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: 

Occupational Certificate: Professional Principal Executive Officer 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
93602  Occupational Certificate: Professional Principal Executive Officer 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - POA 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
QCTO - Quality Council for Trades and Occupations  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  150  Not Applicable  NQF Level 07  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
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 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 prepare a learner to manage a retirement fund within the legal framework in order to give effect to the purpose of the fund.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Guide and monitor compliance with external legislation.
  • Implement and monitor fund rules and Board approved policies.
  • Manage the operations of the retirement fund.
  • Guide and implement the Board's decisions.

    Rationale:
    This qualification will support the professionalisation of the role of the Principal Officer which has historically been unstructured and undefined. It will also support the transformation imperative as it enables incumbents to obtain a qualification that they may not have access to as working individuals who may additionally not satisfy traditional Higher Education access criteria. In developing this qualification, the occupational profile of the Principal Officer of a retirement fund was negotiated and agreed as the standard that should maintain parity across contexts.

    The Principal Officer is a statutory appointment with legislated minimum technical expertise required for the role of guiding the Board of Trustees in the management of a retirement fund. The Principal Officer must ensure compliance with all regulatory and statutory requirements imposed on the retirement fund and execute the corporate strategies. In terms of the sanction by the state regulatory bodies, the Principal Officer must be fit and proper, which includes competence, best acquired through a formal qualification.

    This qualification is the first of its kind - due to the unique financial services environment in South Africa, which, through forward thinking has established regulations to ensure integrity of financial services. This occupational qualification will provide much needed recognition (through RPL) of competence in expert incumbents who may want to formalise their education for purposes of career mobility or succession planning to ensure continuity and sustainability of retirement funds. The Principal Officer represents the cornerstone of governance in the fund - all governance interventions are initiated and driven from this function. The Principal Officer drives should thus be current on all compliance and governance issues to ensure compliance.

    The range of learners would include current Principal Officers, trustees and retirement fund functionaries with demonstrable experience in retirement funds and a relevant qualification with a desire to follow this career trajectory. Additionally, because of the close link to the claims and employee benefits functions, it is further envisioned that those people working in a claims or employee benefits and compensation environment may take up this qualification.

    This occupational qualification will form the apex of the retirement functionary learning path and will be linked to the Principal Officer Association (POA) professional designations. The learning pathway will include the Professional Trustee qualification. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the integrated assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Prior learning must be acknowledged by a statement of results.

    RPL for entry requirements to access the qualification:
  • Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
    A minimum of an NQF Level 5 qualification in any of the following fields or related fields; commerce and/ or finance and/or law and/ or human resources.

    It is advisable that to enter this qualification you have relevant retirement fund work experience (as the content of the qualification requires solid understanding of the workplace). 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Theory, Practical Skill and Workplace Modules at NQF Level 7 totalling 150 Credits:

    Theory Modules:
  • 134901000 - KM01: External regulatory framework for retirement funds, 17 Credits.
  • 134901000 - KM02: Implementation and monitoring of the internal regulatory framework, 7 Credits.
  • 134901000 - KM03: Operational, financial and investment requirements of a retirement fund, 10 Credits.
  • 134901000 - KM04: Fund Governance and Strategic Leadership, 16 Credits.

    Totalling: 50 Credits.

    Practical Skills Modules:
  • 134901000 - PM01: Apply primary legislation to a retirement fund, 8 Credits.
  • 134901000 - PM02: Implement and monitor fund rules and board approved policies, 5 Credits.
  • 134901000 - PM03: Manage the operations of the retirement fund, 8 Credits.
  • 134901000 - PM04: Guide the board in its decision making responsibility, 15 Credits.

    Totalling: 36 Credits.

    Work Experience Modules:
  • 134901000 - WM01: Apply the external regulatory framework to the fund's operations, 15 Credits.
  • 134901000 - WM02: Monitor adherence to fund rules and policies, 7 Credits.
  • 134901000 - WM03: Manage the deliverables of a retirement fund, 5 Credits.
  • 134901000 - WM04: Apply sound governance practices to the management framework of the retirement fund, 37 Credits.

    Totalling: 64 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. The ability to guide and monitor fund compliance with applicable external pension regulation.
    2. The ability to implement and monitor fund rules and Board approved policies.
    3. The ability to manage the operations, finances and investments of a fund.
    4. The ability to guide and implement the decisions of the Board of Trustees. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Demonstrate integrated knowledge of the structure and requirements of relevant primary legislation and associated practices, including an understanding of and an ability to apply and evaluate legislative requirements in relation to the management of the fund.
  • Analyse and explain the roles and relationships between fund fiduciaries, regulators and pension legislation.
  • Demonstrate an ability to take decisions and act ethically and professionally, in the eventuality of irregularities identified in the management of the fund and the ability to justify those decisions and actions drawing on appropriate ethical and governance principles.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Critically evaluate the application of own fund rules and policies.
  • Analyse the audit framework for suitability in identifying potential risks and policy breaches.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, budget and manage processes of procurement and contract management in the management of fund operations.
  • Critically evaluate the differences and unique characteristics between the various retirement funds and employee benefits, with reference to relevant tax legislation.
  • Defend the compliance of reserve accounts by analysing fund rules and financial statements.
  • Evaluate the investment performance of a fund against relevant benchmarks and the funds' Investment Policy Statement.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Demonstrate an ability to take full responsibility for the coordination and logistic planning and resourcing of a board meeting.
  • Illustrate with justification, the potential and actual concerns that retirement fiduciaries need to consider in relation to their fiduciary and ethical responsibilities.
  • Critically analyse the given risk management policy, identify the risks facing the fund and develop risk mitigation strategies in response to the identified risks and develop a risk matrix.

    Integrated Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the POA as Assessment Quality partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria. An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the POA as Assessment Quality partner is required for the issuing of this qualification.

    In order to qualify for the external summative learners must have a copy of a completed and signed Statement of Work Experience as well as proof of successful completion of all the subjects and modules or, in the case of RPL, a signed acknowledgement that they understand the learning assumed to be in place requirements. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification is a new occupational qualification which has not been offered in any similar countries. The South African profession is represented through professional membership from all SADC countries and so this qualification will be the fore leader in the African continent. Globally, the retirement fund fiduciary is encompassed in the CEO role and the title Principal Officer is associated with civil service.

    In the United States of America, a Principal Officer is "the officer in charge of a diplomatic mission, consular office, or other Foreign Service Post, such as a United States Liaison Office".

    In the United Kingdom, the Principal Officer is "a rank used in HM Prison Service, the Scottish Prison Service and the Northern Ireland Prison Service, as well as other prison services around the world. It is the highest uniformed rank, above senior office and below the grades of governor. A principal officer traditionally headed up each wing of a prison".

    Globally, it appears that the retirement fiduciary occupation is encompassed in the Chief Executive Officer position.

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) ISCO -08 makes no distinction between a Principal Officer and a CEO, as the function of the Principal Officer can be best serviced by Unit group 1120: Managing Directors and Chief Executives.

    The Canadian NOC lists, unit group 0031: Senior Managers- financial, communications and other business services (Chief Executive Office CEO) as the only occupation related to the duties of the South African Principal Officer and requires "a university degree in business administration, commerce, computer science or other discipline related to the service provided".

    The Australia Power index released in August 2012 concurs that amongst CEOs "undergraduate degree in; economics, commerce or engineering are the most common". 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification is envisaged to have both horizontal and vertical articulation possibilities with other cognate qualifications such as:
    Horizontally with:
  • Advance Diploma in Management in Finance at NQF Level 7.

    Vertically with:
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting Science at NQF Level 8. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

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

    NOTES 
    Registered qualifications and or learning programmes to be replaced:
  • This qualification does not replace any other qualifications.

    Recorded trades to be replaced:
  • This qualification does not replace any recorded trade.

    Name of the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP) for this qualification:
  • Principal Officers Association (POA). 

  • 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 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.