SAQA 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.

National Certificate: Environmental Practice 
49605  National Certificate: Environmental Practice 
SGB Environmental Sc/Mgt & Waste Mgt 
LG SETA - Local Government and related Services Sector Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 10 - Physical, Mathematical, Computer and Life Sciences  Environmental Sciences 
Undefined  128  Level 2  NQF Level 02  Regular-Unit Stds Based 
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
2026-06-30   2029-06-30  

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. 


This qualification is the second in a learning pathway for practitioners in the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. This series of qualifications will equip practitioners with the skills, knowledge and values to contribute towards the wise and effective use and management of our built environment, natural resources and ecological systems.

The specific purpose of this qualification represents the skills, knowledge and values required by competent practitioners to:
  • Operate and maintain machinery and equipment and use resources in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Apply basic principles and tools of environmental practice to avoid, minimise or remedy negative environmental impacts

    With this understanding, practitioners will be able to engage productively and responsibly in work, individual or community related activities in the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. This qualification will also serve as a basis for further learning, and will equip learners with the knowledge, skills and values to participate meaningfully in society and contribute towards developing sustainable communities.

    This qualification is applicable to a range of contexts within the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management, such as local government, public and private waste management enterprises, cultural or natural heritage sites, community projects, recycling and recovery of resources, control and eradication of invasive and alien species, rural development and site preparation or rehabilitation. It is also suitable for workers with environmental functions in a range of industries such as mining, chemicals or manufacturing. The following are typical contexts in which this qualification can be assessed:
  • Waste management related activities, eg
    > Materials recovery and buy-back centres
    > Waste reception
    > Landfill operations
  • Water course cleaning, care and maintenance
  • Care of public places, open areas, cultural and natural heritage sites
  • Maintenance of parks and sports fields
  • Community projects and job creation schemes relating to environmental practice
  • General industrial, extraction, ie activities with an environmental care or improvement focus

    Rationale for the qualification:

    South Africa has a need to manage and protect its natural resources and ecological systems, while simultaneously using its resources in a sustainable manner to promote social, physical and economic development.

    People as individuals, and as members of social or workplace communities, need to become aware of their responsibilities towards the environment and to be empowered to make informed choices regarding their own activities and the impact that these activities have on the environment. There is also a need for people to develop practices which will ensure that their activities, individually and collectively, result in the sustainable use of resources and minimal negative impact on the environment.

    Recent developments in environmental legislation have resulted in an increased demand for practitioners with the necessary skills, knowledge and values to fulfil these legislative requirements.
    Such practitioners - as learners, as workers and as members of social communities - need to be equipped to engage with the complexities and challenges which arise from this need to ensure that use of resources and development is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable.

    This qualification will enable providers, assessors and learners to plan, implement and measure the outcomes of suitable learning programmes, or to recognize prior learning. It will recognise the skills, knowledge and values of learners who engage actively in activities relevant to the field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. Such activities are necessary in order to develop a portfolio of evidence.
    The qualification is suitable for learners who:
  • Have attended courses and then apply the knowledge gained to activities in a workplace or in a community, or
  • Are already workers and have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses, or
  • Are already active in the community and have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses, or
  • Participate in skills programmes and appropriate work experience or community work, or
  • Are part of a learnership programme which integrates structured learning and work experience, or
  • Acquire their learning through any combination of the above. 

    It is assumed that the learner is competent in Communication and Mathematical literacy at NQF level 1.

    Recognition of prior learning:

    This qualification may be obtained through the process of RPL. The learner should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment and support should be provided to assist the learner in the process of developing a portfolio. While this is primarily a context-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the Exit Level Outcomes. 


    All the Fundamental credits (39) plus the (77) core credits are compulsory. A total of (12) electives should be selected to make up the total of 128 for the qualification. 

    The Exit Level Outcomes for this qualification reflect a combination of Specific Outcomes and Critical Cross-Field Education and Training Outcomes. The way in which the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes have been advanced through the learning required for this qualification is embedded in the way in which the unit standards have been constructed. Critical Cross-Field Outcomes form the basis for acquiring skills, knowledge and values. The application of these in a specific context results in the achievement of Specific Outcomes. The integration of Specific Outcomes from a variety of unit standards results in the ability to achieve the Exit Level Outcomes.

    1. Use simple, work-related machines and equipment in an environmentally efficient and effective manner.
    Range: Simple, work-related machines and equipment include hand tools and mechanical machines, eg pneumatic compaction equipment, chain saws, bush cutters, static compaction equipment, weighing equipment, pumps, mixing equipment, shredding equipment, lifts, hoists, loaders, transport vehicles (inspection and basic maintenance only.

    2. Participate as a member of a team or group to achieve work and environmental objectives.
    Range: Group includes members of the public where applicable:
    Environmental objectives includes reducing waste or energy consumption, carrying out repair and maintenance activities to remedy environmental impacts, etc.

    3. Gather, compare and report data relating to environmental impacts.
    Range: Data includes time periods, location, conditions before and after change, etc.

    4. Use basic environmental tools in practical activities to prevent, correct or remedy environment impacts.
    Range: Practical activities include broader activities such as rehabilitation projects and public participation. Using tools includes assess impact and evaluating the effect of interventions. Tools are appropriate to the level of qualification, eg risk assessment, environmental checklists, audit sheets, compliance sheets. 

  • Materials and resources are handled and used in an environmentally responsible manner.
    Range: Examples of materials and resources include: chemicals, sewage, sludge, hazardous materials; energy, air, water, soil, minerals, plants, animals.
    Environmentally responsible: an awareness of conservation of resources, prevention and control of pollution, maintenance of health and safety.
  • The process is monitored and adjustments are made to meet operational standards.
    Range: Examples of the process include: loading, handling, compacting; lifting and moving; shredding; clearing or cleaning; taking, checking and testing of samples; monitoring and checking emissions, flow and quality of materials, energy usage, noise, leaks, smoke, effluents; mixing and preparing ingredients and chemicals; taking stock; digging holes or trenches.
  • Machinery and equipment are checked, maintained and operated responsibly.
    Range: Operating includes preparing for use and monitoring equipment where appropriate.
  • Procedures are applied appropriately and accurately.
    Range: Includes procedures for routine and non-routine activities.
  • Products are produced or services delivered that meet operational requirements and standards.
    Range: Product means any results of an action or process, eg compacted or shredded materials. Services include any work done to correct or remedy environmental impacts, eg clearing invasive plants, cleaning or rehabilitating affected areas.

  • Contribution is made to the achievement of the objectives, including meeting deadlines.
  • Relevant information is reported and conveyed accurately.
  • Assistance and support is given to other team or group members.
  • Contribution is made to the general maintenance and the housekeeping of the facility.

  • Field tests and data collection techniques are performed according to applicable criteria.
    Range: Field tests relate to on-site testing using simple equipment and procedures.
  • Applicable records and reports are completed and maintained.
    Range: Applicable includes safety, health and environmental records
    Maintained includes updated, handed on, filed, stored correctly.
  • Appropriate actions are taken in response to the data.
  • The need for and the significance of the data is explained.

  • A tool is used correctly to assess potential or actual environmental impact.
    Range: Includes knowledge of human interactions with operational processes that have the potential to create environmental impacts.
  • A plan to prevent, correct or remedy impacts is developed and implemented appropriately.
    Range: Plans are within the scope and responsibility of the learner's context.
  • The results of the intervention are evaluated.

    Integrated Assessment:

    In order to achieve the aims of integrated assessment it is recommended that the assessor assesses all components of the learning that credits are awarded for the unit standards during this assessment.It is recommended that learning components (ie fundamental and core) are combined into assignments and projects which are then included in the portfolio of evidence. This will form the basis for the bulk of the assessment. The assessor can then focus on specific areas for further probing and verification.

    The assessment process should:
  • Cover the explicit activities required for the qualification as well as the understanding of the concepts and principles which underpin the activities
  • Establish how the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes have been advanced by the learning process.

    The integrated assessment must be based on a summative assessment guide. The guide will spell out how the assessor will assess different aspects of the performance and will include:
  • Looking at records and reports in the portfolio and reviewing previous assessments
  • Asking questions and initiating short discussions to test understanding
  • Observing the learner at work (in the primary activity as well as in other interactions).

    The learner may choose in which language s/he wants to be assessed. This should be established as part of a process of preparing the learner for assessment and familiarising the learner with the approach being taken.

    While this is primarily a context-based qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the exit-level outcomes.

    Assessors should also evaluate evidence that the learner has been performing consistently to standard over a period of time. 

    Research was carried out to identify qualifications and educational initiatives for environmental practice at the level of the National Certificate: Environmental Practice Level 2 in all parts of the world, including developing countries where the environmental impact of human activities has been severe.

    In developed countries, the trend is for qualifications in environmental science and environmental management to fall into the sphere of higher education, while qualifications for waste management are found across all levels of the educational spectrum. Organisations and companies frequently use in-house orientation or training for specific jobs to develop the skills of employees at operational levels. Internships may also be used to develop skills, particularly in the United Kingdom. At supervisory level the short-course approach is frequently used, with considerable variation in the content and duration of courses offered.

    In developing countries, even in countries which have experienced severe environmental degradation, evidence of national initiatives to raise awareness of environmental issues and develop skills to prevent or remedy environmental impacts is lacking, although there are calls for such interventions to be implemented. However, there have been notable interventions by individuals and international and regional agencies in a number of African and Asian countries to train local communities in sustainable development practices. Such initiatives vary widely in approach and scope, but have had some success in reversing deforestation and improving the quality of soil and water resources, with consequent improvement in the quality of life of local communities.

    The National Certificate: Environmental Practice Level 2 is a generic qualification which serves the diverse needs of the broad field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management. Although directly comparable qualifications in other countries could not be identified, qualifications for environmentally-related fields or technical areas can provide some guidance and a basis for comparison.

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) is widely regarded as representing best practice in environmental matters and is used as a model by other countries. In addition to its role in protecting the environment within the United States, the US EPA is also influential in skills development in the environmental field within the United States and in the many countries outside of the United States. The US EPA is instrumental in promoting the development of skills at all levels. It sets standards, establishes guidelines, provides funding and support for the development of resources and provision of training, and promotes the sharing and acquisition of knowledge through conferences, workshops and specialised training.

    Through SGB members' personal experience and knowledge of learning resources which meet US EPA standards (for example, in the field of waste management), it is known that the skills, knowledge and values that would be achieved through the National Certificate: Environmental Practice Level 2 are of a comparable standard to those determined by the US EPA.

    The National Certificate: Environmental Practice NQF Level 2 compares favourably in level and scope with other international qualifications for environmentally-related qualifications as it includes technical and organisational elements and also supports the development of individual skills necessary to ensure occupational competency.

    Collectively, the SGB has close links with professional bodies and educational institutions which maintain links with their counterparts on an international level. This awareness of international trends in environmental practice and in environmental education has enabled the SGB to determine a realistic standard for this qualification and its associated unit standards, while at the same time enabling people to extend themselves within the learning context of this qualification.

    Selected references:
    Newsweek International Inc. 

    This qualification articulates with the National Certificate in Environmental Practice: NQF 3.

    This qualification has been designed and structured so that qualifying learners can move from one context to another. Employers or institutions should be able to evaluate the outcomes of this qualification against the needs of their context and structure top-up learning appropriately. Equally, holders of other qualifications may be evaluated against this qualification for the purpose of RPL. 

    Moderators for the qualification should be registered as assessors with the relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a mou with the relevant ETQA. 

    The following criteria should be applied by the relevant ETQA:
  • A qualification in a relevant field of environmental science, environmental management and waste management at NQF Level 3
  • Any other criteria required by a relevant ETQA. 

    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 


    Core  119554  Apply environmental management tools to assess impacts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13217  Collect and use information  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12461  Communicate at work  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13220  Keep the work area safe and productive  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  116080  Monitor, collect and collate agricultural data  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12036  Orientate self in the workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13258  Participate in work group activities  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  12483  Perform basic first aid  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  13221  Perform routine maintenance  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  119553  Take action to address impacts on the environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Core  119556  Use tools and operate equipment in an environmentally responsible manner  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Core  119558  Work with, use and care for materials and resources which can impact on health and the environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02  10 
    Fundamental  8963  Access and use information from texts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9009  Apply basic knowledge of statistics and probability to influence the use of data and procedures in order to investigate life related problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7480  Demonstrate understanding of rational and irrational numbers and number systems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9008  Identify, describe, compare, classify, explore shape and motion in 2-and 3-dimensional shapes in different contexts  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8962  Maintain and adapt oral communication  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  12463  Understand and deal with HIV/AIDS  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8967  Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  7469  Use mathematics to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal and community life  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  9007  Work with a range of patterns and functions and solve problems  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  8964  Write for a defined context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  14784  Apply sampling theory and practice in the chemical industry  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  13202  Apply study and learning techniques  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116121  Apply sustainable farming practices to conserve the ecological environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  113818  Clean and maintain area of responsibility  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  14051  Collect and record data  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8330  Combat problem plants  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12334  Conduct water process laboratory tests  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  13679  Control and extinguish a fire in a conservation area  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12351  Demonstrate An Ability To Work With Local Communities  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12352  Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of a community committee  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12033  Demonstrate knowledge of water cycle, water and wastewater systems and processes  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12465  Develop a learning plan and a portfolio for assessment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  11818  Investigate work opportunities in order to make a personal career/employment decision  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8346  Manage cultural heritage resources in the field  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116077  Monitor water quality  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119557  Operate waste disposal facilities  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  12484  Perform basic fire fighting  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8332  Perform conservation guardianship  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116064  Recognise and identify the basic functions of the ecological environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119555  Separate, handle, store, treat and transport waste  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8348  Understand Nature Conservation issues  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  10718  Use a personal budget to manage own money  Level 2  NQF Level 02 


    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. A.S.A.P Training and Consulting 
    2. A4 Consultancy CC 
    3. Amabamba Recruitment 
    4. AMG Training and Hygiene Consultants 
    5. AVAX SA 481 CC. T/A Mandisa Development Services 
    6. Bazalwane Business Partners 
    7. Bizzy Fire Control CC. 
    8. Black Expression Consulting 
    9. Boikgantsho Consulting & Events 
    10. Buena Vista Learning Academy 
    11. Bull's Business and Skills Training Institute 
    12. Buyisiwe Management Services (Pty) Ltd 
    13. Central Bridge Trading 109 
    14. Coceka Consulting 
    15. CTC College(PTY) LTD. 
    16. Danearl (PTY) LTD 
    17. Dee's Training (PTY) LTD 
    18. Dijama Training Academy 
    19. Edutraining Business College 
    20. Elective Training Institute Enterprise CC 
    21. Faranang Marketing 
    22. Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa 
    23. Gauge Architecture 
    24. Giamanje TVET College 
    25. Glentech Innovative Design Concepts 
    26. Growth Management Consulting 
    27. HDPSA 
    28. Institute of Cooperatives and Community Economic Development 
    29. IQ Skills Academy (PTY) LTD. 
    30. Itumeleng Wellness Solutions 
    31. Izicwe Consulting 
    32. Josmap Training Institute 
    33. JPM & Associates 
    34. Kay Beez Development Projects 
    35. Khehli Institute 
    37. KWEM Management Solutions 
    38. Lead Academy Pty Ltd 
    39. Lee And Spirit 
    40. Legacy Imbizo Training & Development Consultants 
    41. Letlhokoa Management Services CC 
    42. M.I.C. Training and Development 
    43. Makhuba Development Projects CC 
    44. Mamuhle Academy 
    45. MARS Business Consulting 
    46. Mazasa Management Consulting CC. 
    47. Mcebo Technologies 
    48. Mementos Training Pty Ltd 
    49. Mintirho Development Services 
    50. Misol Projects cc 
    51. Mod-Mosh Projects and Consulting (PTY) LTD 
    52. Mohlaje Solutions (Pty) Ltd 
    53. Mortarboard Training Solutions 
    54. Networx for Career Development 
    55. New Hope Revival Organisation 
    56. Nkinane Trading Enterprise 
    58. Nokusho M Consulting and Trading 
    59. Nonunu Projects 
    60. Nyankwavi Investment CC. 
    62. Outeniqua Leadership Institute 
    63. Paramount Training Academy 
    64. Pebetse Training and Consulting 
    65. PFIM Trading (Pty) Ltd 
    66. Phambili KZN Construction and Development 
    67. Phumelela Sisonke African Foundation 
    68. Pioneer Business Consulting 
    69. PMA Holdings (PTY ) LTD. 
    70. Progressive School of Business and Engineering (Pty) 
    71. Redefined Skills Training & Development (Pty) Ltd 
    72. RLSTP Training & Development (PTY) LTD. 
    74. Simmek Holdings 
    75. Siphiwesihle 
    76. South African Corporate Training Association 
    77. Starplex 489 cc 
    78. Tachfin Holdings 
    79. Talent Emporium Academy (PTY) Ltd 
    80. Tasc Business Consulting and Training 
    81. Teemil Safety Health and Environmental Consultants PTY LTD 
    82. Tembe Service Providers 
    83. Thando Consulting Services 
    84. The Green Affairs Consulting 
    85. Thinking Mind Trading 
    86. Thubelihle Graduate Institute 
    87. Thusanang Skills & Training 
    88. Timothy Fasheun Group Enviromentors (Pty) Ltd 
    89. TLD Consulting 
    90. Tloumogale Business Development & Consulting 
    91. Tovani Traiding 299 
    92. Transafric Consulting Pty Ltd 
    93. Tshamutengo General Dealers CC. 
    95. Uan Projects 
    96. Umbuso Training Services 
    98. University of Venda 
    99. Ursivox Interactive Systems 
    100. Vumilia Africa Group 
    101. Wildlife and Enviroment Society of South Africa 
    102. World Pace Development and Training Institute 
    103. ZwelixolileTrading Enterprise 

    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.