A qualification is any award that represents the attainment, following robust assessment processes, of a coherent cluster of specified outcomes of learning to prescribed standards of performance.

A competence/unit standards-based qualification is comprised of components called unit standards. Each unit standard represents an outcome of learning and/or a work activity that is a significant part of what a qualification certificates.

All qualifications are registered on the National Qualifications Framework, according to their level of complexity.

The NQF consists of a number of fields of learning, subfields and domains known as the NQF Classification System. Qualifications are placed on the NQF according to their level and an approved item from the NQF Classification System.

The NQF for Namibia has 10 levels and our sister organization, the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) is the custodian of the NQF. The NQA has developed a level descriptor for each of the 10 levels.

A credit is a measure of the quantum of learning recognised through qualifications and unit standards. One credit equates to 10 hours of notional learning time, which is inclusive of directed, and self-directed learning and assessment.

Developing qualifications (and unit standards) is an activity that sits firmly as a responsibility of the industry or profession that requires such qualifications for formal recognition and/or selection purposes.

The NTA as a national recognised body responsible for quality of Vocational Education and Training (VET) provision in Namibia, coordinates the development of VET unit standards and qualifications. However, the required technical input comes from the industry itself through various platforms of consultations as required by the NQF regulations.

It is an NQF requirement for the development processes to be inclusive of the meaningful involvement of relevant stakeholders and social partners and for the developing bodies to obtain support for, and preferably endorsement of the coverage and structure of developed/reviewed qualifications by such stakeholders and social partners.

Examples of stakeholders involved in the processes of qualification development may include, but are not limited to employers, employee organisations, education and training providers relevant to the sector, professional or registration associations and bodies, and relevant government departments and agencies.

Qualifications (and unit standards) are normally registered on the NQF with a notion ‘National/Namibian’ or without.

In many cases, the development of qualifications will be prompted and overseen or managed by a national body (e.g. NTA) recognised by the NQA. Qualifications carrying the term ‘National’ or ‘Namibia’ in its title must be submitted by a recognised national body.

Qualifications without that notion are often referred to as institution-specific and do not necessarily lead to recognition of attainment of learning at a national level.

A recognised national body would be one that has explicit credibility as being able to represent the interests of national stakeholders and relevant social partners.

The NTA can identify a representative group of an industry to spearhead the development of unit standards and qualifications in their sector with the NTA providing guidance to the process to ensure quality and adherence to NQF requirements. The body responsible for submission of such materials to the NQA will be the NTA.

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