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: 

Take a biological sample for economic exploration purposes 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
254498  Take a biological sample for economic exploration purposes 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
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 
This unit standard is for persons who are responsible to take a biological sample for economic exploration and environmental purposes. Persons credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate the knowledge required to take a biological sample.
  • Prepare to take a biological sample.
  • Take a biological sample.
  • Conduct post-sampling activities and compile a report.

    The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this unit standard contribute towards social and economic transformation and the upliftment and economic growth of the mining and minerals sector.

    This unit standard is intended to promote general skills and understanding of taking a biological sample for economic exploration purposes in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable; competent and informed workers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.
  • Knowledge of the relevant sampling tools and their use in the sampling process at NQF Level 2.
  • Understanding of the relevant legal requirements on occupational health and safety matters at NQF Level 2. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    This unit standard covers the taking of a biological sample for economic exploration and environmental purposes and excludes sampling in toxic contaminated areas. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate the knowledge required to take a biological sample. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The accepted principles for taking a biological sample are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The contents and requirements of the work instruction and the consequences of non-compliance with the requirements are described in terms of the potential effect on the sampling procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The importance of taking a biological sample in accordance with the accepted procedures is described in terms of the effect on the sampling results. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The operational procedure is described to identify the over-size material that requires crushing. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The importance of reducing the particle size of over-size material is described to prevent bias when the sampler is collecting material for analytical purposes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The importance of removing contaminant material is described to prevent bias when the sampler is collecting material for analytical purposes. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Organic material.
  • Solid waste material.
  • Chemical waste material.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The techniques and equipment that can be utilised to sample biological material are described. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Hand scoops or shovels.
  • Auger drills.
  • Sieves.
  • Scales.
  • Excavators, such as mechanical back-actors/front-end loaders for bulk sampling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The effect on the occupational health and safety of personnel if procedures are not adhered to is described. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Prepare to take a biological sample. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Permission to enter the workplace, when required, is obtained in accordance with laid down procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Personal protective equipment is selected and examined for any defects and used in accordance with legal and laid down procedures. Defective personal protective equipment is dealt with in accordance with laid down procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The tools, materials and equipment required for taking a biological sample are selected, examined and verified in accordance with the work instruction received. Defective tools, materials and equipment are dealt with in accordance with laid down procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Potential and actual hazardous and sub-standard conditions found during the examination of the workplace are dealt with in accordance with laid down procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Slippery surfaces.
  • Electricity in close proximity to water.
  • Excessive accumulation of surface water.
  • Poor visibility, excessive surface gradients.
  • Sharp edges (tools, containers).
  • Improperly/incorrectly stacked containers.
  • Operating machinery in close proximity.
  • Spillage of fluids, adverse weather conditions (lightning).
  • Dust.
  • Excessive vegetation.
  • Dangerous animals/reptiles/insects.
  • Organic/chemical and/or solid waste material.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The appropriate containers are selected to accommodate the sample size, and when necessary cleaned, in accordance with laid down procedure. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The relevant containers are identified, labelled and placed in a sequential order by employing safe lifting procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The sample site details are determined, certified, recorded and checked against the relevant sample containers, all in accordance with the work instruction received. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Sample site number.
  • Depth of sample (below surface).
  • Horizon from which sample taken.
  • Weight of sample.
  • Sample split or whole and relevant details.
  • Number of samples taken at site.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Take a biological sample. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Work related hazards and associated risks that have an effect on a safe and healthy work environment are dealt with in accordance with laid down procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Eye/facial injuries.
  • Hand and foot injuries.
  • Incorrect lifting procedures and back injuries.
  • Chemical burns.
  • Inhalation of noxious and toxic gases.
  • Diseases, such as malaria, tick bite fever, bilharzia.
  • Snake and insect bites.
  • Communications failure.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The tools and equipment required for biological sampling are used in accordance with accepted procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    It may be required that a specific biological horizon is collected and sampled separately, in accordance with the work instructions and accepted sampling procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Where required, the immediate recent sediment cover is removed to prevent contamination with fresh biological material and sampled separately in accordance with the work instructions and accepted sampling procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Recent wind blown material.
  • Recent water transported material.
  • Dumped material.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Where required, a specific size fraction of the biological is collected and sampled separately in accordance with the work instructions and accepted sampling procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Dry sieving by hand.
  • Wet sieving by hand.
  • Mechanical sieving.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The fresh biological sample is collected to the required depth and mass, both in accordance with the work instructions and accepted sampling methods. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The collected biological sample is bagged and labelled in accordance with the work instruction and laid down procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    The biological sample is examined and over-size material identified and selected for crushing when required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    The biological sample is dried when required in accordance with the work instruction and accepted sampling methods. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Conduct post-sampling activities and compile a report. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The tools, materials and equipment are cleaned and ensured to be ready for future use. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    If necessary the biological sampling area is rehabilitated in accordance with the requirements of the Minerals Act 50/1991 and the site specific Environmental Management Programme and Rehabilitation Plan (EMPR). 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The accepted biological sample handling procedures are adhered to. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The necessary report(s) are compiled in the required format and submitted to the relevant personnel. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The completion of the work is communicated to the relevant personnel, when required, and anomalous conditions emphasised. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Potential solid or chemical waste contaminants within sampling area.
  • Potential organic contaminants within sampling area.
  • Potential oversize material in sample.
  • Adverse sampling conditions.
  • Underweight samples.
     


  • UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against the qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated unit standards.
  • 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.
  • Guidelines and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The following embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard:
  • The techniques required to collect a biological sample.
  • The operational procedures to crush over-size material to reduce the particle size distribution to the accepted norm.
  • The legal requirements to the correct use of personal protective equipment and the effect on the occupational health and safety of the individual.
  • The ability to identify and recognise anomalous conditions that affect the reliability of the sampling information.
  • An understanding that the learner's output can have a significant effect on the sampling process and processing of the data where the data are utilised for geological modelling purposes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.

    Note: The ability of the candidate to identify anomalous conditions and deviations in the biological sample and the recording thereof contributes to his/her problem solving ability. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.

    Note: The ability of the candidate to accept and interpret work instructions correctly and to delegate work, when required, in an appropriate manner, indicates that he/she can work effectively as a team member in the bigger organisational structure. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note: The selecting of the appropriate sampling equipment, tools and material for the specific sampling procedure will indicate that the candidate can organise and manage activities. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.

    Note: The collection of the correct portion of a plant for the sampling programme will enhance the learners proficiency to collect, analyse, organise and evaluate information. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.

    Note: The recording of anomalous conditions and the reporting thereof in the correct format will indicate the candidate's efficiency in the mode of written presentations. The appropriate communication with the relevant personnel with regard to the reporting of hazardous and sub-standard conditions will indicate his/her proficiency in effective communication. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Note: The ability of the candidate to identify anomalous field conditions and to deal with these conditions by applying problem solving techniques will indicate his/her proficiency in understanding that a specific action or decision taken have more than one effect. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act and Regulations, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site Specific:
  • Managerial instructions, including work instructions.
  • Codes of practice.
  • Standard task procedures.
  • Risk assessment documentation.
  • Working guides.
  • Training manuals.
  • Education manuals.

    Sampling area can be any one or a combination of the following types:
  • Laid out grid area.
  • Single line section with incremental sampling.
  • Random sampling at specific reference points.

    Containers can be any one or a combination of the following types:
  • Metal tins.
  • Plastic bottles/jars.
  • Plastic bags.
  • Glass bottles/jars.
  • Sacks.
  • Vacuum flasks.

    Material equipment can include the following:
  • Hand scoops or shovels.
  • Excavators, such as mechanical back-actors/front-end loaders.
  • Auger drills.
  • Scales.
  • Funnel.
  • Pick axe.
  • Sample labels.
  • Washing sieves/strainers. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  60349   National Certificate: Mining Technical Support  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    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.
     
    1. ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI LTD (V/R) 
    2. Mathome Training & Development 
    3. Palabora Copper Pty Ltd 



    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.