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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
4593  Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Health 
ORIGINATOR
University of Cape Town 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Postgraduate Diploma  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 1141/23  2021-07-01  2024-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2025-06-30   2028-06-30  

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. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
This qualification forms part of the credentialing process, for health professionals, principally medical professionals, but not excluding other learners, as practitioners in occupational health/medicine. The Occupational Health and Safety Act stipulates this diploma as a training requirement for practice in occupational health in South Africa. The qualification is also recognised by the Health Professional Council of South Africa and ca be recorded as such by the HPCSA, although it is not equivalent to a registrable speciality in Occupational Health/Medicine. The aim of this qualification is to meet the needs for formal examination certification, as well as to set standards, nationally, for such a qualification (equivalent qualifications may be offered by the country's 8 medical schools). 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
The institution conducts RPL in terms of the policy and guidelines of the institution to recognise other forms of formal, informal and non-formal learning and experience.
In cases where learners do not comply with the formal admission requirements, the institution applies its RPL policy.

Entry Requirements:
The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, NQF Level 7. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    Demonstrate:
    1. A sound clinician, and is able to:
    2. A special competence in medical surveillance and biological monitoring, and is able to:
    3. Has special competence in health risk Assessment, and is able to:
    4. Has special competence in occupational health service design and audit, and is able to:
    5. Has special competence in occupational health and safety law, and is able to:
    6. Has special competence in fitness, impairment and disability assessment and workplace accommodation and disability management, and workplace accommodation and disability management, and is able to:
    7. Has special competence in ethics in occupational health, and is able to:
    8. Has a sound knowledge of health promotion and management of common community and lifestyle diseases in the workplace, and is able to:
    9. Has a sound knowledge of epidemiology and research method and is able to:
    10. Is familiar with the discipline of Occupational Hygiene, and is able to:
    11. Is familiar with the discipline of Toxicology, and is able to:
    12. Is familiar with the discipline of Ergonomics, and is able to:
    13. Has an understanding of Industrial Relations, and is able to:
    14. Is a competent Manager of operations, and is able to:
    15. Has an understanding of health care delivery systems and benefits management, and is able to:
    16. Has an understanding of information systems, and is able to:
    17. Is competent in adult education and training, and is able to:
    18. Is a competent communicator, and is able to:
    19. Has an understanding of Environmental Management, and is able to:
    20. Has an understanding of Disaster Management, and is able to: 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    a) 1.1 Integrate perspectives and skills from a variety of disciplines in medicine, public health, management, law and social sciences, in problem solving at individual, group or organisational level.
    1.2 Work effectively with a range of professionals and practitioners engaged in occupational health.
    1.3 Reflect in problem solving an in-depth understanding of the institutional, legal and ethical context of occupational medical and occupational health problems.
    b) See items 16, 17 & 18 below.

    c) 1.1 Exercise competence in all aspects, including examination, diagnosis, management and/or appropriate referral, of work-related disease or disability or threats to health and well-being.
    1.2 These should cover work-related respiratory, dermatology, musculoskeletal, ENT, ophthalmology, neurology, reproductive, cardiology, haematology, and psychiatric and infectious conditions.
    1.3 Interpret chest radiology, lung function testing, bronchial challenge, testing, audiometry, toxicological testing, vision screening, haematological and biochemical testing, testing of infection and immune function, allergy testing, and patch testing.
    1.4 Refer appropriately those conditions requiring further investigation and management.
    1.5 Assess, manage and/or refer occupational trauma and workplace emergencies.
    1.6 Counsel and/or refer employees with substance abuse and other psychosocial problems affecting work capacity.
    1.7 Advise on immunisation and prophylaxis against infectious disease arising from or affecting work, including employee travel and migrant labour.
    1.8 Assess, manage and/or refer common adult primary care problems.

    C. 2.1 Design medical surveillance programmes.
    2.2 Set up surveillance and biological monitoring protocols, including liaison with laboratories.
    2.3 Apply and interpret specific tests.
    2.4 Evaluate cost-effectiveness of medical surveillance and biological monitoring protocols.

    C.3.1 Understand definitions of "risk assessment" as used in different contexts, viz workplace, epidemiological, toxicological, accident/disaster and environmental contexts.
    3.2 Conduct a workplace health risk assessment in a wide range of workplaces, and integrate relevant data from a variety of sources.
    3.3 Able to assess workplace conditions against relevant standards and regulations.

    C.4.1 understand the array of potential functions of a workplace based health service and to design and organise optimal mix for different contexts, including first aid, primary care, and occupational health components.
    4.2 Link the occupational health service to existing safety, environment, human resources and other management subsystems in the organisation.
    4.3 Apply quality assurance methods to occupational health services.
    4.4 Apply common audit procedures to occupational health and safety systems, and assist in preparation for such audits.

    C.5.1 Advise others on and apply the main laws in occupational health and safety, and other laws of relevance to occupational health.
    5.2 Work with lawyers on matters of civil law pertaining to occupational health.

    C.6.1 Assess the fitness of workers for particular jobs.
    6.2 Assess fitness requirements for high-risk jobs, viz., miners, drivers, seafarers, pilots and drivers.
    6.3 Assess or arrange assessment of workers with impairment and/or disability, including problems related to drug and alcohol dependency, psychotropic medication use, psychiatric problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.
    6.4 Counsel, and assist accommodation if necessary, of pregnant workers.
    6.5 Initiate and manage processes for rehabilitation of disabled workers.
    6.6 Apply understanding of the impact of any chronic or recurrent condition on work ability, and advise on any accommodation required.
    6.7 Follow procedures for compensating occupational disease and injury, and advice on medical aspects of claims procedures.
    6.8 Follow procedures required for disability retirement processes, and contribute medical advice and expertise to assist resolution of claims.

    C.7.1 Assert the importance of ethical approaches in occupational medicine in the face of conflicts of interest.
    7.2 Advise others on ethical principles and practice with regard to subjects such as confidentiality, sickness certification, HIV screening, drug and alcohol screening and consent for surveillance.
    7.3 Contribute practically to the resolution of potential or actual conflicts with medical ethical and medico-legal dimensions.

    C.8.1 Apply the principles of health promotion.
    8.2 Develop health promotion programmes for specific conditions, including HIV, TB, STDs, tobacco and alcohol related conditions.
    8.3 Manage, in collaboration with other services, conditions requiring an interdisciplinary approach such as substance, abuse, stress ailments, mental illness, cardiovascular disease.

    C.9.1 Apply the principles of epidemiological measurement, study design and causal inference.
    9.2 Initiate and draft a research protocol.
    9.3 Appraise critically occupational health and medical literature.
    9.4 Participate in workplace based epidemiological studies, including sentinel and cluster investigations, etiologic and intervention studies and formal health services evaluation.
    9.5 Handle, analyse and interpret data, with support from appropriate specialists.

    C10.1 Apply the basic principles of occupational hygiene, including measurement, control and evaluation.
    10.2 Interpret and apply data and recommendations from occupational hygiene reports.
    10.3 Characterise the common hazards in a wide range of production processes found in South Africa.
    10.4 Advise on practical control systems for air pollutants, skin irritants, noise, heat, etc.
    10.5 Advise on personal protective equipment and its limitations.

    C11.1 Apply the basic principles of occupational toxicology.
    11.2 Extract and use toxicological information.
    11.3 Interpret material safety data sheets.
    11.4 Communicate relevant toxicological information to a lay audience.


    C.12.1 Apply the basic principles of ergonomics.
    12.2 Carry out a basic ergonomic risk assessment.
    12.3 Advise on common control strategies to prevent ergonomically related injuries or ill health.

    C.13.1 Apply the basic principles of industrial relations within the relevant institutional and workplace framework.
    13.2 Contribute constructively and ethically to resolution of industrial relations conflicts involving health matters.

    C.14.1 Write and revise strategic and operational plans, including budgets and procedures, for occupational health services or operating units.
    14.2 To plan, organise, staff, finance, monitor and control an occupational health service or other operating unit.
    14.3 Chair, direct and contribute to committee work.

    C.15.1 Understand the structure and dynamics of health care delivery and financing in South Africa.
    15.2 Contribute to health care and benefits policies of organisations.

    C. 16.1 Demonstrate computer literacy.
    16.2 Use the internet and electronic and paper databases for information retrieval.
    16.3 Design clinic, workplace, company or regional record/health information system for management, covering injuries and illnesses.
    16.4 Use an information system to evaluate health and safety performance or clinical service.

    C.17.1 Apply the principles of adult education and learning.
    17.2 Prepare training materials for a variety of audiences.
    17.3 Conduct training seminars for a variety of audiences.
    17.4 Evaluate training sessions and materials.

    C. 18.1 Communicate individually and in group situations with all participants in workplace organisations and occupational health: management, employees, union representatives and fellow professionals.
    18.2 Write clear and concise documents: proposals, policies, reports.
    18.3 Communicate risk information.

    C19.1 Contribute to environmental impact assessment.
    19.2 Contribute to the environmental component of a safety, health and environment policy for workplaces (or regions or districts).
    19.3 Communicate with representatives of residents/third party groups affected by workplace operations.

    C.20.1 Contribute to a disaster management plan tailored to the workplace, including provision for mass exposure and casualty scenarios.

    Integrated assessment:
    Assessment to ensure the purpose of the degree is achieved:

    Evaluation is based on:
    1. Classroom participation-attendance of 8 full week blocks is a requirement.
    2. Homework-clinical, epidemiological, toxicological and statistical exercises.
    3. Self-directed learning-a wide range of readings is required and assessed by a formal literature review.
    4. A research protocol development and research project report is assessed at a final oral presentation and written report.
    5. Three hour written papers on:
    a) Epidemiology & statistics.
    b) Occupational medicine & toxicology.
    c) Occupational health services management & organisation including safety, legislation and industrial hygiene.
    6. An oral examination by a panel of at least 3 examiners. 

    INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification is comparable to similar qualifications from around the world with regard to outcomes and assessment criteria, the level of depth and complexity involved in the study process, a range of competence in the learning content and with due regard to notional learning time. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification offers both possibilities of horizontal and vertical articulation.

    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health, NQF Level 8.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Midwifery and Neonatal Care, NQF Level 8.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Master's Degree in Health Sciences, NQF Level 9.
  • Master's Degree in occupational Health, NQF Level 9. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2006; 2009; 2012; 2015. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    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. University of Cape Town 



    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.