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 UNIT STANDARD: 

Explain basic ecological principles 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
14584  Explain basic ecological principles 
ORIGINATOR
NSB 01-Agriculture and Nature Conservation 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation Nature Conservation 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
The qualifying learner assessed as competent against this standard will understand and apply ecological principles in the workplace. The learner will to assist in basic participatory research on ecological processes. This competence contributes towards the sustainable management of the environment. Achievement of this unit standard will enhance better understanding of the environment. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
None. 

UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
Guides to the scope and complexity of the specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge are provided in bullet points beneath each. These are prefaced by "for example" since they are neither comprehensive nor necessarily appropriate to all contexts. Alternatives must however be comparable in scope and complexity. These are intended only as a general guide to scope and complexity of what is required. 

Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
Describe and define the basic components of ecosystems 
OUTCOME NOTES 
  • Abiotic and biotic components
  • Food pyramids, chains and webs
  • Energy flow
  • Biomes 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    When conducting assessments, assessors must ensure that they are familiar with the full text of the Unit Standards being assessed.

    They must ensure that the assessment covers the specific outcomes, critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge.

    As each situation is different, it will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which practitioners are working. These activities and tools may include self-assessment, peer assessment; formative and summative assessment.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a practitioner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a practitioner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, they should not be assessed as competent.

    Practical competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an ability to consider a range of options and make decisions about:

    1. Conducting basic rapid biodiversity assessments.
    2. Conducting basic visual encounter surveys.
    3. Qualitative assessments of dominants indicator species.

    Foundational competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an understanding of:

    1. Components of ecosystems, food pyramids, food chains, energy flows and biomes.
    2. Defining keystone species.

    Reflexive competence:
    The learner must demonstrate ability to:

    1. Describe and interpret predator interactions.
    2. Describe and interpret co-operation and competition within ecological communities.
    3. Explain specialised habitats.
    4. Explain feedback mechanism within ecosystems.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
    Assessment should include practical demonstration of competence, either in the workplace or through work-realistic, out-of-classroom simulation.

    A range of assessment methods should be used, including:

    Direct observation - watch the practitioner carry out the task or produce a desired outcome during the course of his or her normal work under normal workplace conditions
    Product sample - examine the outcomes previously produced by the practitioner
    Simulation of a specific task - set a specific task for the practitioner to demonstrate in a simulated environment
    Questioning (verbal or written) - ask relevant questions linked to the unit standard
    Testimony - collect a portfolio of evidence from suitable people (e.g.: reports from a third party)

    INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT
    It may be more effective and efficient to assess a number of unit standards together thus reducing the overall number of assessment 'events'.
  • Consider a complete activity in the workplace (the 'whole of work' approach) and see which unit standards relate to this activity.
  • Work out how practitioners could collect evidence on a number of unit standards at the same time covering all the critical aspects of the standards
  • Ensure that commonalities that exist between a numbers of unit standards are captured in a way that makes sense for assessment. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe and interpret some key interactions within ecological communities 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • Co-operation-competition
  • Succession and disturbance
  • Specialised habitats e.g. wetlands, forests 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    When conducting assessments, assessors must ensure that they are familiar with the full text of the Unit Standards being assessed.

    They must ensure that the assessment covers the specific outcomes, critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge.

    As each situation is different, it will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which practitioners are working. These activities and tools may include self-assessment, peer assessment; formative and summative assessment.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a practitioner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a practitioner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, they should not be assessed as competent.

    Practical competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an ability to consider a range of options and make decisions about:

    1. Conducting basic rapid biodiversity assessments.
    2. Conducting basic visual encounter surveys.
    3. Qualitative assessments of dominants indicator species.

    Foundational competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an understanding of:

    1. Components of ecosystems, food pyramids, food chains, energy flows and biomes.
    2. Defining keystone species.

    Reflexive competence:
    The learner must demonstrate ability to:

    1. Describe and interpret predator interactions.
    2. Describe and interpret co-operation and competition within ecological communities.
    3. Explain specialised habitats.
    4. Explain feedback mechanism within ecosystems.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
    Assessment should include practical demonstration of competence, either in the workplace or through work-realistic, out-of-classroom simulation.

    A range of assessment methods should be used, including:

    Direct observation - watch the practitioner carry out the task or produce a desired outcome during the course of his or her normal work under normal workplace conditions
    Product sample - examine the outcomes previously produced by the practitioner
    Simulation of a specific task - set a specific task for the practitioner to demonstrate in a simulated environment
    Questioning (verbal or written) - ask relevant questions linked to the unit standard
    Testimony - collect a portfolio of evidence from suitable people (e.g.: reports from a third party)

    INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT
    It may be more effective and efficient to assess a number of unit standards together thus reducing the overall number of assessment 'events'.
  • Consider a complete activity in the workplace (the 'whole of work' approach) and see which unit standards relate to this activity.
  • Work out how practitioners could collect evidence on a number of unit standards at the same time covering all the critical aspects of the standards
  • Ensure that commonalities that exist between a numbers of unit standards are captured in a way that makes sense for assessment. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate a basic understanding of interactions between and within ecosystems 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
  • Feedback mechanism, impacts, evolution, interconnectedness
  • Adaptation 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    When conducting assessments, assessors must ensure that they are familiar with the full text of the Unit Standards being assessed.

    They must ensure that the assessment covers the specific outcomes, critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge.

    As each situation is different, it will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which practitioners are working. These activities and tools may include self-assessment, peer assessment; formative and summative assessment.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a practitioner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a practitioner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, they should not be assessed as competent.

    Practical competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an ability to consider a range of options and make decisions about:

    1. Conducting basic rapid biodiversity assessments.
    2. Conducting basic visual encounter surveys.
    3. Qualitative assessments of dominants indicator species.

    Foundational competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an understanding of:

    1. Components of ecosystems, food pyramids, food chains, energy flows and biomes.
    2. Defining keystone species.

    Reflexive competence:
    The learner must demonstrate ability to:

    1. Describe and interpret predator interactions.
    2. Describe and interpret co-operation and competition within ecological communities.
    3. Explain specialised habitats.
    4. Explain feedback mechanism within ecosystems.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
    Assessment should include practical demonstration of competence, either in the workplace or through work-realistic, out-of-classroom simulation.

    A range of assessment methods should be used, including:

    Direct observation - watch the practitioner carry out the task or produce a desired outcome during the course of his or her normal work under normal workplace conditions
    Product sample - examine the outcomes previously produced by the practitioner
    Simulation of a specific task - set a specific task for the practitioner to demonstrate in a simulated environment
    Questioning (verbal or written) - ask relevant questions linked to the unit standard
    Testimony - collect a portfolio of evidence from suitable people (e.g.: reports from a third party)

    INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT
    It may be more effective and efficient to assess a number of unit standards together thus reducing the overall number of assessment 'events'.
  • Consider a complete activity in the workplace (the 'whole of work' approach) and see which unit standards relate to this activity.
  • Work out how practitioners could collect evidence on a number of unit standards at the same time covering all the critical aspects of the standards
  • Ensure that commonalities that exist between a numbers of unit standards are captured in a way that makes sense for assessment. 

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Assess qualitatively the dominant indicator species in local area 
    OUTCOME NOTES 
  • Rapid Biodiversity Assessment
  • Visual Encounter Surveys
  • Eyeball calibration for teams
  • Keystone species
  • Monitoring
  • Wetlands 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    When conducting assessments, assessors must ensure that they are familiar with the full text of the Unit Standards being assessed.

    They must ensure that the assessment covers the specific outcomes, critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge.

    As each situation is different, it will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which practitioners are working. These activities and tools may include self-assessment, peer assessment; formative and summative assessment.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a practitioner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a practitioner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, they should not be assessed as competent.

    Practical competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an ability to consider a range of options and make decisions about:

    1. Conducting basic rapid biodiversity assessments.
    2. Conducting basic visual encounter surveys.
    3. Qualitative assessments of dominants indicator species.

    Foundational competence:
    The learner must demonstrate an understanding of:

    1. Components of ecosystems, food pyramids, food chains, energy flows and biomes.
    2. Defining keystone species.

    Reflexive competence:
    The learner must demonstrate ability to:

    1. Describe and interpret predator interactions.
    2. Describe and interpret co-operation and competition within ecological communities.
    3. Explain specialised habitats.
    4. Explain feedback mechanism within ecosystems.

    METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
    Assessment should include practical demonstration of competence, either in the workplace or through work-realistic, out-of-classroom simulation.

    A range of assessment methods should be used, including:

    Direct observation - watch the practitioner carry out the task or produce a desired outcome during the course of his or her normal work under normal workplace conditions
    Product sample - examine the outcomes previously produced by the practitioner
    Simulation of a specific task - set a specific task for the practitioner to demonstrate in a simulated environment
    Questioning (verbal or written) - ask relevant questions linked to the unit standard
    Testimony - collect a portfolio of evidence from suitable people (e.g.: reports from a third party)

    INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT
    It may be more effective and efficient to assess a number of unit standards together thus reducing the overall number of assessment 'events'.
  • Consider a complete activity in the workplace (the 'whole of work' approach) and see which unit standards relate to this activity.
  • Work out how practitioners could collect evidence on a number of unit standards at the same time covering all the critical aspects of the standards
  • Ensure that commonalities that exist between a numbers of unit standards are captured in a way that makes sense for assessment. 


  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The qualifying learner is able to demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of:

    1. Principles of ecology
    2. Hierarchical ecological processes
    3. Trophic levels and energy
    4. Simple monitoring techniques
    5. Recognition of locally dominant indicator and key species
    6. Ecological communities and populations
    7. Ecological systems
    8. Predator prey relationships
    9. Boom and bust animals
    10. Event driven systems and disturbances 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Problem solving relates to: Assess qualitatively the dominant indicator species in local area. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Team work relates: Assess qualitatively the dominant indicator species in local area. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Self- organisation and management relates to all specific outcomes.
    Inter-relatedness of systems relates all to specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communications relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use of science and technology relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Professnal development relates to all specific outcomes.
    Information evaluation relates to all specific outcomes. 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Demonstration of the knowledge and skills outlined in this unit standard must be consistent with the principles of:

    1. Respecting the natural and cultural environment.
    2. Being participatory, inclusive and democratic.
    3. Accepting and maintaining a non-discriminatory attitude towards diversity including, for example, differences in gender, race, religion, physical ability and culture. 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  24199   National Certificate: Community Conservation: Liaison and Support  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Registered" 
    2006-04-09  CATHSSETA 
    Core  48433   National Certificate: Conservation: Species Care in Controlled Environments  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Reregistered  2023-06-30  CATHSSETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.