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: Landscape Irrigation 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
73109  National Certificate: Landscape Irrigation 
ORIGINATOR ORIGINATING PROVIDER
SGB Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape   
QUALITY ASSURING BODY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
AgriSETA - Agriculture SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Horticulture 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 0695/12  2012-07-01  2015-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2016-06-30   2019-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

This Qualification is designed to empower learners to operate efficiently in the landscape irrigation environment. The Qualification will provide the learners with a comprehensive base of portable skills that will enable them to progress within all spheres of the horticultural industry. This Qualification forms an integral step in the career paths of the various disciplines in irrigation and follows on from the Level 2 Certificate. For those already employed in the industry, this Qualification will offer learners the opportunity to hone their skills and receive recognition for their competencies.

A learner achieving this qualification will be able to work effectively and productively within the field of irrigation, having the skills to:
  • Install sprinklers, control cabling and controllers for automatic Irrigation systems.
  • Install borehole and irrigation pumps to provide water to irrigation systems.
  • Service and maintain all aspects of automatic irrigation systems.

    For those wishing to enter the industry as an Entrepreneur, this Qualification offers a solid foundation in all aspects of the irrigation industry. This Qualification represents a vital step in the development of a career and learning pathway of individuals, both from a vocational point of view, as well as from a learning point of view.

    Rationale:

    Water is a critical resource that requires careful management. Most areas in South African receive insufficient rainfall to establish and maintain landscapes and sporting facilities. Irrigation is therefore vital to the landscaping industry. Through the observance of good irrigation scheduling and the utilisation of climatic sensors, optimal water conservation can be achieved. Accordingly it is essential that the installation and maintenance of irrigation systems follow stringent attention to the water conservation ethics. To realise this, the workforce in the industry must be well trained.

    Through this Qualification, the learner will become conversant with the implications that a lack of attention to the installation, operation and maintenance will have on the performance of an irrigation system, and on the availability and cost of wasted water.

    The Qualification will facilitate job creation and self employment opportunities, while furthering the aims of economic empowerment in South Africa.

    The Qualification includes the skills necessary to apply safety principles in all aspects of working with pumps and irrigation systems, the skills needed to install, use, operate and maintain irrigation systems. Through the wide scope of electives, the specialisations of the various sectors are catered for.

    The sectors of the industry that will benefit from this Qualification include:
  • Landscape construction and maintenance.
  • Amenity horticulture.
  • Sports turf. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are competent in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Previous Learning:

    The Qualification may be achieved wholly or in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning and the Qualification may be granted to learners who have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses providing they can demonstrate competence in the Outcomes of the individual Unit Standards as required by the Fundamental, Core and Elective areas stipulated in the Qualification and by the Exit Level Outcomes.

    An Recognition of Prior Learning process may also be used to credit learners with Unit Standards in which they have developed the necessary competency as a result of workplace and experiential learning. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Qualification consists of a minimum of 120 credits, composed of:

    Fundamental:
  • 36 credits (compulsory).

    Core:
  • 74 credits (compulsory).

    Electives:
  • Learners must choose suitable Unit Standards from the listed Electives to obtain a total of not less than 10 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Test the pressure and flow that is available from various water sources for use in irrigation systems.

    2. Install borehole and pressure pumps to utilise surface and groundwater for irrigation.

    3. Install automatic irrigation equipment to optimise water savings on landscapes.

    4. Service and maintain the pumps and automatic controls to ensure the efficient operation of irrigation systems. 

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

    1.1 A municipal water supply is tested at different pressure and flow rates for its suitability to operate an irrigation system.
    1.2 The static and dynamic water levels are monitored and recorded during the yield testing of a borehole to ensure that sufficient water is available for an irrigation system.
    1.3 The flow rates of an existing surface pump are tested at different pressures to confirm its suitability to operate an irrigation system.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 A borehole pump and piping set is assembled and installed in a borehole to industry standards.
    2.2 A centrifugal pump is mounted on a concrete base and all the necessary piping and valves are fitted to the suction and delivery manifolds in accordance with the drawing's dimensions.
    2.3 A progressive cavity pump is installed in a sump, in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications and the pressure relief valve is set to prevent the over pressurising of the delivery line.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Electric valve in head sprinklers are installed on swing joint risers and their heights are adjusted to suit the sports field mowing tolerances.
    3.2 Control cables are joined to their solenoids and all cabling is tested with a battery pack to ensure their operation before the trenches are backfilled.
    3.3 An irrigation controller is installed in the required position and all solenoid control cables are connected to the controller in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.
    3.4 A rain sensor is installed in an area that will allow unimpeded rain and air movement and its control cables are connected to the sensor circuit of the irrigation controller in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 The realignment of a pump and motor on a common baseplate following the completion of the pump's repair, is demonstrated in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines and the company's standard operating procedures.
    4.2 The components on a single stage centrifugal pump that require regular inspection, lubrication and servicing in a preventative maintenance inspection are listed and the frequency at which this maintenance should take place is described in keeping with the manufacturer's recommendations.
    4.3 The methods of adjusting/replacement of the gland packing and V belts on a progressive cavity pump are demonstrated in accordance with the manufacturer's guidelines and the company's standard operating procedures.
    4.4 The sequence and specific tests, that should be conducted when trouble shooting a pumping problem, are demonstrated in accordance with the company's standard operating procedures.

    Integrated Assessment:

    The integrated assessment allows the Learners the opportunity to show that they are able to utilize concepts, ideas and actions across unit standards. This will allow Learners to achieve competency that is in keeping with the purpose of the Qualification.

    An integrated assessment will indicate how theoretical learning is demonstrated in a practical environment in such a way that the application of the work learnt becomes second nature.

    In conducting an assessment, the quality of the performance must also be evaluated i.e. both the performance and the thinking behind the action must be qualitative.

    The assessment should include both formative and summative options and should use various assessment tools i.e. not by observation only. It is suggested that a Portfolio of Assessment form part of the summative assessment, with practical outcomes being demonstrated in a simulated or real work place situation.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge being maintained.

    Unit Standards in the Qualification must be used to assess the specific and Critical Cross Field Outcomes. It is recommended that the assessment tools give Learners the opportunity to account for their decision-making and problem solving in line with the Specific Outcomes and related Assessment Criteria.

    As a result of this Qualification being generic in forming the foundation for a career in horticulture, Learners should be assessed in occupational contexts and activities. The assessment should ensure that the foundational skills are portable and prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. 

    INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Water is a critical resource that requires careful management. The South African irrigation industry is governed by the Landscape Irrigation Association (LIA) and the South African Agricultural Irrigation Institute (SAAII). These bodies are responsible for ensuring that the standards of planning, installation, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems in the horticultural and agricultural environments are set and maintained to world class standards.

    Links are maintained with the major international irrigation bodies such as the IA (Irrigation Association) of the United States and information is regularly shared. This ensures that the South African landscape irrigation industry remains at the forefront of international developments. In terms of climate, Australia has similar climatic zones and conditions to South Africa. Their landscape irrigation industry is well advanced and specialisation is conducted from level 1. In contrast, other countries have elected to begin their specialisations at NQF Levels 2 or NQF Level 3.

    Various factors influence this, the most notable include:
  • Adverse climatic conditions which restrict normal horticultural activities.
  • Economic constraints, typically the poorly developed economies have irrigation and horticulture as a low priority.
  • Relatively small markets, where economies of scale preclude specialisation.

    To obtain an African perspective the Qualifications of the following SADC countries were investigated: Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    From a global viewpoint these countries are typified as developing nations, with their primary focus centred on subsistence farming. Consequently agricultural training is paramount to ensuring food security for their populations and as a result there are a limited number of landscape irrigation systems, the majority occurring in the hotel and tourist destinations. These systems are usually contracted to South African irrigation companies. As a consequence no specific landscape irrigation training is conducted in these areas. Their staff who maintain these landscapes are either sourced from South Africa or they obtain their training from the LIA or our tertiary institutions.

    Specialisations such as fertigation and filtration are catered for in the elective unit standards of this Qualification. This ensures portability, yet allows learners to progress in their particular field of specialisation from level 3.

    Various international qualifications with similar content to this Qualification were sourced. In examining these, the following have been used for comparison, although they do not necessarily address the subjects from the same perspective, they do contain aspects relevant to those used in South Africa. The following qualifications and the particular unit standards that were selected for comparison with various components of this qualification are listed hereunder.

    Australia:

    The landscape and horticultural industry in Australia has a similar profile to that of South Africa and their irrigation industry operates at a similar level to that in South Africa, evidenced by the fact that specialisations in a specific field occurs at an entry level.

    Certificate III in Irrigation: Reference No RTE31303-Certificate 3 in Horticulture. Of all the worldwide searches that were conducted, this Level 3 Qualification is most similar to its South African counterpart. The relevant unit standards are as follows:

    Reference No RTE3601A-Install irrigation systems:
  • This Level 3 Unit Standard is concerned with the assembly and connection of components, installing fittings and valves to requirements and identifying and documenting faults in irrigation systems in the horticultural environments.
  • The "Install and maintain valve in head sprinklers and their networks" Unit Standard incorporates a similar approach to the above

    Reference No RTE3605A-Troubleshoot irrigation systems:
  • This Level 3 Unit Standard covers the basic location, identification, replacement of faulty irrigation components. It also requires that records and reports of maintenance observations and activities are completed.
  • The "Install and maintain irrigation controllers and climatic sensors" Unit Standard has a similar approach in fault finding procedures.

    Reference No RTE3611A-Operate pressurised irrigation systems:
  • This Level 3 Unit Standard covers the scheduling of water application. It also addresses the requirements of priming pumps, measuring pressure and flow rates, as well as ensuring the correction of faults in the irrigation system.
  • The "Maintain landscape and sports turf irrigation systems" unit standard in essence, follows the same procedures and methodology, but includes the drafting of an annual irrigation schedule.

    Reference No RTE3612A-Implement a maintenance programme for an irrigation system:
  • This Level 3 Unit Standard speaks to the routine and preventive maintenance requirements, including the remedial action and repairs required for irrigation systems.
  • The "Maintain landscape and sports turf irrigation systems" Unit Standard in essence, follows the same procedures and methodology, but includes the drafting of an annual irrigation schedule.

    Other Australian Qualifications that make use of their irrigation Unit Standards are:

    Qualification RTF 30803-Certificate 3 in Horticulture (Turf) makes use of the irrigation Unit Standards:
  • RTE 3601A-Install irrigation components.
  • RTE 3605A-Troubleshoot irrigation systems.
  • RTE 3611A-Operate a pressurised irrigation system.
  • RTE 3612A-Implement a maintenance programme for an irrigation systems.

    A search on correspondence study through the Australian Correspondence Schools only reveals an irrigation module of training at Level 2 which addresses the entire scope of irrigation, including installation and maintenance matters. This appears to be a basic overview of irrigation.

    Most of the actual training for the irrigation industry in Australia is conducted through the Irrigation Association. They provide a course which results in the qualification "Certfied Irrigation Contractor (CIC). This is not a registered course on the Qualifications Framework, but it covers detail on the installation, repair and maintenance of irrigation systems.

    United Kingdom:

    No specific qualification is presented that deals with irrigation. Generally short practical courses are offered by the various irrigation product distributors.
    There are a few specific irrigation Unit Standards registered at level 3 which are used within other horticultural Qualifications.

    The following Qualifications contain a limited range of unit standards developed to handle learning aspects on irrigation systems:
  • NPTC Level 3-Advanced National Certificate in Horticulture (500/4341/9) includes Unit Standards M/501/7086-Management of soil water.
  • NPTC Level 3-Advanced National Diploma in Horticulture (500/4342/0) includes Unit Standards M/501/7086-Management of soil water.
  • Edexcel Level 3-BTEC National Diploma in Horticulture (500/2286/6) includes Unit Standards J/501/1178-Turf irrigation and drainage.
  • NPTC Level 3-Certificate in Amenity Horticulture (QCF) (500/3354/2) includes Unit Standards Y/501/0438-Maintain drainage systems and D/501/0439-Maintain irrigation systems.
  • NPTC Level 3-Award in Amenity Horticulture (QCF) (500/3344/X) includes Unit Standards Y/501/0438-Maintain drainage systems and D/501/0439-Maintain irrigation systems.
  • NPTC Level 3-Diploma in Amenity Horticulture (QCF) (500/3303/7) includes Unit Standards Y/501/0438-Maintain drainage systems and D/501/0439-Maintain irrigation systems.

    Overall these irrigation unit standards cover only the basic concepts and practical outputs for maintaining irrigation systems in a horticultural environment and the identification of faults.

    New Zealand:

    There are two Unit Standards which are registered under the domain Production Horticulture Level 3:
  • Reference no 12395-"Install an irrigation system". It serves to provide basic knowledge on the installation of an irrigation system in a horticultural environment, but it does not give the detailed knowledge which this National Certificate Landscape Irrigation seeks to address.
  • Reference No 22189-"Maintain an irrigation system used in horticulture". It covers basic cleaning, maintenance and repair of irrigation equipment.
  • The "Maintain landscape and sports turf irrigation systems" Unit Standards in essence, follows the same procedures and methodology.

    There is also an individual Unit Standard registered:
  • Reference No 21047-"Describe, produce and apply liquid fertilizer used in organic horticulture" which very briefly outlines the aspect of fertigation within the irrigation system.
  • The "install and maintain fertigation systems" unit standard requires a greater depth of knowledge, in that chemical fertilisers are also used.

    Scotland:

    No Qualifications specific to the irrigation industry were found in the Scottish Qualifications Framework search, but two Unit Standards that cover only the basic content comparable to the South African Qualification were found. These are:
  • Irrigation (0078077) and is presented as a specialist module covering basic maintenance of irrigation equipment.
  • Irrigation sportsturf (1210051) addresses the basic requirements of maintenance and troubleshooting for groundsmen and greenkeepers.

    To address their needs, short courses in landscape irrigation are conducted.

    United States of America:

    No formal Qualifications specific to irrigation exist. The Irrigation Association provides the bulk of the irrigation related training for the industry. This training is not against registered Unit Standards. In addition, garden clubs provide very limited training through short informal courses which are loosely based on the United Kingdom framework and most of the suppliers conduct short unregistered courses relevant to their products.

    Conclusion:

    This Qualification compares favourably against those offered in Australia. The South African unit standards have a greater content and detail than those of the above countries, which will ensure that learners will be able to gain the best possible training in the various irrigation fields.

    The Scottish and New Zealand Qualifications and Unit Standards have a limited focus on irrigation and therefore offer little in comparison.

    The USA has no formally recognized irrigation Qualifications at the NQF Level 3.

    SADC countries have no irrigation Qualifications or Unit Standards, as their personnel are either sourced from South Africa or they obtain their training from the South African Landscape Irrigation Association.

    In conclusion, the Qualification meets and in many instances exceeds the standards of training offered elsewhere in the world. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
  • ID 59389: National Certificate: Resource Guardianship, NQF Level 3.
  • ID 66649: National Certificate: Landscaping, NQF Level 3.
  • ID 49052: National Certificate: Plant Production, NQF Level 3.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • ID 58782: Further Education and Training Certificate: Plumbing, NQF Level 4.
  • ID 49127: Further Education and Training Certificate: Design Foundation, NQF Level 4.
  • ID 61669: Further Education and Training Certificate: Community Water Sanitation and Health Facilitation, NQF Level 4. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner against these Unit Standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA and have experience or in depth knowledge of the horticultural industry.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of these unit standards or will assess these Unit Standards must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the Qualification and the agreed ETQA procedure.
  • Therefore anyone wishing to be assessed against these Unit Standards may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution which is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors must:
  • Be accredited as an assessor by the relevant ETQA.
  • Have experience or in depth knowledge of the landscape irrigation industry.
  • Meet any other requirements that may be stipulated by the relevant ETQA.
  • Hold a Qualification in Horticulture or Agriculture at NQF Level 5 or higher. 

  • NOTES 
    As per the SAQA decision, after consultation with the Quality Councils, to re-register all qualifications and part qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2012.
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  263995  Schedule the application of water to plants and landscapes  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  335935  Conduct pressure and flow tests on various irrigation water sources  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  336014  Install and maintain borehole and wellpoint pump systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  335994  Install and maintain irrigation controllers and climatic sensors  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  336015  Install and maintain irrigation pumps  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  335962  Install and maintain valve in head sprinklers and their control networks  Level 3  NQF Level 03  12 
    Core  335974  Install control cables for automatic irrigation systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  335995  Install irrigation water storage tanks  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  264234  Monitor and maintain health and safety standards in horticulture  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  335975  Service and maintain irrigation control valves  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    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  13912  Apply knowledge of self and team in order to develop a plan to enhance team performance  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  264235  Apply supervisory management principles in an enterprise  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  335934  Install and maintain fertigation systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  335957  Install and maintain irrigation filtration systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  336016  Install and maintain irrigation pressure vessels  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  264041  Maintain landscape and sportsturf irrigation systems  Level 3  NQF Level 03 


    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 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.
     
    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.