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Advanced Diploma: Business Management 
67689  Advanced Diploma: Business Management 
South African Institute of Management 
QCTO - Quality Council for Trades and Occupations  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Diploma  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Generic Management 
Undefined  400  Level 6  NQF Level 07  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 9900/00  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2023-06-30   2025-06-30  

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. 


The Advanced Diploma in Business Management gives a middle management level business manager the opportunity to learn the management of business strategy and its practical application.

The aim of the Advanced Diploma in Business Management is:
  • To equip the learner with practical skills to manage him or herself and others in a middle to senior management position.
  • To enable learners to specialize in human resource management, marketing management, credit management, information technology and corporate finance, or to lead and manage their own Small or Micro Enterprise (SME).


    The Advanced Diploma in Business Management is a middle to senior level qualification, providing an understanding of strategic management theory and practical application. It is well suited to middle to senior business manager or to an entrepreneur running a business. It allows for further post graduate study in more specialized fields, such as business administration, marketing, business accounting, credit management, information technology management, human resource management and entrepreneurship. It may be used by other tertiary education colleges and universities as a preparation for advanced business management studies, with the Advanced Diploma in Business Management being issued by the SAIM, the examining body. Because of its recognition by industry as a solid senior level programme, it is frequently the recommended qualification for corporate sponsored learners. 

    Learner should be able to:
  • Demonstrate efficiency in English language skills.
  • Demonstrate efficiency in numeracy skills at NQF Level 5.
  • Take responsibility for their own studies and progress within the learning environment.
  • Undertake self evaluation.
  • Analyse information.
  • Give a comprehendible presentation.
  • Demonstrate fundamental understanding of general management and business principles.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    Should a learner be able to produce evidence of being found competent for an elective through another programme in that subject of the same Level, Credit for this module will be assessed through the RPL policy of the provider.

    Access to qualification:

    A registered Business Management Diploma at a minimum of NQF Level 5. 


    Module; Core, Fundamental or Elective; NQF Level; Credits.
  • Business Law; Fundamental; 5; 40.
  • Economics A-Micro economics; Fundamental; 5; 40.
  • Economics B-Macro economics; Fundamental; 5; 40.
  • Management Practice; Fundamental; 5; 40.
  • Management Strategy; Core; 6; 60.
  • Management Research; Core; 6; 60.
  • Management Research Project (6 Months) & Report; Core; 6; 60.

    At least one of the following:
  • Human Resource Strategy; Elective; 6; 60.
  • Marketing Strategy; Elective; 6; 60.
  • Credit Management Strategy; Elective; 6; 60.
  • IT Management Strategy; Elective; 6; 60.
  • Corporate Finance; Elective; 6; 60.

    At least 400 credits. 

    Management Strategy:

    The learner should be able to:
  • Understand and discuss the Strategic Management Process.
  • Evaluate the risks and benefits of Strategic Management.
  • Discuss the main strategy-making tools.
  • Understand and evaluate strategy for competitive advantage.
  • Discuss industry, company and competition analysis.
  • Plan strategy implementation.
  • Understand strategic thinking and decision making.
  • Discuss in detail corporate governance and social investment.
  • Understand the importance of strategic direction, vision, strategic intent and mission.
  • Assess an internal environmental analysis (SWOT analysis).
  • Assess external environment analysis.
  • Understand leadership as a driver of strategy implementation.
  • Discuss organisational culture as a driver for strategy implementation.
  • Understand continuous development through strategic control and evaluation.
  • Understand the Balanced Scorecard as an implementation and control system.
  • Understand strategic management concepts in the global marketplace.
  • Conduct analysis of relevant case studies.

    Management Research:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Explain the process of management research.
  • Evaluate different research methodologies.
  • Identify, and research, a management problem in a real-life situation.
  • Prepare a research proposal.
  • Carry out an original research project (i.e. research methodology).
  • Evaluate research findings.
  • Write a management research report in accordance with academic norms and standards.
  • Explain the research process:
    > Enable the student to identify a particular management research problem, or issue, in the workplace.
    > Apply a valid research methodology to unambiguously define the problem.
    > Create an 'original' approach, or solution, to that problem appropriate to the 'real-world' context.
    > Motivate a recommended course of action for testing the validity of that approach, or solution.
    > Carry out the recommended course of action in accordance with generally accepted academic practices.
    > Write a management report documenting the research project and its findings in accordance with acceptable academic norms.

    Marketing Management Strategy:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Explain the role of a business vision and mission.
  • Explain how marketing strategy is informed by business strategy.
  • Explain why strategic marketing management is so important.
  • Discuss in detail the characteristics and trends of strategic marketing management.
  • Give detailed explanations of:
    > External analysis.
    > Customer analysis.
    > Competitor analysis.
    > Market analysis.
    > Self-analysis.
  • Discuss criteria for selecting among alternative marketing strategies.
  • Explain the terms "sustainable competitive advantage", "strategic business unit".
  • Highlight the importance of integrating marketing and sales.
  • Discuss the strategies used to set up and control a successful sales team including the use of account managers.
  • Identify and analyse, with examples, new trends in marketing, including direct marketing, newsletters, social networking and e-marketing.
  • Highlight the importance of integrating advertising, promotion, and public relations (as it applies to marketing).

    Human Resource Management Strategy:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Discuss what HR Strategy is.
  • Explain how Human Resource Management Strategy can be linked to the overall Business Strategy.
  • Explain and illustrate with examples how to plan an HR strategy.
  • Explain and illustrate with examples how to implement and control an HR Strategy.
  • Discuss the planning and implementation of a training plan as part of the HR Strategy and link this to succession planning and employee upskilling.
  • Discuss how various HR Strategies can impact on the overall strategy of the company. This includes selection, training, motivation and employee relationship strategies.

    Information Technology Management Strategy:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Explain how IT Strategy fits into the overall management Strategy of a company.
  • Describe how IT applications support business functions.
  • Describe and understand a Strategic Information System and how it can be used to gain competitive advantage.
  • Describe and understand trends in hardware and software and their implications for managers.
  • Understand the reasoning behind Application Portfolio Management.
  • Understand the major problems in Application Development and describe the steps in the Application Project management Process.
  • Understand how IT organisations meet customer expectations through Service-level Agreements.
  • Summarise management of problems, changes and disaster recovery measures.
  • Understand the management of Batch systems, Performance Management and Capacity Management.
  • Have a basic understanding of Network Management.
  • Describe the measuring of IT Investments and returns through Cost Recovery, Profit Centres or Cost Centres.
  • Evaluate the key concepts of IT Controls and Asset Protection, control principles and responsibilities.
  • Understand the importance of preparing for IT Advances and their implications for People, organisations and Management Systems.

    Corporate Finance:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Understand corporate financial techniques used for selecting investment opportunities (the investment decision) and the raising of funds for the financing of selected projects (financing and dividend decisions).
  • Understand the environment and fundamental objectives of corporate financial management.
  • Describe in detail the role of the financial manager.
  • Understand the objectives of financial statement analysis and the limitations of accounting data.
  • Identify and compare Capital Budgeting techniques.
  • Identify relevant and irrelevant cost, sunk costs and opportunity costs.
  • Discuss project appraisal under risk.
  • Understand business risk and operating leverage (gearing).
  • Understand the objectives of working capital policy and forecasting requirements.
  • Detail importance of credit policy, stock management, cash management and management of current liabilities including cash budgeting.
  • Determine financial requirements, and structured ratio analysis.
  • Understand the concepts of financial markets and financial institutions.
  • Understand and apply the principles component costs of capital and weighted averages.
  • Apply calculations to weighted marginal and weighted average costs of capital.
  • Understand valuation techniques including the time-value of money and calculation of appropriate rates of return.
  • Distinguish between debt related instruments, medium term financing and short term financing.
  • Understand the factors influencing the dividend decision.
  • Have a basic understanding of mergers and take-overs and defensive tactics.

    Credit Management Strategy:

    The learner will be able to:
  • Understand the role and function of Credit in Society.
  • Have the requisite knowledge of current legislation, regarding consumer rights and protection in assessing future trends.
  • Understand and apply determinants of credit worthiness.
  • Understand the place of the Credit manager in a management role including concepts of empowerment, delegation, accountability, decision making and problem analysis, leadership and team building.
  • Understand the functions of control within a credit department including, controlling payments, bad debt administration, cash flow management, debtors reports, management reporting, Credit management Audit, internal controls and management by exception.
  • Have an understanding of certain common laws as they apply to Credit Management including:
    > The Law of Insurance and Carriage.
    > The prescription Act.
    > Matrimonial property Act.
    > The Administration of Estates Act.
  • Understand the concepts and benefits of factoring and the legal considerations.
  • Analyse the advantages of leasing and the statutory requirements.
  • Understand all aspects of floor-plan financing.
  • Describe in detail the legal process for the recovery of debts through the Courts of Law, including instruction of the legal profession for maximum effectiveness and impact.
  • Conduct a study of case laws regarding to the insolvency of juristic persons including the Insolvency Act.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:

    The very nature of this qualification requires the learner to demonstrate competency in the English language as used in business, basic numeracy as required for elementary bookkeeping calculations, budgeting, pricing etc; management of self and interaction with others as well as an appreciation of the inter-relationship between the various business functions, and the role of both small, micro, medium and large enterprises in the development of the economy. Integrated assessment methods will therefore encompass all of the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes. 

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Management Strategy:
  • An understanding of vision, broad strategy, and mission, and how this cascades down through the organisation and is translated into operational plans at division or function level, is shown.
  • Examples are given of short term tactical action plans, illustrating how these are derived from longer term strategies.
  • A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities) table is constructed, identifying key competitors in the process.
  • The importance of sound corporate governance and leadership qualities is explained.
  • An example of a balanced scorecard is presented.
  • An assessment of the influence of organisational culture on the strategy of the organisations is elucidated.
  • The impact of choosing a global strategy in addition to or in place of a local strategy is demonstrated.
  • Relevant case studies are analysed and presented to demonstrate understanding of strategic management.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Management Research:
  • The process of management research, as applied to a real life situation is described.
  • Different research methodologies are compared.
  • A management research report, defining a particular management research problem, presenting a proposal, and devising a solution, is documented and presented. (The learner will conduct the research over a period of 6 months).
  • The solution to the management problem is tested in order to validate its effectiveness.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Marketing Management Strategy:
  • The connection between business vision and mission, business strategy, and marketing strategy is explained.
  • The elements of a marketing strategy are identified.
  • The relationship between marketing strategy and tactical implementation is understood.
  • The interrelationship between marketing and advertising, promotion, public relations and sales is illustrated.
  • The structure of a typical national and regional sales team is described.
  • The specific aspects of key account management are described.
  • The use of technology in marketing is illustrated.
  • Modern trends in marketing such as social marketing, experiential marketing and electronic networking are presented.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Human Resource Management Strategy:
  • The relationship between the business strategy and the HR strategy is explained.
  • An implementation plan for the HR strategy is described with clear examples.
  • Controls on measuring the successful implementation of an HR strategy are summarised.
  • The manner in which the training strategy is derived from the overall HR strategy is described.
  • The role of a skills development facilitator in setting up and reporting on the organisation's skills development programme, is clearly understood.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Information Technology Management Strategy:
  • The vital role that IT plays in supporting the overall business strategy is explained.
  • Examples are given of how IT is applied in the different business functions, such as operations, human resources and marketing.
  • An outline of an information system in an organisation is given.
  • Trends in both hardware and software development and their impact on the business are described.
  • An explanation of how IT is used in project management is provided.
  • The use of IT in managing customer relations is broadly defined.
  • An appreciation of data security is illustrated.
  • The basics of managing a network of computers within an organisation are understood.
  • A budget is prepared for the following year's IT requirements with motivations compiled for each line entry.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Corporate Finance:
  • The process by which a proposed project is financially screened is detailed.
  • The external environment within which corporate finance operates is understood.
  • The role of a financial manager is provided by example of a job description.
  • The key aspects of income and expenditure statements, assets and liabilities, cash flow and accounting data controls are listed.
  • Capital budgets and techniques for managing them are described.
  • The management of risk in a corporate finance department is reviewed.
  • The concept of gearing is explained.
  • The importance of credit policy, stock management, cash management and management of current liabilities is explained.
  • The use of common financial ratios is illustrated.
  • The interrelationship between first world and third world economies is explained.
  • The role played by international stock exchanges and large financial institutions in the management of capital is described.
  • The manner in which dividend value is determined, is described.
  • The impact of mergers and acquisitions is appreciated.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes for Credit Management Strategy:
  • Explain the positive and negative aspects of granting credit.
  • The National Credit Act and its impact on the economy is described.
  • The functioning of a typical credit department is described in detail.
  • Legislation impacting on Credit Management is listed and briefly summarised.
  • The relationship between credit control and legal service providers is described.
  • The law regarding insolvencies is explained.

    Integrated Assessment:

    The modules in the qualification lend themselves to a variety of assessment methods e.g. knowledge tests (essays, short questions, and multiple choice questions), assignments, presentations using technology and oral presentations. Formative assessments will logically be implemented at critical points within each module and summative assessment should be conducted at the end of each module. Because the structure of the qualification includes electives, a set of final summative assessments are required to accommodate fundamental, core and the appropriate elective modules. The SAIM conducts the final summative assessment for each module. 

    In developing the Advanced Diploma in Business Management (NQF Level 6: 400 Credits) as a Middle to Senior level qualification suitable for owner-managers of medium size enterprises or senior level managers - reference was made to comparable qualifications in other countries - including the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada as well as certain African countries through SAIM's membership of the African Chapter (i.e. Association of Management Organisations of Africa (AMOA) ) of the World Management Council (i.e. Conseil International pour l' Organisation Scientifique). A brief summary of the findings from this research is presented below.

    United Kingdom:

    Management qualifications within the UK fall within three main categories, namely:
  • Academic qualifications (e.g. certificates, diplomas, degrees, masters).
  • Professional qualifications (including continuous professional development (CPD).
  • Vocational qualifications (e.g. NVQs, VRQs).

    London University offers a 3-year B.Sc. degree in management whose curriculum covers much of the same syllabus as that for the Advanced Diploma in business Management. However, our offering is much broader in scope and incorporates case studies in each discipline in the workplace. Furthermore, the London University degree does not include Labour Law which is an important part of our HR curriculum. Also, the Advanced Diploma in Business Management includes a basic study of Project Management which tends to be offered as a separate topic or certificate in overseas offerings.

    The Open University offers two qualifications of 360 Credits each which equate, to a significant degree, with the Advanced Diploma in Business Management, namely 'BA (Honours) Business studies' and 'BA (Honours) Leadership and Management'. These degrees are aimed at improving the employability of students in the workplace and align with the philosophy of that of the SAIM Advanced Diploma in Business Management of life-long learning and continuous professional development (CPD).


    The University of Melbourne offers a B.Com in 'Management and Marketing', but with a strong emphasis on finance-which is comparable with the Advanced Diploma in Business Management. However their coverage of management and marketing topics is much less extensive than that contained in our qualification.


    Concordia University in Montreal offers a Bachelor of Administration degree which covers most of the topics contained in the Advanced Diploma in Business Management. However a detailed comparison of the course modules indicates that the depth of coverage of the topics is greater in our Advanced Diploma. Furthermore, the Concordia degree does not include a secondary major subject as required in the Advanced Diploma in business Management. 

    Being an advanced management Qualification, the option exists to continue towards Honours Level Qualifications in Business Management. Both horizontal and vertical integration is possible into further studies in business communication, business accounting, general management, marketing management, human resources management, credit management, information technology and entrepreneurship. Other options include economics, business law and business strategy. Such Qualifications are available through a variety of universities and colleges. 

    As the qualification falls under business services, the appropriate ETQA will be the Services SETA.

    Assessors must be registered with the ETDP SETA and constituently registered with the Services SETA.

    Moderators must be registered with the ETDP SETA and constituently registered with the Services SETA.

    External moderation will be carried out by the Services SETA (or the appropriate QCTO). 

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

    As per the SAQA decision to re-register all provider-based qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2018. As per the SAQA decision to re-register all provider-based qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2018. The Advanced Diploma in Business Management entitles the graduate to apply for full SAIM professional membership. Membership includes a commitment to Continuous Professional Development and a Code of Conduct. 


    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.