Have you recently gotten stuck on what NQF levels are and what they mean to you? Worry not, we've got your back!

NQF stands for the National Qualifications Framework and it is used to arrange levels of learning achievements. There are 10 NQF levels on which every registered South African’s qualification is placed.

These levels are divided into three groups: General Education and Training (Levels 1-4), Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Levels 1-8), and Higher Education and Training (Levels 5-10).

The purpose of these levels is to show that, you, as a student, have learnt a specific standard of intellectual and academic skill.

Here’s what qualification different NQF Levels represent:

General Certificate: Level 1

Elementary Certificate: Level 2

Intermediate Certificate: Level 3

National Certificate (Matric): Level 4

Higher Certificate: Level 5

Diploma and Advanced Certificate: Level 6

Bachelor’s Degree & Advance Diploma: Level 7

Honours Degree & Postgraduate Diploma: Level 8

Master’s Degree: Level 9

Doctoral Degree: Level 10

If you’re currently in your job search, you would have noticed employers searching for a candidate with a particular NQF level qualification. So what does this mean and how important are these levels?

Having a qualification at any one of these levels means you have the skills and knowledge to perform up to a certain point. You are often considered more skilled in a particular area if you have the qualification you have is of a higher NQF Level.

While NQF Levels are meant to represent a level of academic ability, remember having a lower NQF level qualification does not in any way reflect your personal capabilities and talents.

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