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.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Fluid Power 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
58883  National Certificate: Fluid Power 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Manufacturing and Assembly Processes 
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  129  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  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:

The purpose of this qualification is to provide learners with the standards and range of learning required to work effectively in the fluid power environment, making use of the relevant skills and knowledge to design either hydraulic or integrated electro-pneumatic circuits.

This is the fourth qualification in a series for learners who would like to follow a career in fluid power and focuses on specialising skills in testing designing and integrating systems. This qualification builds on the learning undertaken in the National Further Education and Training Certificate in fluid power at NQF Level 4, and it is assumed that learners entering into a learning programme towards this qualification are already competent in the core skills outlined in the NQF Level 4 qualification in either hydraulics or pneumatics. This qualification follows on from the specialisation streams elected at NQF Level 4.

With this additional learning, learners will be able to design either a hydraulic system or an integrated electro-pneumatic circuit. What learners achieve in this qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning where they may undertake more technical learning towards a National Diploma in engineering technology at NQF Level 6.

On completion of this qualification, the learner will be given recognition for the following exit level outcomes:
  • Communicate design requirements with clients and team members.
  • Design a fluid power system to meet client requirements.
    > Range: Either hydraulic or electro-pneumatic, depending on area of specialisation.

    These capabilities require an understanding of electrical theory and fluid power principles, physics, concepts of measurement, engineering drawings and circuit diagrams. Lateral thinking and technical calculations play an important role in this qualification.

    Qualifying learners will be able to relate what they are doing to scientific and technological 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.

    Rationale:

    Industry is characterised by technologically sophisticated automation processes using systems that integrate the fields of mechanical, electrical engineering and fluid power. The field of fluid power deals with the assembly, installation, commissioning and maintenance of such systems that conform to all safety aspects as per regulations and legislation. Almost all machines that produce linear or rotary motion will be using fluid power, namely hydraulics or pneumatics or a combination of both. The Fluid Power Industry itself is a significant industry as a supplier and engineering support to these fluid power end users. It is required that a more specialised qualification is required that can be used by the fluid power industry. There are many end users where high levels of sophistication of fluid power engineering require more than anything offered presently and these end users would be able to achieve one or more of the unit standards identified within this qualification.

    People working in the fluid power field require specialised technical skills and knowledge as well as highly developed hand skills to enable them to achieve these requirements. This is the fourth qualification in a series for learners who want to follow a career in fluid power. This series reflects the skills, knowledge and understanding required to perform effectively in industry, whether in micro, small, medium or large enterprises. This qualification makes allowance for a split between designing hydraulic and integrated electro-pneumatic systems.

    There is a need for this qualification in the industry because many people who are able to test and repair fluid power circuits in a given context would like to advance their skills onto more complex activities and start designing hydraulic or electro-pneumatic circuits.

    This qualification builds on the NQF Level 4 qualification and forms a basis for further learning in the field of engineering design, both at NQF Level 5 and higher.

    People who have achieved the skills and knowledge outlined in this qualification are normally employed in the following positions:
  • Hydraulic system supervisor.
  • Pneumatic system supervisor.
  • Chief engineer.
  • Quality controller.
  • Fluid power designer.

    There are currently approximately 300 people employed in the industry that are required to make up fluid power circuits as would be learnt through this qualification. This implies that many learners will be able to be given Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for one or more unit standards making up this qualification, and that the qualification is required by industry. For those who have been in the workplace for a long time, this qualification represents part of the RPL process that acknowledges workplace skills acquired without the benefit of formal education and training. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners entering a programme towards this qualification have achieved a fluid power NQF Level 4 qualification in either hydraulics or pneumatics, or have the relevant experience.

    It is assumed that learners entering a programme towards this qualification are already able to:
  • Communicate in the workplace at NQF Level 4.
  • Work as a member of a project team at NQF Level 4.
  • Install and test a fluid power system at NQF Level 4.
  • Repair and maintain a fluid power system at NQF Level 4.
  • Design a pneumatic circuit at NQF Level 4.
  • Program basic PLCs to interface with fluid power equipment at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Previous Learning:

    This qualification may be obtained through the process of RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and support provided to assist in the process of developing a portfolio. While this is primarily a work-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the exit level outcomes.

    Access to the Qualification:

    This qualification recognises the skills, knowledge and values relevant in the workplace and will cater for learners who:
  • Have attended courses and need to apply the knowledge gained to activities in the workplace.
  • Are already workers and have acquired skills and knowledge without having attended formal training.
  • Are part of a learnership program which integrates structured learning and operational experience.

    Candidates applying for this qualification need to demonstrate physical competence in operating equipment and should therefore be physically able to contend with the circumstances required in the workshop environment. Access for learners with physical disabilities is dependant on the following:
  • Type and severity of disability.
  • The nature of the process and requirements of equipment operation. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of a minimum of 129 credits made up as follows:
  • Candidates are required to achieve all 38 credits from the fundamental unit standards.
  • Candidates must achieve all 47 credits from the core unit standards.
    Plus
  • All 27 credits from the selected specialisation stream (either hydraulic or electro-pneumatic).
  • Candidates may select additional unit standards from any of the elective unit standards to achieve a minimum of 17 credits.

    Note: The elective credits should be chosen in accordance with the requirements of the selected context and the interests of the learner. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    The exit level outcomes for this qualification reflect a combination of specific outcomes and critical cross-field education and training outcomes. The way in which the critical cross-field outcomes have been advanced through the learning required for this qualification is embedded in the way in which the unit standards have been constructed. Critical cross-field outcomes form the basis of acquiring the skills, knowledge and values acquired through achievement of this qualification. The application of these cross-field outcomes in a specific context results in the achievement of specific outcomes. The integration of specific outcomes from a variety of unit standards results in the ability to achieve the exit level outcomes.

    1. Communicate design requirements with clients and team members.

    2. Explain and apply the knowledge of fluid power design.

    3. Work as a team member.

    4. Design a fluid power system to meet client requirements.
  • Range: Includes hydraulic or electro-pneumatic circuts. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcomes 1:

    1.1 Communication with clients and team members is clear and concise.
    1.2 Communication is relevant to the context of the client.
    1.3 Techniques selected for communication are relevant to the situation.
    1.4 Techniques are used effectively to transfer information.
    1.5 Understanding of design requirements are confirmed in accordance with organisational procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcomes 2:

    2.1 Design information is gathered in accordance with set standards.
    2.2 Physics principles are explained and applied in relation to fluid power.
    2.3 Fluid mechanics are described in terms of engineering principles.
    2.4 Calculations are conducted to the required degree of accuracy.
    2.5 Functionality of the fluid power system is explained with examples.

    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcomes 3:

    3.1 The criteria for working as a member of a team are described and demonstrated in accordance with workplace requirements.
    3.2 Work is conducted autonomously and in collaboration with other team members.
    3.3 Relationships between team members and stake holders are build to enhance maximum co-operation.
    3.4 Positive contributions to team coherence, image and spirit are made.
    3.5 Personal, ethical, religious and cultural differences are respected to enhance interaction between team members.

    Associated Assessment Criteria Exit Level Outcomes 4:

    4.1 Client system requirements are confirmed in accordance with organisational procedures.
    4.2 Various options of components that will meet the requirements are analysed and prioritised in terms of effectiveness, reliability and cost.
    4.3 Sizes and types of components selected are justified from given requirements and manufacturer output specifications.
    4.4 Fluid power and electronic control systems are integrated in the design where required.
    4.5 Designed systems are pilot tested to ensure suitability to customer requirements.

    Integrated Assessment:

    The integrated assessment must be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide must indicate how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Observing the learner at work (in primary activities as well as in other interactions) or by relevant simulations.
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding.
  • Evaluating records and reports.

    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.

    The assessment process should cover both the explicit tasks required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the concepts and principles that underpin the activities required of fluid power. The assessment process should also establish how the critical outcomes have been advanced by the learning process. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Fluid Power companies in South Africa are mostly representative of, or affiliated to, international counterparts. Work standards are benchmarked against international best practices, and these practices were used as the basis for compiling unit standards. Major global industry players have contributed to the process of establishing appropriate standards and international comparability. This qualification was compared to similar outcomes-based qualifications in various countries as follows:

    Australia:

    Australia was chosen because its fluid power industry is service-based, similar to South Africa with mining, construction, fishing, agriculture, pulp and paper, automotive and off-shore industry activities that make use of fluid power systems.

    The Australian National Training Authority have developed standards in fluid power that are incorporated into qualifications such as "printing and graphic arts", "automotive industry manufacturing" and "pulp and paper manufacturing", whereas this qualification is directed towards a trade in fluid power. This qualification is similar to the Australian qualification in that they both:
  • Set forth standards for competency based learning and assessment directly related to the workplace.
  • Outline assessment standards along with assessor qualifications.
  • Require a balanced approach to the qualifications which include application and conceptual understanding of basic principles.
  • Include the availability/process for RPL.
  • Include unit standards.

    This qualification differs from the Australian qualification in that:
  • It is specific to fluid power as an individual qualification. The Australian system uses individual Units of Competence regarding pneumatics and hydraulics which form part of engineering certificates.
  • The South African unit standards are more detailed and specific, with progression to different levels.
  • Training towards the competencies identified in this qualification are only done at university as part of an engineering degree.

    United States of America:

    America was chosen for comparison because they are the world's largest producer of fluid power components, with 2 of the largest manufacturing companies in the world (Parker and Eaton) having their corporate headquarters situated in Cleveland, Ohio. These companies have global manufacturing facilities and are represented in South Africa.

    There are no mandated national standards for training fluid power technicians in the USA, however, ANSI/FPS/CS 1 specifies the testing procedures for the following career paths:
  • Fluid power mechanic (as defined by the U.S. Department of Labour DOT 600.281-010).
  • Fluid power technician (as defined by the U.S. Department of Labour DOT 007.161-026).
  • Fluid power specialist (as defined by the U.S. Department of Labour DOT 007.061-014).
  • Fluid power engineer.

    Testing is conducted under the auspices of the Fluid Power Certification Board which shall be representative of manufacturers, distributors, users, educators and general interest groups, with no single category being in the majority. Written and practical tests are prepared by qualified fluid power professionals who are approved by the Fluid Power Certification Board.

    This qualification is similar to the USA standards in that they both:
  • Do not specify training requirements, but identify assessment criteria for competent performance at different levels in fluid power.
  • Are specific to fluid power as an individual qualification.

    This qualification differs from the USA standards in that:
  • They do not have registered unit standards, but give broad requirements of competence, which are set by industry.
  • There are no clear guidelines for progression from one qualification to another.
  • The employers are responsible for determining levels of competence, except for the Fluid Power Engineer, who will be certified by the universities and state licensing boards.
  • Certification is only valid for a period of 5 years, as specified by the Fluid Power Certification Board.
  • Training towards the competencies identified in this qualification are only done at university as part of an engineering degree.

    Japan:

    Japan was selected for comparison because they are home to the largest pneumatic manufacturing company in the world. They also have a large original equipment manufacturer's market using pneumatic components for global distribution.

    Japan has a National Trade Skill Test system which is certified by the government to test the technical skills and knowledge of working people according to uniform standards. This started in 1959 with five specific trades, and was expanded to 137 trades in 2004, including "Pneumatic circuits and apparatus devices assembling" and "Hydraulic systems". The National Trade Skill Test takes place annually and the applicants must take practical and theoretical tests. Upon passing the examination, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare or Prefectural Governor issues the successful applicants a diploma and a "Certified Skilled Worker" award.

    The results of the National Trade Skill Tests may be graded as follows:
  • Advanced grade Skills required for managers and supervisors.
  • 1st grade or non-classified grade Skills required for advanced skilled workers.
  • 2nd grade Skills required for intermediate skilled workers.
  • 3rd grade Skills required for novice workers.

    The course content was not available in English and therefore could not be evaluated in detail for comparison.

    Germany:

    Germany was selected for comparison because they are a major producer of fluid power components and systems and are home to, amongst others, the following companies that are represented in South Africa: Festo, Bosch Rexroth, Norgren-Herion, Parker Ermeto, Walterscheidt, Voss and Bürkert. Major innovations in hydraulics stem from Germany and are practically applied in South Africa.

    It was identified that Germany does not offer qualifications specific to fluid power, but that they do offer generic mechanical qualifications with courses in hydraulics or pneumatics in agricultural, industrial and automotive fields. These are generally conducted through industry based apprenticeship training with duration of 42 months, which may be shortened to as little as 2 years, depending on prior learning. Assessments for these trades are undertaken by the Regional "Industrie und Handelskammer".

    Specialised courses are offered by employers to train candidates to industry requirements. Much of this training material has been adopted by South African companies in their training courses. Elements of the MERSETA accredited course in mechatronics is presented by Festo, and most of the training material for that qualification is from Germany.

    Africa:

    It was identified that Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Swaziland, Mauritius and Malawi do not have specific qualifications in fluid power, but most generic engineering qualifications contain courses in pneumatics and hydraulics. International companies and local mining houses represented in those countries provide short courses to equip candidates with specific skills required for areas of involvement. Generally a tradesman (fitter & turner, maintenance technicians, etc.) is employed to conduct machine maintenance, which includes various elements of fluid power. The design element that is covered in this qualification is normally undertaken by qualified engineers. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification has been designed and structured as part of a progressive route in the manufacturing and assembly processes industry so that qualifying learners can move from one level to the next. 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. Equally, holders of other qualifications may be evaluated against this qualification for the purpose of RPL. The use of generic unit standards in this qualification opens new avenues for the learner to progress from one qualification to another in related fields of study beyond fluid power.

    This qualification leads on from the National Further Education and Training Certificate in Fluid Power: NQF Level 4 and opens avenues of learning in engineering design at NQF Level 5 and above. The use of generic unit standards in the qualification also ensures that a learner will not be trapped into a specific context, but may use the unit standards achieved as stepping stones to additional qualifications in engineering. Learners may also decide to further their career in one of the following fields:
  • Electrical engineering.
  • Mechanical engineering.
  • Electrical and mechanical design.

    Learners who have achieved this qualification will have achieved generic skills that will enable them to follow a career in electrical or mechanical engineering. This qualification articulates with the following qualifications:
  • ID 49745: National Certificate: Value Engineering, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 49744: National Diploma: Engineering Technology, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 58395: National Certificate: Project Management, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 58309: National Diploma: Project Management, NQF Level 5. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Moderators for the qualification should be qualified and accredited with an appropriate ETQA and have a suitable qualification in engineering with a minimum of 5 years experience in fluid power.

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

    Where assessment and moderation are taking place in sectors other than the MERSETA, assessment and moderation should be in terms of a memorandum of understanding negotiated with the MERS ETQA. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    1. Appropriate qualification in the field of engineering, with a minimum of 5 years experience in the field of fluid power. The subject matter experience of the assessor can be established by recognition of prior learning.

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

    3. 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.

    4. Registration as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.

    5. Any other criteria required by 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  14057  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of electrical systems and related concepts  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120372  Explain fundamentals of project management  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  114599  Apply Functional Value to Engineering Design  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  116790  Commission machines and equipment or pilot and test a new technical service  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  14053  Demonstrate knowledge of corrosion control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244708  Demonstrate knowledge of fluid mechanics  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244698  Demonstrate knowledge of integrating hydraulic systems to applications  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244706  Demonstrate knowledge of physics relevant to fluid power  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Core  244684  Design hydraulic systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  11 
    Core  244700  Design integrated electro-pneumatic systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  244695  Design proportional hydraulic systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244687  Determine hydraulic pipe sizes  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244693  Develop pneumatic and electro-mechanical positioning systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  244689  Integrate and maintain electro-pneumatic systems  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  9407  Communicate with clients and discuss work  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  115823  Gather and manage information for decision-making  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  12433  Use communication techniques effectively  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Fundamental  12432  Use mathematical and statistical techniques effectively  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  20 
    Elective  14473  Develop and produce computer aided drawings  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  9405  Analyse work requirements and plan ahead  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120310  Apply client service techniques to improve service delivery  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  120303  Apply principles of risk management  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  15216  Create opportunities for innovation and lead projects to meet innovative ideas  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  12458  Develop the skills of a work team  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  13256  Maintain business processes  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
    Elective  9406  Manage a team  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  12459  Optimise the safety, health and environmental protection system  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  114885  Prepare and communicate a productivity improvement plan for a functional unit  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  12311  Train customers on new and/or enhanced products  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 


    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.
     
    NONE 



    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.