to promote broader organizational responsibilities and career diversity.

    England and Wales:

    In England and Wales the Diploma in Probation Studies is a work-based, integrated vocational and academic qualification, which normally takes two years to complete.

    Trainees are employed by individual services and receive a training salary, during which time they will be allocated a case load (up to half the usual qualified probation officer case load). They achieve a degree (the Integrated Degree in Community Justice), which includes a community justice NVQ level four. The NVQ is work-based, and to gain it trainee probation officers will need to complete 12 required units. Trainees' time is divided between the office, college and private study, so that they receive appropriate experience in the workplace and have enough time for the academic side of their training to allow them to qualify within the agreed timescale.

    The probation service recognises the importance of continuing staff development and training and development continues for qualified probation officers throughout their careers. A range of occupational standards provides a common framework. These include areas such as:
  • Community justice.
  • Management.
  • Administration.
  • Information technology.

    These standards help members of staff and managers to jointly identify and address the areas where individuals are in need of training and professional development.

    USA (Yolo County):
  • The Probation Department employs Deputy Probation Officers and Detention Officers. During the first year of employment each must complete a lengthy state certified training course, which covers a multitude of subjects.
  • Every year thereafter, additional state certified training must be completed (minimum 40 hours for probation officers and 24 hours for detention officers).
  • Beyond and more important than the minimum state requirements, training is assigned so the officer has the skills needed to get the job done professionally.
  • Training subjects include: Management of Assaultive Behavior; Use of Force/Intervention Techniques; First Aid/CPR; Chemical Agent/OC Spray; Bloodborne Pathogens; Firearms Familiarization; Monthly shoot exercises at the firing range; Quarterly range qualification; PC 832 Search and Seizure; Probation Officer Core Course; Juvenile Institutions Officer Core Course; Legal Updates; Determinate Sentencing Laws and Update; Adult and Juvenile Court Law Updates; Liability; Diversity and Cultural Awareness; Drug/Alcohol Treatment Issues and Awareness; Mental Health Issues and Treatment; Sex Offender Treatment Issues.

    Findings concerning comparability

    There is some diversity internationally, with New Zealand and Australia focusing on the justice system as a whole (with some attention to correctional services) rather than probation work in particular. The qualification from the USA includes competences that are more traditionally associated with law enforcement than probation work.

    The qualification proposed, intended for the Assistant Probation Officer, compare best with qualifications in the UK, providing a mix of mandatory and optional units that enable candidates to tailor the qualifications to their particular role.

    There remains sound justification in the South African context, though, for a qualification of this nature given the challenges of a post-apartheid nation. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
  • Vertical articulation may be achieved via social work, child and youth care work or probation work or any other relevant fields.
  • Horizontal articulation may be similarly achieved. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Providers offering learning towards this qualification or the component unit standards must be accredited by the relevant ETQA, or ETQA that has a memorandum of understanding in place with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA, or ETQA that has a memorandum of understanding in place with the relevant ETQA, according to moderation principles and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors must be registered in terms of the requirements of SAQA and the relevant ETQA, or ETQA that has a memorandum of understanding in place with the 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  120281  Apply basic communication skills in interactions with persons in trouble with the law  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  120274  Conduct a formal pre-assessment interview with clients  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  120279  Demonstrate knowledge of crime prevention within a probation context  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  120276  Apply knowledge of social issues in relation to probation work  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120280  Apply personal development strategies and skills to enhance effective service delivery in probation work  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120278  Assist in preventing re-offending through implementation of targeted diversion programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120285  Demonstrate basic interpersonal skills with persons in trouble with the law  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Core  120283  Describe the use of relationships for developmental and therapeutic ends in probation work  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120282  Develop, implement and monitor an integrated crime prevention programme  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120284  Refer cases in a probation work context  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120273  Supervise and monitor home-based supervision and other rehabilitation programmes  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120277  Work as part of a team, under supervision, with persons in trouble with the law  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  114941  Apply knowledge of HIV/AIDS to a specific business sector and a workplace  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  119726  Participate in public education and advocacy campaigns in communities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  117177  Promote and uphold the rights of children and youth  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  114478  Conduct basic lay counselling in a structured environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Elective  117185  Participate in a developmental assessment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  117186  Demonstrate knowledge of lifespan development theories for application in child and youth care work  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  110059  Plan and conduct research that redresses social development issues  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. HIV SA 



    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.