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.

National Certificate: Specialist Hygiene and Cleaning Services 
36233  National Certificate: Specialist Hygiene and Cleaning Services 
SGB Hygiene & Cleaning Services 
SERVICES - Services Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 11 - Services  Cleaning, Domestic, Hiring, Property and Rescue Services 
Undefined  120  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
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. 

The primary purpose of this Qualification is to develop the foundational, practical and reflexive competencies in an individual, required for a career in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry and to positively impact on social and economic transformation.

Central to the Qualification is the development of a culture of quality service and professionalism in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry. This Qualification intends to produce employable cleaners/team leaders who can find gainful employment in the cleaning industry. This will also achieve the objectives of the NQF.

Credits gained at one level in this Qualification will be transferable throughout the system, giving the learner the opportunity of building up credits towards additional Qualifications in a related field (e.g. Hospitality, Health Care or Manufacturing), or a related branch of cleaning (e.g. Industrial or Textile Cleaning

The credits reflect the practical and theoretical education and training aspects of the Qualification.

Rationale for the qualification

The scoping exercise that was undertaken, clearly indicated the need for a Qualification and incorporated Unit Standards that will allow employees in the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry to obtain Qualifications and / or standards at NQF Level 2. This Qualification will afford learners, who have attained the GETC: Domestic Services and the National Certificate in Hygiene and Cleaning Services at NQF level 1, the opportunity to develop further along this career pathway.

This Qualification is needed to transform the Hygiene and Cleaning Services Industry by:
  • Promoting and continually improving a professional image
  • By instilling a culture of awareness of a clean environment that will improve the quality of life for all South Africans
  • Creating environmental awareness / consciousness
  • Adding value to the worker, society and the economy

    The Qualification aims to add value to learners by:
  • Allowing employees within the industry to identify a career path within the Hygiene and Cleaning Industry
  • Developing further skills in terms of practicing professional team leader abilities
  • Developing a sense of pride amongst employees for their jobs and their industry
  • Developing a better understanding of the industry amongst employees
  • Enhancing a code of ethics inclusive of viable and sustainable environmental management practices
  • Providing consistent quality and safety standards
  • Educating clients about hygiene, for the purpose of using "best practice" cleaning methods. 

    As this is an NQF Level 2 Qualification, it is expected that learners participating in NQF level 2 will have achieved competence in NQF level 1 communication/language and mathematics/ numeracy skills or ABET Level 4. Learners would also have achieved competence in skills and knowledge of cleaning at NQF level 1 in sub fields applicable to their career paths (i.e. commercial, Laundry, Health).

    Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

    Learners who already work in the cleaning industry and who believe that they possess the competencies to enable them to meet all of the outcomes listed in the Unit Standard will be able to present themselves for assessment against the Unit Standards of their choice and the Qualification. 


    To be awarded the Qualification learners are required to obtain a minimum of 120 credits as detailed below.

    Fundamental Component:

    The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
  • Mathematical Literacy at Level 2 to the value of 16 credits.
  • Communication at Level 2 to the value of 20 credits.
  • Life skills at Level 2 to the value of 7 credits.

    All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

    Core Component:

    The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 51 credits all of which are compulsory.

    Elective Component:

    The Elective Component consists of individual unit standards from which the learner must choose unit standards totalling a minimum of 26 credits. 

    The critical cross-field outcomes are integrated into the assessment criteria of each individual Unit Standard. Whilst each Unit Standard is designed to be assessed on its own, (including the critical cross-field outcomes), Unit Standards have been combined into modules of marketable skills which can be assessed accordingly.

    Thus, although the Qualification is aimed at providing the opportunity for learners to obtain a Qualification at Level 2 the modular approach enables them to become productive in a short time. Once a learner has completed all the modules successfully, s/he would have completed the full Level 2 Qualification.

    The assessment of critical cross-field outcomes are integrated with the modules and thus the module serves as an exit level outcome. In terms of the modular structure, the exit level outcomes for this Qualification are:

    1. Clean, Sterilize and Disnfect Healthcare Areas.

    2. Clean carpet and Upholstery using various methods of cleaning.

    3. Use scrubber driers to clean floors.

    4. Strip, seal and vacuum wet floor surfaces. 

  • The areas in the work place that are microbial sensitive and where microbial contamination needs to be controlled is named.
  • The correct chemicals and disinfectants are selected and diluted according to the infection control department`s disinfection policy
  • The floor, walls and equipment is cleaned and disinfected according to operating procedures
  • Waste and used consumables are disposed according to infection control procedures.

  • The correct cleaning equipment, accessories and chemicals is selected and assembled according to the job requirements
  • The colourfastness of carpets and upholstery is tested, the fibre and weave is identified and spots and heavily soiled areas are pre-treated
  • The appropriate type of vacuuming is conducted and the fabric is positioned to dry in a well-ventilated area
  • The quality of work is continuously inspected, the cleaning equipment is cleaned, dried and stored and the chemicals and accessories are stored.

  • The correct sweeping equipment, wet mopping equipment, automatic scrubber drier, scrubbing brushes/pads and chemicals are selected and the scrubbing operation is planned according to productivity principles
  • The machine controls are operated in the correct sequence and the chemical solution feed control is adjusted so that the correct amount of chemical solution is dispensed according to the floor type, degree of soiling and speed of the machine
  • End of task procedures are performed, including disconnecting the battery and recharging it according to operating instructions.

  • A serviceable vacuum cleaner and the correct accessories are identified and prepared and the vacuuming procedure for the area is planned according to the safety requirements, possible urgency and disruption to people.
  • The floor is vacuumed according to work-site procedures, the waste is disposed according to work-site procedures and environmental requirements and the vacuuming equipment is cleaned, dried and stored.
  • The suitability of the floor type and condition of the floor for wet or dry stripping is identified, the correct protective clothing and equipment is selected, moveable furniture and equipment is removed and the surface area is swept.
  • The stripping chemical solution is liberally applied and allowed the correct contact time to react.
  • The appropriate sealing product and equipment is used and fans or floor drying equipment is used according to product and equipment requirements.

    Integrated Assessment

    The assessment of competence in the cleaning industry needs to remain practical in nature, and should be conducted in the workplace, as far as possible.

    The nature of the cleaning industry is such that labour is the most significant cost factor. To save costs it would therefore be advisable for learning and assessment to take place at his/her workplace while performing the actual job. In addition the assessment would thus take place in an environment familiar to the learner.

    Nature and type of assessment

    There is a need for two kinds of assessment:

    1. Ongoing formative assessment, aimed at the development of learners.

    This could include assessment of areas such as:
  • Hygiene
  • Client care
  • Communication skills
  • Individual skills and combinations of skills, under different circumstances
  • Critical outcomes such as problem solving, communicating with clients and colleagues, practicing environmental awareness, working effectively as a member of a team in a cleaning context, practicing personal time management and ensuring that there is always sufficient stock on hand to perform the tasks required for the job.

    2. Summative assessment in which it can be seen whether under real life working conditions and in the presence of an industry-based assessor, a learner is able to demonstrate competency against a particular Unit Standard. The summative assessment can also be used as a diagnostic assessment tool aimed at identifying the learners` skills gaps for the Qualification. 

    The SGB used the New Zealand and Australian cleaning standards as a point of departure in comparing the standards internationally. In addition, the appropriate UK Cities & Guilds standards (general cleaning), and the Scottish SVQ`s (Waste Management) were reviewed.

    Principles from a range of other international standards of practice have been incorporated into the Unit Standards. These include the HACCP, Coddex Alimentarius and AIB standards (applicable to food safety), GMP (applicable to pharmaceutica), the International Sanitary Supply Association (general cleaning practice), and the US Centre for Disease Control guidelines (applicable to hygiene, health care and contamination control.) IRATA (Industrial Rope Access Trade Association) International guidelines on the use of ropes access methods for industrial purposes.

    Standards were further developed in such a manner that it interfaces with ISO 9001, ISO 14000 and VDA 6 quality and environmental systems where these exist in the workplace.

    In addition the following SABS Codes of Practice were consulted:
  • SABS 049 - Hygiene Management
  • SABS 0330 - HACCP Food Safety
  • SABS 0245 - Maintenance of Textile Floor Coverings
  • SABS 0247 - Cleaning of Textile Upholstered Furniture

    The following standards developed by the National Contract Cleaners` Association were consulted:
  • NCCA Cleaning Chemical Standard
  • NCCA Cleaning Equipment Standard
  • NCCA Window Cleaning Safety Standard. 

    The learner will have multiple choices of learning and career paths in the following areas of economic activity:-

    1. Health Care
    2. Waste Management
    3. Hospitality (Accommodation Services)
    4. Food Production
    5. Retail and Merchandising

    An example of vertical articulation may be the proposed National Certificate: Hygiene and Cleaning Supervision at NQF level 3. This Qualification may articulate horizontally with the National Certificate: Accommodation Services at NQF level 2 (ID 14110). 

    The moderator has the following functions:
  • Monitoring and evaluating the standard of all summative assessments.
  • To review both substantive and process related matters in the case of an appeal against an assessment decision.
  • Maintaining standards by exercising appropriate influence and control over assessors to ensure good standards of practice.
  • Exercising a moderation function in case of a dispute between assessors, or between any assessor and learner.
  • Giving written feedback to the relevant ETQA as and when required.
  • Submitting reports to the relevant ETQA in terms of its policy.

    The moderator does not necessarily have to be competent against the Unit Standards assessments under moderation, as his / her primary function is to ensure quality and due process. 

    Assessments of competence against the unit standards include all kinds of assessment. The degree of integrated competence required at this level does not require a final integrated assessment.

    Assessors will meet the following requirements:
  • Be registered assessor.
  • Be fluent in the official language in which the learner prefers to be assessed.
  • Be able to adequately record assessment responses, minutes of meetings between learner and assessor and any other information that may be needed for the performance of moderation activities.
  • Be competent and accredited against the Unit Standard to be assessed.
  • Be a fair and approachable person and have time available for assessment activities.
  • In the event of an outstanding appeal against an assessment decision, (lodged with the relevant ETQA), the assessor will not be allowed to perform further assessments.

    Criteria for the accreditation of assessors

    In addition to the criteria mentioned under the headings above, assessors need to demonstrate the following:
  • Have achieved an NQF Level 3 Qualification in Hygiene and Cleaning or related fields
  • Knowledge of the NQF and the role of SAQA and the ETQA.
  • Knowledge of the Unit Standards, the Qualification, the skills content and the assessments required.
  • Knowledge of assessment practices.
  • Knowledge of career structures and employment levels within the cleaning industry.
  • The ability to write reports and provide objective recommendations to the Accreditation Body. 

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


    Core  12511  Apply quality principles in everyday cleaning tasks  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12525  Identify, collect, classify and handle waste  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  7800  Maintain health, hygiene and a professional appearance  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  12512  Practice environmental awareness  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Core  10348  Identify and respond to customer needs in a Contact Centre  Level 2  NQF Level 02  12 
    Core  7799  Maintain a safe working environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8420  Operate in a team  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8618  Organise oneself in the workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  14349  Receive and execute instructions  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  8416  Understand and apply personal values and ethics  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  9926  Coach learners  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  11235  Maintain effective working relationships with other members of staff  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8963  Access and use information from texts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9009  Apply basic knowledge of statistics and probability to influence the use of data and procedures in order to investigate life related problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  11813  Apply knowledge of self in order to make a life decision  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8494  Demonstrate an understanding of HIV/AIDS and its implications  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7480  Demonstrate understanding of rational and irrational numbers and number systems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8962  Maintain and adapt oral communication  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  12444  Measure, estimate and calculate physical quantities and explore, describe and represent geometrical relationships in 2-dimensions in different life or workplace contexts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8967  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7469  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal and community life  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9007  Work with a range of patterns and functions and solve problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8964  Write for a defined context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110468  Clean carpets using the wet extraction method  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  243275  Erect and dismantle prefabricated aluminium alloy scaffolding  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  12526  Vacuum clean dry surfaces  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  110470  Vacuum clean wet surfaces  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  110471  Apply basic micro-biological principles in cleaning  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110452  Clean and disinfect operating rooms  Level 2  NQF Level 02  12 
    Elective  110440  Clean and sterilise operating theatre central supply items  Level 2  NQF Level 02  16 
    Elective  110442  Clean carpets using the dry powder method  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110469  Clean carpets using the shampooing and fresh water rinsing method  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110463  Clean upholstery using the dry foam method  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110455  Clean upholstery using the wet foam-wet extraction method  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110466  Clean wards and medium-risk, high-risk and isolation patient areas  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  377781  Decontaminate a trauma or crime scene  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110451  Maintain batteries in automatic scrubber-driers and auto sweepers  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  377761  Operate a high pressure water pipe or tube bundle cleaning system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  243272  Operate a Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP)  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Elective  110519  Scrub hard and resilient floors using a battery-operated automatic scrubber-drier  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110448  Scrub hard and resilient floors using a mains-operated automatic scrubber-drier  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  110476  Strip and seal hard and resilient floors using a water-based sealing product  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Elective  377722  Use a high pressure water jetting system to clean surfaces  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  377721  Use a high pressure water jetting system to prepare a surface  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  377740  Use a high pressure water surface cutting system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 


    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.
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    5. Camblish Training Institute 
    6. Ebn-Tec 
    7. Ecowize High Performance Solutions 
    8. Empilweni Management Solutions 
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    10. Heirs Training and Development 
    12. KLM Empowered Human Solutions Specialists 
    13. Kwindla Institute of Learning and Consulting 
    15. Masikila Training 
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    17. Ontoanetse Consulting 
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    20. Regen Institute of Leadership and Management Education 
    22. Seonyatseng Learning Institute 
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    24. Supercare Services Group 
    25. Thelin t/a TL Consulting 
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    28. Wind Academy 

    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.