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.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate an understanding of slope design to improve stability 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
254574  Demonstrate an understanding of slope design to improve stability 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Mining and Minerals 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 06 - Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Fabrication and Extraction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03 
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 
This unit standard will be useful for people who are pursuing a career in rock engineering.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of slopes in mining.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the issues that affect slope stability.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the information required to design slopes.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the slope design process.

    This unit standard is intended to promote general skills, knowledge and understanding of slope design to improve stability in the mining and minerals sector in order to ensure knowledgeable and informed workers. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are already competent in:
  • Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate understanding of slopes in mining. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The creation of slopes in various mining operations are explained in terms of slope stability. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Strip coal mining.
  • Open pit mining.
  • Quarry mining.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The need for stable slopes are listed and explained in terms of safe and economical mining activities. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Safety.
  • Economic/production.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate understanding of the issues that affect slope stability. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The factors affecting the stability of slopes are listed in terms of physical conditons. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Geology.
  • Water.
  • Excavating technique.
  • Face orientation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Slope stability is explained in geological terms. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Number of discontinuities.
  • Existence of planes of weakness.
  • Orientation of the planes.
  • Water flow.
  • Shear strength of weakness planes.
  • Cohesion on weakness planes.
  • Creation of wedges.
  • Density of rock.
  • Weathering.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The effect of water is explained in terms of slope stability. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Effective stress.
  • Loss of cohesion.
  • Weakening of rock types.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The effect of excavating technique is explained in terms of slope stability. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Blast design.
  • Excessive fracturing.
  • Loosening on geological discontinuities.
  • Cast blasting.
  • Drilling patterns.
  • Spoiling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The effect of face orientation is explained in terms of slope stability. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Dip angle.
  • Orientation with regards to geological discontinuities.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate understanding of the information required to design slopes. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The need for gathering detailed geological information is explained in terms of slope design. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The geological related data to be gathered and the methods to obtain the data, are explained in terms of slope design. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Discontinuity frequency.
  • Discontinuity orientations.
  • Cohesion on weakness planes.
  • Friction on weakness planes.
  • Discontinuity roughness.
  • Infilling and aperture.
  • Wedge dimensions.
  • Rock density.
  • Rock mass properties.
  • Orebody/seam dip.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The rock engineering related data to be gathered/determined slope are explained in terms of slope design. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Gravitational loading.
  • Water pressures.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The mining related data to be gathered are explained with regards to slope design. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Mining economic design.
  • Operational period required for the slope.
  • Equipment suite.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate understanding of the slope design process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The common failure modes are explained in terms of the slope design process. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Plane.
  • Wedge.
  • Circular.
  • Toppling.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The slope design process is explained in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Identification of the slope to be designed.
  • Economic slope design.
  • Geological data gathering.
  • The possible effect of ground water is evaluated and the need for drainage determined.
  • Failure modes are anticipated based on rock mass and discontinuity information.
  • The slope dimensions are calculated for the anticipated/experienced failure mode and to an acceptable factor of safety.
  • The effect of the optimal slope design on economics.
  • Reinforcement.
  • Blast design.
  • Instrumentation and monitoring.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The rock engineering related issues to be determined are explained in terms of designing a slope. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Slope dimensions (dip angle, dip shape, strike shape, height).
  • Reinforcement.
  • Factor of safety.
  • Instrumentation and monitoring.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Methods used to design slopes are given in terms of legal and operational requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Must include:
  • Computational.
  • Statistical.
  • Analytical.
  • Historical.
  • Empirical.
  • Best practice.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The consequences of poor or inadequate slope design are explained in terms of impact on people and operations. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against the qualification must be registered as an assessor with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this qualification must be accredited as a provider with the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant Education, Training, Quality, Assurance (ETQA) Body, or by an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA, according to the ETQA's policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise. Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described in the associated unit standards.
  • Anyone wishing to be assessed against this qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited by the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Information required to design slopes.
  • Issues that affect slope stability.
  • Information required to design slopes.
  • Slope design process.
  • Safety, health and environmental legislation and regulations.
  • Quality policies, standards and agreements. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: The understanding that various failure modes are possible and that the design process is dependent on the expected failure mode. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to understand that the design process needs to be followed to ensure stable slope design. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: The ability of the candidate to communicate the importance of the design process to fellow workers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: The use of computational and other techniques to design slopes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The understanding that stable designs are essential to production and safety and that a well thought through design is the result of the design process. 

  • 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 
    Terminology:

    Specified Requirements:

    Specified requirements include legal and site-specific requirements and are contained in one or more of the following documents:

    Legal:
  • Relevant Acts: e.g. Mine Health & Safety Act and Regulations, 1996 (Act 29/1996), and Minerals Act and Regulations, 1991 (Act 50/1991).
  • Mandatory Codes of Practice.
  • SANS and other relevant Standards.
  • Chief Inspector of Mines' Directives/Instructions.
  • Guidelines issued by the Chief Inspector of Mines.

    Site-Specific:
  • Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (HIRA).
  • Occupational Health and Safety Risk Management Programme.
  • Managerial Instructions.
  • Mine Standard Procedures.
  • List of Recorded OH&S Risks.
  • Working Guides.
  • Equipment and Materials Specifications. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  60369   National Certificate: Strata Control Operations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  MQA 


    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. DIGGERS TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES 
    2. GEOSTRAT TRAINING 
    3. PALABORA COPPER (PTY) LTD 
    4. SAFETY TRAINING PRACTITIONERS PTY LTD 
    5. SIBANYE GOLD ACADEMY PROPRIETARY LIMITED 
    6. WESTERN PLATINUM MINE 
    7. XTRACT TRAINING SERVICES (SA)(PTY)LTD 



    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.