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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Advanced Certificate in Micro Finance 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
91826  Advanced Certificate in Micro Finance 
ORIGINATOR
Centre for Collaboration and Sustainable Development (CCSD) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
CHE - Council on Higher Education  HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Advanced Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  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   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:
  • Enable learners to gain insight into the techniques used in microfinance and how they can be applied in real world situations.
  • Familiarise learners with the themes of microfinance and how they can be used in making decisions within the financial system both in the emerging markets and in the more developed ones.
  • Review and assess the experience of a range of economies in conducting microfinance.
  • Broaden learners' thinking skills relating to the concepts of microfinance and financial exclusion.
  • Develop learners' analytical skills of demand and supply of microfinance, products and services in modern microfinance, sustainability and outreach, risk management, the role of regulation, and other topics related to microfinance.
  • Interpret and use microfinance techniques within a microfinance institution based upon an informed and critical approach.

    Rationale:
    Since the 1990s, microfinance has branched out both in terms of the range of financial and economic services, as well as in terms of how capital is raised. The banks began to access this market in a more significant way. Financial services ranging from savings deposits, loans, insurance to cover life, health, crops and properties are currently being offered. Many microfinance institutions access capital markets, by issuing either equity or debt capital to raise capital. There are others who have been able to securitise their loans and thus attract capital by issuing microcredit backed securities. Technological innovations have also increased the pace of the evolution of microfinance, thereby, changing the landscape.

    This qualification is designed to develop the learners and their understanding of modern Microfinance theory and practice. It is a qualification that covers the traditional microcredit, most recent micro financial services and the role of banks in microfinance, varying from retail commercial banking services addressed towards the financially excluded economic agents to the function of large investment banks in microfinance. The principal objective is to forge an understanding of the theories underlying contemporary microfinance, demand and supply of microfinance, products and services, sustainability and outreach, risk management, the role of regulation and other key topics.

    With reference to the above, the Centre for Collaboration and Sustainable Development addresses the exclusive niche gap in the formal education and training of microfinance practitioners at NQF Level 6. Currently there are no formal accredited or registered higher education qualifications offered to microfinance practitioners at this NQF Level. This qualification will therefore, contribute to the professionalisation of the microfinance sector in South Africa. It is believed that the microfinance industry has thus far in South Africa been a neglected industry in terms of the availability of higher education study opportunities. This qualification will enable more micro finance practitioners to prepare for possible entrance into further higher education studies. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The learners are assumed to be competent in Mathematics at NQF Level 4 and ought to demonstrate communication and writing skills in English at NQF Level 5.

    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    Access to the qualification can be granted through Recognition of Prior Learning assessment based on the exit level outcomes for the qualification at NQF Level 5. To demonstrate the potential to succeed in the qualification, the assessment will consist of (1) a theoretical challenge examination to demonstrate the cognitive potential to succeed and (2) a portfolio of evidence submitted within the predetermined framework to demonstrate the practical potential to grasp the contextual issues related to the microfinance subsystem. (3) The institution reserves the right to conduct an assessment interview to validate the authenticity of the portfolio of evidence. The purpose of the three-pronged approach to the assessment is to ascertain the potential to demonstrate applied competence at NQF Level 6. Credits will be granted where competency in a specific module is established by the assessor.

    Access to the Qualification:
    The access to this qualification is granted to applicants who meet the minimum entrance requirements or the alternative routes of entry. Applicants who are in possession of a Higher Certificate in a relevant area of study such as Banking or Financial Management. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification comprises 11 compulsory modules at NQF Level 6, totalling 120 Credits.
  • Modern Microfinance Taxonomy, 5 Credits.
  • Modern Microfinance A: Products and Services, 5 Credits.
  • Modern Microfinance B: Microcredit Features, 5 Credits.
  • Sustainability and Outreach, 10 Credits.
  • Micro Finance Risk Management, 10 Credits.
  • Micro Finance Process Management and Monitoring, 10 Credits.
  • Micro Finance Performance Management, 10 Credits.
  • Micro Finance Regulation, 10 Credits.
  • Microfinance Research A: Methodology Course Work, 10 Credits.
  • Microfinance Research B: Project, 10 Credits.
  • Microfinance Case Study (Experiential Learning), 35 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the main areas in the field of micro finance practices, including an understanding of and the ability to apply the key terms, concepts, facts, principles, rules and theories of micro finance.
  • Range: Microcredit, products and services, sustainability, outreach, risk management process monitoring, microfinance performance and the role of regulation in micro finance.
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of micro finance, financial inclusion and exclusion; and the role of commercial banks.
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of different forms of knowledge, schools of thought and forms of explanation typical within the field of micro finance.
  • Range: Micro finance processes, micro credit processes as well as the associated risks, the business risk, the financial risks and the process risks.
    4. Demonstrate an ability to evaluate, select and apply appropriate methods, procedures or techniques in processes of investigation or application within a defined micro finance context.
    5. Describe, evaluate and apply solutions based on evidence and procedures appropriate to the field of the micro finance.
    6. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical implications of decisions and actions within a professional micro finance context based on an awareness of the complexity of ethical dilemmas faced by micro finance practitioners. 

  • ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The main areas in the field of micro finance are described.
  • The key micro finance terms, concepts, facts, principles, rules and theories are applied.
  • The South African micro finance terms, concepts, facts, principles, rules and theories to the finance-related fields are related and understood, such as banking - formal savings, credit, formal insurance, money transfer systems and franchising.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Financial inclusion and exclusion is reflected on and the role of banks in microfinance is evaluated and understood.
  • Assumptions, false logic and reasoning in terms of formal and informal banking are identified.
  • The limitations and generalisations that are part of everyday public perceptions stemming from microfinance theories are described.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The various forms of knowledge and schools of thought impacting on the development of micro finance are explained and understood.
  • The micro finance knowledge production process displaying the sequential development of the processes is evaluated.
  • The various micro finance processes are identified and understood.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The methods, procedures and techniques required by the Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) are described, evaluated and applied.
  • The micro credit products and services provided by the MFIs are described.
  • The method the MFIs use to measure and monitor their performance is described.
  • The risk management process as well as the methods and procedures used by the MFIs to monitor potential risks are evaluated.
  • The way in which the MFIs deal with sustainability and outreach issues is described.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • The applicability of improved procedures implemented by the MFIs is evaluated and applied.
  • The manner in which the MFIs deal with ethical dilemmas is described.
  • The MFIs marketing philosophy and marketing positioning strategies are outlined.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • The ethical issues faced by decision-makers and practitioners in the MFIs are described.
  • The manner in which the ethical implications of the decisions and actions taken by decision-makers and practitioners were considered is described and understood.
  • The actions taken by the decision-makers and practitioners in the MFIs are described and explained.

    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 minor research project. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The Microfinance Association in the United Kingdom offers a Certificate in Microfinance which provides a broad based, practical introduction to the key ideas, techniques and skills needed to be a microfinance practitioner. The Certificate is ideally suited to the needs and aspirations of both those who are new to microfinance and those who need a wider understanding of the sector. The qualification is flexible and allows the learner to fit studies around work and social commitments.

    The qualification consists of the following modules:
  • Introductory Microfinance.
  • Product and Services in Modern Microfinance.
  • The Main Features of Microcredit.
  • Sustainability and Outreach.
  • Risk Management in Microfinance.
  • Monitoring the Microfinance Processes.
  • Microfinance Performance.
  • The Role of Regulation.
  • Final Project.

    Mount Kenya University offers an Advanced Certificate in Microfinance which aims to:
  • Provide for increased training opportunities for the increasing number of school leavers to enable them to be self - supporting.
  • Provide practical skills and attitude, which will lead to income generating activities in the urban and the rural areas through self-employment or wage employment.
  • Provide practical education and training skills, which will be responsive and relevant to Kenya's agricultural, commercial and economical needs.
  • Develop skills, which will be responsive and relevant to the country's human resources required at the middle level.
  • Prepare the trainees so that they can enter the world of work with confidence for either salaried employment or self employed.
  • Contribute to promotion of research and development in microfinance sector.

    The qualification consists of the following modules:
  • Evolution and Paradigm Shift in Microfinance.
  • Microfinance Models Methodologies and Products.
  • Business Communication Skills.
  • Business Management Skills.
  • Accounting for Small and Medium Enterprises.
  • Information, Communication and Technology in Business Management.
  • Practical Marketing Strategies.
  • Production and Operations Management.
  • Financial Management.
  • Customer Care and Services.
  • Legal Aspects In Microfinance Institutions.
  • Group Formation and Client Training.
  • Resource Mobilisation and Fund Raising.
  • Entrepreneurial Development Skills.
  • HIV/Aids and other Pandemics.
  • Globalisation.
  • Environment.
  • Gender and Development.

    Conclusion:
    Although the international qualifications used for comparison differ slightly in some module competencies the level of competence and duration are equal to those of the Advanced Certificate in Micro Finance. Thus it can be stated that this qualification meets international standards. 

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

    Horizontal articulation with other qualifications, at NQF Level 7 includes the:
  • Advanced Certificate in Banking Services.
  • Advanced Certificate in Financial Planning.
  • Advanced Certificate in Business Management.

    Vertical articulation with other qualifications, at NQF Level 7 includes the:
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Management.
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Planning.
  • Bachelor of Business Science in Finance. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    All assessments will be conducted only by suitably-qualified assessors and all assessments will be moderated internally and externally. 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    The assessor must have:
  • A qualification in related field which is at NQF Level 7 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. Centre for Collaboration and Sustainable Development (CCSD) 



    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.