|All qualifications and part qualifications 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.|
|SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY|
|National Diploma: Paralegal Practice|
|SAQA QUAL ID||QUALIFICATION TITLE|
|49598||National Diploma: Paralegal Practice|
|SGB Legal Education and Training|
|PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY||NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK|
|SAS SETA - Safety and Security SETA||OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework|
|National Diploma||Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security||Justice in Society|
|ABET BAND||MINIMUM CREDITS||PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL||NQF LEVEL||QUAL CLASS|
|Undefined||245||Level 5||NQF Level 05||Regular-Unit Stds Based|
|REGISTRATION STATUS||SAQA DECISION NUMBER||REGISTRATION START DATE||REGISTRATION END DATE|
|LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT||LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT|
|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|
The purpose of the qualification is to provide the qualifying learner with knowledge and understanding in general areas of the law, its application and social context so as to enable the learner to provide primary and other legal services to the public and support to legal professional.
This qualification will allow qualifying learners to accept their responsibility to contribute toward the realisation of access to justice, a just and free society based on constitutional democracy within a world legal order and to contribute to economic and social transformation
Qualifying learners will be able to:
Range: Communication refers to written and oral communication
Rationale for the qualifications:
This qualification is meant to prepare qualifying learners for practice as paralegal practitioners in all sectors of the industry, which include:
Many indigent people continue to be denied access to primary legal services, as a result of inter alia unjust past policies, legislation and practice. People from historically disadvantaged backgrounds continue to face challenges in gaining access to the legal profession. The response to these historical constraints has been the development of a paralegal sector. While changes have taken place since 1994, the social need for access to justice has demonstrated the value of a paralegal sector. There is increasing demand for quality primary legal services. Paralegals provide essential support to indigent communities, as well as technical support to legal practitioners in private, commercial, public and non-profit organisations. This diploma addresses a significant demand in the industry for qualified paralegals.
This qualification will establish minimum standards and contribute to quality service provision throughout the industry. By providing a corps of equipped paralegals, the qualification will increase access to affordable primary legal services. The diploma includes outcomes that expand on and reinforce the learner's value system, and will therefore contribute to the protection of communities from misconduct and unethical behaviour.
The diploma contains legal, administrative and social knowledge and skills. It is aimed at a developing, changing and diverse sector. Flexibility will allow service providers to develop learning programmes that are responsive to community, industry and learner needs. The service provider must indicate which sector(s) it caters for and select a suitable cluster of legal areas.
The diploma intends to equip learners with the necessary life skills and has an integrated approach on critical cross field outcomes.
This qualification will provide a career-path for those qualifying learners intending to further their studies in all sector of the paralegal or legal profession. The qualification is in portable unit standard format and unit standards could contribute to qualifications in the legal field, as well as qualifications in development, public administration and the commercial fields. The unit standard based nature of the qualifications will facilitate the accumulation of credits through institutionalised and workplace learning. The qualification provides learners who have gained relevant experience in the workplace with an opportunity to gain credits through a RPL process.
|LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING|
|It is assumed that learners enrolling for this qualification will have acquired all the outcomes in the following learning areas:
Recognition of prior learning:
This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning, which where necessary, must be contextualised in terms of legal knowledge, paralegal practice, ethical conduct and requisite administrative skills.
Evidence can be presented in a variety of forms, including international or previous local qualifications, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records.
All such evidence should be judged according to the general principles of assessment described in the notes to assessors.
|RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING?|
|In addition to the achievement of all the core and fundamental unit standards learners must achieve at least 40 credits from the elective unit standards. The learner must achieve at least 20 credits from the general section in the elective component and an additional 20 credits from only one of the specialised paralegal sectors in the elective component.
|EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES|
|1. Apply advanced paralegal knowledge and understanding of law to a specific problem within the South African legal context.
2. Conduct and evaluate legal research and make recommendations based on the findings of the research
3. Communicate with internal and external clients in a paralegal or legal workplace
Range: Communication refers to written and oral communication
4. Advise, counsel and represent clients in a variety of formal and alternative settings
5. Produce legal documents in a paralegal context and prepare and draft legal documents in a legal context
6. Solve problems in a paralegal context by working in a team and individually
7. Manage administration, including financial administration, and provide organisational support in an office environment
8. Exercise ethical conduct, values and professionalism when dealing with internal and external clients
Critical cross- field outcomes:
In particular when assessing the applied competence (practical, foundational and reflective competencies) of this qualification, assessors must assess the ability of the learner to:
Examples of specific assessment of the above Critical Cross-Field Outcomes may be described in each Unit Standard.
|ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA|
|For award of the whole qualification, candidates must achieve the required number of credits as well as the criteria specified for integrated assessment. Competence will be evident when:
(Range: Communication refers to written and oral communication)
Applied competence (practical, foundational and reflexive competencies with regard to legal, administrative and social knowledge and skills) of this qualification will be achieved if a candidate can integrate the various unit standard outcomes to be able to perform as a Paralegal Practitioner in any of the paralegal sectors.
Ongoing formative assessment is required so that learners are given feedback on their progress in the achievement of specific learning outcomes. Summative assessment is concerned with the judgement of the learning in relation to the exit level outcomes of the qualification, which tests the learner's ability to integrate legal, administrative and social knowledge and skills and paralegal values. The assessment methods must include observation (e.g. during client counselling), product evaluation (e.g. draft legal documents or arbitration agreement) and questioning (oral and or written) to provide sufficient opportunity to the learner to demonstrate applied competence.
Integrated assessment at the level of this qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show they are able to integrate concepts, ideas, skills, values and actions across unit standards to achieve competence that is grounded in and coherent in relation to the purpose of the qualification. A paralegal representing a client must demonstrate a range of legal knowledge including theory and procedure; utilise key legal skills including drafting as well as non-legal skills like case-file management and finally handle the case with professional and ethical conduct. An assessment of client representation (e.g. portfolio of evidence) would thus examine competence in a range of unit standards.
Integrated assessment must judge not only the quality of the observable performance but also the thinking and understanding that underpin it. Assessment tools must also encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that forms the basis for their demonstrated performance. An integrated mix of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools should be used with the ultimate focus being on the assessment of applied competence.
In other words, the assessors must use a range of tools to test demonstrated competence in a practical situation (e.g. simulation or learnership on paralegal practitice) as well as oral or written examination (on application of advanced legal knowledge), that integrates the assessment of all specific outcomes for all the unit standards.
Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge.
|The National Para-Legal Institute of South Africa (NPI-SA), a convenor of the Para-Legal Working Group of the SGB for Legal Education and Training, conducted a web-site survey to determine international comparability of this diploma.
The survey was conducted among leaders of various Para-Legal associations, service providers and Para-Legal learners in the different countries. Research articles on paralegals and paralegal education were also examined. Finally, specific qualifications were compared.
The survey results reveal international comparability in terms of the timeframe for the qualification, the access to the qualification, the ability to acquire the qualification through workplace learning and many of the competencies addressed by unit standards. The diploma's principles of flexibility and an emphasis on integrating legal and administrative skills were also found to be comparable.
All qualifications compared cater for a particular sector of paralegals -South Africa is unique in seeking to address the needs of paralegals working in all sectors. International comparability was tested in the following countries:
1. The Southern Cross University's Associate degree in Law (Paralegal Studies) compares favourably with this diploma. It includes courses on legal research and writing, interviewing, negotiations and ethics, criminal process and an introduction to the Australian legal system.
2. The Kelly Colleges Diploma of Paralegal Studies compares favourably with this diploma. It includes courses on trust accounts, litigation, the Australian legal system, legal office practice and legal knowledge in general. The diploma also shares the principle of producing paralegals for a wide range of sectors - excluding only non-profit and community-based sectors.
The Diploma in Law offered by the University of Botswana compares favourably with this diploma. This two-year programme includes an introduction to the Botswana legal system and a second year streaming into the public, private or commercial sector.
1. Comments were received from Diane Giroux, President Paralegal Association of Paralegals and member Montreal Chapter of Legal Assistant Managers Association. Research reports from the Law Society of Upper Canada and an article by John G Kelly were also examined. It emerged that in Canada most paralegals have college or university degrees.
2. This diploma compares favourably with the Programme: Law Clerk and Programme: Court and Tribunal Agent from Fleming College were compared. Both diplomas contain:
The programme in law offered by the Diponegoro University compares favourably with this qualification. The programme includes general courses, basic legal courses, advanced courses, additional skills courses, improvement of legal skills courses and elective courses.
The Diploma in Law offered by the Kenya School of Professional Studies compares favourably with this qualification. The diploma includes courses on an introduction to Kenya law and legal system, constitutional and administrative law, legal research, social and professional ethics, legal writing and drafting and an internship.
The National Diploma in Legal Assistance being developed by the Polytechnic of Namibia was compared with this qualification. The two qualifications share the principle of producing paralegals for a wide range of sectors including the community-based sector.
1. The Advanced Certificate in Information, Advice and Guidance compares favourably with the diploma focusing on the community-based sector. The qualification includes unit standards in:
2. The Advanced award in managing voluntary and community organisations would compare favourably with the diploma focusing on the community-based sector, especially at the elective level. The qualification includes unit standards in:
3. The unit standards Community Mediation Skills; Making Choices, Managing Learning; Facilitator Training; Managing Your Voluntary/Community Organisation; Supporting Community Learning and Training for Change compare favourably with unit standards in this diploma, especially in the community-based elective stream.
4. The ILEX Paralegal Programme level 3 Diploma in Vocational Paralegal Studies was compared with this qualification. It contains courses on the legal environment, legal principles and civil litigation.
United State of America
1. The National Federation of Paralegal Associations "Suggested Curriculum for Paralegal Studies" was compared to this diploma. This diploma compares favourably including similar study areas on communication written and oral, mathematical literacy, legal research and writing and procedure. The NFPA curriculum shares the principle of flexibility and the inclusion of a wide range of electives both at core and elective levels.
2. The American Bar Association's Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programmes were compared with this diploma. These guidelines are used to approve two-year programmes equivalent to this diploma. The guidelines provide for general education credits which include writing skills, communication skills and non-legal courses. There is also a provision for legal speciality courses which cover legal theory, but also address practical paralegal skills. The guidelines encourage computer skills and experiential learning through internships. The guidelines strongly encourage articulation to university degrees. The guidelines require a minimum of 270 contact hours. This is a favourable comparison.
3. The American Association for Paralegal Education "Core Competencies for Paralegal Programmes" was compared to this diploma. The listed skill competencies include critical thinking skills, organisational skills, general communication skills, interpersonal skills legal research skills, legal writing skills, computer skills, interviewing and investigation skills compare favourably with this diploma. The knowledge competencies including the organisation and operation of the legal system, professional and ethical obligations, litigation procedures and the organisation and operation of law offices also compare favourably. The document requires a minimum of 270 contact hours.
4. The Burlington County College Paralegal Programme compares favourably with this diploma. It includes courses on written communication, mathematics, computer science, legal writing and research, civil litigation, accounting, the New Jersey legal system and an introduction to paralegal studies.
5. The pre-law programme at the Central Washington University compares favourably with this diploma. This programme includes courses in legal research, legal writing, ethics, current issues, an introduction to paralegal studies, an introduction to civil practice and approved electives.
Responses pointed out that in the USA the standards ranges from a 2-year associate degree to a full 4-year undergraduate degree and then a certification programme. These comments suggested that a 2-year programme is the minimum required and it should consist of both legal courses and administrative skills. Reference was also made to the fact that many paralegals achieve qualification through workplace experience.
The qualification compares favourably with the paralegal training programme run by the Legal Resources Foundation - Zimbabwe. This two-year programme includes sessions on paralegal ethics and conduct, basic laws, case handling, interview skills, legal drafting, negotiation and mediation skills, human rights, counselling and community mobilisation skills. This programme is aimed at community-based paralegals.
This qualification compares favourably with the paralegal training programme run by the Legal Resources Foundation - Zambia. This programme is the same as above but is run in collaboration with the University of Zambia. The certification is approved by the Law Society and the Council for Legal Education.
|Learners who have achieved the Diploma in Paralegal Practice may articulate vertically to the Bachelor of Law.
This qualification articulated horizontally with the following qualifications:
Competence in individual Unit Standards will be retained by the learner who exits the qualification before completion.
|Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments. Moderation of assessments will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines and agreed ETQA procedures. This qualification can be internally assessed by assessors of the provider and moderated by a moderator registered by the relevant ETQA. Moderation shall comply with SAQA requirements.
Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification or its unit standards must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
|CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS|
|Assessors for this qualification will hold a level 6 qualification in law or possess the technical expertise to achieve this qualification and have worked as a paralegal practitioner for at least 5 years.
Additional requirements for assessors may be specified in each unit standard.
|As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015.|
|As per the SAQA decision to re-register all provider-based qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2018. As per the SAQA decision to re-register all provider-based qualifications on the National Qualifications Framework that meet the criteria for re-registration, this qualification has been re-registered from 1 July 2018. N/A|
|ID||UNIT STANDARD TITLE||PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL||NQF LEVEL||CREDITS|
|Core||119499||Advise and counsel clients in terms of social or legal problems||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||119502||Apply advanced legal concepts, principles, theories and values within a paralegal sector||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||20|
|Core||119506||Apply legal administrative and alternative dispute resolution procedures in a paralegal context||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||113808||Apply the general principles relating to legal costs||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Core||119500||Conduct research in a paralegal context||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||14155||Create and maintain positive workplace relationships||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||5|
|Core||119503||Demonstrate an understanding of procedure in courts and other fora||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||20|
|Core||119508||Demonstrate an understanding of South African law and the legal system with specific emphasis on Paralegalism||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||15|
|Core||114846||Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, political, social and economic realities of South Africa||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||110508||Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of the concept of facilitation and a range of facilitation skills||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||6|
|Core||10043||Develop, implement and manage a project/activity plan||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||5|
|Core||113807||Draft Legal agreements||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||113810||Interpret the principles contained in basic South African law as entrenched in the constitution and the Bill of Rights||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||6|
|Core||110531||Plan, organise and control the day-to-day administration of an office support function||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||4|
|Core||110526||Plan, organise, implement and control record-keeping systems||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||4|
|Core||10055||Present data to stakeholders||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||5|
|Core||119504||Represent clients within a paralegal context||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Core||14505||Apply the principles of ethics and professionalism to a business environment||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||6|
|Core||115334||Maintain good relations with internal and external clients||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||6|
|Core||116104||Use technology effectively in the practice of law||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||6|
|Fundamental||119505||Apply fundamental legal concepts, principles, theories and values within a paralegal sector||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||20|
|Fundamental||7866||Plan, organise and monitor work in own area of responsibility||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||3|
|Fundamental||116108||Fundamentals of effective communication skills in legal practice||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||6|
|Elective||115228||Describe the structure and functioning of criminal justice in South Africa||Level 4||NQF Level 04||8|
|Elective||110472||Outline the environment of local government||Level 4||NQF Level 04||6|
|Elective||7827||Source information about self-employment opportunities||Level 4||NQF Level 04||3|
|Elective||12982||Administer and wind up insolvent estates||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Elective||12981||Administer and wind up the of estates of deceased persons||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Elective||119501||Apply advanced concepts, theories and related values of a selected subject area||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||15|
|Elective||119507||Apply advanced legal concepts, principles, theories and values of specialised law within a paralegal sector||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||20|
|Elective||14590||Apply community development techniques||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||12|
|Elective||365181||Apply court ethics and the etiquette when acting as a prosecutor||Level 5||NQF Level 05||4|
|Elective||119510||Apply fundamental concepts, theories and related values of a selected subject area||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||15|
|Elective||365179||Apply the general principles of legal costs in the magistrate courts||Level 5||NQF Level 05||3|
|Elective||365219||Apply the supervision role of the executor's administration of a deceased estate||Level 5||NQF Level 05||6|
|Elective||11973||Build and maintain relationships with local communities||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||4|
|Elective||13482||Co-ordinate an event||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||12|
|Elective||365184||Consider default judgements in terms of Rule 12 of the Magistrates' Court Act 32 of 1944||Level 5||NQF Level 05||4|
|Elective||116603||Demonstrate and apply understanding of the legal requirements relevant to the liquidation of debt||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Elective||7886||Develop and implement a business plan||Level 5||NQF Level 05||8|
|Elective||14800||Establish a community resource project||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||20|
|Elective||116087||Fundamentals of legal costs||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||3|
|Elective||114230||Operate the case management process||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Elective||110063||Plan advocacy campaigns and workshops in development practice||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Elective||110059||Plan and conduct research that redresses social development issues||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Elective||10061||Plan fieldwork to meet required deadlines and budget||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Elective||110060||Plan learning programmes that redress social development issues||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Elective||110062||Plan the facilitation of learning in development practice||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||10|
|Elective||110061||Prepare learning support materials for programmes in development practice||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||8|
|Elective||14525||Present an informed argument on a current issue in a business sector||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||5|
|Elective||116101||Recover fees and disbursements in an attorney's practice||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||4|
|Elective||13871||Respond to complex requirements from clients||Level 5||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5||16|
|Elective||365180||Tax bills of costs in the magistrates' court||Level 5||NQF Level 05||5|
|Elective||365220||Understand and apply the principles and rules relating to the admissibility and proof of the contents of relevant detrimental statements||Level 5||NQF Level 05||6|
|Elective||365187||Apply the master's supervision of the administration of an estate of a person incapable of managing his or her own affairs||Level 6||NQF Level 06||5|
|Elective||365185||Apply the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 in Public Bodies||Level 6||NQF Level 06||5|
|Elective||365199||Apply the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, Act 3 of 2000||Level 6||NQF Level 06||10|
|Elective||365182||Appoint a Tutor, Curator or Administrator to a person incapable or prohibited from managing his or her own affairs||Level 6||NQF Level 06||10|
|Elective||365191||Authorising a person to act in deceased estate||Level 6||NQF Level 06||5|
|Elective||13631||Critically review socio-economic development issues and processes||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||14|
|Elective||365239||Demonstrate a knowledge of the principles and methodology that underlie the drafting and the processing of legislation.||Level 6||NQF Level 06||15|
|Elective||365190||Demonstrate an understanding of the legislative factors and principles of common law impacting on specific alcohol-related road traffic offences||Level 6||NQF Level 06||10|
|Elective||110480||Design and implement a system for the on-going monitoring, reporting and evaluation of a local economic development programme||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||8|
|Elective||13870||Enhance service levels in Contact Centres||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||16|
|Elective||365189||Examine a liquidation and distribution Account in a deceased estate||Level 6||NQF Level 06||10|
|Elective||365186||Examine the account of a Tutor, Curator or Administrator||Level 6||NQF Level 06||5|
|Elective||110499||Facilitate negotiations about all aspects of implementing local economic development programmes with a range of relevant stakeholders and role players||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||12|
|Elective||110488||Facilitate the establishment of strategic partnerships to contribute to achieving the objectives of the strategic plan for a local economic development programme||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||12|
|Elective||10080||Formulate, design and implement customer service delivery systems and processes||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||8|
|Elective||117438||Inform policy||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||15|
|Elective||365188||Practical application of the principles of legislative drafting||Level 6||NQF Level 06||10|
|Elective||7880||Prepare, implement, manage and control budgets||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||10|
|Elective||117436||Provide support services to victims||Level 6||Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6||15|
|LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION:|
|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.