What is Saqa’s role?

SAQA’s main role is to ensure that qualifications in South Africa are comparable to international quality standards. SAQA stands for South African Quality Assurance body which oversees the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). NQF levels assign value to skill competencies

SAQA accreditation process:

Since 2021, SAQA itself does not accredit courses, but oversees SETA bodies in specific areas of expertise which do the accreditation.

Step 1:

Determine organisations need. SAQA accreditation is essential for institutions intending to offer nationally recognized qualifications or part-qualifications.

Step 2:

Confirm NQF Alignment. NQF alignment of the material includes learning outcomes, quality standards, critical cross field areas, and learning outcomes of a qualification or part-qualification.

Identify the correct Quality Council

  1. The Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO)
  2. The Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC)
  3. Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training (Umalusi)

Step 3:

Submit an application  to the relevant QC. This typically includes detailed information about your organization, the qualifications or part-qualifications you wish to offer, and evidence of your ability to deliver and assess these qualifications according to NQF standards.



Step 4:

Prepare for Site Visit: After submitting your application, prepare for a site visit from the QC. This involves ensuring your organization has the necessary resources, facilities, staff, and quality assurance mechanisms in place.

Step 5:

Undergo Evaluation: The QC will evaluate your application and site visit findings. This process assesses your organization’s capacity to deliver and assess the qualifications or part-qualifications you intend to offer.

Step 6:

Receive Accreditation Decision: If your application is successful, you will receive accreditation from the relevant QC. This accreditation is a formal recognition that your organization meets the required NQF standards.

Step 7:

Maintain Accreditation Standards: Once accredited, maintain the quality standards and continuous improvement of your education or training programs to ensure ongoing compliance with NQF requirements.

Step 8:

Re-accreditation: Be aware that accreditation is not indefinite. Your organization will need to undergo periodic reviews and re-accreditation to ensure continued compliance with NQF standards and quality assurance requirements.


It’s essential to consult the specific guidelines and requirements provided by SAQA and the relevant Quality Council for the most accurate and detailed information regarding the accreditation process.