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Higher Certificate in Business Management 
118141  Higher Certificate in Business Management 
Business Management Training College (Pty) Ltd 
-   HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
Higher Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Registered  SAQA 9999/99  2021-03-25  2024-03-25 
2025-03-25   2028-03-25  

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 the Higher Certificate in Business Management (HCBM) is to introduce learners to the fundamental knowledge, conceptual and interpersonal skills to prepare them for a role or a career in business management, and to teach theory and principles that will develop learners into competent individuals that can assist organisations to reach their mission and goals.

The qualification provides a route for learners to enter higher education studies on NQF Level 5. The qualification intends to teach learners to be effective managers in any industry and to develop the basic management skills and competencies needed to manage diverse individuals, including team leaders, supervisors and other first-line managers. The qualification also gives learners a broad overview of the main business functions, including marketing, human resource management, operations management, financial management, business communication, business information systems and managing a business project.

The qualification aims to develop the following attributes and values in graduates:
  • Conceptual skills required for thinking and planning to ensure that the organisation is prepared for the future and can adapt to changes in the environment.
  • Interpersonal skills, including good listening-, communications, negotiation-, motivation- and conflict resolution skills to deal with people effectively, specifically with a diverse workforce.
  • The ability to plan, organise and control to achieve personal and career goals.
  • The ability to obtain information, using various sources and technology and use the information and acquired knowledge to attain goals.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify and solve problems; take responsibility for challenges that arise and take ethical approaches to decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Goal-directed behaviour and orientation to become a life-long learner by continuously evaluating and improving personal and career skills and knowledge.
  • Ethical and responsible citizenship through moral leadership and an appreciation for diversity.

    Business management forms part of a learning pathway of management qualifications across various industries and sectors. Increasingly, employers view post-school qualifications as an indicator of employees' ability to think, analyse, solve problems and communicate effectively. However, not all school leavers meet the entry requirements for degree studies, and this qualification provides a pathway for learners to access higher education studies and specifically in the field of business management.

    There is a growing concern in South African organisations to integrate ethical behaviour into their organisational culture. The qualification aims to develop ethical business individuals who are committed to transforming society for the better by acting responsibly and considering the impact of their decisions on society and the natural environment. Therefore there is a need to offer a qualification that inspires supervisors and managers to be transparent, responsible and act ethically within their organisation.

    Businesses serve society in several ways by transforming scarce resources into products and services that society needs. These products or services aim to meet the needs or wants of people or other organisations in exchange for making a profit. The purpose of business management is therefore to mediate or manage this process in a sustainable manner, to ensure that the agreed expectations of the various stakeholders involved are met. This qualification aims to build the skills, knowledge and competencies of learners to effectively manage a department of an organisation as part of the larger process to provide needed products and services to society and to boost the economy.

    A business management qualification is in high demand in South Africa, particularly for junior and middle managers. This qualification is suitable for learners who aspire to work in a supervisory or management role. It is specifically designed to develop management skills and competencies for learners in any occupation, sector or industry. Qualifying learners may pursue careers such as business administration, office management, project management and operations management.

    This qualification provides an articulation route for learners who completed an NQF Level 4 qualification as it provides learners with the basic introductory knowledge, cognitive and conceptual skills to enter higher education studies in their chosen field. The qualifying learner may use the qualification to gain admission to an appropriate Advanced Certificate. Furthermore, the Higher Certificate was designed to align with both the NQF 6 Diploma in Human Resource Management and the NQF 6 Diploma in Business Management, to enable effortless vertical articulation. 

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The institution acknowledges that all learning has value and therefore endeavours to recognise prior learning and may allow learners, who do not comply with the minimum entry requirements, access to the qualification following the institution's RPL Policy.

    The institution endorses the fundamental values of RPL to widen access to higher education. If a learner can demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes implicit in the relevant qualification the learner will be allowed entry into an appropriate qualification or appropriate credits/exemptions will be assigned to the learner. The assessment of prior learning for the purpose of RPL must be on the same standard as a normal learning assessment on the specific qualification and RPL processes and procedures followed must be reasonable, practical and cost-effective.

    The following principles of assessment are considered when assessing an RPL applicant's evidence of prior learning:
  • The learner has demonstrated the actual learning outcome that is being claimed.
  • The learner has demonstrated that he/she is currently capable of performing the learning outcome claimed for RPL.
  • The evidence provided for the RPL assessment is valid and fit for purpose in terms of the learning outcome claimed for RPL purposes.
  • The evidence provided for the RPL assessment is of sufficient quality to ensure the learner's competency for the learning outcome claimed.

    Upon completion of the RPL assessment for entry, learners are granted access to a qualification based on the prior learning that they were able to demonstrate.

    Learners may apply to the institution for Recognition of Prior Learning and to be exempted for modules that form part of the Higher Certificate in Business Management. For a learner to be exempted from a module, the learner needs to provide sufficient evidence that competency was achieved for the learning outcomes that is equivalent to the learning outcomes of this qualification.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • National Senior Certificate, NQF Level 4 granting access to Higher Certificate studies.
  • Senior Certificate, NQF Level 4.
  • National Certificate Vocational, NQF Level 4 granting access to Higher Certificate studies. 


    This qualification consists of the following compulsory modules at NQF Level 5 totalling 120 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules, Level 5, 120 Credits:
  • Principles of Management, 15 Credits.
  • Principles of Marketing Management, 15 Credits.
  • Principles of Human Resource Management, 15 Credits.
  • Principles of Operations Management, 15 Credits.
  • Principles of Financial Management, 15 Credits.
  • Business Communication, 15 Credits.
  • Business Information Systems, 15 Credits.
  • Work Integrated Learning Project, 15 Credits. 

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of business management and apply basic management principles and practices.
    2. Apply the basic principles of financial management, which includes the preparation of budgets, recording of financial transactions, using financial statements and information to measure, analyse and interpret the financial performance of an organisation or department.
    3. Perform basic human resource management tasks and practices for the effective functioning of a business unit or organisation.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of marketing as a concept and the role of marketing as a business function.
    5. Communicate effectively within a multicultural and diverse organisation or department, using various communication mediums and technology to establish and improve employee relations.
    6. Manage business information systems and information management through the utilisation of various software applications to create documents and record information.
    7. Apply operations management principles and practices through the management of inventory to ensure business operations can continue without undue interruptions.
    8. Apply basic project management tools and techniques to complete a project within a department. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Describe key terms, concepts and general principles related to business management and the nature of management.
  • Apply knowledge of the principles and practices related to business management to a work-based scenario.
  • Identify business opportunities and threats from a given scenario and make recommendations to indicate how these opportunities can be utilized and how to manage and control the identified threats.
  • Analyse a work-based scenario to evaluate the impact of environmental change on a business and propose ways in which a business can prepare for environmental change.
  • Apply problem-solving steps and techniques to propose ethical and socially responsible solutions to a business-related problem.
  • Use basic research skills to describe the impact of globalisation on business activities.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Use the principles and practices of financial management and accounting to record financial transactions within a work-based context.
  • Analyse and interpret financial statements and apply financial ratio analysis to evaluate the performance of a real-life organisation.
  • Prepare and use budgets as part of financial management planning techniques and financial management control measures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Apply fundamental knowledge of the task and scope of human resource management within a business environment by using basic human resource management principles and practices to facilitate the effective functioning of at least one business unit, department or function.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of diversity and diversity management by analysing a work-based scenario to identify diversity management challenges and to recommend appropriate strategies to overcome these challenges for improved effectiveness of a business unit, department, function or project.
  • Consider and apply labour legislation to a given scenario to improve employment relations within a business unit or organisation.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Apply the basic marketing principles and practices to create and evaluate a marketing mix.
  • Use fundamental knowledge of marketing to create a basic marketing plan for a business organisation.
  • Use marketing communication tools through the design of a video advertisement to publish on a social media platform or an online discussion forum for a diverse audience.
  • Apply knowledge of customer service by recommending strategies to retain customers based on a real-life scenario.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of communication terminology, principles and practices through verbal and non-verbal communication methods and tools.
  • Demonstrate effective communication in a digital era by using a social media platform to convey information to a diverse and multi-cultural audience.
  • Promote effective communication by identifying and eliminating barriers to effective communication within a work-based context.
  • Host and chair a virtual meeting to discuss a current business problem and possible solutions to resolve the problem.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Utilise and apply technology for effective business communication for a given scenario using one or more of the following tools: social media, webinars for interactive discussions, online discussion boards, emails, blogs or smartphone applications.
  • Apply knowledge of information management by using software applications to create documents, record information, communicate information and store information.
  • Use knowledge of the concepts, principles, practices of business information management systems to recommend a solution for a business information system problem.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of demand and supply in the supply chain.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • Recommend techniques and approaches to improve the operations and of a business unit, department, function or organisation.
  • Use qualitative and quantitative demand forecasting techniques for a given work-based scenario.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of effective inventory management by using the economic ordering quantity method for a given scenario.
  • Use knowledge of the principles and practices of operations management to solve an operations management related problem.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:
  • Plan a relevant work-based project for a business unit, department or function, outlining the scope of the project and drafting a project plan using a work breakdown structure.
  • Use a Gantt Chart to schedule the activities of a project for a business unit.
  • Use a project checklist and inspection schedule to ensure project activities are completed on time and according to the required standard.
  • Use a relevant problem-solving technique to analyse a project problem and to recommend a viable solution to solve the project problem.
  • Identify and communicate best-practices for future work-based projects based on post-project review information.
  • Apply basic project management tools and techniques to complete a project within a business management context.

    Integrated Assessment:
    All assessments are assessed in an integrated manner. Assessment methods include case studies, report writing, problem-based learning, work-based assignments, reflection on own learning, self-study activities on the online learning platform, digital presentations, a panel interview.

    Learners are required to complete eight formative assessments and complete self-study activities on the online learning platform.

    Learners are also required to complete a business management related project, a final integrated summative assessment at the end of the qualification and attend a panel interview to evaluate overall competence and if the learner achieved the required competencies. Learners are required to complete eight integrated summative assessments, which includes the business management related project.

    A final integrated assessment is completed at the end of the qualification to assess overall competence against all Exit Level Outcomes for the qualification. 

    The qualification was compared to two international universities offering similar qualifications.

    The Open University in the United Kingdom offers a Professional Certificate in Management which is designed for management positions. It provides a broad-based, practical introduction to key ideas, techniques and competencies needed to manage effectively and productively in all functional areas of a small business in any sector which is very similar to the qualification on offer at the institution. The emphasis is on professional development and management roles and responsibilities. The key features of the qualification are:
  • Build on existing experience and develops the skills needed to be a successful manager;
  • Takes a very practice-based approach to studying management concepts;
  • Apply newly learned skills, knowledge and techniques immediately in their context;
  • Respond to the management development needs of an organisation.

    The following subjects are covered in the qualification:
  • Human Resource Management.
  • Marketing Management.
  • Financial Management.
  • Strategy.

    The Birkbeck University of London offers a Certificate of Higher Education in Management which explores the attributes, skills and capabilities of successful leaders. The qualification provides an introduction to organisations, how they operate, their structure and culture, and the behaviour of individuals and groups within them. The qualification focuses on strategy, planning, people and change management and how to thrive and succeed in demanding, rapidly changing environments which is a similar approach to the qualification on offer at the institution.

    These qualifications have overlapping themes related to strategic management with an emphasis on the integration of the functions of management which is similar to this qualification. The overlapping modules include Strategic Management, Marketing Management, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, Financial Management, Business Communication and Business Information Systems. 

    This qualification allows possibilities for both horizontal and vertical articulation.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Higher Certificate in Human Resource Management, NQF Level 5.
  • Higher Certificate in Supply Chain Management, NQF Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Diploma in Business Management, NQF Level 6.
  • Diploma in Human Resources Management, NQF Level 6. 





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    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.