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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Higher Certificate in Fashion Merchandising 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91722  Higher Certificate in Fashion Merchandising 
ORIGINATOR
The Independent Institute of Education 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Higher Certificate  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Visual Arts 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  123  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  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   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. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare students to enter into careers in fashion merchandising with adequate knowledge of business, marketing, public relations and merchandising in the fashion industry. The qualification is structured to provide a background in business and marketing while the focus remains on fashion and fashion as a business, to provide the context within which they will carry out a range of functions related to fashion merchandising. Students will be able to facilitate the selection processes for fashion ranges and styles for specific markets, coordinate fashion events, exhibitions, sales, marketing and ordering processes, advise on the presentations, displays and presentations of fashion items in retail, and in general, support the fashion sales function.

This qualification provides students with a broad background and understanding of fashion. Students learn about textiles, manufacturing and technology related to fashion, fashion design principles, marketing and merchandising of fashion. Alongside this, they learn about business and management principles, entrepreneurship, product organisation and events coordination, to present them with a well-rounded skills set to function effectively in industry.

The qualification introduces students to the fashion design process from conception to final manufacturing. Knowledge of the processes involved in the creative and production phases of fashion design provides students with a firm understanding of the logistical and technical constrains that will impact on marketing or merchandising planning. By engaging with fashion design principles and manufacturing procedures and techniques, students will further develop skill in observing aesthetic and technical quality - an important skill required to be a buyer in the fashion industry. Students will also learn to relate costing of garments to production time and textile selection based on textile characteristics which provide an important link for business success in this industry. Knowledge of historical fashion styles will enable students to analyse and forecast fashion trends.

Rationale:
The fashion industry provides employment opportunities in many different areas. This competitive industry increasingly requires more employees with a broad understanding of fashion design, but with a more specific interest in, and ability to work and specialise in merchandising. Marketing and merchandising modules are often included in fashion design study, but this does not adequately prepare students to operate effectively as fashion merchandisers.

The Higher Certificate: Fashion Merchandising intends to focus on students who wish to learn the business of fashion and prepare them for entry-level positions or learnerships in the fashion industry or enter into further tertiary studies in the field of fashion as a business. The outcomes have been identified by practising leaders in the field as required skills and competencies for a qualification of this nature.

This Higher Certificate prepares students for careers in:
  • Fashion Retail.
  • Fashion Buying.
  • Fashion Events Coordinators.
  • Sales Promotion.
  • Fashion Marketing. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the student is competent in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 4.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4.
  • Life Skills at NQF Level 4.

    Access to the Qualification:
  • Senior Certificate with Matriculation exemption.
    Or
  • National Senior Certificate (NSC), granting access to Certificate studies.
    Or
  • National Certificate (Vocational) NQF Level 4, (NCV, L4) granting access to Certificate studies.
    Or
  • Candidates having attempted Matric/Grade 12, having attained the age of 23 before or during the first year of registration with three years' work experience and proven ability relating to the proposed programme as well as adequate communication skills.
  • Candidates having attained the age of 45 before or during the first year of registration. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    The Higher Certificate in Fashion Merchandising consists of 11 modules at NQF Level 5:

    Modules:
  • Fashion History, 12 Credits.
  • Fashion Design Principles, 15 Credits.
  • Business Practice and Entrepreneurship, 5 Credits.
  • Events Planning and Coordination, 12 Credits.
  • Introduction to Personal Computing, 5 Credits.
  • Introduction to Public Relations, 12 Credits.
  • Textiles, 7 Credits.
  • Clothing Manufacturing and Technology, 10 Credits.
  • Fashion Marketing, 15 Credits.
  • Fashion Merchandising, 15 Credits.
  • Production Organisation, 15 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply marketing principles for fashion.
    2. Apply basic business principles and practices related to fashion.
    3. Apply merchandising principles to create effective retail outlets.
    4. Identify the steps and processes involved in the apparel manufacturing process from design conception to final production.
    5. Demonstrate the ability to coordinate fashion events effectively. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Define the role and purpose of marketing within the fashion design industry.
  • Identify and define appropriate target markets as the focus of specific products and services.
  • Identify and analyse marketing requirements to promote business succession.
  • Develop a basic marketing plan relevant to the client's needs and target market.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles of entrepreneurship in the business environment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of feasibility in business.
  • Create a business plan for a business venture.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcomes 3:
  • Identify a variety of retailing techniques and explain how these are applied to assist in the success of a retail outlet.
  • Set up displays by applying principles and techniques of visual merchandising.
  • Apply basic consumer profiling techniques to identify and forecast consumer trends.
  • Apply merchandising practices for a retail outlet specialising in fashion apparel.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Identify and explain the various phases involved in organising the production of fashion apparel.
  • Explain the steps in the fashion design process.
  • Demonstrate understanding of manufacturing processes, terminologies and timelines.
  • Identify various characteristics of textiles and selection techniques.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Demonstrate applied knowledge of planning, designing, administering and co-ordinating a fashion event.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical concepts, functions and techniques of public relations within a range of organisational frameworks.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between public relations and internal and external stakeholders in the communicative context of the organisation.
  • Explain with examples professionalism and business etiquette in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate personal and presentation skills that contribute to professional public relations.
  • Apply theoretical concepts to implement an event.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Formative Assessment:
    Learning and assessment are integrated. Continual formative assessment is required so that students are given feedback on their progress in the achievement of learning outcomes.

    The scheme of work includes tests and assignments based on the learning material and students are given feedback to guide them for successful completion of the qualification. The process is continuous and focuses on smaller sections of the work and outcomes which are assessed using an appropriate and relevant mixture of assignments, portfolios of evidence, case study evaluations or analyses and practical projects.

    Summative Assessment:
    Summative assessment is concerned with the judgement of the learning in relation to the Exit Level Outcomes of the qualification. Such judgement must include integrated assessments which test the students' ability to integrate the larger body of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are represented by the Exit Level Outcomes as a whole. Examinations, projects, laboratory reports or equivalent assessment such as a portfolio of evidence assess a representative selection of the outcomes practised and assessed in the formative stage. Summative assessment also tests the student's ability to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge to achieve the stated outcomes of a module.

    Integrated assessments must be designed to achieve:
  • An integration of the achievement of Exit Level Outcomes in a way which demonstrates that the purpose of the qualification as a whole has been achieved.
  • The evaluation of student performance which can provide evidence of applied competence.
  • Criterion-referenced assessment which is clearly explained to, and understood by, the students and which can be applied in the recognition of prior learning. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    This qualification compares favourably with qualifications registered on the United Kingdom and Australian Qualifications Frameworks.

    A direct comparison of the Title, Exit Level Outcomes and Assessment Criteria was undertaken with each and benchmarking was done by comparison with qualifications and outcomes for certificates in Fashion Merchandising.

    The comparison showed a substantial degree of similarity to the Certificate in Fashion and Textile Merchandising offered at the RMIT University in Australia. This programme focuses on practical skills and theories relating to fashion product ranging, fashion production, fashion marketing, quality assurance, visual merchandising, fashion supply chain and Computer Aided Design (CAD).

    The Higher Certificate: Fashion Merchandising also compares favourably with the Higher Certificate Fashion Retail (Merchandising) offered at London's Fashion Retail Academy. Students enrolled for this qualification engage with a variety of modules seemingly similar in content to modules offered in the Higher Certificate in Fashion Merchandising.

    Conclusion:
    The Higher Certificate: Fashion Merchandising compares favourably with international qualifications, in scope, focus, level of depth and complexity. 

    ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
    This qualification articulates horizontally with Certificate: Fashion Design, at NQF Level 5.

    Vertical Articulation:
    This qualification articulates vertically with Diploma: Fashion, at NQF Level 6. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    All summative assessments in the exit level modules are externally moderated while all others are internally moderated.

    The institution which is a multi-site provider has a sophisticated system of internal and external moderation to assure quality and ensure equity of provision.

    Internal Moderation:
    The role of internal moderation is to ensure that assessments are conducted appropriately and fairly and are a valid indication of a student's performance. Lecturers who are involved in the assessment of learning outcomes need to be able to account for all levels of assessment including assignments, examinations and portfolios. Moderation of assessment is formalised within the institution on both internal and external levels through institutoinal policies.

    Feedback on internal moderation is provided to respective lecturers and academic staff across the campuses through a moderation report.

    External Moderation:
    External moderators are required to submit formal reports using the given template. External moderators are asked to report on the following:
  • The consistency and fairness of assessment.
  • The assessment process.
  • The overall standard of work.
  • The standard of work in relation to other courses of the same nature. 

  • CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    Assessors and moderators are required to hold a qualification at least one level higher than the qualification being assessed or moderated. Moderators are also required to have more than two years' teaching experience. Assessors with fewer than two years' experience have their assessment work moderated by a peer. 

    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. The Independent Institute of Education 



    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.