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: Computer Science 
22711  National Certificate: Computer Science 
Committee of Technikon Principals 
Was MICTS until Last Date for Achievement  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Information Technology and Computer Sciences 
Undefined  120  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Registered" 
SAQA 1536/01  2003-07-01  2006-06-30 
2007-06-30   2010-06-30  

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 is replaced by: 
Qual ID Qualification Title Pre-2009 NQF Level NQF Level Min Credits Replacement Status
72206  National Certificate: Computer Science  Level 5  Level N/A: Pre-2009 was L5  120   

The purpose of this qualification is undergraduate entry into the field of computer sciences. A qualifying learner at this level will be a well rounded IT professional with foundational technical skills, with specialization in:
  • Web Development/E-commerce
  • Networking and Solutions Development 

    The following is only applicable to candidates entering at this level:

    Descriptive entry level:

    The learner must be competent in skills gained at the further education and training band, with exposure to computers as an advantage, but not requirement. A learning assumption of this qualification is foundational skills in English and Mathematics.

    Qualification entry level:

    Grade XII (Matric Certificate) or any equivalent qualification, with English and Mathematics

    Recognition of prior learning:

    Workplace experience with prior learning recognition equivalent to 120 credits at NQF level 4, through at least 2 years experience. The learner is required to submit a portfolio of relevant experience, in a prescribed format, to a qualification entry panel. 


    The qualification will be awarded to a learner who has provided evidence to the satisfaction of the assessors that the stated competence of the qualification, as detailed in the specified outcomes, has been achieved, either through education and training in a single provider's learning programme, or through experience that complies with the stated specified outcomes. 

    1. Undertake basic information processing tasks competently and reliably, by using all common basic information technology hardware and software, and to be of immediate use to a prospective employer with IT needs

    2. Demonstrate knowledge of the techniques and an adequate measure of the skills needed to create, test and maintain applications software and an understanding of the qualities of a range of computer languages

    3. Undertake support for a range of core Technologies.

    4. Undertake for server-enterprise Technologies

    5. Implement and administer databases.

    6.Master Enterprise development.

    7. Master Web Site development.

    8. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of visual programming.

    9. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of internet programming

    Specified outcomes:

    1.A. Demonstrate a basic understanding of data types and data flows within a range of organisations, and the related systems of data capture, data quality control and data storage devices

    1.B. Demonstrate an understanding of the types of software used in current computer systems

    1.C. Describe the logical, physical and communications features of common information processing systems and the associated hardware

    1.D. Demonstrate the ability to operate and use the basic functions of personal computers

    2.A. Demonstrate an understanding of the process of collaboration with users and other computer staff

    2.B. Describe the basic principles and activities from systems analysis stage to the implementation stage

    2.C. Understand the need for documentation of programs to agreed standards

    2.D. Apply current software design methods using simple examples

    2.E. Describe the range of the available techniques and aids for the thorough testing of software from initial design to implementation and operational performance

    2.F. Understand the different types of data structure and the manipulation of data with these structures

    2.G. Describe the functions of an operating system and the facilities offered by an OS, as well as the restrictions imposed

    2.H. Describe the properties of common high level programming languages and their suitability for specific applications

    2.I. Demonstrate an understanding of the evaluation of alternative methods of meeting user needs

    3.A. Demonstrate a basic understanding of current core technologies used in a range of business environments

    4.A. Demonstrate an understanding of server enterprise technologies in a range of Business environment

    5.A. Develop a knowledge of how to implement a Database and administer a Database

    6.A. Compare traditional client/server development with Internet development

    6.B. Utilise the application Architecture Model from the Microsoft Solutions Framework to organise applications into user, business and data services

    6.C. Demonstrate knowledge of programming

    7.A. Identify technologies and supporting tools that enable Web Development

    7.B. Demonstrate a knowledge of Internet Programming languages

    7.C. Describe issues involved in creating an Enterprise Web site

    8.A. Demonstrate the basic principles of visual programming

    8.B. Describe the use of Intrinsic Controls in the programming language chosen

    8.C. Demonstrate an understanding of current software design principles that apply to visual programming

    8.D. Explain Database Development topic areas as Data Access Objects

    9.A. Explain the basic principles of the Internet

    9.B. Explain the features of an Internet programming language

    9.C. Demonstrate the development of animation and sound, using simple examples

    Critical outcomes:

    The qualification is designed and should be presented and assessed in such a way that the following skills of the learner are promoted and developed:

    The ability to:
  • Make decisions and accept responsibility
  • Communicate effectively using models, visual and language skills
  • Work effectively in a team
  • Collect, organise and critically evaluate information, in order to assess the situation correctly.
  • Demonstrate an understanding that the problem solving contexts do not exist isolation and therefore look at the system as a whole 

    1A Identify and explain the characteristic data types and data flows within a range of organisations
  • Identify and explain the related systems of data capture, data quality control and data storage devices
  • Explain and set up basic field, record and file formats
  • Explain the principal methods of file organisation, to include serial, sequential, indexed sequential and random

    1B. Describe the characteristics and uses of applications packages (for example word-processing, spreadsheet, database, software tools) and explain the criteria for the selection of a package. Use a simple package and describe its function.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of a database approach
  • Describe the characteristics of low level, high level and fourth generation languages. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of each, and explain their suitability for different applications
  • Explain the need for standards and documentation in computing
  • Describe the complete process of the translation of a source program into machine code
  • Describe the function of operating systems and outline their main features

    1C. Describe the stages of development and implementation of data processing applications
  • Describe the hardware and software configurations required for different methods of processing data, including batch, on-line, real-time, networked and distributed systems
  • Describe the characteristics, functions, relative speeds, applications and capacities of current input and output devices and the advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Describe the categories of computer currently available, and the functions, characteristics and applications of each. -The range must include mainframe and mini installations as well as both stand-alone and networked PC's
  • Describe the types of hardware used and facilities available to support local, national and international data communications
  • Describe the facilities available to support the automated office
  • Describe the functions and management of control unit, arithmetic and logic unit, main memory, backing memory and communication channels
  • Describe the internal representation of data and the character codes used in input, processing, output and backing storage

    1D. Demonstrate the use of basic functions of a personal computer
  • Connect and power-up a computer and its peripherals and load the appropriate software and data files for a 'run'
  • Demonstrate the use of basic functions of a spreadsheet, word-processor, simple database and graphics package
  • Format, store, backup and copy diskettes, set up directories and sub-directories and practise basic computer librarianship

    2A. Explain relationship between user, analyst and programmer and the need for clear agreement as to user's requirements
  • Explain tasks and contributions of the members of a system project team
  • Explain nature of the 'system cycle' and the need for maintainable systems which have been developed and documented to defined standards
  • Explain concepts of user-driven and user-friendly systems

    2B. Describe functions of the activities from systems analysis to implementation stage and of the inputs, outputs, process and files involved.
  • Describe the function of a particular program within the system. The specification of programs
  • Describe the functions of program structures, dataflow diagram and data dictionaries

    2C. The need for documentation and coding standards
  • The attributes of good documentation
  • Full documentation including flowchart, structure diagram and or decision table, program listing, sample output, operation instructions for the user and notes on any special techniques used

    2D. Techniques of top-down design, are applied.
  • Different methods of specifying design including pseudo-code, structure diagrams, structured flowcharts and decision tables, are applied.
  • The design of software elements using a formal structured design method, are applied
  • The advantages and disadvantages of a formal structured method compared to an unstructured approach, are described

    2E. The test plan for a computer program, and suitable test data, are described
  • Desk-checking a program design and dry running the corresponding code are described
  • The diagnostic aids generated during compilation of runtime is described
  • Typical facilities available during interactive debugging are described
  • The problems and the techniques of program maintenance are described
  • The need for robust and reliable software, are described

    2F. The choice and manipulation of the appropriate data structures to represent information for a particular application
  • The relationships between items of data held within records, files, arrays and other appropriate data structures
  • How data may be inserted into or deleted from such data structures
  • Algorithms to search for and retrieve data held within data structures
  • Elementary techniques for sorting items of data

    2G. A comparison of operating functions within a typical mainframe, a mini system, a micro system wit GUI and a network environment, are described
  • Commands and calls from OS which may be used within programs, are described
  • The concept of Open Systems, are described.

    2H. The attributes of languages from machine code to object-oriented code. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of each language and its suitability for different applications, are described.
  • Different data types, are described.
  • Evaluating the input/output and file handling capabilities of at least two different languages, are done
  • Sequential, conditional, iterative and recursive processing structures and how they are implemented, are described.
  • The use of program modules with or without parameter passing, are described
  • The concepts of block structure, global and local variables, are described
  • The preparation, using a chosen language, of short segments of coded program and print or screen layouts to meet the requirements of a specification, are described

    2I. The facilities provided by the commonly available commercial packages, such as spreadsheet, word-processor, database and graphics systems, are described.
  • The use of database management systems and the database query language , are described.
  • The use of an application program generators are described
  • The client/Server solutions, is explained.

    3A. Install and configure a windows operating system
  • Create and implement systems policies
  • Create and manage partitions, file systems and fault-tolerant volumes
  • Support running applications under a windows operating system
  • Identify network components
  • Install and configure network transport protocols
  • Install and configure network services on a windows operating system Server.
  • Implement RAS
  • Install client software. Implement and troubleshoot directory replications
  • Recognise problems related to boot processes.
  • Determine appropriate action for troubleshooting
  • Take into account elements of the VC principles to construct strategic plans

    4A. Define a windows operating system server Direct services
  • Establish Trust relationships
  • Examine effects of different directory services
  • Plan and implement a windows operating system server based environments
  • Create a measurement database
  • Plan and direct service structure
  • Analyse system performance
  • Implement a performance and optimisation strategy
  • Plan and implement a windows operating system based network
  • Explain the process of analysing network traffic
  • Analyse client-to-server tragic
  • Optimise and predict network traffic
  • Isolate problems to specific components using a windows operating system. Server tools
  • Trace the system dependencies for devices and services using the registry
  • Identify the files used in a windows operating system load sequence
  • Repair damaged files, interpret blue screens, use Kernel Debugger

    5A. Construct physical database designs
  • Develop logical data models
  • Create physical databases and data services using Transact-SQL
  • Manage and maintain databases
  • Configure and manage security
  • Monitor and optimise databases
  • Install and configure Microsoft SQL Server

    6A. Utilise a programming language to build component object-model dynamic-link libraries and implement them in a multiuser environment using Microsoft Transaction server
  • Use MTS to address application infrastructure issues associated with building server-side COM objects that use security
  • Implement Active X Data Objects from middle tier to access data and invoke business and data services implemented in SQL
  • Implement business and data services in a database server through the use of stored procedures and data integrity features
  • Apply basic debugging, error handling and security techniques in a three-tier application

    7A. Create HTLM documents that contain standard controls, active X controls, Java applets, tables, forms, frames, images and client script.
  • Use dynamic HTML
  • Create an HTML page that uses data binding to read data from a database
  • Use an Office package to create and publish documents on a web server
  • Use a Web package to Publish HTML on Web

    7B. Learn how to programme HTML, DHTML and XML
  • Create graphics using a graphics package, optimising and animating
  • Examine marketing strategies on how to make your presence known, submit to search engines, and get return results
  • Conceptual overview of e-commerce, what it is and How it works

    7C. Create and publish a simple Web site
  • Create interactive content for a web site
  • Add server scripting to a web page using active server pages and COM components
  • Implement security in a web site

    8A. Event-Driven Programming principle are explained
  • Features such as Objects and Classes, Data Types, Variables and Constants, Input Box and Message Boxes, are explained using simples examples in a visual language of choice
  • A sample application that uses Class Modules are developed

    8B. Intrinsic Controls like Picture Boxes, ;labels, list boxes, combo boxes, images, lines and shapes, timers, drives, directories, file list boxes, scroll bars, option buttons, check boxes and data controls are described.

    8C. Different methods of specifying design including pseudo-code, object-even diagrams, structured flowcharts and decision tables, are applied
  • The design of software elements using a formal visual design method, are applied

    8D. A database is created, using the features of the chosen language
  • Database Development topic areas as Data Access Objects, Working with Data Files, Retrieving Remote Data, Referential Integrity, Multiple user issues, Performance Issues and Attaching SQL tables, are explained.

    9A. Event Driven Programming principles are explained
  • The use of data types and variables, command line arguments, operators, expressions, control flow statements and exception handling statements, are explained using simples examples in the language of choice
  • Two dimensional and multi-dimensional arrays are explained using simples' examples in the language of choice
  • Searching and sorting arrays, are explained using simples examples in the language of choice

    9B. The difference between applications and applets are explained
  • Object-Orientated Programming Concepts such as objects, encapsulation, messages, classes and inheritance, are explained in the chosen language
  • The use of inheritance, interfaces and packages, are explained in the chosen language
  • A sample application that uses Class Modules are developed

    9C. A simple animation program is created
  • The simple animation is expanded to support graphics
  • A draw Applet is used and explained
  • The use of how sound can be played in a program either as a one-time occurrence or in a repeating loop, are explained


  • Time-constrained written examination
  • Coursework evaluation
  • Continuous evaluation
  • Integrated assessment 

    National Diploma in Information Technology 


    Technical, interpersonal and business skills, allowing electives options for specialisation in one of the following fields:
  • Application Development
  • Web Development
  • Multi-Media Development
  • Networks and Data Communications
  • Computer Technical Support
  • E-Commerce 

    Assessors need to be familiar with the following areas, to be able to assess this qualification:

  • The field of object oriented programming
  • The field of database management systems
  • The field of network communication systems 

  • NOTES 
    While South Africa still had Technikons, all of their qualifications were registered under the Committee of Technikon Principals. After the Technikons became Universities of Technology or merged with Universities, the qualifications were registered under each of these institutions, and the CTP qualifications fell away (hence the end date of 2006, above). Where relevant, replacement information is s
    hown in the table above. 

    When qualifications are replaced, some of their learning programmes are moved to being recorded against the replacement qualifications. If a learning programme appears to be missing from here, please check the replacement.

    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.

    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.