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: Forestry: Silviculture 
50266  National Certificate: Forestry: Silviculture 
SGB Forestry 
FPMSETA - Fibre Processing and Manufacturing Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Forestry and Wood Technology 
Undefined  123  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. 


This qualification will be useful to those who help to establish, maintain and protect forests within a silvicultural context, and who seek recognition for essential skills in forestry operations. The qualification recognises fairly specialised work skills with some need to supervise, instruct and organise others within routine contexts and according to given procedures. However, in most situations, the learners will be working under supervision themselves.

Learners will be able to enhance safety and productivity in silviculture, and this qualification provides evidence of a proven ability to:
  • Communicate in a variety of ways.
  • Use mathematics in real life situations.
  • Supervise and participate in wildfire suppression.
  • Clear trees.
  • Participate in silviculture-related activities.
  • Supervise silviculture operations.

    Depending in electives chosen, recipients will be able to:
  • Provide fire protection support.
  • Participate in plantation establishment and maintenance.

    The qualification is designed to be flexible and accessible so that people are able to demonstrate the competencies required to work safely and effectively in silvicultural operations.


    The majority of the learners for this qualification are likely to be working in the forestry sub-field. The qualification will give them the opportunity to balance their practical skills with the essential operations associated with efficient and safe silviculture operations. There is also a critical need in the industry to identify and recognise people who are able to conduct the essential operations associated with efficient and safe silviculture operations. 

    Learners who would like to access this qualification should have demonstrated competency in Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the assessment criteria defined for the qualification and related unit standards.

    Evidence can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.

    All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment.

    Access to the qualification:

    The qualification is open to all learners who are in possession of an entry-level General Forestry qualification or who have completed grade 10 or equivalent within the formal schooling sector. 


  • Fundamental - all 36 credits in the Fundamental category are required.
  • Core - all 81 credits in the Core category are required.
  • Electives - a minimum of 6 credits is required from the possible 27 credits in the Electives category. 

    1. Supervise and participate in wildfire suppression.
    2. Clear trees.
    3. Participate in and supervise silviculture-related activities.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the associated unit standards:
  • Identifying and solving problems in which responses indicate that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made.
  • Working effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Organising and managing oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Collecting, analysing, organising and critically evaluating information.
  • Communicating effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral/written persuasion.
  • Using science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Demonstrating and understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.

    Learning programmes directed towards this qualification will also contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large, by making individuals aware of the importance of:
  • Reflecting on and exploring a variety of strategies to learn more effectively.
  • Participating as responsible citizens in the life of local, national and global communities.
  • Being culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts.
  • Exploring education and career opportunities; and developing entrepreneurial opportunities. 

  • Supervision is carried out in line with prepared plans and drills.
  • Fire protection support is efficient and effective.
  • Actions contribute to the successful and safe suppression of wildfires.
  • Wildfires are suppressed or contained through effective leadership of a strike attack force.

  • Trees are cleared safely and according to production schedules.
  • Equipment is used as per manufacturer's operating requirements and industry safety standards.
  • Felling, cutting, debranching and cross-cutting techniques comply with industry standards.

  • Activities in plantations are established and maintained according to company requirements.
  • Herbicides are applied in keeping with silviculture requirements.
  • Activities are supervised according to plan.

    Integrated assessment:

    Assessment is to take place according to the detailed specifications indicated in the unit standards associated with each exit level outcome. Over and above the achievement of the specified unit standards, evidence of integration will be required as per the broad assessment criteria specified above, all within the context of an active workplace environment, dealing with divergent and "random" demands related to these work operations.

    Assessors should note that the evidence of integration could well be presented by learners when being assessed against the unit standards - thus there should not necessarily be separate assessments for each unit standard and then further integrated assessment. Well designed assessments should make it possible to gain evidence against each unit standard while at the same time gain evidence of integration of knowledge and skills.

    Assessors should take note of the following general principles when designing and conducting assessments:
  • Focus the initial assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcomes expressed in the titles of the unit standards to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember that we want to declare the person competent in terms of the qualification purpose. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then the assessment should be focussed on each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes. Take special note of the need for integrated assessment.
  • Ensure that assessment is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-players are used, there should be supporting evidence to prove that the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • All assessments should be conducted in accordance with the following universally accepted principles of assessment. 

    This qualification compares favourably to the New Zealand qualification: National Certificate in Forestry (Establishment and Silviculture) (Level 3), which has the following purpose:

    "This qualification recognises the primary skills of forest silviculture that determine the quality of the forest crop. The compulsory unit standards also cover the skills of fire control. The elective list includes unit standards that recognise the skills required for the quality and production performance of the main silviculture operations".

    The unit standards in the NZQA qualification that inform and compare favourably to the unit standards in the SA qualification in terms of coverage and level are:

    NZQA ID; Title; Level; Credit
  • 1232-Demonstrate knowledge of forest planting site preparation; Level 2; 4 Credits
  • 6950-Demonstrate knowledge of thinning plantation trees; Level 2; 3 Credits
  • 6951-Demonstrate knowledge of selecting plantation trees; Level 2; 4 Credits
  • 6952-Select plantation trees for a forest crop; Level 3; 5 Credits
  • 1241-Demonstrate knowledge of plantation forest establishment and silviculture; Level 2; 4 Credits
  • 3270-Establish and deliver water supplies for fire fighting; Level 2; 3 Credits
  • 3278-Demonstrate knowledge of command and control structure of an emergency service provider; Level 1; 2 Credits
  • 20386-Operate portable pumps for fire fighting; Level 3; 3 Credits
  • 3285-Demonstrate knowledge of protection of personal safety at vegetation fires; Level 3; 3 Credits
  • 3286-Control vegetation fires using dry fire fighting techniques; Level 3; 2 Credits
  • 3287-Suppress vegetation fires with water and with water with additives; Level 3; 2 Credits
  • 43-Maintain a chainsaw; Level 3; 5 Credits
  • 6916-Demonstrate knowledge of the Code of Practice relating to chainsaw use; Level 2; 5 Credits
  • 6917-Operate a chainsaw; Level 3; 5 Credits
  • 1243-Prune plantation trees from the ground; Level 4; 5 Credits
  • 1245-Prune plantation trees from off the ground; Level 4; 8 Credits
  • 1247-Thin plantation trees to waste (early thinning); Level 4; 5 Credits
  • 17763-Demonstrate knowledge of tree felling; Level 3; 5 Credits
  • 17766-Fell trees safely using a chainsaw and basic techniques; Level 3; 5 Credits
  • 823-Demonstrate knowledge of agrichemicals; Level 2; 5 Credits
  • 826-Demonstrate knowledge of principles involved in agrichemical use; Level 3; 3 Credits
  • 5059-Demonstrate understanding of safety with agrichemicals; Level1; 1 Credits
  • 6244-Store agrichemicals; Level 4; 4 Credits

    The investigation into UK-based qualifications revealed a close correspondence in the key areas of the qualification, although the competencies in the UK are spread across a number of Forestry-related qualifications as follows:

    NPTC Level 2 NVQ in Forestry

    > Unit - H/101/5326 - Unit T09 - Select, Mark and Measure Trees.
    > Unit - K/101/5330 - Unit T13 - Fell Trees Mechanically.

    NPTC Level 2 Certificate of Competence in Chainsaw and Related Operations

    > Unit - Y/101/7901 - Unit CS30.2 - On-Site Preparation and Basic Cross Cutting.

    NPTC Level 2 National Certificate in Horticulture

    > Unit - A/101/9933 - Unit 31 - Silviculture and Habitat Management.

    The international comparison served to endorse the essential design of this qualification, with the differences being accounted for by the labour-intensive nature of forestry within the South African context. 

    This qualification lends itself to both vertical and horizontal articulation. These possibilities ensure both mobility and progression for the learner in other fields of learning such as the Timber Harvesting industry.

    Horizontal articulation possibilities:

    > National Certificate: Timber Harvesting at NQF Level 3, ID 48988

    Vertical articulation possibilities:

    > National Certificate: Plant Production at NQF Level 4, ID 49009
    > National Certificate: Farming at NQF Level 4, ID 20290 

    Any institution offering learning or assessment in terms of this qualification or associated 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 procedures. 

    Assessors must:
  • Be registered as an assessor by the relevant ETQA.
  • Have experience or in depth knowledge of forestry industry, specifically as it relates to silviculture.
  • Hold a qualification in Forestry at NQF Level 4 or higher. 

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


    Core  123149  Communicate using a two-way radio system  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  123238  Conduct maintenance on herbicide applicators  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  117069  Cross-cut felled trees using a chainsaw in a production situation  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  123233  Cut felled timber using a chainsaw and maintain chainsaw  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  117061  Debranch felled trees using a chainsaw in a production situation  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  117049  Demonstrate knowledge of basic safety in forestry operations  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  117062  Fell trees with a chainsaw using the standard technique and felling levers  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  117085  Conduct basic forestry map reading  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  123234  Control activities at an airstrip during aerial wildfire suppression  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  123242  Organize forestry work team activities  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Core  123237  Control forestry work team activities  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123240  Demonstrate knowledge of silviculture in commercial forestry  Level 4  NQF Level 04  20 
    Core  123232  Lead a strike attack force to contain or extinguish a wildfire  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123235  Manage a controlled burn  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  123231  Manage a crew during wildfire suppression  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  11473  Manage individual and team performance  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Core  120379  Work as a project team member  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    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  123239  Manage a chemical store on a forestry plantation  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  123243  Operate brush-cutters in commercial forestry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  123236  Perform fire-lookout duties  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  123245  Scale tree lengths into log assortments in a production situation  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  123241  Select and mark trees for thinning in commercial forestry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  123244  Operate an electronic fire surveillance facility  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
    Elective  123230  Perform administrative functions during wildfire suppression  Level 4  NQF Level 04 


    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. Aniathu Trading (Pty) Ltd 
    2. Arden School of Management (Pty) Ltd 
    3. Assured Vocational Skills Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    4. Ayasaphe Trading cc 
    5. Blanket Security and SHEQ Solutions 
    6. Bontham Training & Agricultural Consultants 
    7. CMO Logistics Pty Ltd 
    8. College of Machine Operators 
    9. Cradle Stars Trading Enterprise (Pty) Ltd 
    10. Duzi-Corp 56 
    11. Ekurhuleni Artisans & Skills Training Centre (Pty) Ltd 
    12. Faithworks Development Consultants (Pty) Ltd 
    13. Furniture World Training Centre 
    14. Gauteng City College 
    15. Honey Cube Projects & Services (Pty) Ltd 
    16. I Care Resource Centre 
    17. Imbewu Development Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    18. Kwamahlati Training Services cc 
    19. Legal Environment Safety & Health Requirements cc 
    20. Letaba TVET College 
    21. Longata Consultant 
    22. Lottenburg Edu-Farm 
    23. Malitinne (Pty) Ltd 
    24. Mlasimbi Catering Primary Co-operative Limited 
    25. Mphahle Consultancy (Pty) Ltd 
    26. Ngcebo Consulting (Pty) Ltd 
    27. Nolwazi Dev Centre (Pty) Ltd 
    28. Nomzumbe Trading & Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    29. Nosino Projects (Pty) Ltd 
    30. Ntunzela Trading Enterprise 
    31. Optimum Capacity (Pty) Ltd 
    32. Phambile Skills Training (Pty) Ltd 
    33. Premier Agric (Pty) Ltd 
    34. Redefined Skills Training & Development (Pty) Ltd 
    35. RJM Investments 
    36. Royal Express 
    37. SEJ Skills Academy Pty Ltd 
    38. South African Forestry Training College 
    39. Thunderflex3 Pty (Ltd) 
    40. Tirhani SkillsTraining Pty Ltd 
    41. Tower City Trading 100 
    42. Try Easy Electrical Solutions 
    43. Ubucubu Home Industries 
    44. Umgano Foundation (NPC) 
    45. Value at Hand (Pty) Ltd 
    47. Womens Leadership & Empowerment Initiative 
    48. World Pace Development & Training Institute (Pty) Ltd 
    49. Yangantle Trading 

    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.