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.

Advanced Certificate: Diagnostic Radiography 
65069  Advanced Certificate: Diagnostic Radiography 
Task Team - Radiography and Clinical Technology 
HPCSA - Health Professions Council of South Africa  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
Advanced Certificate  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Curative Health 
Undefined  240  Level 6  NQF Level 06  Regular-ELOAC 
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. 


This Qualification is intended to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills required in the area of Diagnostic Radiography. The learners will be able to apply such knowledge and skills in the appropriate workplace context, excluding contrast media procedures.

Successful completion of this qualification may enable the learner to be registered by the relevant Professional Council as a general radiographer.

Learners exiting this will qualification will be able to:
  • Perform routine and additional radiographic projections.
  • Evaluate routine and additional radiographic images required in order to identify normal and abnormal appearances.
  • Provide patient care in accordance with the patient's needs and departmental protocols.
  • Apply health and safety regulations, human rights, relevant medical law and ethics in the performance of their radiographic duties.
  • Perform routine forensic radiographic procedures.
  • Perform administrative tasks relative to radiographic services.

    Learners successfully completing this Qualification will be able to apply to the HPCSA for registration as a General Radiographer.


    The South African Government is committed to provide a framework for a structured uniform national health care system, and to combine the national health plan and human resource development strategy for the effective and efficient system of co-operative governance and management of health care service.

    The Department of Health is leading the implementation of a multi-professional team-based approach to health care delivery, where each member of the team has a defined role to ensure that there is minimum duplication of functions. This process will also ensure that no single member of the team dominates but that different members of the team will lead at different times depending on the services to be rendered.

    Health care is set to change in the future from the curative paradigm of the 20th century to a proactive model. Imaging is central to this model and will drive that change to the benefit of the patient. Medical imaging in general plays a key role in understanding complex biological and pathological systems and is dependent on interdisciplinary fields (e.g. physics, human biology, computer sciences) to extract that information. This Qualification has been developed in response to the national shortage of radiographers especially in under-serviced areas. It also allows the establishment of a mid-level worker in diagnostic radiography.

    Learners expecting to enroll for this Qualification will be those who have completed high schooling and wanting to pursue higher qualifications in health care. Radiographers obtaining this Qualification will be expected to perform general diagnostic radiographic examinations in primary, regional and district health care facilities - in both public and private sector.

    This Qualification is an entry level qualification and therefore a minimum requirement to practice in the field of general Radiography.

    The exit-level outcomes for this Qualification describe and require foundational, practical and reflexive competencies, which together constitute the applied competencies required of general diagnostic radiographers at this level. Learners will thus exit this Qualification with competencies and skills to work as a diagnostic radiographer in any health care facility. 

  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

    This Qualification may be achieved in part through the recognition of relevant prior learning and through prior experience as a practitioner in another category of radiography. Providers are required to develop structured and accredited means of the assessment of individual learners against exit-level outcomes of the qualification. Recognition of prior learning will be applied on an individual basis and will be conducted in accordance with the institutions accredited RPL policy and in agreement with the relevant ETQA. Such procedures and the assessment of individual cases are subject to moderation by independent or external assessors as agreed to by the relevant ETQA.

    Access to the Qualification:

    Minimum requirements to access this Qualification is successful completion in line with the national senior certificate for diploma or degree purposes. 


    The Credit Component assigned to this qualification is as follows:
  • Fundamental Component: (80 credits).
  • Core Component: (140 credits).
  • Elective Component: (20 credits).

    Learners will have the option to select one elective, consisting of 20 credits, from the options listed below:
  • Management principles.
  • Paediatric radiography.
  • Forensic radiography.
  • Dental radiography.

    This qualification is competency based. Notional hours will include both theoretical and clinical components in order to achieve competency. 

    1. Perform routine and additional radiographic projections required to produce images of diagnostic quality.

    2. Evaluate routine and additional radiographic images to identify normal and abnormal appearances.

    3. Provide patient care in accordance with the patient's needs and departmental protocol to ensure service excellence.

    4. Apply health and safety regulations, human rights, relevant medical law and ethics in the performance of radiography to ensure personal and public safety.

    5. Perform routine forensic radiographic procedures to produce radiographic images.

    6. Demonstrate administrative skills to ensure service excellence.

    7. Access, organize and present information using appropriate information technology skills in order to record, retrieve and communicate data.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate understanding of diagnostic radiography principles in order to solve practical problems within the Diagnostic Radiography context.
  • Identify health problems in the context of Diagnostic Radiography and suggest and implement a solution or plan of action in order to solve the problem professionally.
  • Work effectively in collaboration with other health care professionals and where appropriate assume leadership in tasks or projects to assure quality to minimise the risks associated with adverse reactions of both patients and the public.
  • Use Science and Technology effectively to keep up with the current trends and changing needs of Diagnostic Radiography and work practices to ensure an efficient functioning and administration.
  • Contribute towards continued professional development with the view of ensuring that Radiography equipment and accessories are competently operated in order to optimize the diagnostic capability of the equipment.
  • Reflect on and explore a variety of strategies in order to improve Diagnostic Radiography Practice by participating in the social, political and academic debate about how it should be conducted.
  • Communicate effectively in the learning and health care environments to ensure that patient needs are recognised, assessed and responded to with due regard to human dignity. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 1:

    1.1 Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology in selecting the appropriate radiographic technique to produce the required images.
    1.2 Apply patient care before, during and after radiographic procedures to ensure patient comfort.
    1.3 Apply optimal patient positioning to achieve successful radiographic technical outcomes.
    1.4 Apply corrective measures to radiographic techniques to provide images that adhere to the appropriate evaluation criteria.
    1.5 Exercise discretion and sound judgement in the performance of supplementary views.
    1.6 Select appropriate recording media, accessory equipment and optimal exposure factors to produce the required diagnostic images.
    1.7 Apply radiation protection and safety measures to ensure safety of all.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 2:

    2.1 Evaluate radiographic images to ensure that images conform to the medico-legal requirements.
    2.2 Evaluate radiographic images to identify normal and abnormal radiographic appearances.
    2.3 Apply knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology to recognize normal and abnormal appearances on radiographic images.
    2.4 Communicate abnormal appearances to the referring health care practitioner where applicable.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 3:

    3.1 Assess the patient to determine his/her clinical condition in order to apply any required patient care.
    3.2 Explain radiographic procedures in a professional manner to ensure patient co-operation.
    3.3 Maintain patient care before, during and after radiographic procedures to ensure a successful outcome.
    3.4 Apply relevant radiation protection techniques to protect patients against unnecessary radiation.
    3.5 Display professional ethics to protect patient dignity.
    3.6 Apply knowledge of first aid to assist in event of a medical emergency.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 4:

    4.1 Implement radiation protection and occupational safety regulations to ensure personal, patient, staff and public safety.
    4.2 Apply the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle is to ensure radiation protection for self, patient and public.
    4.3 Adhere to professional ethics, guidelines and code of practice to ensure service excellence.
    4.4 Practice within professional scope of practice to ensure accountability and responsibility.
    4.5 Maintain and protect the rights of the patient, as entrenched in the Bill of Human Rights and the Patient Rights Charter.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 5:

    5.1 Apply optimal positioning- and equipment techniques to achieve acceptable radiographic views.
    5.2 Exercise independent judgment and discretion in the performance of supplementary views where justified.
    5.3 Adhere to professional ethics, guidelines and code of practice in relation to forensic practice to ensure legal- and medical compliance.
    5.4 Apply infection control measures to prevent cross infection.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 6:

    6.1 Apply departmental protocols to ensure meticulous recording of patient data.
    6.2 Display appropriate interpersonal skills to promote a quality radiographic service.
    6.3 Maintain accurate departmental records to ensure an organized radiographic service.
    6.4 Employ stock control measures to ensure an efficient radiographic service.
    6.5 Handle equipment and consumables with care to preserve resources.
    6.6 Exercise quality control to promote an efficient service.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit-Level Outcome 7:

    7.1 Access and manipulate information for optimal presentation.
    7.2 Use information technology and communication (ITC) skills to present information within the radiographic context.

    Integrated Assessment:

    The following assessment tools may be included in integrated assessment:
  • Written and oral examinations.
  • Problem-solving assignments.
  • Projects.
  • Presentations.
  • Case studies.
  • Portfolios.
  • Log books.
  • Clinical reports.
  • Assessment of clinical competence through simulated and clinical assessment as well as objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE).

    Formative assessments are performed throughout the period of learning in all learning areas to ensure that the learner is achieving the required competencies prior to receiving a summative assessment.

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

    This Qualification has been compared with the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in radiography as offered by the Bacone College as well as the entry level radiography qualification as offered by the Lebanon College, both from Chicago, in the United States of America (USA). These qualifications are similar to this Qualification designed for the South African community in that all qualifications are geared to producing professional radiographers to serve diverse communities and work in clinical settings. The other reason for using these qualifications for comparability with the South African Qualification is that the USA has been rated as one of the front line countries in the field of radiography.

    To gain access to the American course, candidates should have mathematics, science and biology as their school subjects. The Chicago colleges also specify the need for the candidate to have visited the radiography department and spent a minimum of eight hours there before commencing the course. Both the South African and Chicago radiography programmes have the theoretical lectures combined with clinical training offered at various clinical training centres.

    Even though the programme offered at Chicago colleges have not separated the course content into core and fundamental components, perusal of the course content shows similarity in that there is no specific course for contrast media procedures. What has been mentioned is that learners are exposed to specialised imaging procedures such as Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Radiation Therapy, Mammography, Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound, all of which are listed as electives. The time the learners spend in these various departments is determined by the number of allocated credits over a two year period.

    This compares well with the South African Qualification. The electives have been included to offer an opportunity for learners to be aware of the various articulation opportunities that are available. Another way, in which the Chicago colleges prepare their learners for further study, can be seen in the compulsory research project. The second year learners are expected to participate in seminar focused on topics and issues related to radiology. Comparing the course contents again, the Chicago colleges have included the following subjects:
  • Anatomy.
  • Introduction to clinical radiographic practice.
  • Medical Terminology for radiographers.
  • Physiology.
  • Introduction to radiography.
  • Patient care in radiography.
  • Image production evaluation.
  • Imaging.
  • Evaluating radiographs.
  • Radiation protection.
  • Radiation physics.
  • Special studies in Radiography.
  • Religious education (Bacone College).
  • American History.

    These subjects compare well to those that will be offered in the South African Qualification. The only difference is that of Religious Education as offered by the Bacone College and American History as offered by both colleges. This is based on their Christian origin. The South African Qualification is focused rather on Ethics, Human Rights and Medical Law in addition to basic patient care.

    Introduction to data processing as offered at Bacone compares well with the administrative skills which have been identified as essential for the SA qualification. This is to equip the practitioner with the knowledge and skills to manage the radiography department, especially if the practitioner may be working independently in a primary healthcare institution.

    Other states offering two year programmes in Radiography: Diagnostics:

    In trying to find a comparable qualification among the developing countries of in Africa, Malawi has a qualification that is the most compatible to this Qualification.
    Malawi offers a two year programme with Standard Eight as the minimum entrance requirement. The successful completion of the course allows the candidate to graduate with a Senior Certificate of N3 phase. The successful candidate will also be registered with the Medical Council of Malawi.

    This qualification compares well with the Supplementary Diagnostic Radiography (SDR) course which was offered previously in South Africa. This course has however been discontinued due to the restrictions which were imposed on these professionals and the lack of opportunities to articulate with other programmes. Some of the restrictions for the SDR qualified practitioners were that they could only work in public health care institutions or those owned by the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. With the new Diploma: Diagnostic Radiography, practitioners will be allowed to work at any health care centre, given that they confine their activities to those within their regulated scope.

    The Malawian qualification was initially two year programme which enabled successful candidates to practice as assistant radiographers. The following subjects were included in the courses: Anatomy, Physiology, Radiation Physics, Nursing Care, First Aid, Ethics and Medical Law. Learners had the opportunity to practice in the clinical environment for a period of three months before they could be awarded the qualifications.


    This Qualification compares well with the two year training programme offered by the Chicago Colleges as all the important aspects of Diagnostic Radiography are included. This enables the successful candidate to register as a general radiographer in South Africa. The qualification has been designed to meet South Africa's specific human resource needs in delivering quality radiographic services in less sophisticated health care institutions, both in urban areas and rurally. 

    After successful completion of this qualification, learners will be able to proceed towards a Bachelor: Diagnostic Radiography qualification. 

  • Assessments are conducted by one or more internal assessors/examiners appointed by the relevant provider as well as an external moderator appointed from industry/other academic institution and in agreement with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessors and moderators should be practicing practitioners, registered with the relevant Professional Council, in possession of a Degree in Diagnostic Radiotherapy, or equivalent and experienced in the area of learning that is being assessed/moderated. 


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



    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.