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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Diploma in Animal Health 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
90911  Diploma in Animal Health 
ORIGINATOR
Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Diploma (Min 360)  Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation  Primary Agriculture 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  376  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2021-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2022-06-30   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. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
This qualification aims to capacitate Animal Health Technicians to appropriately develop and support farmer training in the rural periphery and assist in the carrying out of appropriate research.
Learners will become versed in agricultural extension methods and communication strategies, and norms and standards of agricultural extension in South Africa.

Learners completing this qualification should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of animal health and show ability in the practical application of animal health disease prevention in the field.
  • Provide primary animal health care to emerging livestock farmers and semi-commercial farmers in the rural communities.
  • Perform general epidemiological surveys and minor procedures as prescribed by the South African Veterinary Council.
  • Continue to learn and equip themselves with new skills in the field of animal health, veterinary science and other related agricultural disciplines.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct as prescribed by the South African Veterinary Council as well as ethics in animal handling, honesty, punctuality and good client relationships.
    Those successfully completing this Diploma: Animal Health will be eligible for registration with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC) as Animal Health Technicians.

    Rationale:
    The revised Diploma: Animal Health has been designed to reinforce technical and agricultural business skills for future Animal Health Technicians (AHTs). This is to ensure that the AHTs from Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute (TARDI) will be able to work privately in the field and not become perpetual job seekers.

    The Diploma: Animal Health comprises a three year full time study programme with equal exposure to theoretical and practical instructions. It has been designed to bring about development in the rural periphery by providing farmer education in new agricultural practices and services through hands-on farmer education and support, especially to small-scale and emerging livestock farmers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    Candidates who lack the minimum requirements for entry into formal learning programmes for higher education qualifications (no matriculation exemption or similar status awarded at the completion of NQF Level 4) but have a wealth of experience/knowledge/skills may apply for recognition of prior learning and therefore may be eligible for admission upon meeting predetermined sets of standards/criteria.

    Candidates who have exited formal education at a time in their education careers but have since accumulated experience/knowledge/skills through work and/or a series of short courses may seek exemption for some modules or levels or status.

    Access to the Qualification:
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC) with Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Science, granting access to Diploma studies.
  • National Certificate (Vocational) {NC(V)}, NQF Level 4 with Mathematics, Physical Science and Life Science, granting access to Diploma studies.
  • Senior Certificate (SC), with Mathematics and matriculation exemption. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The qualification comprises compulsory modules at NQF Levels 5, 6, and 7, totalling 376 credits. It includes classroom, laboratory/clinical and field-based theoretical and practical studies. All the modules must be successfully completed in order to be awarded the qualification.

    Modules at NQF Level 5:
  • Anatomy and physiology I, 12 credits.
  • Computer Literacy, 8 credits.
  • Occupational communication 1, 8 credits.
  • Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, 12 credits.
  • Animal Handling and Animal Welfare, 8 credits.
  • Veterinary Parasitology, 12 credits.
  • Ruminant Animal Production, 12 credits.
  • Animal Genetics and Breeding, 8 credits.
  • Aquaculture and Wildlife, 8 credits.
  • Veterinary Pathology 1, 8 credits.
  • Animal Diseases I, 12 credits.
  • Anatomy and Physiology 2, 12 credits.

    Total credits at Level 5: 120 credits.

    Modules at NQF Level 6:
  • Animal Diseases II, 12 credits.
  • Veterinary Pathology II, 8 credits.
  • Poultry Production, 8 credits.
  • Pasture and Nutrition, 12 credits.
  • Pharmacology, 12 credits.
  • Toxicology, 8 credits.
  • Pig Production, 8 credits.
  • Veterinary Laboratory Diagnostics, 12 credits.
  • Occupational Communication II, 8 credits.
  • Agricultural Production Economics, 8 credits.
  • Business Management, 12 credits.
  • Administration, 8 credits.
  • Rural Development and Approaches, 8 credits.
  • Work Integrated Learning (WIL) including Project work and Seminar Presentation, 60 credits.

    Total credits at Level 6: 184 credits.

    Modules at NQF Level 7:
  • Veterinary Public Health, 12 credits.
  • Epidemiology, 12 credits.
  • Legislation and controlled animal diseases, 12 credits.
  • Meat Inspection course, 12 credits.
  • Project Management, 12 credits.
  • Veterinary Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 12 credits.

    Total credits at Level 7: 72 credits 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate knowledge of animal health and the practical application of animal health disease prevention in the field.
    2. Provide primary animal health care to emerging livestock farmers and semi-commercial farmers in rural communities.
    3. Perform general epidemiological surveys and minor related procedures as prescribed by the South African Veterinary Council.
    4. Develop new skills in the field of animal health, veterinary science and other related agricultural disciplines.
    5. Demonstrate professional conduct as prescribed by the South African Veterinary Council in areas such as ethics in animal handling, honesty, punctuality and good client relationships.

    Critical Cross-Field Outcomes:
    All the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes are addressed in this qualification. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    The following Assessment Criteria may be applied generically to any or all of the Exit Level Outcomes:
  • All forms of communication skills are demonstrated.
    > Range: Report and letter writing; reading and interpretation of texts; public speaking; use of electronic and static visual aids; telephone etiquette; interviews.
  • The norms, standards, methods and communication strategies of agricultural extension practices in South Africa are explained and/or demonstrated.
  • Body conformation, body measurements, cell types and tissues, structure and functions of the major bodily organs and systems of domestic, farm and game animals and poultry are described.
  • The fundamental principles of animal breeding and their applications in modern animal production are explained.
  • Reproductive problems and diseases in livestock and other related animals are discussed.
  • The principles of pasture science are described and their application demonstrated to achieve sound veldt management.
  • Theoretical knowledge, the practical application thereof and relevant management skills are applied to various types of farming.
    > Range of farming types: Dairy and beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, game animals, poultry, fish.
  • The concept of epidemiology is explained and applied to prevent, control and eradicate disease in animals.
    > Range: Analytical epidemiological techniques, field investigations of disease outbreaks, screening, diagnostic methods and procedures.
  • Basic concepts of animal-related internal and external parasites and their control are explained.
  • The common diseases of livestock, game animals, poultry and fish are named and the relative effects thereof on each type of creature are explained.
  • Viral and bacterial diseases of domestic animals with specific reference to their aetiology, epidemiology, clinical signs and symptoms, post-mortem diagnostic methods, treatment, prevention and control are described.
  • The various common veterinary medicinal remedies, their therapeutic values/mechanisms and side effects are discussed.
  • Various agents that can cause toxicity in animals and the treatment and control of the resulting clinical conditions are discussed.
  • The use of a light microscope for microbiological examination of animal tissue samples for diagnostic purposes is demonstrated.
  • Knowledge of basic systemic pathology is demonstrated, post-mortem procedures and tissue sampling methods are observed and histopathological changes are identified.
  • Aspects of veterinary ethics and legislation aimed at the protection and improvement of animal and human health are discussed.
  • The legislation, rules and regulations relating to the practicing of the para-veterinary profession are specified.
  • The theory of human resource management in a relevant work place situation is explained.
  • The effective and efficient management of a farming enterprise or a development project is demonstrated.
  • A relevant basic research project is developed, implemented and its output is evaluated.

    Integrated Assessment:
  • Formative assessment is carried out in the classroom, through class tests; during regular tutorials with small groups of learners through discussions, group work or submitted reports; during practical work in various settings; on field trips or placements at approved farms, animal health clinics and veterinary laboratories.
  • Formative assessments take the form of theoretical assignments, practical performance appraisals, two tests per semester and an oral semester examination.
  • Summative assessment is carried out on completion of all the modules and the practical placement period.
  • Summative assessment comprises a three-hour written examination and a practically-focused oral examination. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    There are not a great many undergraduate qualifications to be found internationally which deal with the range of subject matter required for a practicing extension officer as is found in the Diploma Animal Health. However the following international qualifications have been used for comparison as they offer similar ranges of study to that of the Diploma: Animal Health.

    The University of Surrey, England, offers a Veterinary Biosciences Degree which covers the science of animal health and disease and creates an understanding of the links between animal and human health. This Degree allows the learner to experience the interface between human and veterinary medicine and provides a strong understanding of the key elements that underpin all modern biological sciences. It also provides a more detailed study of the specific aspects of veterinary sciences and their interplay with human health.

    Programme structure:
    Year 1: Core modules:
  • Biochemistry 1.
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics 1.
  • Cell Biology.
  • Physiology 1.
  • Microbiology 1.
  • Chemistry and Maths for Biosciences.
  • Veterinary Anatomy and Animal Handling.
  • Practical and Biomedical Bacteriology.

    Year 2: Core modules:
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics 2.
  • Introduction to Immunology.
  • Cellular Microbiology and Virology.
  • Physiology 2.
  • Animal Nutrition, Toxicology and Pharmacology.

    Optional modules include:
  • Pharmacology 1.
  • Biochemistry - Enzymes and Metabolism.
  • Pathology and Medicine.
  • Analytical Biochemistry and Chemistry.
  • Neuroscience 1.
  • Microbial Communities and Interactions.
  • Food Microbiology.

    Year 3: Core modules:
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics 3.
  • Epidemiology, Control and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.
  • Animal Infectious Diseases, Public Health and Food Safety.
  • Veterinary Immunology and Pathology.
  • Research Project.

    The University of Melbourne, Australia, offer the Bachelor of Science Degree, which is a comprehensive programme spanning science, health science, technology and engineering systems. It provides the opportunity to tailor a programme of study to suit individual strengths and career goals. The Bachelor of Science is also the first step towards a career in fields such as, veterinary science, health practice or engineering, which specialities can be pursued through further study.

    Some of the majors available relating to animal health include:
  • Agricultural Science.
  • Animal Health and Diseases.
  • Animal Science and Management.
  • Genetics.
  • Food Science.
  • Marine Biology.
  • Microbiology, Infection and Immunology.
  • Zoology.

    This Diploma: Animal Health has been geared towards the special needs of sub-Saharan Africa and thus caters for a wider range of issues than is found elsewhere. However, comparison indicates that this qualification is comparable with international standards. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally with other Diplomas in the Health Sciences or Agricultural fields at NQF Level 6.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with any Advanced Diploma or Bachelor's Degree in the Health Sciences or Agricultural fields at NQF Level 7. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    The examinations will be set by the respective lecturers and have to be moderated by other relevant, internal or external lecturers. The examination board vets all the examination question papers before they are written and learner marks are also vetted before release of the results.

    The first and second year examinations are internally moderated by suitably qualified lecturers while the third year examinations are externally moderated by suitably qualified examiners. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    All assessors, whether internal or external, must be suitably qualified subject-matter experts with relevant experience both in the work-place and classroom. The examinations will be set by the respective lecturers and moderated by other relevant, internal or external lecturers. 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    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.
     
    1. Tsolo Agriculture and Rural Development Institute 



    All qualifications and part qualifications submitted for public comment, or 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.