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: Music Industry Practice 
58144  National Certificate: Music Industry Practice 
SGB Music 
CATHSSETA - Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Education and Training Authority  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
National Certificate  Field 02 - Culture and Arts  Music 
Undefined  121  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 
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

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. 


Learners who have completed this qualification will have the necessary competencies to enter the Music Industry at the basic level on some occupational routes. They will acquire basic knowledge, skills and competence in performance, theory and music industry in general.

The qualification is intended for learners who aspire to either gain a further insight, or those who wish to use this Qualification as a sound foundation towards climbing the NQF ladder in the music field. Some of the competencies are also transportable towards achieving related qualifications.

The cumulative knowledge, skills and attitudes obtained from this qualification will act as a further access point to the Music Industry.

The learner assessed as competent against this Qualification will be able to:
  • Communicate in a variety of ways to achieve personal and music organisational objectives.
  • Use mathematics and mathematical thinking to solve every day problems for him/herself, music organisation and sector.
  • Apply basic music knowledge.
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of music industry.
  • Apply life and work skills in the music work place.
  • Perform a minimum of one chosen music instrument including the voice from any instrument family of their choice.


    The National Certificate: Music NQF Level 2 is designed as the entry level within the music qualification. It will introduce the learner to basic, (foundational) aspects in the music industry. The learners will acquire basic skills that will open a world of opportunities in various segments within the music industry.

    The music industry has developed into a major employer, particularly of young people, in most countries around the world. The rise to success from local to provincial, national and even international, either as a performer or in one of more than a hundred different work situations associated to the industry, can be meteoric. Often young people get hurtled into "instant success," and just as often "instant failure" follows soon after as a result of lack of basic knowledge of various aspects of music that are essential in sustaining as well as growing them professionally.

    This qualification is the first in the learning pathway for music. It will be the foundation phase and will provide learners with basic knowledge and ability to acquire, develop and sustain a career in the music industry.

    The targeted learners should have potential and can be drawn from:
  • Unemployed youth.
  • School Leavers.
  • Unemployed adults.
  • Entrepreneurs.
  • Musicians who need their prior learning to be recognised.
  • Hobbyist.
  • And many others who want to broaden their knowledge in the music industry wishing to gain formal or recognised industry related training.

    Social and economic rationale for this qualification include encouragement of redress, facilitation of access to credit for prior work in the music industry, career development and general learning. Music is both recreational and career choice, which offers recreational and employment opportunities.

    Although the qualification contains industry specific generic components, learners will also be equipped to perform various capacities within the industry, e.g.:
  • Live performers.
  • Music Publishing assistant.
  • Song writers.
  • Technical assistant.
  • Assistant to stage manager.
  • General assistant in the music industry. 

    It would be desirable for learners wishing to access this Qualification to be competent at:
  • Language and Communication at NQF Level 1 or equivalent.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 1 or equivalent.

    Recognition of Prior Learning:

    This Qualification and all the fundamental, core and elective Unit Standards associated with it, as described in the rules of combination, can be achieved by any learner through the recognition of prior learning, which includes learning outcomes achieved through formal, informal and non-formal learning and work experience. The exit-level outcomes and the related Unit Standards may also be achieved through the recognition of prior learning.

    Access to the qualification:

    There are no access limitations on any learners or classes of learners for this Qualification, besides the recommendations in the learning assumptions. 


    The qualifying learner will achieve this Qualification by complying with the following rules of combination for the accumulation of credits:
  • All Fundamental Unit Standards: 36 Credits.
  • All Core Unit Standards: 75 Credits.
  • Elective Unit Standards: 10 Credits.
  • Total Credits: 121 Credits. 

    1. Communicate in a variety of ways to achieve personal and music organisational objectives.

    2. Use mathematics and mathematical thinking to solve every day problems for him/herself and the music organisation.

    3. Apply basic music knowledge and technology.

    4. Demonstrate basic knowledge of music industry.

    5. Perform on a chosen music instrument.

    6. Apply life and work skills in the music workplace. 

  • Oral communication is maintained and adapted to meet personal and organisational needs and expectations.
  • Texts are understood and responded to in writing using a range of contexts in the music organisation.
  • Language and communication is used to understand and respond to texts in occupational learning programmes.

  • Statistics, probability and probability models are used to solve a range of contextual problems.
  • Mathematical number systems, shape, and motion analysis are used to solve a range of life related problems.
  • Mathematics is used to investigate and monitor the financial aspects of personal and team life.

  • Chords intervals and progression are identified and applied according to industry practice.
  • Melodic and rhythmic dictation is demonstrated.
  • Music technology is used effectively for specified context.
    > Range of technology includes equipment, software and voice.
  • Basic equipment and instruments are used to enhance one's skill.

  • Basic staging is planned and performance developed to given scenario.
  • Basic music equipment and instruments are handled according to manufacturers specified and music industry standards.
  • Stage presence is established and composure maintained throughout the performance.
  • The elements of cultural contexts of music are described.
  • Marketing, contracts and copyrights are described in relation to the music industry.

  • Sight read and perform unaccompanied on a chosen instrument according to industry standard.

  • A computer operating system is maintained and operated in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
  • A plan to enhance team performance is developed in relation to music industry context.
  • All equipment selected are used in a manner that is safe to one and that workplace.
  • Disk jockey equipment is operated and techniques demonstrated in relation to disk jockey music and genres.

    Integrated assessment:

    Integrated assessment at the level of the Qualification provides an opportunity for learners to show that they are able to integrate concepts, ideas and actions across Unit Standards to achieve competence that is grounded and coherent in relation to the purpose of the Qualification. Integrated assessment should show how already demonstrated competence in individual areas can be linked and applied for the achievement of a holistic outcome as described in the exit level outcomes.

    Integrated assessment must judge the quality of the observable performance, and also the quality of the thinking that lies behind it. Assessment tools must encourage learners to give an account of the thinking and decision-making that underpin their demonstrated performance. Some assessment practices will demand practical evidence while others may be more theoretical, depending on the type of outcomes to be assessed. The ratio between action and interpretation is not fixed, but varies according to the demands of the particular exit level outcome of the Qualification.

    While the generic component (communication, mathematical literacy, music workplace skills) of this Qualification at NQF Level 2 can be assessed through occupational contexts and activities relating to the music industry, care must be taken in both the learning programme and the assessment to ensure that these foundational skills are portable. The primary aim of this Qualification is to ensure that learners have a sound base of general education to prepare them for further learning, whatever career path they may choose. Learners must be able to transfer generic skills across a number of different contexts, and apply them within a number of learning areas.

    A broad range of task-orientated and theoretical assessment tools may be used, with the distinction between practical knowledge and disciplinary knowledge maintained so that each takes its rightful place. 

    Generally, music skills internationally are accessed from a variety of ways , both formal and informal. The interest in music could be sparked by either in-born talent or a way of developing a career, resulting with sources of learning being either informal, incidental, religious and formal. A number of short courses are offered in the form of e-learning, part-time, private tutoring and distance learning. These courses mainly cover the application of playing skills of a particular instrument, but lack the basic fundamental skills to develop strong grounding in the music industry. This approach to music teaching is fragmenting the knowledge instead of developing an overall basic introduction to all aspects of music, which could be developed further within a particular specialization.

    The broad-based approach to music qualification envisaged in South Africa, will make this qualification unique, relative to any one else in the world. Record sales have been used as a barometer to measure development and growth of the music industry. This does not necessarily indicate formal qualification derived from such development.

    A search revealed that formal qualifications that are NQF-aligned are almost non-existent at level two with only a few countries that have made in-roads in developing NQF-aligned music qualifications. The NC: Music NQF 2 in South Africa, compares with qualifications from the following countries:
  • United Kingdom.
  • New Zealand.
  • Ireland.
  • Australia.

    United Kingdom:

    International best practice for music practitioners at this level is in the UK.

    In the UK, the qualification that compares closely is the National Vocational Certificate Music Level 2, which is offered by providers offering vocational training.

    This qualification is compared in terms of the outcomes and assessment criteria, degree of difficulty and notional learning time with:

    > First Certificate in Music, NQF Level 2 Ref 100/5714/6.
    > Certificate for Music Practitioners NQF Level 2, Ref 100/5178/8.
    > Award for Music Practitioners NQF Level 2, Ref 100/5177/6.

    The following learning unit titles indicate that the outcomes of this Qualification compare closely to. Unit Standards of GETC: Elementary Music, NQF Level 2, some of which are:

    > Keyboard Skills.
    > Arranging Music (Styles).
    > DJ Skills.
    > Music Rehearsal Skills.

    The qualification also compares closely to qualifications offered in the following institutions below which offer short courses in the competencies similar to those in this qualification. Research indicates that music skills and knowledge may be transferred to the learner from a range of sources. These may include communal, informal, incidental, religious and formal sources of learning. Private providers world-wide offer short courses in music making on a chosen instrument, including voice. These learning programmes may include e-learning, part-time study and distance learning. Such short courses focus on the application of playing skills on a chosen instrument and often lack an all round musical development.

    The most common approach is to access a short learning programme or a short course as is offered worldwide. Examples of some of these are:
  • Brighton Institute of Modern Music:
  • KBA software:

    Denmark, Spain, England, Denmark

    The following institutions are examples of some institutions that offer full-time academic courses:
  • The Academy of Contemporary Music:
  • Brit School, Croydon, England
  • LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts;
  • Rhythmic Academy, Copenhagen
  • Powerhouse, London Fax (020) 8740 8422
  • Music Academy International, Nancy, France ;
  • Taller de Musics, Barcelona, Spain;
  • The Academy of Contemporary Music:

    The core competencies addressed in these institutions are similar to the ones in this qualification. These include;
    Music theory
    Establishing Stage presence
    Arranging Music
    Keyboard skills
    Music instrument skills
    Aural skills

    The South African NQF does not register qualifications less than 120 credits and it is for this reason that this qualification has been enhanced to align to the South African requirements.


    A comparison in the SADC region, revealed no NQF aligned music qualifications at level 2. In Malawi, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania music as a qualification is offered from the equivalent of NQF Level 5. Music below NQF level 5, is offered in SADC as a subject in formal education, where learners exit at the equivalent of matric

    In South Africa the music sector is concerned about a large number of relatively young musicians who drop out of school, to pursue a career in music without the basic knowledge and skills that would ensure the survival of their enterprises

    In Malawi, The Kamuzu Academy offers an international curriculum of Music study, training students up to Advanced Levels. The other music qualification offered by the University of Malawi is a 4 year BA and B.Ed degree. The area of learning covered are outlined below:

    First Year:
  • Elements of Music

    Second Year:
  • Music Theory/Composition
  • Ethnomusicology/ African Music
  • Musiciaship I
  • Piano/Instrument/Voice

    Third Year
  • Music Theory /Composition II
  • Ethnomusicology African Music II
  • Musiciaship II
  • Piano/Instrument/Voice II
  • Special Paper in Ethnomusicology I

    Fourth Year
  • Music Theory/Composition III
  • Ethmusicology /African Music III

    Aspects of the above qualification that compare to this qualification include, Music theory, Piano/ Instrument and Voice.

    In Zimbabwe, The Zimbabwe College of Music, under its Ethnomusicology Programme, offers a two-year, National Certificate in Music. This programme is designed for experienced Music teachers who have diplomas from Teacher Training Colleges and who wish to specialize in Music as a teaching subject. This programme includes an intensive study of African and western music with a focus on the teaching of African music. This does not compare with this qualification.


    University of Harvard undergraduate courses found at www.harvard.educ, whose duration ranges between 1, 2, 3 and 4 years, concentration is on:
  • Music theory
  • Various music contexts including Western music
  • Arranging Music
  • Aural skills
  • Composition
    The same competencies are covered in the South African qualification.


    In Kenya no comparison is available at the equivalent of this qualification, however, music courses offered at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Kenyatta University, start from a two year undergraduate Diploma course that comprises the listed learning elements. Again, there is a similarity of learning elements with this qualifications which is at a lower level that the Kenya Diploma:
  • MPE 009: Musicianship Training I
  • MPE 010: Performance
  • MAE 013: General Classification of Kenyan song and Dance
  • MAE 014: General Classification of Traditional Kenyan Music Instruments
  • MHC 029: Design in Music II
  • MHC 030: Harmonic Principles II
  • MPE 010: Performance
  • MPE 011: Musicianship Training II
  • MAE 015: Analysis of Traditional Kenyan Songs and Dances
  • MAE 019: Notation and Transcription of Kenyan Tunes
  • MHC 031: Computer Aided Composition
  • MHC 032: History of Western Music II
  • MPE 013: Introduction to Music for Special Needs
  • MAE 016: Construction and Handling of Traditional Kenyan Music Instruments
  • MAE 024: Music and Legal Issues in Kenya
  • MHC 033: Music Arrangement
  • MPE 012: Performance Project (2 units)
  • MAE 020: African Music Research Project (2 Units)
  • MHC 034: Composition Project (2 units)

    New Zealand:

    In New Zealand, the National Certificate in Music, (Level 2) qualification, Ref NQF Ref: 0598 exists in the field of Arts and Crafts with 43 credits.

    Of close comparisons are the unit standards with similar level of complexity as the NC in Music level 2 and cover the following competencies:

    > Demonstration of performance skills before an audience.
    > Demonstration of musical aural recall and sight-reading skills.
    > Demonstration of knowledge of music theory and industry.


    The certificate 2 in Music (CUS20101)is registered on the Australian Qualifications Authority and it is unit standard-based. This is close comparison to National Certificate in Music at NQF Level 2.

    Pathways to music industry within the Australian qualification framework:

    Industry experience and/or qualifications leads to recognition of prior learning. Learners may progress consecutively to the following qualifications:

    > Certificate I in Music Industry (Foundation).
    > Certificate II in Music Industry (Foundation).
    > Certificate III in Music.
    > Certificate IV in Music.
    > Diploma of Music.
    > Advanced Diploma of Music.

    Learners can also specialise in either:

    > Music Industry Technical Production or
    > Music Industry Business.

    Units in the Certificate 2 Music Industry: Foundation that area comparable to unit standards in this level two qualification are:

    > Develop and update music industry knowledge.
    > Follow health, safety and security procedures in the music industry.
    > Work with others.
    > Assist with staging.
    > Collect and organise information.
    > Move and set up instruments and equipment.
    > Read music.
    > Use information technology.
    > Work in a culturally diverse environment.

    Some of the unit standards that are comparable to the Australian Certificate 3 Music Industry ones, which will be covered at basic level on this qualification are:

    > Address copyright requirements.
    > Develop and update music industry knowledge.
    > Compose a simple song.
    > Contribute to backup accompaniment for a performance.
    > Prepare self for performance. 

    Vertical articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 58143: National Certificate: Music Practice, NQF Level 3.

    Horizontal articulation is possible with the following qualifications:
  • ID 49648: National Certificate: New Venture Creation (SMME), NQF Level 2. 

  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Qualification must be accredited by the relevant ETQA.
  • External Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA at its discretion.
  • The accredited Training Provider will oversee internal Moderation of assessment.
  • Moderation should encompass achievement of competence described in both individual Unit Standards as well as the integrated competence described in the Qualification.
  • Moderation must also encompass achievement of the competencies described in the exit level outcomes described above. 

  • Assessors must be registered as assessors with a relevant ETQA or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessors must be in possession of a Qualification in Music/Music Industry or a related.
  • Qualification in the field of at a minimum of NQF Level 3. 

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


    Core  243323  Acquire and apply basic keyboard skills  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243591  Acquire music ability for ensemble  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243592  Apply the theory of music  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243322  Develop basic practical instrument ability  Level 2  NQF Level 02  15 
    Core  243607  Establish basic stage presence  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243593  Identify and apply aural aspects of music  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243595  Identify and examine music in various cultural context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  243594  Understand the music business  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Core  114508  Pack equipment, material and tools  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
    Fundamental  119463  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  119454  Maintain and adapt oral/signed communication  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Fundamental  119460  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  119456  Write/present for a defined context  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116932  Operate a personal computer system  Level 1  NQF Level 01 
    Elective  113924  Apply basic business ethics in a work environment  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  116520  Apply safety, health and environmental principles and procedures in a workplace  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  114974  Apply the basic skills of customer service  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119666  Determine financial requirements of a new venture  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  243599  Develop Disk jockey ability  Level 2  NQF Level 02  15 
    Elective  119673  Identify and demonstrate entrepreneurial ideas and opportunities  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  119669  Match new venture opportunity to market needs  Level 2  NQF Level 02 
    Elective  8420  Operate in a team  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.

    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.