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: Poultry Production 
49578  National Certificate: Poultry Production 
SGB Secondary Agriculture: Processing 
AgriSETA - Agriculture SETA  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Secondary Agriculture 
Undefined  138  Level 3  NQF Level 03  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 qualification provides learners with the opportunity to gain competence in poultry production and will facilitate their securing employment in the industry. For those who are already employed in a poultry production farm, the multi-skilling that the qualification offers will open up a career path in the industry.

The qualification will allow the learners to:
  • Monitor and manage the poultry house environment.
  • Allocate and manage the poultry feeding programmes.
  • Manage the bio-security programmes on the poultry farm.
  • Monitor the health of poultry.
  • Inspect, weigh and ensure that the poultry are within the required performance standards.
  • Compile records and construct basic graphs of growth, consumption and other statistics.
  • Perform farm management functions.

    The qualification will equip the learner with the necessary skills to manage a poultry production unit on a farm.

    At present the majority of learners at this level have little or no formal training in the industry.


    The qualification addresses the urgent need for the adoption of nationally accepted standards for the industry, especially within the SMME sector. This will allow them to operate on a more professional basis. The observance of strict health, hygiene and bio-security principles will minimize the risks that these role players currently face.

    This qualification and the resultant skills that are learnt will have a positive contribution to the establishment of poultry production farms in the rural areas that can serve their communities and distant markets.

    The qualification embodies the international requirements for handling and care of poultry which will ensure that high quality poultry products are produced.

    Through the electives, learners will be able to choose a specialization that will impart specific knowledge and skills. 

    Learners who would like to access this qualification should have demonstrated appropriate levels of competence in Communication and Numeracy at NQF level 2.

    Recognition of prior learning:

    The qualification may be achieved in part or as a whole through the Recognition of Prior Learning process for the unit standards. 


    This qualification consists of a minimum of 138 credits, composed of:
  • Fundamental: 36
  • Core: 77
  • Electives: 25 

    1. Recognize the importance of the poultry industry's contribution to the provision of good quality food for the population and the various sectors that are involved in the industry.

    2. Show an understanding of the importance of adhering to the principles and procedures of health and safety to maintain a safe working environment.

    3. Indicate the functions of the external features of poultry and the role that the various body systems play in the health and growth of birds.

    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the components of various poultry diets and the nutrient values that these provide.

    5. Show an understanding of the role that water plays in the digestive and metabolic processes and the use of water management practices to achieve high standards of health and production.

    6. Indicate the means of monitoring and modifying the environmental conditions to create a favourable environment for health and optimal growth of poultry.

    7. Identify the possible entry routes for disease-causing organisms onto a poultry farm, or the incubation areas of the hatchery, and the bio-security practices necessary to restrict the entry of these.

    8. Understand the procedures for cleaning, disinfecting, fumigation and preparation of poultry houses for the introduction of a new flock.

    9. Demonstrate the ability to compile reports, keep records and conduct basic documentation for poultry production. 

  • The various structures within the poultry industry and the roles that the fulfill are discussed.
  • The efficient conversion of agricultural by products into nutritious food is described.

  • The necessity for the constant evaluation and improvement of health and safety is explained.
  • The principles of health and safety and the responsibilities of he employer and employees to ensure a safe working environment are detailed.

  • The external features and organs of poultry are identified and their functions are explained.
  • The components and functions of the main body systems of poultry are described.

  • The raw materials that are included in the formulation of poultry diets are detailed.
  • The sources of nutrition and growth enhancing components of poultry food are explained.
  • The main source of energy and the role that feed plays in the life processes is explained.

  • The role that water plays in moisturizing the nasal and tracheal membranes is explained.
  • The importance of water for the maintenance of body temperature at high ambient temperatures is explained.
  • The necessity of water for digestion, absorption and food passage rate is described.

  • The importance of monitoring and adjusting ventilation in a poultry house is explained.
  • The effects that photoperiods have on the growth and sexual maturity of poultry are described.
  • The necessity and operation of evaporative coolers are described.

  • The pathogens that affect poultry and the methods of minimizing these are explained.
  • The bio-security procedures to restrict the entry of disease-causing organisms onto a poultry farm are described.
  • The procedures for the disposal of waste and mortalities are explained.

  • The removal of loose equipment from the poultry house and the pre-cleaning operation is described.
  • The procedures for washing, disinfecting and fumigation of the poultry house are explained.

  • The compiling and filing of relevant documentation is demonstrated.
  • The writing of brief reports is demonstrated.
  • The construction of basic statistical graphs and their interpretation is demonstrated.

    Integrated assessment:

    The integrated assessment allows the Learners the opportunity to show that they are able to utilize concepts, ideas and actions across the unit standards. This will allow Learners to achieve competency that is in keeping with the purpose of the qualification.

    An integrated assessment will indicate how theoretical learning is demonstrated in a practical environment in such a way that the application of the work learnt becomes second nature.

    In conducting an assessment, the quality of the performance must also be evaluated i.e.: both the performance and the thinking behind the action must be qualitative.

    The assessment should include both formative and summative options and should use various assessment tools i.e. not by observation only. It is required that a Portfolio of Assessment form part of the summative assessment, with practical outcomes being demonstrated in a simulated or real work place situation.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge being maintained.

    It is recommended that the assessment tools give Learners the opportunity to account for their decision-making and problem solving in line with the specific outcomes and related assessment criteria.

    Learners should be assessed in occupational contexts and activities. The assessment should ensure that the foundational skills are portable and prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. 

    For levels 2 and 3, the qualifications are internationally comparable with the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, but at Level 1 no generalist qualification exists in these countries.

    Level 1 is uniquely relevant to South Africa as our workforce has a predominantly lower education entry level than the comparable countries and the introduction at this foundational level will facilitate career pathing more readily than at level 2.

    The following New Zealand poultry qualifications were benchmarked against.

    For poultry production the following qualifications were used:
  • Poultry Production Level 2: Ref. 0886. Core 12 and Elective 11 unit standards.
  • Poultry Husbandry Level 3: Ref. 0330. Core 8 and Elective 14 unit standards.

    For poultry processing, no specific qualification is used. The poultry unit standards form part of the generic meat processing qualifications. The following New Zealand unit standards were used:
  • Ref. 18829, 18843, 18851, 18852, 18853, 18854, 18855.
  • Ref. 16104, 16503, 12624, 13491, 20235, 2504.

    In general, the content is similar but the South African standards contain more detail. Their farm and business personnel structure differs to ours in that we have larger staff complements and lower entry levels in the industry.

    Some of the electives in the level 2 and 3 processing qualifications each cover specific processing areas, not machines, in the poultry abattoirs. The poultry industry specifically requested that these unit standards address the two levels, as there are two distinct occupations in each of these areas. This was borne out in the skills profile study that was conducted prior to the generation of the unit standards.

    The machine operators and carcass handlers reside at level 2. They need to gain knowledge of the function and operational duties within the specific department or processing area.

    The supervisors, who reside at level 3 are responsible for production and require a broader perspective and in-depth knowledge to monitor and manage these operations. A close examination of the unit standards will reveal this intent.

    The Poultry Production level three qualification was compared with the following related United Kingdom certificates:
  • MTC Advanced Certificate in Meat and Poultry, Level 3: Ref. 100/2251/0.
  • MTC Advanced Certificate in Meat and Poultry Hygiene, Level 3: Ref. 100/2366/5.
  • MTC NVQ in Meat and Poultry Processing, Level 3: Ref. Q 1054081.
  • RSPH Certificate in meat inspection, Level 3: Ref. 100/1438/. 

    The qualification is designed to provide a structured learning path for employees in the Poultry Processing industry in South Africa, be they in employ of commercial businesses or as entrepreneurs.

    The Level 3 National Certificate in Poultry Processing is seen as a qualification to up-skill the learners who are currently employed in poultry or red meat abattoirs.

    The qualifications, with national recognition, would not only enable employees to move within the poultry industry, between the fields of Production and Processing, but would also create the opportunity for learners to move into the red meat and abattoir industries.

    While the Production and Processing qualifications diverge as they progress upwards, there remains sufficient common ground for holders of one qualification to be able to be employed in the other field with minimum additional training. 

    Anyone assessing a learner against these unit standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA and have the experience or in depth knowledge of the poultry processing industry.

    Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of these unit standards or will assess these unit standards must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA. Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedure.

    Therefore anyone wishing to be assessed against these unit standards may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution which is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

    Assessors must:
  • Be accredited as assessors by the relevant ETQA.
  • Have experience or in depth knowledge of the poultry production industry.
  • Meet any other requirements that may be stipulated by the relevant ETQA. 

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


    Core  119442  Demonstrate basic understanding of the poultry production industry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  119452  Show an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of poultry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  14063  Apply Self Management through the Concepts of Positive Self-esteem and Resiliency  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119468  Clean and prepare the poultry house for a new flock  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119537  Demonstrate an understanding of basic health management practices on poultry holdings  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119430  Demonstrate an understanding of poultry nutrition  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  116714  Lead a team, plan, allocate and assess their work  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119441  Maintain bio-security in poultry production  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119408  Maintain health and safety in poultry production  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119402  Maintain water for poultry production  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119417  Manage a poultry production facility  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119444  Monitor and manage the poultry production environment  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Core  119429  Perform and administer record keeping functions in poultry production  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  119420  Understand vaccine handling and vaccinating practices for poultry  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8968  Accommodate audience and context needs in oral communication  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8971  Analyse and respond to a variety of literary texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9010  Demonstrate an understanding of the use of different number bases and measurement units and an awareness of error in the context of relevant calculations  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9013  Describe, apply, analyse and calculate shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional space in different contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8969  Interpret and use information from texts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  9012  Investigate life and work related problems using data and probabilities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  7456  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal, business and national issues  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  8970  Write texts for a range of communicative contexts  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Elective  119449  Manage hatching eggs for setting  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  119396  Manage post-brooding broiler production activities  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  119409  Manage the brooding of poultry chicks  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  119489  Manage the care of commercial layers  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  119474  Manage the care of poultry parent stock  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  119439  Manage the incubation process in hatcheries  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  119486  Manage the production of table eggs  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 
    Elective  119493  Manage the rearing of poultry parent stock  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 
    Elective  119381  Manage the rearing of pullets for table egg production  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15 


    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. Adonai Capital and Farming 
    2. Afgri Operations (Pty) Ltd 
    3. Aganang Training Academy 
    4. AGB Finance (Pty) Ltd 
    5. Agri RDA Holdings Pty Ltd 
    6. Agri Skills Transfer (PTY) Ltd 
    7. Agriroots (Pty) Ltd 
    8. Amasiko Trading Enterprise 
    9. Amphi SA Pty Ltd 
    10. Asqhakaze (Pty) Ltd 
    11. Balimi Skills (Pty) Ltd 
    12. Bekwa Skills Training and Projects 
    13. Bhengu Strategic Management Accountants Pty Ltd 
    14. Bintjus Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    15. Bonwelong Skills Development 
    16. Calvin Projects Managements PTY LTD 
    17. Comprehend Skills Development ( Pty) Ltd 
    18. Davhana Training and Development (Pty)Ltd 
    19. Dicla Training and Farming 
    20. Dicla Training and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    21. Dieketseng Training Centre (Pty) Ltd 
    22. Dinako tsa Marang Consultancy 
    23. Dynamic Training Centre 
    24. Dzangi Consulting Services 
    25. Ecowise Landscape 
    27. Embo Skills Development Centre Pty Ltd 
    28. Farmers Hope Co-operate Limited 
    29. GA Community Care Consultants 
    30. Gaoshupi Training Academy Pty Ltd 
    31. Gert Sibande TVET College 
    32. Go Eden Farm Produce Pty Ltd 
    33. Godloti (Pty) Ltd 
    34. Grain Hills Agri (PTY) LTD 
    35. Gwala and Son Driving School Trading Enterprise Pty Ltd 
    36. Hope Nutrition Business Consultancy 
    37. House of Elegance Trading 
    38. Hupco Communications 
    39. Hygiene Pot Investment and Projects Pty Ltd 
    40. Imbumba Development 
    41. Institute For Cooperative and Community Economic Development 
    42. Isisekelo Samambo Pty Ltd 
    43. Jaji Lithabile Skill Training and Consulting (Pty) Ltd 
    44. Jolaros Trading and Peojects 
    45. K2011145379(South Africa) (Pty) Ltd 
    46. Kgomo-Lesiba Investments 
    47. Khanimambo Innovative Solutions Cc 
    48. Khazimlani Trading cc 
    49. Knowledge For Ever 
    50. KwaZulu Natal Poultry Institute 
    51. Lablab Agri Professionals 
    52. LAS 74 Trading 
    54. Lazaro Technologies (Pty) Ltd 
    55. Lehutjo Management 
    56. Leruo ke Matla Training and Enterprise Development Services 
    57. Lesmas Training and Consulting 
    58. Lethoa Trading Enterprise (Pty) Ltd 
    59. LFP AGRI (PTY) LTD 
    60. Lina and Arenes Catering 
    61. Lungile Mchunu Consultancy 
    62. M-way Trading Enterprise Cc 
    63. Mabalengwe Agriculture (Pty) Ltd 
    64. Mahlasenola Youth Development Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    65. Majoka Trading and Construction 
    66. Makhubalo Trading and Projects Pty Ltd 
    67. Mapholoba Training Projects 
    68. Mentowell (Pty) Ltd 
    69. Miehleketo Skills Solutions Pty Ltd 
    70. MMKM Training and Development (Pty) Ltd 
    71. Mocwiri Training & Consultant 
    72. Modirisiwa Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    73. Modric Group 
    74. Mongadule Training Consultant (Pty) Ltd 
    75. Monkwe Disability Consultant (Pty) Ltd 
    76. Mortarboard Training Solutions 
    77. Moshia Holdings Pty Ltd 
    78. Moshita Family Agric Primary Co-Operative Limited 
    79. Motheo FET College - Central Office 
    80. Mphekgwane Business Development 
    81. Mponeng Projects Pty Ltd 
    82. Mshumbu Contractors 
    83. Mukwevho 163 Poultry Farm 
    84. Mulongo Skills Development and Projects 
    85. Mxonothem Construction and Trading Cc 
    86. Mzanzi Training Institute 
    87. N.J Mashego Skills Development 
    88. New Hope Revival Organisation 
    89. Ngwetsana Skills Development 
    90. Nistro Consulting 
    91. Njabs consulting training and projects 
    92. Nkoanapula Trading & Projects 
    93. No Limits Trading Enterprise 
    94. Nomastyl Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    95. Novi General Services 
    96. NR Group 
    97. Ntandoyenkosi Consulting and trading 
    98. NTF Electrical and Training 
    99. Number 9 and Fortfar Academy (Pty) Ltd 
    100. Omiya Training and Projects 
    101. Orange Language Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    102. Peete Le Mokhachane Farming Co-operative 
    103. Phetogo Training Consultancy (Pty) Ltd 
    104. Phil Chemics Enterprise (Pty) Ltd 
    105. Phophi Na Tshikaho Trading Enterprise 
    106. Phumelela Education Training Academy Pty Ltd 
    107. Phumla Mangwenis Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    108. Pontsana Training and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    109. Potchefstroom College of Agriculture 
    110. Poultry Harvest 
    111. Prempie Business Solutions Pty Ltd 
    112. Prestige Agri Solutions (Pty) Ltd 
    113. Qhakazani Skills Development and Projects 
    114. Radiragatsa Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    115. Redeeming Time Multi Skills Training Services 
    116. Rekopane Training Centre CC 
    117. Remo Holdings Pty Ltd 
    118. Rightscope Academy 
    119. SA Entrepreneurship Skills Development And Training (Pty) Ltd 
    120. Scientific Roets (Pty) Ltd 
    121. Sebenzisanane Human Capital 
    122. Sego Hludi Trading Enterprise 
    123. Shekinah Beauty Pty Ltd 
    124. Sibanisamakhosi Zulu (Pty) Ltd 
    125. Sibima Skills Development 
    126. Sibusise Jesu Primary Co-operative Limited 
    127. Signa Academy (Pty) Ltd 
    128. Simba Skills Consultants 
    129. Sinohlase Investments 
    130. Siphumezulwazi Consulting (Pty) Ltd 
    131. Sivande Sethi Agriculture and Projects 
    132. Sivukangomusa Landscaping and Agriculture Primary Co-Operative Limited 
    133. Siyabonga Academy For Excellence 
    134. Skillo's Building and Cleaning Maintanance 
    135. Sly Wasly Trading and Projects 
    136. SNNB Trading & Projects 
    137. South African Advanced Skills Institute 
    139. Spear of African Women in Agriculture & Rural Development 
    140. Stecor Farming (Pty) Ltd 
    141. Stillo Tyra Training Centre (Pty) Ltd 
    142. Sxazululo Enterprise 
    143. TCEP (Pty) Ltd 
    144. Tendani Business Network (Pty) Ltd 
    145. Thembeni Skills Development Trading and Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    146. Thenda Assist Skills Development 
    147. Thumbela Communication Pty Ltd 
    148. Thuto Ya Setshaba Training Services (Pty) Ltd 
    149. Tisoni Business Enterprise 
    151. Tloumogale Business Development & Consulting 
    152. Toutele Agriculture College South Africa Pty Ltd 
    153. TPLR and Training Services (PTY) LTD 
    154. Tran Atlantic Construction 
    155. Tripple 000 Trading Cc 
    156. Try Easy Electrical Solutions Pty Ltd 
    157. Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute 
    158. Twoline Training Skills For Africa Pty Ltd 
    159. Ukundiza Development Institute NPC 
    160. Ulwazolubanzi Skills Development Initiatives (Pty) Ltd 
    161. Umbuso Training Services 
    162. Umfumfu Construction and Projects 
    163. Umgqomo Trading 
    164. Umnotho We Afrika Foundation 
    165. Vastfontein Enterprise Suppliers 
    167. Vuyani Agri (Pty) Ltd 
    168. Wena le Wena Trading and Projects 
    169. Willem 400 
    170. Xihluke Training and Projects 
    171. Zwavhumbwa Trading Enterprises 

    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.