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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Quantify analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
256628  Quantify analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04  15 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
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 unit standard replaces: 
US ID Unit Standard Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Credits Replacement Status
9630  Quantify analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy  Level 3  NQF Level 03  15  Complete 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people responsible for analysing analyte samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.

This unit standard is intended to promote general skills and knowledge of analyzing samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.

Learners credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate and apply knowledge relating to occupational health, safety and environment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge relating to Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.
  • Determine analyte concentrations in prepared samples.
  • Explain or deal with problems relating to Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in terms of:
  • Communication at NQF Level 3.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate knowledge and skills relating to occupational health, safety and environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Occupational hazards and risks pertaining to the flame atomic absorption spectroscopy determination are identified and explained with reference to occupational health and safety and environmental impact. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Occupational hazards and risks must include:
  • Incorrect selection and use of gases required.
  • Flashback occurrence.
  • Hazards of chemicals and fumes.
  • Waste disposal.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The appropriate preventive measures to deal with occupational hazards and risks are described in accordance with specified requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The required fit for purpose personal protective equipment is used in accordance with legal and operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Work is conducted to meet occupational health, safety and environmental standards. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Occupational health, safety and environmental issues must include:
  • Housekeeping.
  • Waste disposal.
  • Storage.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The consequences of non-compliance with specified requirements are explained with respect to occupational personal and occupational health and safety and impact on the environment. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate knowledge relating to Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The basic principle of atomic absorption is explained with reference to this analytical technique. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The principal components of the Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer are correctly identified and their primary functions are briefly described in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Identification must include:
  • Hollow cathode lamp.
  • Deuterium lamp.
  • Burner types.
  • Nebulizer assembly.
  • Spray chamber.
  • Monochromator.
  • Readout systems.
  • Detector.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The impacts of various parameters are explained with reference to obtaining optimal absorbance in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Explanation must include:
  • Wavelength.
  • Analyte concentration.
  • Flow rate of gas.
  • Nebulizer flow rate.
  • Flame type.
  • Flame condition.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The relevance of releasing agents, matrix matching and ionization suppressants are explained with reference to preparation of standard and sample solutions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The purpose of the determination is explained in terms of customer requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Determine analyte concentration in prepared samples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The calibration standards are prepared and are appropriate with respect to sample matrix and concentration range for the particular sample solutions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer is optimized and calibrated in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The prepared samples are identified, verified and the analyte concentration is measured in accordance with operational requirements and quality control procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include analyses using the following flames:
  • Oxidizing flame.
  • Reducing flame.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Data is recorded, analyte concentrations calculated and results reported in accordance with operational requirements within agreed turnaround times. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Equipment is maintained in accordance with specified requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Equipment must include:
  • Nebulizer assembly.
  • Spray chamber assembly.
  • Burner.
  • Lamp.
  • Gas cylinders.
  • Liquid trap.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Explain or deal with problems relating to Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Common problems and their effect on the process are explained and/or dealt with in accordance with operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Range must include those for:
  • Nebulizer blockage.
  • Burner blockages.
  • Incorrect gas ratios and flow-rate.
  • Excessive curvature.
  • Signal instability.
  • Analyte concentration falls outside calibration range.
  • Flickering lamp.
  • Excessive lamp current.
  • Viscosity effects.
  • Contamination.
  • Insufficient lamp warm-up time.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Appropriate preventive or corrective actions are described in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The work is conducted in a manner that ensures continuity, and supports a smooth flow throughout the process in accordance with operational requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The effect of non-compliance is explained in terms of production, quality, costs and lost time and turnaround time for analytical results. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated Unit Standards.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Embedded knowledge is addressed in an integrated way in the unit standard.

    Knowledge relating to quantifying analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of flame atomic absorption spectrometry:
  • The basic principle and method of atomic absorption.
  • The principal components of the Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer.
  • The impacts of various parameters.
  • The relevance of releasing agents, matrix matching and ionisation suppressants.
  • The purpose of the determination.

    Critical factors and functions relating to the process:
  • Safety, health and risk management requirements.
  • Achieving specified production requirements.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • Security requirements.
  • Specified communication requirements.

    Processes and events:
  • Process flow and interlock systems.
  • Factors affecting the performance of the process.

    Causes and effects (Safety and Health):
  • Use of personal protective equipment.
  • Use of tools and equipment.
  • Condition of safety devices.
  • Utilisation of process equipment and consumables.
  • Workplace hazards and associated risks.
  • Effective communication.

    Procedures and techniques:
  • Methods of collecting and analysing, organising, summarising and presenting data.
  • Fault finding and correction technique.
  • Quality related procedures.
  • Operating procedure.

    Regulations, legislation, agreements, policies and standards:
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    The learner's ability to work to high levels of accuracy and inconsistency will contribute to the overall performance of the laboratory team. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    The learner's ability to follow work procedures closely, adhering meticulously to relevant procedures when quantifying analyte concentrations in prepared samples. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    The learner's ability to keep accurate records and make accurate entries into the relevant log sheets. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    The learner's ability to use and interact with technologically advanced procedures and equipment in a modern laboratory environment when quantifying analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of flam atomic absorption spectometry. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The learner is aware that in the mining (refining) industry various systems are dependent on each other, and accepts responsibility in that regard. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    This unit standard replaces unit standard 9630, "Quantify analyte concentrations in prepared samples by means of Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy", Level 3, 15 Credits.

    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health and Safety Act and Regulations and Minerals Act and Regulations.
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.
  • Material Safety Data Sheets.

    Site Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Voluntary Codes of Practice.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH and S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  64950   Further Education and Training Certificate: Laboratory Analysis  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2021-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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.