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 Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
78263  National Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities 
ORIGINATOR ORIGINATING PROVIDER
Task Team - Special Combat Capabilities   
QUALITY ASSURING BODY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
National Certificate  Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Sovereignty of the State 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  123  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 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 replaces: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
48879  National Diploma: South African Special Forces Operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  297  Complete 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:

The purpose of this qualification is to prepare the learner to participate as a team member in special operations as conducted by the South African National Defence Force Special Forces or the South African Police Services Special Task Force. The nature of these special operations requires a member to possess a broad range of specialised skills that allows for flexibility and individual independence during the execution of operations.

The fundamental and core component of this qualification allow for the mastering of competencies which are common to both the South African National Defence Force and the South African Police Services Special Forces, while the elective component allows the learner to specialise as a South African National Defence Force Special Forces Operator or South African Police Services Special Task Forces operator.

Recipients of this qualification will be able to:
  • Apply special weapons and tactics.
  • Apply air infiltration techniques.
  • Perform building assaults.
  • Sustain themselves away from base.

    Rationale:

    This qualification meets the needs of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) Special Forces and the South African Police Services (SAPS) Special Task Force by providing standards against which operators can be trained. This qualification meets the needs of society by providing competent operators who are able to participate in special military/policing operations thereby contributing to the safety and security of the broader public and the sovereignty of the Republic of South Africa.

    The majority of the candidates for this qualification are likely to have received SANDF or SAPS basic occupational training and have a minimum of one to five years experience as a soldier in the SANDF or police officer in the SAPS. This qualification will allow learners further entry to a career in the SANDF or SAPS by providing access to further occupational and developmental learning and training in the SAPS or SANDF at NQF Level 5 and 6. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the learner attempting this qualification is competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This Qualification and the entire Fundamental, Core and Elective Unit Standards associated with it can be achieved by any learner through the Recognition of Prior Learning, which includes learning outcomes achieved through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. Learner and assessor will jointly decide on methods to determine prior learning and competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in the qualification and the associated unit standards.

    This Recognition of Prior Learning may allow for:
  • Gaining of credits for unit standards in this qualification.
  • Obtaining this qualification in whole.

    All Recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.

    Access to the Qualification:

    There is open access to this Qualification subject to the requirements of the respective employers. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.

    To be awarded the Qualification learners are required to obtain a minimum of 123 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 24 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 63 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of a number of specialisations each with its own set of Unit Standards. Learners are to choose a specialisation area and complete unit standards totalling at least 36 credits from those listed for the specialisation. The specialisation areas are:

    South African National Defence Force:
  • ID 376366: Cross obstacles tactically, Level 4, 4 credits.
  • ID 376362: Demonstrate an understanding of Defensive Urban Operations, Level 4, 5 credits.
  • ID 376380: Operate small craft in closed waters, Level 4, 8 credits.
  • ID 376421: Pack a static line square main parachute, Level 4, 2 credits.
  • ID 376400: Perform as a member of an offensive assault team during special operations, Level 5, 5 credits.
  • ID 376363: Perform as a team member during tactical air operations, Level 5, 7 credits.
  • ID 376422: Perform descents with a round parachute utilising a static line as a means of opening the parachute, Level 5, 16 credits.
  • ID 376361: Perform minor demolition tasks, Level 5, 16 credits.

    South African Police Services Special Task Force:
  • ID 376366: Cross obstacles tactically, Level 4, 4 credits.
  • ID 376362: Demonstrate an understanding of Defensive Urban Operations, Level 4, 5 credits.
  • ID 376420: Navigate with a hand held compass, Level 4, 2 credits.
  • ID 376421: Pack a static line square main parachute, Level 4, 2 credits
  • ID 376401: Use primary weapons for medium to high-risk assault team operations, Level 4, 10 credits.
  • ID 376400: Interpret a topographical map for navigational purposes, Level 5, 2 credits.
  • ID 257276: Breach an obstacle using explosives, Level 5, 9 credits.
  • ID 115331: Move tactically on foot in a team, Level 4, 11 credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply specialist weapons and tactics during special operations.

    2. Apply air infiltration techniques.

    3. Perform building assaults.

    4. Sustain oneself away from base.
    Range: Away from base includes but is not limited to in the wild, in unfamiliar urban and rural areas.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    This qualification promotes, in particular, the following Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    1. Identifying and solving problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made when:
    > Legislation is interpreted and applied when selecting and engaging targets during special operations.
    > Emergencies are identified and the appropriate corrective action taken during a static line square parachute descent.
    > Obstacles encountered during building assaults, are analysed and overcome in order to ensure mobility and achievement of the mission.

    2. Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation, and community during:
    > Assaults on buildings.
    > Special operations in rural environments.
    > Air infiltration.
    > Survival situations.

    3. Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively when:
    > Personal and team equipment is prepared for special operations.
    > Preparing for parachute descents.

    4. Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion when:
    > Using hand signal to communicate within the team during special operations.
    > Using specialised signal equipment to communicate with other role players.
    > Using pyrotechnic signals to convey messages to other parties.
    > Interpreting verbal or written orders for the execution of special operations.

    5. Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information to better understand and explain:
    > Opposing force behaviour while observing the target.
    > The equipment that must be prepared and packed for a given special operation.
    > Obstacles encountered during special operations.

    6. Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others when:
    > Using night vision equipment to observe terrain or targets.
    > Using radio equipment to communicate during special operations.
    > Using parachuting, abseiling and rappelling equipment during air infiltration.
    > Taking innocent bystanders or non-combatants into account when selecting and engaging targets during special operations. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The relevant legislation is understood and applied within special operations.
  • The use of specialist weapons during special operations is demonstrated.
  • The applicable tactics and techniques are demonstrated during simulated offensive and defensive special operations.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Infiltration with personal equipment by means of a static line square parachute is demonstrated.
  • The knots and anchor systems are applied to ensure a successful abseiling and rappelling descent.
  • The various infiltration and withdrawal techniques using helicopters are demonstrated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Assault orders are interpreted to ensure the individual and team is working toward the achievement of the mission.
  • Target buildings are approached using multiple methods of approach, while maintaining operational security and the element of surprise.
  • Immediate action drills are performed individually and within the team during engagements with opposing forces.
  • Target buildings are penetrated as a member of a team by making use of doors or ground floor windows.
  • Rooms within the target building are cleared through the application of established team drills and tactics.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Natural resources are identified and the associated dangers are interpreted in order to ensure survival.
  • Water is located and purified using natural resources within the area of interest in order to prevent dehydration.
  • Food is gathered or trapped for human consumption using aids found in the area of interest.
  • The ability to navigate on a heading and arrive at a pre-determined point in the area of interest is using only natural signs and indicator's is demonstrated.
  • Improvised internationally recognised signs are used to communicate with aircraft or search parties.

    Integrated Assessment:

    As assessment practices must be open, transparent, fair, valid and reliable as well as ensuring that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, an integrated assessment approach is incorporated into the qualification. Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.

    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. 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 Formative and Summative Assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies.

    Assessors should assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. Assessment should ensure that all Specific Outcomes, Essential Embedded Knowledge and Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are assessed. The assessment of Critical Cross-Field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of the Specific Outcomes and Essential Embedded Knowledge. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Best Practice:

    The Military and Special Forces of the following countries were identified as applying best practice in the training of Special Force operators:
  • Australia: Special Air Service.
  • Belgium: Para Commandos.
  • Brazil: The Gruemec.
  • Germany: The Kommando Spezialkrafte.
  • India: The Para Commandos.
  • Israel: The Sayeret Matkal.
  • France: The French Foreign Legion and Commando Hubert.
  • Jordan: The Royal Special Forces.
  • Netherlands: The Korps Kommandotroepen.
  • Oman: The Sultans Special Forces.
  • Portugal: The Grupo de Operacoes Especiais and the Army Commandos.
  • Russia: Spetnaz.
  • United Kingdom: Special Air Service and Special Boat Squadron.
  • United States of America: Delta Force, Navy Sea, Air and Land (SEALS) and the Marine Reconnaissance Battalions.

    The police or para-military forces of the following countries were identified as implementing best practice in the training of their operators:
  • France: GIGN and RAID.
  • Germany: GSG9.
  • Jordan: SOU17.
  • Malaysia: The Pasukan Gerakan Khas PDRM.
  • United States of America: Special Weapons and Tactics Teams.

    The comparison was only conducted on the initial training conducted by the various countries. Due to the sensitive nature of these forces and the operations that they participate in, the finer detail regarding their training, tactics and techniques are not readily available or open for public viewing. The information given in this comparison respects that confidentiality.

    One would generally find that after the initial training operators specialise in specific environments such as land, sea or air operations. This is also the context in which the National Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities, Level 5 was generated. None of the above-mentioned countries have formal qualifications for any of the related training.

    Findings:

    It was found that the content of all special forces training is similar. The environment, tactics, equipment and techniques used do, however, vary between countries and organisations within a country. In terms of the military Special Forces the following training was found to be common throughout:
  • General Fitness and Perseverance.
  • Self Defence Techniques.
  • Multilingualism.
  • Basic Medical Emergency Skills.
  • Navigation (conventional/electronic).
  • Sharp shooting rifle and pistol.
  • Survival techniques.
  • Obstacle crossing and target penetration.
  • Night operation capability.
  • Basic demolition techniques.
  • Mine awareness.
  • Improvisation techniques.
  • Establish/maintain communications.
  • Still and video photography.
  • Apply surveillance equipment.
  • Camouflage, conceal and deception.
  • Reconnaissance and surveillance.
  • Parachuting.
  • Small boat handling in closed waters.
  • Foot movement rural and urban.
  • Vehicle movement rural and urban.
  • Combat drills rural and urban.
  • Escape and evasion.

    In terms of police or para-military forces, the following was found to be common throughout the various countries:
  • General Fitness and Perseverance.
  • Self Defence Techniques.
  • Sharp shooting rifle and pistol.
  • Obstacle crossing.
  • Target penetration.
  • Night operation capability.
  • Basic demolition techniques.
  • Improvisation techniques.
  • Establish/maintain communications.
  • Surveillance.
  • Camouflage, conceal and deception.
  • Vehicle and foot movement in rural and urban areas.
  • Combat drills.

    Conclusion:

    It has been found that the National Higher Certificate: Special Combat Capabilities, Level 5 compares very favourably with established international special forces training in that the content and approaches to training are very similar. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification lends itself to both vertical and horizontal articulation possibilities.

    Horizontal articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 63229: National Diploma: Bomb Disposal, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 58696: National Certificate: Close Protection, NQF Level 5.
  • ID 60329: National Certificate: Statutory Intelligence Practice, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 49783: National Diploma: Joint and Multi-National Operations, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 61729: National Diploma: Policing, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 49102: National Diploma: Statutory Intelligence Practice: Analysis, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 49100: National Diploma: Statutory Intelligence Practice: Counter-intelligence, NQF Level 6.
  • ID 49104: National Diploma: Statutory Intelligence Practice: Collection, NQF Level 6. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, and Quality Assurance (ETQA) Body.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation; in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQA's (including professional bodies); and in terms of the moderation guideline detailed immediately below.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competencies described in both individual unit standards and the integrated competencies described in this qualification.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor, or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    For an applicant to register as an assessor, the applicant needs:
  • A minimum of two (2) years practical, relevant occupational experience.
  • A relevant qualification of NQF Level or higher.
  • To be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA. 

  • 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.
    This qualification replaces qualification 48879, "National Diploma: South African Special Forces Operations", Level 5, 297 credits. 

    UNIT STANDARDS: 
      ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
    Core  376365  Perform abseiling from fixed platforms  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  376367  Perform as a member of an assault team during building assaults  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  15 
    Core  376364  Perform rope work from rotary wing aircraft  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  376360  Perform rural security operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  18 
    Core  376441  Perform static line square parachute descents  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  376442  Track a person  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Core  376368  Use natural resources to survive emergency situations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Fundamental  242824  Apply leadership concepts in a work context  Level 4  NQF Level 04  12 
    Fundamental  120487  Use firearms in a military and law enforcement environment  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  12 
    Elective  376366  Cross obstacles tactically  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  376362  Demonstrate an understanding of Defensive Urban Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  115331  Move tactically on foot in a team  Level 4  NQF Level 04  11 
    Elective  376420  Navigate with a hand held compass  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  376380  Operate small craft in closed waters  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  376421  Pack a static line square main parachute  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  376401  Use primary weapons for medium to high-risk assault team operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  10 
    Elective  257276  Breach an obstacle using explosives  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  376400  Interpret a topographical map for navigational purposes  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  376440  Perform as a member of an offensive assault team during special operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  376363  Perform as a team member during tactical air operations  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
    Elective  376422  Perform descents with a round parachute utilising a static line as a means of opening the parachute  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 
    Elective  376361  Perform minor demolition tasks  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  16 


    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    When qualifications are replaced, some (but not all) of their learning programmes are moved to the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replaced 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.
     
    1. SPECIAL FORCES SCHOOL 



    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.