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: Lift Installation and Maintenance 
58275  Further Education and Training Certificate: Lift Installation and Maintenance 
SGB Manufacturing and Assembly Processes 
MERSETA - Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Further Ed and Training Cert  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Engineering and Related Design 
Undefined  147  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
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. 


The purpose of this qualification is to equip learners with the skills, knowledge and values to operate effectively within the lift and escalator installation and maintenance industry. Learners achieving this qualification will be able to:
  • Perform activities associated with the installation of lift systems.
  • Ensure the correct operation of lift components.
  • Communicate information and maintain records and documentation.
  • Coordinate the activities of a team.

    If the relevant elective is chosen, the learner will also be equipped to maintain escalators.

    Qualifying learners will be able to relate what they see and experience to scientific and technological principles and concepts. They will also understand how they should operate within the legislation, regulations, agreements and policies which govern their workplace.

    The core technical skills and knowledge described in this qualification relate to lifts; a learner may also elect to include technical skills and knowledge related to the maintenance of escalators.

    This qualification also forms the basis for further learning in accordance with the individual's chosen career path. This could include attaining qualifications such as:
  • 49061: National Certificate: Master Craftsmanship (Electrical), NQF Level 5.
  • 49511: National Certificate: Lift Inspection, NQF Level 5.
  • 23656: Further Education and Training Certificate: Management, NQF Level 4.

    This qualification will contribute to social upliftment and development by allowing employees who previously did not qualify to become apprentices to gain recognition for their skills and knowledge through the recognition of prior learning. This qualification will also contribute to broad-based black economic empowerment initiatives, especially by the opportunities it affords for small business initiatives.


    This is the last in a series of three related qualifications for the installation and maintenance of lifts and escalators which together replace a legacy qualification for the trade of lift mechanic.

    These qualifications provide a developmental pathway for the full range of lift and escalator installation and maintenance activities. In terms of statutory requirements, only a competent person may maintain or install elevators and escalators. Learners who achieve this qualification and who acquire the specified work experience will be able to attain the status of competent person.

    Qualifying learners would typically maintain the operating conditions of lifts and escalators, diagnose and respond to faults and safely install new components and equipment. They would perform a range of tasks autonomously in association with a competent person (until attaining this status themselves). This role represents a recognised position in the organisation.

    This qualification series begins with the National Certificate in Lift Installation and Maintenance: NQF Level 2. Typical learners would already have achieved the National Certificate in Lift Installation and Maintenance: NQF Level 3.

    Further career development alternatives after NQF Level 4 would be based on choices relating to the learner's aspirations. Options include:
  • Entrepreneurial activities (starting own business).
  • General or technical management.
  • Quality management including compliance inspections.
  • Advanced lift or escalator technology.

    This qualification recognises skills, knowledge and values relevant to a workplace and requires workplace experience. It is designed for learners who engage actively in installation and maintenance activities. It is suitable for learners who:
  • Attend courses and then apply the knowledge gained to activities in the workplace (Portfolio to reflect formative assessment), or
  • Are already workers and have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses (RPL can be done through the summative assessment and portfolio of evidence), or
  • Participate in skills programmes and have the appropriate work experience, or
  • Are part of a learnership programme which integrates structured learning and work experience, or
  • Acquire their learning through any combination of the above.

    The outcomes of this qualification combine skills and knowledge in the technical, inter-personal and business spheres. Qualifying learners will be able to perform the operational aspects of the work, function within a team context and contribute to value-adding processes within the organisation.

    This qualification leads to an occupation which benefits society and the economy. It will contribute to the development of skilled employees and thus to ensuring safety and efficiency in the operation of lifts and escalators. It also emphasises the learner's role in conserving resources, in behaving responsibly towards the environment in general, and in observing all legal requirements. It will also assist the industry to meet equity targets and will contribute to the establishment of small and medium sized enterprises.

    This qualification will help achieve the objectives of the National Qualifications Framework as it will contribute to the full development of the learner and provide recognition for skills and knowledge achieved, thereby forming the basis for further advancement in the occupation. It will also provide a basis for further mobility and transportability across other sectors of the economy as it recognises skills and knowledge that are applicable to various other sectors. 

    The following competencies are assumed for a learner embarking on this qualification:
  • Communication and Literacy, NQF Level 3.
  • Mathematical Literacy, NQF Level 3.

    In addition, learners are assumed to have the following skills and the relevant experience at NQF Level 3 in the context of the lift and escalator installation and maintenance industry:
  • Perform inspection and repair of lift equipment and components.
  • Perform routine maintenance and solve problems on lift equipment and components.
  • Communicate with peers, supervisors, customers and the public.
  • Install a range of lift components and associated equipment.

    These skills and the relevant work experience form the basis for determining the credit allocation in this qualification. If a learner does not have such experience, the learning time will be increased. The allocation of credits is also based on the assumption that the learner will be working towards this qualification as part of a learning programme which integrates the unit standards.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This qualification may be obtained through a process of RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and support should be provided to assist the learner in the process of developing a portfolio. The guidelines for integrated assessment should be used to develop the RPL assessment process. As with integrated assessment, while this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Access to the qualification:

    There is open access to this qualification. A workplace is, however, a prerequisite to obtaining the relevant work experience and evidence required for the assessment of the Exit Level Outcomes. 


    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 147 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 79 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:
  • The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 55 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 12 credits. 

    1. Perform activities associated with the installation of lift systems.

    2. Ensure the correct operation of lift components.

    3. Communicate information and maintain records and documentation.

    4. Coordinate activities of a team.
    > Range: Activities will be performed under supervision of a competent person. 

  • Worksite is prepared correctly for installation of new lift.
  • Lift shaft and machine room equipment is aligned according to layout drawing.
  • Condition and operation of basic equipment commissioned conforms to manufacturer's specifications and statutory requirements.

  • Electrical and mechanical faults are diagnosed and rectified in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.
  • Control system faults are diagnosed and rectified in accordance with manufacturer's specifications.
    > Range: This will include systems such as relay logic, digital and micro process systems.
  • Electrical and mechanical equipment is maintained for safe and efficient operation.
  • Safety components are tested for functionality according to statutory requirements.
    > Range: Governors, ropes, safety gear, car and landing doors, electrical safety circuits, final limits.

  • Records and documentation are up to date, meet statutory requirements and are stored correctly.
  • Reports are prepared and presented in accordance with company procedures.
  • Relevant information is communicated clearly to customers, users and the team.

  • Team objectives are achieved as agreed.
  • Team performance is reviewed, problems and issues arising are identified and effective corrective actions are taken.
  • Effective application of interpersonal skills is demonstrated.

    Integrated assessment:

    The integrated assessment should be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide will specify how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Evaluating evidence in a portfolio of evidence, particularly projects which integrate various aspects of the qualification and which demonstrate the integration of all aspects of learning: fundamental and core; knowledge, skills and values; the development of the critical outcomes.
  • Observing and listening to the learner at work, both in primary activities as well as in other interactions, or in relevant simulations.
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding and to verify other evidence.
  • Looking at records and reports.
  • Formative and summative assessment of unit standards.

    Assessment of competence for this qualification is based on experience acquired by the learner in the workplace, within the particular context. The assessment process should cover the explicit tasks required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the underlying concepts and principles. The assessment process should also establish how the learning process has advanced the Critical Cross-field Outcomes.

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

    While this is primarily a workplace-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be presented if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Assessors should also evaluate evidence that the learner has been, and is, able to perform consistently over a period of time. 

    Introductory note:

    South Africa has had a long-standing apprenticeship for the lift mechanic occupation, and is one of only a few countries in the world where this occupation is accorded the status of a registered trade. Local experts responsible for the training of apprentices assert that this trade qualification has been regarded by their international counterparts as best practice. South African companies provide training in African countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia, in accordance with South African standards. South African companies also provided training in a range of other countries, including the Middle East, India and Australia.

    Internationally, the lift and escalator installation, maintenance and repair industry is characterised by large multinational companies which extend their influence across the world. The quality and scope of training is thus determined by international standards for safety and quality in addition to specific product or company issues and localised statutory requirements.

    Many countries, for example European countries, do not have national qualifications for lift installation and maintenance. Instead, the industry recruits people who have already qualified in related fields and then provides them with in-house training specifically for lifts and escalators. In many countries where lift- and escalator-specific training is provided, for example in Canada and the United States of America, the full range of learning is not necessarily engaged with in order to qualify, as practitioners usually specialize in installation, maintenance, or repair work.

    The United Kingdom provides an example of combining the top-up approach with comprehensive lift- or escalator-specific training starting at the entry level. Typically, people with apprentice- or technician-level qualifications in the fields of mechanical, electrical, electronic or operations and maintenance engineering undergo on-the-job training leading to a range of work-based awards specifically for the lift and escalator industry. Such training may be company-specific, or it may lead to National Vocational Qualifications such as the Installation and Commissioning NVQ, Level 3, which has pathways for equipment installation, commissioning, traction lift installation, hydraulic lift installation and escalator installation and commissioning. There are also Level 3 National Vocational Qualifications for service and repair of lifts and escalators. Courses and qualifications in this field can also lead to Higher National Certificates and Diplomas and engineering degrees.

    Australia has been selected for detailed comparison for two reasons: it has a national system of training and national qualifications for lift installation and maintenance, and conditions in the industry are similar to those in South Africa.

    The Australian qualifications (Certificates II, III and IV) correspond to the apprenticeship system, with a further level, the Diploma, which recognises skills equivalent to those of the commissioning engineer.

    The qualifications are based on a clustering of unit of competence, covering a combination of compulsory core and elective units to allow flexibility in meeting training needs of enterprises and individuals. Learning may comprise a wide range of learning methods and programmes, provided that an integration of theoretical learning and workplace experience is achieved. Assessment is workplace based and includes the use of portfolios of evidence.

    The Certificate IV in Lift Systems (Electrical) and the Diploma of Lift Systems (Technician) are together relevant for comparison with NQF Level 4. People gaining the Certificate IV in Lift Systems are able to carry out advanced diagnostics on lifts, escalators and moving walks as well as maintaining operating conditions of that equipment. The learning time is 400 nominal hours.

    The Core Units of Competence are as follows:
  • Repair electronic circuit faults.
  • Repair electronic systems faults.

    The Elective Units of Competence are as follows:
  • Maintain performance parameters.
  • Lift equipment compliance testing.

    People gaining the Diploma of Lift Systems are able to commission and vary the operating conditions of lifts, escalators and moving walks. The learning time is 280 nominal hours.

    The competencies are as follows:
  • Commission lift systems.
  • Write operational reports.
  • Modify lift circuits.

    The South African qualification includes elements of these competencies, where the scope is restricted and commissioning and modification is undertaken in association with a competent person.

    The South African qualifications are thus very similar to the Australian qualifications in terms of purpose and content.


    The South African qualifications follow a system of training for lift maintenance and installation practitioners very similar to that of Australia. The South African qualifications are broadly comparable with the Australian national qualifications in content and scope. Both sets of qualifications require an integration of theoretical learning and workplace experience, and they share a common approach to assessment. The Australian version does not specify fundamental learning or organisational competencies.

    This series of qualifications has been structured to meet local practices. In South Africa, qualified practitioners in this field are expected to be equipped with a comprehensive range of skills and knowledge required to both install and maintain lifts, so the qualifications have been designed to meet this need. This contrasts with the situation in many other countries where people are recruited from related trades and then given industry-specific training. It also contrasts with conditions in countries where union resistance to multi-skilling restricts the breadth of training.

    The qualifications being submitted include the contents of the long-standing and internationally well-regarded trade qualification and have been extended to align with NQF requirements. The well-established base of expertise and experience that has been built up in South Africa to develop the skills required for lift and escalator maintenance and installation is now being reflected in these qualifications.

  • Southeast Asia, Korea, China, Japan:
  • Europe and United Kingdom:
    > bnet2/K/B2710101alternat_t.html
  • Australia and New Zealand:
    > National Training Information Service
    > ElectroComms and EnergyUtilities Industry Skills Council
    > Australian National Training Authority (ANTA)
    > Department of Science, Education and Training (DEST)
  • Canada and the USA:

    This qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one context within the lift and escalator installation and maintenance field to another. They would have to acquire the specific knowledge related to the new context and adjust their skills and values accordingly.

    Employers or institutions should be able to evaluate the outcomes of this qualification against the needs of their context and structure top-up learning appropriately. Holders of other qualifications may be evaluated against this qualification for the purpose of RPL and placement in learning programmes.

    This qualification articulates vertically with the National Certificate: Lift Inspection NQF Level 5 and the National Certificate: Management NQF level 5 (NLRD 24493).

    This qualification articulates horizontally with other engineering qualifications at this level such as the FETC: Mechanical Engineering: Fitting NQF Level 4 (NLRD 23275) and with the FETC: Management NQF Level 4 (23656). 

    Moderators for the qualification should be qualified and accredited with an appropriate ETQA.

    To assure the quality of the assessment process, the moderation should cover the following:
  • Assessor credentials
  • The assessment instrument
  • The assessment process

    Moderators should be qualified assessors in their own right. 

    The following criteria should be applied by the relevant ETQA:

    1. Appropriate NQF Level 5 technical qualification with a minimum of 5 years' post qualification experience of lift and escalator installation and maintenance. The subject matter expertise of the assessor can also be established by recognition of prior learning.
    2. Be active in the industry and be familiar with the particular types of lifts and escalators in which the learner has contextualised his/her skills and knowledge.
    3. Appropriate experience and understanding of assessment theory, processes and practices.
    4. Good interpersonal skills and 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.
    5. Registration as an assessor with a relevant ETQA.
    6. Any other criteria required by a relevant ETQA. 

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

    Terms used in this qualification are defined as follows in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, (Act no.85 of 1993):
  • 'Lift' means any permanent lifting installation used for the conveyance of persons, persons and goods or access goods only lifts by means of a conveyance or platform running on a fixed guide or guides and serving landings.
  • 'Escalator' means a power driven inclined stairway with moving steps and handrails intended for the transportation of persons from one level to another.
  • 'Competent person' means a person who has completed a learnership in the trade of lift mechanic or has completed an accepted associated trade training and who has had one year's post-qualification general practical experience on lifts.

    This qualification uses the term 'lift' in order to maintain coherence with other South African qualifications and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993). The term 'lift' as used in this qualification is interchangeable with the term 'elevator'.

    Where this qualification refers to 'escalator', this includes 'passenger conveyors and moving walkways' which refers to equipment which transports persons from one point to another either horizontally or at an inclined angle. 

    Core  243763  Commission lift equipment within scope of competence  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
    Core  243759  Diagnose and respond to lift system faults  Level 4  NQF Level 04  16 
    Core  13325  Maintain gearboxes  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  243758  Prepare and install templates and plumblines  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Core  119257  Produce and maintain work activity reports  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  13781  Release entrapped passengers from immobile lift  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  116380  Supervise workers at levels 2 and 3  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  243767  Test and maintain motors and generators within the lift and escalator industry  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119466  Interpret a variety of literary texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign 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  119462  Engage in sustained oral/signed communication and evaluate spoken/signed texts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119469  Read/view, 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  7468  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business, national and international issues  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  12153  Use the writing process to compose texts required in the business environment  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119459  Write/present/sign for a wide range of contexts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  243778  Perform routine maintenance on lift equipment  Level 3  NQF Level 03  18 
    Elective  13321  Maintain fluid power / pneumatic systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04  16 
    Elective  114589  Manage time productively  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  119246  Inspect and test escalator and passenger conveyor equipment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Elective  119268  Inspect and test lift machine room equipment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Elective  119270  Inspect and test lift pit equipment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  119269  Inspect and test lift well equipment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 


    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 Quality Assuring Bodies 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 Quality Assuring Body should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
    1. Nqoba Lift Consultants T/A Nqoba Training (ORMONDE) (TP) 
    2. Otis (Pty) Ltd (DURBAN) (TP) 
    3. Otis (Pty) Ltd (MOWBRAY) (TP) 
    4. OTIS (PTY) LTD (Wadeville)(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.