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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Fundamentals of effective communication skills in legal practice 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
116108  Fundamentals of effective communication skills in legal practice 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Legal Education and Training 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Justice in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
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 unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
The purpose of this unit standard is to enable learners to communicate effectively with customers, colleagues and suppliers. This includes oral and written communication and various persuasive skills both as a sender and receiver of a communication. Successful learners will be able to do the following:
  • Describe the principles of effective communication.
  • Understand effective written communication.
  • Explain fundamentals of effective consultation. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Learners registering for this unit standard are assumed to have the ability to:
  • Engage in sustained oral communication and evaluate spoken texts
  • Read analyse and respond to a variety of texts
  • Write for a wide range of contexts
  • Use language and communication in occupational learning programmes

    It is assumed that learners will have acquired computer literacy to effectively communicate, retrieve and process relevant data in a legal environment.

    Learners registering for this unit standard will have demonstrated competence in legal knowledge at NQF level 7 as contained in a recognised law degree like B Proc or LLB or any other qualification recognised as equivalent to such a law degree in terms of legislation as indicated in the notes to the qualification. This assumed learning is listed in paragraph 4 of the qualification "Post graduate certificate in Attorneys Practice". 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe the principles of effective communication. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Define the process of communication and the various contexts that communication takes place in. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Indicate the various forms that interpersonal communication takes place in. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Discuss nonverbal communication and its implications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Summarise stages of listening and the obstacles in the hearing process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Plan an effective interview. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Discuss the "what", "why", "when", "how", "where" and "who" of a public presentation. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Understand effective written communication. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Explain the importance of all communication having a clear objective. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Effectively decide when to use written, verbal or other forms of communication. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Set objectives for written communications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Assess written communications against their objectives. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Use simple, concise language and short sentences in a business letter. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Plan the correct lay-out, address, salutation, complimentary close when writing a business letter, memo, e-mail, fax or short report 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Formulate correct grammatical sentences, and use correct grammar through simple constructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Make proper use of a subject heading. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Use paragraphs to break up points in a logical sequence or according to the principles of good writing structure 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    Assemble a viable letter and identify a variety of tones in business writing structures. Edit, proof-read and check a letter to ensure that it is clear, concise, correct and complete. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain fundamentals of effective consultation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Obtain essential, reliable and complete information and documentation from a client for the purposes of opening a file and regarding the assistance the client requires by means of an interview. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Arrange full and complete notes of the interview with the client. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Analyse the fact complex to ascertain the client's rights and obligations either in a civil, criminal, administrative or labour law context 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Explain to the client the legal issue/s involved and advise the client as to the appropriate legal action to be taken, time schedules, the implications and consequences of such action/s and the prospects of success. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Effectively communicate the fee structure of the firm and costs implications of the legal action to be taken to clients and of alternatives, should the client be unable to pay the fee. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Integrate and collate information from client in order to deal responsibly and effectively with the client's queries. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Preserve the confidentiality of communications with the client. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this qualification must be registered as an assessor with the POSLEC SETA ETQA AND / OR ANY OTHER BODY WITH WHOM A MOU WAS ENTERED INTO.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider through the POSLEC SETA ETQA AND / OR ANY OTHER BODY WITH WHOM A MOU WAS ENTERED INTO by SAQA.
  • The POSLEC SETA ETQA AND / OR ANY OTHER BODY WITH WHOM A MOU WAS ENTERED INTO will oversee assessment and moderation of assessment according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant competency and the agreed procedures of the POSLEC SETA ETQA AND / OR ANY OTHER BODY WITH WHOM A MOU WAS ENTERED INTO.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessment at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards, exit level outcomes as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this competency may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the POSLEC SETA ETQA AND / OR ANY OTHER BODY WITH WHOM A MOU WAS ENTERED INTO. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Demonstrated knowledge and understanding:
  • Describe various ways of communicating orally and in writing.
  • Explain communication as a two-way process.
  • Explain various ways of communicating with the supplier, customer and colleagues and give reasons for their appropriateness.
  • Describe the language that is the norm in the industry and give reasons why it is the norm.
  • Site examples where language must be clear and concise and situations where embellishments are necessary and explain why.
  • Describe potential barriers to communication and give potential solutions for each barrier (range of potential barriers: cultural differences, word choice, communicating to someone who does not understand the language, voice modulation, not listening actively).
  • List various appropriate communication methods, taking available technology, the target audience and the norms of the industry into account. Give reasons why a particular communication method was selected and demonstrate the actual communication (range of target audience: customers, colleagues, and suppliers).
  • Check that spelling, punctuation and grammar are accurate when communicating in writing, using a dictionary or spelling-check facility if necessary. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

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

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Critical cross field and developmental outcomes:

    Where necessary, these are included under the specific outcomes section. 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  48920   National Certificate: Attorneys Practice  Level 7  NQF Level 07  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Fundamental  49598   National Diploma: Paralegal Practice  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    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. LAW SOCIETY OF SOUTH AFRICA 



    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.