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: Automotive Spray Painting 
64410  National Certificate: Automotive Spray Painting 
SGB Vehicle Maintenance 
MERSETA - Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology  Manufacturing and Assembly 
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 purpose of this qualification is to provide learners with the standards and the range of learning required to work effectively in the automotive spray painting industry. This qualification will enable learners to meet the challenges of an industry that has shown a rapid increase through the introduction of new technology in spray painting methods.

This qualification also serves to develop new skills for new technology. It creates an infrastructure of sound technological support and opportunities in a labour market with a growing demand to recognise people for their skills and to meet the challenges of the automotive spray painting environment.

The primary skill that is recognised in this qualification is the ability to understand and apply the relevant theory of the different types of paint and primer compositions and materials that are used in a paint shop where high quality finishes need to be produced to ensure customer satisfaction and compliance to industry requirements. Hand skills also play an important role in this qualification and successful learners will need to apply hand skills in completing their tasks.

After achieving this qualification learners will be able to:
  • Communicate with peers and supervisors in an automotive work context.
  • Use and maintain automotive workshop tools and equipment.
  • Prepare a vehicle for automotive spray painting work.
  • Apply paint to substrate level.


    The automotive spray painting industry is subjected to the ever increasing new technologies of paint application methods and materials. This necessitates that learning programmes are developed so that learners entering this field of learning are introduced to this new technology at an early stage of their career.

    Introducing learners at this level of learning also forms the support structure in an automotive spray painting shop from where learning gradually progresses to more advanced application techniques at higher levels of learning, thereby exposing learners to more advanced and sophisticated application methods and equipment, as well as surface preparation.

    This is the first qualification in a series and forms the basis for learners who want to follow a career in the field of automotive spray painting. This qualification focuses on developing skills and knowledge necessary to begin such a career. It also provides learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace with an opportunity to obtain credits through an RPL process.

    This qualification recognises the skills, knowledge and values relevant in the workplace and will cater for learners who:
  • Have attended courses and need to apply the knowledge gained to activities in the workplace.
  • Are already workers and have acquired skills and knowledge without having attended formal training.
  • Are part of a learnership programme which integrates structured learning and operational experience. 

    Learners registering for this qualification should already have achieved a General Education and Training Certificate at NQF Level 1 or equivalent.

    If the learner does not already have such a qualification, learning in preparation for this qualification should include:
  • Literacy at NQF Level 1.
  • Numeracy at NQF Level 1.
  • Basic concepts of engineering science at NQF Level 1.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    The structure of this qualification makes the Recognition of Prior Learning possible, if the learner is able to demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in this Qualification. Recognition of Prior Learning will be done by means of an Integrated Assessment.

    This Recognition of Prior Learning may allow:
  • For accelerated access to further learning.
  • Gaining of credits towards any of the Exit Level Outcomes in this qualification.

    All recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA) and must be conducted by a registered workplace assessor. Identified outcomes may have been acquired in a range of economic sectors and these will be considered as appropriate where the candidate provides evidence of the applicability of that learning to this qualification.

    Access to the Qualification:

    This qualification is open for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in automotive spray painting, but prior achievement of the "Learning Assumed to be in Place" would facilitate an easier progression into learning programmes to address the outcomes of this qualification. 


    Rules of combination for this qualification are as follows:
  • All Fundamental unit standards are compulsory (36 Credits).
  • All Core unit standards are compulsory (53 Credits).
  • Additional Elective unit standards accounting for 31 credits must be selected to achieve a total of 120 credits for this qualification. 

    1. Communicate with peers and supervisors in an automotive work context.

    2. Use and maintain automotive workshop tools and equipment.

    3. Prepare a substrate to be spray painted.

    4. Apply paint to substrate level.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    This qualification addresses the following critical cross-field outcomes, as detailed in the unit standards:

    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to identify the vehicle safety features that need to be taken into consideration when conducting any work on particular vehicles.

    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to communicate with peers and supervisors.

    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to adhere to workplace timeframes and procedures.

    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to identify appropriate paint for a particular application.

    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to report on work conducted.

    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to use the correct tools and equipment to apply different paint technology to specific situations.

    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 dispose of paint and materials in an environmentally friendly manner. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Oral communication is maintained and adapted as required to promote effective interaction in a work context.
    1.2 Terminology used is appropriate to the situation and in accordance with normal workplace usage.
    1.3 Information related to work tasks is accessed and interpreted from a range of written and oral sources to ensure that work requirements are understood.
    1.4 Communication is clear and unambiguous and at an appropriate level for designated target audiences.
    1.5 Information communicated is accurate and conveyed in accordance with acceptable timeframes.
    1.6 Communication is effective, regular and ongoing.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Tools and equipment are selected and used in accordance with their design and are appropriate for the task at hand.
    2.2 Tools and equipment required for the scope of work are sourced from available supplies.
    2.3 Tools and equipment are checked for condition prior to use.
    2.4 Faulty tools are identified and corrective action is taken in accordance with workplace procedures.
  • Range: Corrective action includes replacing, repairing or reporting.
    2.5 Tools and equipment are used according to manufacturer operating guidelines.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 The vehicle is made safe to work with in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
    3.2 Vehicle safety features are identified in terms of precautions when working near activation points.
    3.3 The area to be painted is masked off in accordance with workplace requirements.
    3.4 Panels to be painted are prepared for painting in accordance with workplace procedures.
    3.5 Work is conducted with due consideration for other team members and overall productivity.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Vehicles are moved and lifted in accordance with accepted workplace procedures.
    4.2 Paint selected for the job is appropriate in terms of the technology of application and the material.
    4.3 Consequences of using incorrect paint are described in terms of the impact on the finish of the final product.
    4.4 Paint is applied in accordance with manufacturer specifications and workplace procedures.
    4.5 Painted panels are replaced and sealed in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
    4.6 Work is conducted with due consideration for other team members and overall productivity.
    4.7 Paint and materials are disposed of in accordance with relevant health, safety and environmental practices.

    Integrated Assessment:

    Because assessment practices must be open, transparent, fair, valid, and reliable and ensure that no learner is disadvantaged in any way whatsoever, an integrated assessment approach is incorporated into the Qualification. Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the exit level outcomes should be integrated.

    A variety of methods must be used in assessment tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role-plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment.

    The term 'Integrated Assessment' implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflective competencies. Assessors should assess and give credit for the evidence of learning that has already been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience.

    Assessment should ensure that all outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are assessed. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge. 

    This qualification is part of a series of qualifications in the field of Automotive spray painting and was compared to other, similar outcomes-based qualifications in various countries as follows:

    New Zealand:

    The National Certificate in Motor Industry (Panelbeating) is a New Zealand qualification at NQF Level 4 and includes the work of a spray painter. This is a three year qualification without qualifications or exit level outcomes at the intermediate levels. The qualification is pitched at NQF Level 4 on their NQF with only unit standards and credits at NQF Levels 1 to 4. This notwithstanding, the technical content of this qualification does correspond with the equivalent level of qualification in Automotive spray painting in New Zealand.

    United Kingdom:

    The Level 2 Certificate in Automotive Engineering covers aspects related to this qualification but also includes more broadly defined work aspects such as Motor Vehicle Refinisher, Motor Vehicle Builder, Motor Vehicle Mechanic and Motor Vehicle Technician. The scope is way beyond that of a spray painter and includes aspects of vehicle engine performance and improved suspension for racing.

    The basic methods of assessment include Coursework, Oral Examination, Portfolio of Evidence, Practical Demonstration/Assignment, Practical Examination and Written Examination. No units are specified as compulsory, and the learner may select any units they like, totalling 120 credits. Notes are given regarding accepted grouping of units and progression to further levels of education.

    The Level of the Level 2 Certificate in Automotive Engineering is much higher than the South African NQF Level 2 and covers various aspects included in the South African qualifications at Levels 3 and 4.

    Elements of the Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) in the UK have been used in benchmarking best practice procedures in some of the unit standards used in this qualification. The NVQ qualifications offered in the UK cover all the same objectives of this series of qualifications at various levels of complexity. The qualifications are offered as an internship wherein the learner enrols with a college or training centre for the theoretical component, and achieves the practical component in-house. The qualifications are all based on specific levels of performance, and lead to progressive levels of complexity, but are identified as separate qualifications. The learning towards these qualifications is offered through long-term learner-employer relationships, with short-term stints at a training centre. Qualification titles in the UK include:
  • Vehicle Refinishing, Level 3: (Q1017590).
  • Vehicle Body Repair, Level 3: (Q1015917).
  • Vehicle Body Fitting, Level 2: (Q1015913).


    The Certificate in Automotive Vehicle Body Repair is a 3 year course for artisans to learn how to repair and paint vehicles. The qualification has 2 specialisation areas: one for spray painting and one for panel beating. Both specialisation areas comprise less than 1200 notional learning hours, but are spread out over 3 levels, with core units being specified at the entry level (Level 2).

    There are a range of elective units that may be selected from different categories, but the rules of combination indicate that all units must be selected, thereby not allowing the learner any choice in learning. The qualification aims at targeting competence at artisan level only with no recognition for achievement of less than the whole qualification.


    The Danish panel beater qualification is spread over 4 years with 55 weeks of formal education and training and 153 weeks of on-the-job training. Danish vocational education and training programmes are alternating programmes, which means that the education and training activities alternate between education and training at a school and on-the-job training in an enterprise. The training programme is a full vocational education and training programme, equivalent to Level 3 in the ISCED system.

    No breakdown of the qualification is given in terms of units of learning, but the end point equates to the South African Level 4 Spray painter. There is no recognition for achievement of less than the whole qualification.


    The qualifications offered in Germany are also predominantly vocational qualifications with theoretical components being achieved through a specified period at a training centre. The qualifications are aimed at achieving complete competence in all aspects of vehicle maintenance through the progressive series of qualifications and includes mechanical, electrical and coach works (panel beating and spray painting). The training programmes are progressive qualifications of one-year duration each and include ongoing training through workbooks in which the trainee is required to complete evidence of understanding for each month of the registered year of learning. Germany has a requirement that competent people be licensed to operate under the meister (master craftsman) programme, and this licence is valid for a period of two years. The qualification titles offered in Germany include:
  • Auto Fachman, Level 1.
  • Auto Fachman, Level 2.
  • Auto Fachman, Level 3.
  • Auto Fachman, Meister.

    United States of America:

    America uses a system of specialisation areas, with a master technician being identified as a person who is competent in all areas and will be able to perform on almost any part of a vehicle. The learning is conducted through apprenticeships and has specialisation areas for:
  • Engine technicians.
  • Transmission technicians.
  • Steering and suspension technicians.
  • Brake technicians.
  • Electrical system technicians.
  • Heating and air-conditioning technicians.
  • Driveability and performance technicians.
  • Lubrication technicians.
  • Coachwork technicians.


    None of the SADC countries have their own qualifications relating to spray painting, but use the British City and Guilds Standards for training learners in the automotive field. Namibia has indicated interest in the South African qualifications and may implement this qualification once it has been registered.


    Most other countries have a streamlined qualification process that ends in a required result, but does not recognise competence in parts of the qualification. This has been identified as a problem in the South African context, and that was why the move to the NQF and unit standards was made. Through achieving this qualification, learners will be given recognition for their abilities after just one year of learning. Alternately, learners may achieve employable skills by electing to exit with one or more Exit Level Outcomes instead of the entire qualification. There has also been a further breakdown of skills by recognising relevant skills and separating qualifications for spray painters and panel beaters in South Africa. 

    This Qualification lends itself to both vertical and horizontal articulation possibilities.

    Horizontal articulation is possible with the following Qualifications:
  • ID 49689: National Certificate: Automotive repair and maintenance, NQF Level 2.
  • ID 21004: National Certificate: Automotive component manufacturing and assembly, NQF Level 2.
  • ID 22858: National Certificate: Autotronic, NQF Level 2.
  • ID 23273: National Certificate: Mechanical engineering: fitting, NQF Level 2.
  • ID 22770: National Certificate: Mechatronics, NQF Level 2.
  • ID 48969: National Certificate: Service station operations, NQF Level 2.

    Vertical articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 64409: National Certificate: Automotive spray painting, NQF Level 3. 

  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance Body (ETQA).
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation, in terms of agreements reached around assessment and moderation between ETQAs (including professional bodies).
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the Qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the ELOs of the Qualification and will include integration of skills relevant to the economic sector. 

    Assessors must be registered in terms of the requirements of SAQA and the relevant ETQA. In addition, assessors should have:
  • A minimum of 3 (three) years' practical, relevant occupational experience.
  • A relevant Qualification at NQF Level 3 or higher.
  • The ability to meet the outcomes of this qualification. 

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

    Core  119740  Identify the various types of paint, primers, material and their uses  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13220  Keep the work area safe and productive  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  260160  Maintain spray painting equipment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  119737  Perform basic spray painting  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Core  119742  Perform masking and de-masking on a vehicle  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  119734  Perform surface preparation on a body panel  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  15123  Select and use vehicle lifting equipment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  119744  Select, use and care for engineering hand tools  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  119463  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  7480  Demonstrate understanding of rational and irrational numbers and number systems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9008  Identify, describe, compare, classify, explore shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional shapes in different contexts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  119454  Maintain and adapt oral/signed communication  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  119460  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  119456  Write/present for a defined context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116932  Operate a personal computer system  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  260158  Apply sealers and cavity fillers on vehicles  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119745  Conduct an inspection  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12465  Develop a learning plan and a portfolio for assessment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12466  Explain the individual`s role within business  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  9268  Manage basic personal finance  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  260159  Polish automotive painted panels  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12219  Select, use and care for engineering power tools  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119736  Understand the body construction and safety features of a vehicle  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  243672  Maintain the stockroom  Level 3  NQF Level 03  10 


    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. Central Competent Centre (Pty) Ltd (BLOEMFONTEIN) (TP) 
    2. False Bay Public FET College - Westlake Campus 
    3. First Car Care (Pty) Ltd T/A STi Autobody Repairers (GOODWOOD) (TP) 
    4. Imperial Technical Training Academy (WADEVILLE) (TP) 
    5. Northlink College - Bellville Campus 
    6. Umfolozi FET College - Mandeni Campus 
    7. Wide Horizon Advanced Training (PORT ELIZABETH) (TP) 

    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.