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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
59750  National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Generic Manufacturing, Engineering, Technology 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
The individual Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary for each Learning Programme recorded against this qualification is shown in the table at the end of this report.  SFAP - Sub-framework Assignment Pending 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Engineering and Related Design 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  121  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   2025-06-30  

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 the range of learning required to work effectively in various industrial environments making use of pipe-fitting knowledge and skills in order to fabricate and install pipe systems and components.

Qualifying learners at NQF Level 3 will be able to:
  • Demonstrate highly developed pipe fabrication and installation skills.
  • Understand pipe installation and fabrication technology and interpret pipe drawings, codes and specifications.
  • Remove and install pipe systems and pipe components which include welded fabrication and installation methods.
  • Use a variety of engineering processes in order to prepare for pipe fabrication.
  • Evaluate and solve familiar problems pertaining to the maintenance of pipe systems.

    Qualifying learners will be able to relate the tasks and processes to scientific and technological principles and concepts. They will also be able to maintain and support the various policies and procedures integral to safety, health and the environment. Learner achievements in this qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning to engage in more complex maintenance and repair activities and processes.

    Typical entrants to this qualification could be:
  • Learners who have completed the Level 2 qualification and who are engaged on a learning path towards the Level 4 qualification. While work experience after achieving the Level 2 qualification may be advisable, this is not necessarily a requirement.
  • Individuals currently working in a relevant occupational context, who have acquired fitting or fabrication knowledge and skills at the appropriate level and who have the potential to complete this qualification successfully (RPL candidates).

    Rationale:

    The field of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) includes pipe installation, fabrication and maintenance, services and support across various industry sectors, namely:
  • Manufacturing and Engineering (Metals, Plastics, Tyre and Rubber, Automotive Manufacturing).
  • Chemical and Petrochemical.
  • Transport (Maritime and Aviation).
  • Food and Beverages.
  • Other engineering-related industry sectors.

    These industries rely on pipe systems to convey fluids and gases which characterise the nature of the plant operation and the need to control its processes. Pipes and pipe systems range from the pipe-work in micro-cooling systems to large petrochemical refineries and fertiliser plant. Learners at NQF Level 3, performing pipe installation and fabrication work, require:
  • Mechanical technology orientation in a variety of contexts [mechanical engineering (pipe technology), fluid mechanics, process control].
  • Communication skills.
  • Team skills.

    This qualification (Level 3) forms part of a progression towards obtaining the Further Education and Training Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting). This qualification focuses on developing the skills, knowledge and values required to install welded pipe fabrication assemblies and maintain pipe systems and components.

    The qualification also provides:
  • Opportunities for further learning in the field of mechanical engineering.
  • Recognition of prior learning (RPL) options for learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The following competencies are assumed for a learner embarking on this qualification:
  • Communication, NQF Level 2.
  • Mathematics, NQF Level 2.

    In addition, learners are assumed to have the following skills at NQF Level 2 in the context of mechanical pipe-fitting.
  • Application of fitting technology, processes and skills applicable to mechanical installation, maintenance and repair within the context of pipe-fitting. Competencies acquired at Level 2 should have included:
    > Use pipe systems and pipe components.
    > Install pipe hangers and supports.
    > Bend pipe using a pipe bender.
    > Cutting screw threads on a pipe-threading machine.
  • Apply a variety of mechanical assembly techniques, according to basic mechanical engineering theory and the interpretation of engineering drawings in the context of pipe-fitting.

    These skills form the basis for determining the credit allocation in this qualification and may be acquired through the National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Fitting) NQF Level 2. 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. It is however, necessary to obtain relevant work experience in order to produce the evidence required for the assessment of the Exit Level Outcomes. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Communications at Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.
  • Mathematical Literacy at Level 3 to the value of 16 credits.
  • All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 61 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of a number of specializations each with its own set of Unit Standards. Learners are to choose a specialization area and must choose Elective Unit Standards to the value of 24 credits from the Elective Unit standards listed under that specialization so as to attain a minimum of 121 credits for this qualification.

    Learning Programme:

    Specialisation Area 1:
  • Pipe-Fitting (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Industries) (Learning Programme ID 63329):

    Learners must do Elective Unit Standards from the list below to give a minimum of 24 credits for the Elective Component:

    Category; ID; Unit Standard Title; Level; Credits:
  • Elective; ID 12246; Assemble and mechanically join sheet, plate, tube, pipe and steel sections; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 243068; Weld carbon steel work-pieces using the gas tungsten arc welding process in the downhand position; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253737; Gouge material with air-carbon-arc gouging process; Level 3; 10 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 243061; Assemble work pieces in jigs; Level 2; 3 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253634; Identify and apply insulation methods and materials for pipes and pipe systems; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253574; Bevel a pipe using a mechanised pipe bevelling machine; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 9530; Manage work time effectively; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253430; Maintain filters and strainers; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253439; Maintain valves; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253599; Maintain Steam Traps; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253434; Maintain heat exchangers and pressure vessels; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 243078; Perform destructive testing on welded specimens; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 116654; Make up a flanged pipe section; Level 2; 2 Credits.

    Total: 80 Credits.

    Learning Programme:

    Specialisation area 2:
  • Pipe-Fitting (Chemical Industry) (Learning Programme ID 63330):

    Learners must do Unit Standard ID 244077 and must choose additional Elective Unit Standards from the list below to give a minimum of 24 credits for the Elective Component:

    Category; ID; Unit Standard Title; Level; Credits:
  • Elective; ID 244077; Demonstrate understanding of chemicals in a processing environment; Level 2; 6 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 12246; Assemble and mechanically join sheet, plate, tube, pipe and steel sections; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 243068; Weld carbon steel work-pieces using the gas tungsten arc welding process in the downhand position; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253737; Gouge material with air-carbon-arc gouging process; Level 3; 10 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 243061; Assemble work pieces in jigs; Level 2; 3 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253634; Identify and apply insulation methods and materials for pipes and pipe systems; Level 3; 8 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 253574; Bevel a pipe using a mechanised pipe bevelling machine; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Elective; ID 116654; Make up a flanged pipe section; Level 2; 2 Credits.

    Total: 52 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Fabricate and install pipe systems and pipe system components.
    Range: In order to demonstrate competency in this exit level outcome, learners are able to:
  • Interpret pipe drawings, codes, specifications and the identification of welding symbols.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of pipe joining methods.
  • Maintain pipe systems and pipe fittings.

    2. Maintain, remove and install pipe assemblies.

    3. Solve problems during the maintenance of pipe systems.

    4. Communicate with peers, production, quality control and supervisory personnel and/or clients.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    These are embedded in the unit standards, which make up the qualification and are thus also reflected in the Exit Level Outcomes of the qualification.

    The critical cross-field outcomes are supported by the exit level outcomes as follows:

    Identifying and solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical thinking have been made.
  • Related to the maintenance, fabrication, fitting and installation of pipes.
  • Solving problems during the performance of the maintenance function.

    Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organization and community.
  • All tasks and work-related experience are performed within a team environment.
  • Taking into account, the safety of others.
  • Communicating with production, quality control and supervisory personnel and/or clients.

    Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Related to planning and preparation during the maintenance, fabrication, fitting and installation of pipes.

    Collecting, analyzing, organizing and critically evaluating information.
  • Related to planning and preparation during the maintenance, fabrication, fitting and installation of pipes.
  • Completion of technical reports related to the job activity.
  • Solve familiar problems during the maintenance of pipe systems.

    Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills.
  • Related to planning, preparation and execution of job activities during the maintenance, fabrication, fitting and installation of pipes.
  • Completion of technical reports related to the job activity.
  • Communicating in a leadership role.

    Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility toward the environment and health of others.
  • During the fabrication and installation process.
  • Relating to the safety of others.
  • Solving problems and the application of science and technology in pipe-fitting.

    Demonstrating an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognizing that problem contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Integrating fabrication, fitting, installation and maintenance with the plant installation's overall design and by understanding the alignment with the plant processes.
  • Solving problems through the integration of various sources of information.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of related systems through the use of general and specific channels of communication when dealing with peers, production, quality control and supervisory personnel and/or clients. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Pipe drawings are interpreted, pipe and welding symbols are explained in terms of industry standards and a welded pipe assembly is fabricated.
    1.2 Pipe calculations are applied according to job requirements and pipe offsets are set up at appropriate angles, following a working drawing or instruction.
  • Range includes using tables of equivalents and the use of conversion tables, explanations of thermal expansion, performing of right angle trigonometry calculations in order to determine take-outs and offsets.
    1.3 Types of pipe systems and pipe-joining methods are discussed and explained in terms of their industrial applications, function and purpose and the ability to produce a welded pipe assembly is demonstrated using butts and sockets.
  • Range: For the purpose of assessment:
    > Pipe assemblies may include threaded, welded fabrication butts and sockets and/or bolted-type pipe systems.
    > Where applicable, removal and installation of pipes and pipe systems may include preparation, alignment and inspection procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Pipe systems and components are maintained to required standards, according to worksite practice and manufacturer's specifications by demonstrating the ability to perform routine maintenance procedures.
    2.2 Safe working practices are adhered to in terms of worksite practice and legislative requirements.
    2.3 Adjustments are made in order to accommodate changes in environmental conditions after assembly and according to prescribed procedures.
  • Range: For the purpose of assessment:
    > Routine maintenance tasks are related to misalignment; leakages; pressure loss; contamination effects; corrosion, deterioration of packing, seals and fastening devices and scheduled maintenance.
    > The term "maintain pipe systems" includes dismantling, removal, installation, preparation, alignment and inspection procedures.
    > Pipe system and components may include filters, strainers, valves and steam traps.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Various options are explained and solutions are considered before an appropriate solution is chosen, in terms of work-site practices.
    3.2 Problems are accurately reported to relevant personnel in a timely manner according to organisational policies and procedures.
    3.3 Routine problems on various pipes and related components are identified and explained in terms of operational and/or service conditions and rectified.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Information is gathered from a range of sources and accurately summarised into a prescribed format according to company policies.
    4.2 Information is clear and accurate and presented in a timely manner in the required format to appropriate parties according to work-site procedures.
    4.3 Relationships with peers, production, quality control and supervisory personnel are established and functioning according to organisational procedures.
    4.4 Learning options and preparation requirements for further learning are explained according to advancement opportunities on the NQF.

    Integrated Assessment:
  • Assessment practices must be open, transparent, fair, valid and reliable and should ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, so that an integrated approach to assessment is incorporated into the qualification.
  • Learning teaching and assessment are inextricably interwoven. Whenever possible the assessment knowledge skills attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.
  • Assessment of Communication and Mathematical Literacy should be integrated as far as possible with other aspects and should use practical administration contexts wherever possible. A variety of methods must be used in assessment and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working or will work. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment.
  • The term "integrated assessment" implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. During integrated assessments, the assessor should make use of a range of summative assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.
  • Assessors must assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired and could include formal, non-formal learning and work experience.
  • Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated in an integrated manner.
  • Integrated assessment instruments may combine practical and theoretical components of assessment with the following unit standards in relation to the Exit Level Outcomes.

    Guide to integrated assessment:
    Exit level outcomes and associated unit standards.

    1. Fabricate and install pipe systems and pipe system components.
    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 13223; Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 12456; Explain and use organisational procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 14492; Read and interpret piping drawings; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID 14713; Use welding definitions and symbols; Level 2; 5 Credits.
  • Core; ID 243077; Cut material using the oxy-fuel pipe cutting device; Level 3; 3 Credits.
  • Core; ID 14698; Cut materials using plasma cutting; Level 4; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253577; Maintain pipe systems and pipe components; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253558; Produce a welded pipe fabrication assembly using butt and socket fittings; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119457; Interpret and use information from texts; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    2. Maintain remove and install pipe assemblies.
    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 13223; Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 12456; Explain and use organisational procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 116714; Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID 14492; Read and interpret piping drawings; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Core; ID 14713; Use welding definitions and symbols; Level 2; 5 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253577; Maintain pipe systems and pipe components; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119457; Interpret and use information from texts; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 9012; Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    3. Solve familiar problems during the maintenance of pipe systems.
    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 13223; Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 12456; Explain and use organisational procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 253577; Maintain pipe systems and pipe components; Level 3; 15 Credits.
  • Core; ID C.NEW; Perform pipe fabrication calculations; Level 3; 5 Credits.
  • Core; ID 9528; Communicate with clients; Level 3; 3 Credits.
  • Core; ID 9010; Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations; Level 3; 2 Credits.
  • Core; ID 9013; Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts; Level 3; 4 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 9012; Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    4. Communicate with peers, production, quality control , supervisory personnel and/or clients.
    Category; ID; Title; Level; Credits:
  • Core; ID 13223; Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 12456; Explain and use organisational procedures; Level 3; 6 Credits.
  • Core; ID 9528; Communicate with clients; Level 3; 3 Credits.
  • Core; ID 12488; Complete feasibility and commissioning reports; Level 3; 3 Credits.
  • Fundamental; ID 119457; Interpret and use information from texts; Level 3; 5 Credits.

    Note: Learners may not be awarded Exit Level Outcomes, but only the full Unit Standard. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    1. Introduction:

    1.1 The USA Pipe-Fitter Qualification has been chosen as the primary benchmark for the development of this qualification series. The American Qualification has worldwide recognition, and dominates the international standard. This is largely due to the leadership role played by the USA in process control within the Oil and Gas Industry. American influences are evident in pipe fitter training programs in the following countries, namely, in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc.); Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria, Indonesian Offshore and the North Sea (predominantly British, French and Dutch). Further investigation on the local scene, has revealed that Fluor (an American affiliate organization), based at Sasol Secunda in South Africa, replicates the American learning program for their pipe fitter personnel.

    1.2 In addition to this fact, reference to other pipe-fitting qualifications across the globe are also contextualized across a multitude of different environments, namely:
  • Process control environment (Refineries/Food Processing/Flow Systems). Please note that domestic flow systems are positioned within a current plumbing qualification series. Marine plumbing (Sea-going Vessels), is placed within this Pipe-Fitter Qualification through the provision of a "learning programme" for the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Industries.
  • Automation (Fluid Power) - provision is made within the NC and FETC: Fluid Power NQF Level 2 - 4.
  • HVAC - Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning - provision is made within the NC and FETC: Air-conditioning, Refrigeration and Ventilation and Gas Installation Qualifications NQF Level 2 - 4.

    1.3 When researching qualifications dealing with pipe work in the Northern Hemisphere's "cold countries", examples, England, Scotland, Canada and Germany, overlaps were found, which produces a crossover influence between heating (gas and/or steam), plumbing and ventilation in singular qualifications. This need to integrate occupational contexts (HVAC, Gas Installation and Domestic Plumbing), is due to extreme cold climate conditions within the aforementioned countries. The same does not apply in the South African context. The recent development of Gas Installation Qualifications in South Africa is noted. It is commonly agreed that the Pipe-Fitting competencies contained within this qualification series differs through its environment and climatic context.

    1.4 The statement of international comparability for Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) is separated for NQF Level 2, 3 and 4 as though they are independent levels, although the Pipe-Fitter NQF 4, should be regarded as the sum of all competencies between NQF Level 2 - 4.

    1.5 This investigation into international comparability has included Apprenticeship Programs in USA, Canada, Australia and Botswana and other "less appropriate" countries.

    Countries using outcomes- and standards-based qualifications appear to differ in occupational contexts as a result of the abovementioned climate factor but have been included in this comparative statement.

    The major contributor to the global standard on Pipe-Fitting is the USA.

    The context of this Qualification is therefore, "process/flow-control" within a largely industrial or manufacturing and engineering environment.

    2. Countries and qualifications investigated:

    2.1 United States:

    In the United States model, the "Pipe Fitter" qualification is achieved over a four-year period and is similar to the traditional apprenticeship system in South Africa. The methodology is competency-based as opposed to outcomes-based.

    The programme content however, is similar to the broad context of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Levels 2, 3 and 4.

    Level 3:
  • Advanced Blueprint Reading - Standards and Specifications - Advanced Trade Math - Motorized Equipment - Introduction to Above-Ground Pipe Installation - Identifying and Installing Valves - Field Routing and Vessel Trim - Spring Can Supports - Testing Piping Systems and Equipment - Basic Plumbing.

    Conclusion: The Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 3 is in line with the US example for year 2/3 of the apprenticeship programme.

    2.2 United Kingdom (England and Scotland):

    The qualification from the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) which relates to standards-based programme is the NVQ Pipe Fitter Apprenticeship - The "Pipe Fitting" strand at NVQ Level 3 is usually completed within a workplace context, with monitoring and assessments performed by a training officer).

    The NC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Level 3 is not in alignment with the NVQF owing to the differences in level description. However, the South African NC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Level 3 appears to straddle the NVQ (Pipe Fitter) between Levels 2 and 3. Typical on-the-job competencies are listed at Level 2 (South African Level3) below:
  • CO1 Contribute to effective working relationships.
  • CO2 Work safely, minimize and comply with emergency procedures.
  • CO3 Identify and deal with hazards in the work environment.
  • IPS Pipe 1 Shape pipe-work components by material removal using hand tools.
  • IPS Pipe 2 Assemble pipe-work components to meet specification.
  • IPS Pipe 3 Position and install pipe-work.
  • IPS Pipe 4 Mark out to the required specification.
  • IPS Pipe 5 Establish compliance of an engineering installation with the specification.
  • IPS Pipe 6 Prepare work areas for the installation of pipe-work.
  • IPS Pipe 7 Prepare materials required for pipe-work installation.
  • IPS Pipe 8 Prepare equipment for pipe-work installation.
  • IPS Pipe 9 Reinstate the work area after completing the installation of pipe-work.
  • IPS Pipe 10 Store pipe-work installation related resources for further use.
  • IPS Pipe 11 Test the performance and condition on installed pipe-work.
  • IPS Pipe 12 Shape pipe-work components by manually applied pressure.

    2.3 Australia in terms of the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF):

    The following information was obtained from the National Information Training System with regards to qualifications in "Pipe Fitter" training streams in Australia.

    The qualifications investigated for "Pipe Fitters" are only covered within the apprenticeship format.
  • "Australian Apprenticeships" is the new name for the scheme formerly known as 'New Apprenticeships'.
  • Australian Apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships. They combine time at work with training and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

    Several unit standards overlap the Plumbing, Gas Fitting Steam-Fitting and Pipe Fitting qualifications in making up the Pipe Fitting skills area, namely:
  • Carry out simple forms of concreting associated with plumbing work.
  • Collect and store roof water.
  • Commission air and water systems.
  • Conduct pipe layer operations.
  • Construct hose/pipe assemblies for competition vehicles.
  • Construct hose/pipe.
  • Fabricate and install non-ferrous pressure piping assemblies for competition vehicles.
  • Fabricate and install steel pressure piping.
  • Install and fit off sanitary fixtures.
  • Install discharge pipes.
  • Install distribution and range pipes.
  • Install gas piping systems.
  • Install gas pressure control equipment.
  • Install LP gas storage of aggregate storage capacity up to 500 litres.
  • Install product pipe.
  • Install small bore heating systems.

    From the unit standards above, we assume that there is no coherent similarity with the South African qualification.

    2.4 African Comparability:

    Southern African Development Community (SADC) - Zimbabwe and Botswana:
  • Alignment with the United Kingdom's model of Vocational Education and Training (VET), through the London City and Guilds qualification framework and the National Vocational Qualification system (NVQ).
  • The Botswana National Qualifications Act was passed in 1998. At this present time, focus on the development of standards-based qualifications through a Botswana Vocation Education and Training System (BVET) has revolved around the Wholesale and Retail and Tourism sectors.

    Currently, pipe fitters in Botswana are trained through the apprenticeship system with one single trade test centre where apprentices are able to receive a certificate of qualification (Red Seal). The length and duration of the practical and theoretical components differ slightly to the South African apprenticeship system, but the learning competencies are similar, with a focus on the predominant diamond mining and small local manufacturing and engineering industries.

    East African Community (EAC):

    The three member states of the EAC; Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, are in the process of the harmonisation of education and training systems within the EAC. Currently, no qualification infrastructure exists.

    2.5 Canada:

    Information regarding training was also found on the website of the Manitoba Provincial Government in Canada. The full "Pipe-Fitter" qualification is obtained over a four-year period. The "job description" of the "Pipe-Fitter" overlaps with "Steam Fitter" and "Pipe Fitter", as is the case in all the Commonwealth countries investigated. This is due to the prevalence of steam systems used predominantly for climate control systems (domestic and industrial).

    Despite this, "Pipe-Fitters" at certificate level 3 are able to carry out functions, similar to their South African counterparts, as quoted by:
  • Read and interpret blueprints, codes, drawings and specifications to determine the type and size of pipe and tools to use.
  • Make detailed sketches for pipe and equipment fabrication and installation.
  • Fabricate, lay out and assemble fittings, spools and supports.
  • Measure, cut, shape, thread, groove, bend and join pipes and related equipment such as valves and fittings.
  • Install equipment, supports, pipes, tubes, controls and accessories.
  • If necessary, modify structures to accommodate the pipes.

    Conclusion: The Canadian qualifications related to Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) can be used interchangeably with the qualifications developed for the various South African industry sectors, serving a similar purpose.

    2.6 New Zealand in terms of the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF):

    Investigation into a New Zealand equivalent "Pipe Fitting" qualification indicated that a stand-alone qualification does not exist in this country. Similarities with its South African counterpart are found from the range of qualifications listed below in which individual unit standards make up the competencies separately, but not as a whole.
  • Certificate in Applied Mechanical Engineering Level 3.
  • National Certificate in Engineering (General Engineering - Mechanical) Level 3.
  • National Certificate in Engineering: Fabrication Level 3.
  • National Certificate in Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering Level 3.

    3. Summary of comparisons with NC Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Level 3:

    3.1 Content:

    The qualifications from the various countries all address the range of mechanical engineering competencies included in Level 3, thus attending to the need to fulfil the requirements of being intermediately of nature.

    3.2 Progression:

    The international qualifications all address a progression of competencies, from the basic functions (Level 2), to:

    Level 3:
  • Advanced Blueprint Reading.
  • Standards and Specifications.
  • Advanced Trade Math.
  • Motorized Equipment.
  • Introduction to Above-Ground Pipe Installation.
  • Identifying and Installing Valves.
  • Field Routing and Vessel Trim.
  • Spring Can Supports.
  • Testing Piping Systems and Equipment.
  • Basic Plumbing.

    3.3 The content:

    The content of the second/third year of a typical mechanical Pipe Fitting programme in Australian, Canadian, American, British and Botswana, relates favourably to the content of Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) Level 3:

    3.4 Demonstration of work practices:

    Investigation into international comparability produces overarching similarities in the outcomes of the various pipe fitter training programmes in all the countries above. They are:

    3.5 L3 outcomes within the South African qualification:
  • Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures.
  • Explain and use organisational procedures.
  • Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work Identify, interpret and produce working piping drawings.
  • Use welding definitions and symbols.
  • Cut material using the oxy-fuel pipe cutting device.
  • Cut materials using plasma cutting Maintain pipe systems and pipe components.
  • Produce a welded pipe fabrication assembly using butt and socket fittings.
  • Perform piping offset calculations.

    Conclusion: The above outcomes are mostly replicated word-wide (in part or as a whole).

    3.6 Learning delivery:

    The learning delivery process in all the examples included on-the-job (practical) and off-the-job (theoretical) components and predominantly using an apprenticeship format (Traditional or in the "Modern Apprenticeship format).

    3.7 Outcomes-Based Methodology:

    All the examples found either directly or indirectly comply with principles of outcomes-based learning, particularly in terms of outcomes representing meaningful units of learning and assessment being conducted continuously (formatively). There is generally a final integrated summative assessment, typically called a certificate of qualification (trade test), where the candidate is required to demonstrate specific and core (cross-field) knowledge and skills.

    3.8 Apprenticeships and VET programmes:

    In all the examples found, learning is vocational-based. In some countries (England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia) these are called "modern apprenticeships". These take the form of two categories, namely a programme-led apprenticeship where learners are able to follow a vocational programme at a college and then seek employment as trainees/apprentice/interns in order to qualify as artisans; and an employer-led apprenticeship, in which learners are engaged in a formal contract of learning and most learning is workplace-based. In most cases learners "earn while they learn".

    3.9 Application (Purpose):

    As is the intention with the South African qualifications, the international qualifications all prepare learners for pipe fitting across a wide variety of industry sectors.

    4. Concluding remarks:

    The Level 3 certificate developed for South Africa compares favourably with the international qualifications mentioned above, with its closest relationship being with the American version (The Construction Education Foundation of North Texas).

    5. Reference documents:

    5.1 Availability of skilled labour in selected occupations in Western Australia (Shah. Cooney, Long and Burke: 2005).
    5.2 National Guidelines on Cross-Sectoral Qualification Linkages (Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Implementation Handbook: 2002).
    5.3 Policy Watch-Apprenticeship framework: A Change in Design (Sian Owen: 2005; Authorised by Steve Besley-UK).
    5.4 Training in Engineering Construction Skills-Employers Guide (TECSkills and the ECITB-UK: 2007).
    5.5 Modern Apprenticeships-The Way to Work (Cassels Report: 2001)-UK.
    5.6 Role of Apprenticeship in VET System: The Case of Botswana (Ahmad:2003) at Conference on the Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Gaborone, Botswana.
    5.7 Challenges facing VET transformation in the SADC region (Akoojee and McGrath: 2003 HSRC - Pretoria) at Conference on the Reform of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Gaborone, Botswana. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    The qualification was designed to enable qualifying learners to move from one engineering context to another and still get recognition for successful learning achievements in the previous context. This means that credit accumulation towards certification could be obtained across industries.

    Vertical articulation:
  • FETC: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF 4.

    Horizontal articulation:
    Fundamental learning at this level applies to equivalent credit accrual for most engineering qualifications at NQF Level 3.

    Core learning at this level applies to equivalent credit accrual for some unit standards in the following examples of articulation:
  • (ID: 58720); NC: Engineering Fabrication NQF Level 3.
  • (ID: 23274); NC: Mechanical Engineering (Fitting) NQF Level 3.
  • (ID: 57886); NC: Welding Application and Practice NQF Level 3.

    Other horizontal articulation options may exist and need further investigation in cases where recognition of prior learning is sought. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered with an appropriate Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) or with an ETQA which has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a Training Provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the relevant ETQA according to that ETQA's guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation includes both internal and external moderation of assessment/s at the exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards as well as in exit level outcomes described in this Qualification. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The following criteria should be applied by a relevant ETQA as a minimum requirement:
  • Assessors should be in possession of an appropriate qualification, namely:

    > Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) at NQF level 4 and a minimum period of related experience as specified by the relevant ETQA.
    > An artisan qualification in Pipe-Fitting or similar trade-related qualification (Trade test certificate or completed contract of apprenticeship) with a minimum period of related experience as specified by the relevant ETQA.
    > Subject matter experience, which may be established through recognition of prior learning (RPL).
  • Registration as an assessor with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance Body.
  • Proven inter-personal skills and the ability to:

    > Maintain national and local industry standards.
    > Act in the interest of the learner.
    > Understand the need for transformation to redress the legacies of the past.
    > Respect the cultural background and language of the learner. 

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

    NOTES 
    This qualification follows on as the second part (Level 3) of the Mechanical Engineering (Pipe Fitting) qualification series towards the Further Education and Training Certificate. Its progression is tracked along the following learning pathway:
  • National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Fitting) NQF Level 2 with a specialised elective strand for Pipe Fitting.
  • National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 3.
  • Further Education and Training Certificate: Mechanical Engineering (Pipe-Fitting) NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  253736  Use welding definitions and symbols  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13223  Apply safety, health and environmental protection procedures  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  243077  Cut material using the oxy-fuel pipe cutting device  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  12456  Explain and use organisational procedures  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  116714  Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  253577  Maintain pipe systems and pipe components  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  253588  Perform piping off-set calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  253558  Produce a welded pipe fabrication assembly using butt and socket fittings  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  253556  Read and interpret working piping drawings  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  253734  Cut materials using plasma cutting  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Fundamental  119472  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral/signed communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119457  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119467  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119465  Write/present/sign texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243061  Assemble work pieces in jigs (minor amendments include the use of manipulators)  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  254357  Bend a pipe by means of a hydraulic pipe bender  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  244077  Demonstrate understanding of chemicals in a processing environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116654  Make up a flanged pipe section  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  243063  Weld carbon steel work-pieces using the shielded metal arc welding process in the down-hand position.  Level 2  NQF Level 02  15 
    Elective  12246  Assemble and mechanically join sheet, plate, tube, pipe and steel sections  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253574  Bevel a pipe using a mechanised pipe bevelling machine  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  9532  Demonstrate basic knowledge of computers  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243086  Draw and interpret complex plate, pipe and structural steel plate, pipe and structural steel drawings  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253737  Gouge material with air-carbon-arc gouging process  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  253430  Maintain filters and strainers  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253434  Maintain heat exchangers and pressure vessels  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253599  Maintain steam traps  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  253439  Maintain valves  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  9530  Manage work time effectively  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243078  Perform destructive testing on welded specimens  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  243068  Weld carbon steel workpieces using the gas tungsten arc welding process in the downhand position  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  253634  Identify and apply insulation methods and materials for pipes and pipe systems  Level 4  NQF Level 04 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Originator Pre-2009
    NQF Level
    NQF Level Min Credits Learning Prog End Date Quality
    Assurance
    Functionary
    NQF Sub-Framework
    63330  National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Chemical  Generic Provider - Field 06  Level 3  NQF Level 03  121     CHIETA  OQSF 
    63329  National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Manufacturing and Engineering  Generic Provider - Field 06  Level 3  NQF Level 03  121     MERSETA  OQSF 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THESE LEARNING PROGRAMMES: 
    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.
     
    LP ID Learning Programme Title Accredited Provider
    63330  National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Chemical  1. JOMELE TRAINING AND PLACEMENTS
    2. NEW AGE ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS T/A NEW AGE WELDING SOLUTIONS  
    63329  National Certificate: Mechanical Engineering: Pipe-Fitting: Manufacturing and Engineering  1. Belique Training Centre cc (ALBERTON) (TP)
    2. Jericho Safety Consultants (Pty) Ltd (TP)
    3. S & S Training & Construction (SPRINGS) (TP)
    4. Wilbat Projects 148 (Pty) Ltd (ISIPINGO) (TP)  



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