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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Higher Certificate in Paralegal Studies in Commercial Practice 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91798  Higher Certificate in Paralegal Studies in Commercial Practice 
ORIGINATOR
Lyceum College 
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 08 - Law, Military Science and Security  Justice in Society 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2022-06-30  

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 is to capacitate learners to perform a multitude of functions in a commercial environment. A learner that acquired this qualification will be capable to perform as an office manager. The qualification has two specialisation modules which offer the learner some latitude to specialise in two different fields. The type of operations in an office environment often dictates whether the services rendered require registered legal practitioners or whether practitioners trained in paralegal studies would suffice.

Rationale:
This qualification is focused at learners who have an interest in a career as a paralegal practitioner. There is a demand for practitioners that have a sound knowledge base in one or more of the fields of specialisation. There are numerous workplace options available for learners who complete this qualification successfully, such as:
  • Law firms.
  • Sheriffs of the court.
  • Municipalities.
  • Law enforcement agencies.
  • Private companies.
  • Public institutions.
  • Credit bureaus.
  • Estate agents, etc.

    Most companies have some sort of legal component, even though this may be limited to credit applications and collections. Paralegal studies capacitate employees to function optimally in an environment where some aspects of legislative competence are required. Not every component of legal work requires professionally registered legal practitioners. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the learner is competent in the language of instruction of the Institution and the material, and the general theoretical, practical and academic knowledge accomplished at NQF Level 4.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    An application for prior learning will be considered in accordance with the prescribed policies and procedures of the Institution. It implies that learning has been acquired through formal, informal and non-formal means, is recognised for the fulfilment of the requirements of this qualification or part thereof. It is required that through assessment practices, the learner shall demonstrate competence in the knowledge, skills and values implicit in this qualification. Recognition of Prior Learning is performed by means of integrated assessment.

    Recognition of Prior Learning may allow for access and credits will be granted where competency in a specific module is established. All Recognition of Prior Learning is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited Education and Training Quality Assurance Body and is conducted by an experienced academic team.

    Access to the Qualification:
    A learner entering this qualification must have achieved a National Senior Certificate granting access to Higher Certificate study or a National Certificate Vocational at NQF Level 4 granting access to Higher Certificate study or a Further Education and Training Certificate at NQF Level 4 or equivalent, with Mathematics/Mathematics Literacy and English. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of 6 modules at NQF Level 5 totalling 120 Credits.
    Compulsory modules:
  • Office Management for Legal Practices, 20 Credits.
  • Criminal Law and Law of Procedure, 20 Credits.
  • Commercial Law, 20 Credits.
  • Business Law, 20 Credits.
  • Debt Collecting Practice, 20 Credits.

    Optional modules (choose one):
  • Wills and Estate Management, 20 Credits.
  • Property Law and Conveyance Practice, 20 Credits.
  • Financial Accounting 1, 20 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply fundamental knowledge and understanding of law to a specific problem within the South African legal context.
    2. Apply appropriate technology in order to conduct legal research on behalf of a legal or paralegal practitioner.
    3. Communicate with internal and external clients in a paralegal or legal workplace.
  • Range: Communication refers to both written and oral communication.
    4. Guide and refer clients in a paralegal context.
    5. Assist in solving problems in a paralegal context by working in a team and individually.
    6. Provide administrative and organisational support in an office environment.
    7. Exercise ethical conduct, values and professionalism when dealing with internal and external clients.

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

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Relevant facts within a specific problem are identified.
  • Relevant fundamental law applicable to a specific problem is indicated.
  • Options for specific problems from fundamental law are explained.
  • Problems that fall outside fundamental law are recognised.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Legal related software is used within paralegal administrative environment.
  • Appropriate technology for legal research is applied.
  • Relevant sources of legal information are identified.
  • Legal research is conducted.
  • Research findings are appropriately presented to legal or paralegal practitioner.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Relevant law is communicated to the client.
  • Relevant legal procedures are communicated to the client.
  • Appropriate legal or paralegal solutions are communicated to the client.
  • Support and assistance is provided to principal.
    > Range: Principal refers to a paralegal or legal practitioner or any employee in a paralegal sector.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Problems are defined and related solutions are identified.
  • Information services are provided to clients in time.
  • Support services are provided to clients on time.
    > Range: Support services also include referral to appropriate practitioners with relevant follow up.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Sources of South African law and other selected subjects or laws are examined to identify the relevant legal principles.
  • Options to problems are pursued according to the relevant legal principles.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Payments are processed in accordance with the organisation's policies and procedures.
  • Records are kept and maintained in accordance with the organisation's policies and procedures.
  • Administrative systems are implemented in accordance with the organisation's policies and procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:
  • The concept of accountability is understood.
  • Confidentiality of clients is maintained.
  • Ethical and professional principles are demonstrated when assisting clients.
  • The principles of integrity and honesty are understood.

    Integrated Assessment:
    This qualification will use both formative and summative assessment to assess the competencies of the learners. This integrated assessment will be in the form of tests, assignments, case studies and a portfolio of work. All assessment opportunities will be internally and externally moderated. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    A general comparison with similar qualifications internationally revealed that the range of competencies is well articulated worldwide. The research also revealed that just a few countries offer certificate level qualifications and that mainly Diploma and Degree qualifications are offered.

    A comparison was made with the following international institutions:

    United Kingdom:
    The Intermediate Award in Developing Information, Advice and Guidance Skills compares favourably with the certificate in terms of the inclusion of paralegal and administrative skills. It includes unit standards on:
  • Information, Advice and Guidance in Practice.
  • Interaction Skills.
  • Networking and Referral.
  • Managing Information.
  • Information, Advice and Guidance in context.

    The ILEX Paralegal Programme's Legal Secretaries Certificate was compared with this qualification. It compares favourably in terms of the administrative, communication, client care skills and legal technology skills included. The ILEX certificate does not include any legal knowledge modules.

    The ILEX Paralegal Programme's level 2 Certificate in Vocational Paralegal Studies was compared with this qualification. It contains modules on the legal environment, legal principles and civil litigation. It does not contain administrative or paralegal skills.

    United States:
    University of Massachusetts offers a Certificate in Paralegal Studies on campus or online. The subjects include: Introduction to Paralegal Studies, Real Estate Law, Legal Research Methods and Litigation.

    Kenya:
    Kenya School of Law offers a Diploma in Law (Paralegal Studies) this qualification is to bridge the existing gap in a middle cadre to support legal professionals at the practicing Bar, the corporate world and government institutions.

    Conclusion:
    The comparison with the international qualifications revealed that the range of module competencies is well expressed worldwide and is therefore comparable in module competencies and in duration (except the Kenyan Qualification which is done of two years). 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification offers both horizontal and vertical articulation opportunities for the qualifying learner:

    Horizontal articulation with other qualifications includes the:
  • Higher Certificate in Business Management.
  • Higher Certificate in Economic and Management Sciences.

    Vertical articulation with other qualifications includes the:
  • Diploma in Office Management.
  • Diploma in Office Management and Technology. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Moderation processes and procedures ensure that all learners are assessed in a consistent, accurate and well-designed manner. Moderation verifies that assessments are fair, reliable, valid, practicable and transparent and also evaluates assessor performance. The moderation will be done internally and externally by academics in the field. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The assessor must have:
  • A qualification in the related field which is at NQF Level 6 or above.
  • At least 5 years lecturing/work experience in the field. 

  • 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. Lyceum College 



    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.