SAQA End User computing

The purpose of the qualification is to build the knowledge and skills required by learners in End User Computing. It is intended to empower learners to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to operate confidently in the End User Computing environment in the South African community and to respond to the challenges of the economic environment.

The qualification addresses the need in the workplace for nationally recognised qualifications, based on unit standards, which will allow learners with workplace experience in End User Computing to obtain recognition for prior learning.

The qualification provides a framework for learners to develop skills that will enable them to become competent in End User Computing. It introduces theoretical concepts of End User Computing and requires the application thereof, to develop a range of skills that will enable learners to be better-informed workers in their chosen industry. It provides a balanced learning experience that lays the foundation for access to further education, life long learning and to productive employment.

A qualifying learner will be able to:Competently apply the knowledge, techniques & skills of End User Computing applications in the workplace.Understand the impact and use Information Communication & Technology (ICT) in an organisation and society.Improve Communication by combining communication skills with End User Computing skills.Improve the application of mathematical literacy in the workplace, by better utilising applicable End User Computing Applications.

The National Certificate in IT: End User Computing at NQF Level 3, is intended for learners already employed or new learners entering the workplace, requiring End User Computing skills. The unit standards of this qualification may be added to other industry qualifications to provide an End User Computing focus with comparison, choice, interpretation and the application of knowledge.

Rationale of the qualification

The National Certificate in IT: End User Computing – NQF Level 3, is designed to meet the needs of learners who require end user computing skills in all sectors of the economy, as End User Computing is an essential skill in any business today. The qualification is designed to accommodate both learners in formal education and learners already employed. It aims to develop informed and skilled learners that can apply the acquired skills in any industry and should contribute towards improved productivity and efficiency in the workplace.

The need for the qualification was highlighted by an IT sector study that was done and confirmed by ISETT SETA. The design of the qualification is unit standard based, to allow learners to qualify for a national qualification by accumulating the required credits via short learning programmes or workplace practical experience or both. It also allows learners to achieve the qualifications through recognition of prior learning, learnerships schemes or formal training.

The qualification at this level is foundational and generic, allowing maximum mobility between qualifications. Apart from the workplace needs the qualification will address, it is also designed as an entry-level qualification into most further education and training fields, because of the wide application of End User Computing in any environment. It will allow articulation into further qualifications in End User Computing or other IT qualifications, as well as entry into any other Further Education and Training where End User Computing is required. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that the learner is competent in skills gained at the further education and training band up to NQF level 2. Further learning assumed is that learners are competent in End User Computing at NQF level 1.

The assumed learning can be acquired in the traditional way of formal study as well as in the workplace. Acquiring the competencies in a workplace (either via formal learnerships or on-the-job training) has the potential of addressing the problems of the past, where formal qualifications were only obtainable by way of formal study.


Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

Many of the competencies used in the IT profession has traditionally been acquired through short courses and on-the-job training, which did not provide formal recognition (at a national level) of the knowledge and skills acquired. These competencies are still today viewed by most industries as invaluable but there is no national recognition. The nature of the IT field means that competence is developed experientially, therefore the assessment processes should recognise experience versus theoretical knowledge. Recognition of prior learning will now allow learners with these valuable competencies to be assessed and recognised formally.

Any learner wishing to be assessed may arrange to do so without having to attend any formal training. For recognition of prior learning the learner will be required to submit a portfolio of evidence of relevant experience, in a prescribed format, to be assessed for formal recognition. The assessor and learner will decide jointly on the most appropriate assessment procedures, subject to the assessment rules of the relevant ETQA. Learning assumed to be in place must be assessed by the assessor prior to any assessment relating to this qualification. 
RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 
QUALIFICATION RULES 
Rules regarding NQF levels of credits

The qualification consists of a minimum of 130 credits and has been designed in accordance with the SAQA regulations and rules of combination

Rules regarding Fundamental, Core and Electives
1. All fundamental unit standards are compulsory for this qualification. (47 credits)
2. All core unit standards are compulsory. (56 credits)

Rules regarding Electives
Elective unit standards totalling a minimum of 27 credits needs to be completed. 
EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
1. Demonstrate an understanding of applying Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based Word Processing Application skills in the Workplace.

2. Demonstrate an understanding of applying Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based Presentation Application skills in the Workplace.

3. Demonstrate an understanding of applying GUI-based Spreadsheet Application skills in the Workplace.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of applying GUI-based Electronic Mail Application skills in the Workplace.

5. Demonstrate an understanding of applying GUI-based Web Browser Application skills in the Workplace.

6. Improve Communication by combining communication skills with End User Computing skills.

7. Improve the application of mathematical literacy in the workplace, by better utilising End User Computing Applications.

8. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of Information Communications & Technology (ICT) in an organisation & the impact it has on societies.

In addition to the above, unit standards will be utilised to provide depth of specification of the outcomes ranges and the assessment criteria and processes. 
ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
1. The ability to apply word processing skills in a GUI-based application, is demonstrated by being able to do the following:Create, edit and format documentsEnhance document appearance and to create merged documents

2. The ability to apply presentation skills in a GUI-based application, is demonstrated by being able to do the following:Create and edit slide presentationsProduce a presentation for a specific purposeEnhance the appearance of a presentation

3. The ability to apply spreadsheet skills in a GUI-based application, is demonstrated by being able to do the following:Create and edit spreadsheetsSolve a given problem by using a spreadsheetEnhance the functionality of a spreadsheet & apply graphs/charts

4. The ability to apply electronic mail (email) skills in a GUI-based application, is demonstrated by being able to do the following:Send & receive E-mail messagesEnhance, edit & organise E-mail messages


5. The ability to apply Web Browser skills in a GUI-based application, is demonstrated by being able to use a web-browser to search and use information from the internet.

6. Improved Communication is demonstrated by combining End User Computing skills with fundamental communicating skills when communicating to others.

7. Demonstrate an improvement of mathematical literacy by utilising End User Computing applications to solve various aspects of personal life and in areas of business.

8. An understanding of impact of ICT and its use in an organisation is demonstrated by explaining its use and impact related to business and societies.


Furthermore, the assessment process should also cover the following generic components:Measure the quality of the observed practical performance as well as the theory and underlying knowledge;Use methods that are varied to allow the learner to display thinking and decision making in the demonstration of practical performance;Maintain a balance between practical performance and theoretical assessment methods to ensure each is measured in accordance with the level of the qualification; andEnsure that the relationship between practice and theory is not fixed but varies according to the outcomes being assessed.


Assessment of Critical Cross-field Outcomes

All critical cross-field outcomes are represented in this qualification. Each unit standard clearly outlines how the critical cross-field outcomes have been addressed. This is further summarised in the exit level outcomes of the qualification.
We have designed the exit level outcomes to facilitate the combining of the end user computing standards with the fundamental standards, to enhance the personal competencies, which is extended to support the critical cross-field outcomes.

To ensure applicability of Fundamental and Critical Cross-field Outcomes, this should be assessed as part of Core and Elective unit standard assessments.


Integrated Assessment

Development of the competencies may be achieved through a combination of formal and informal learning, self-learning, training programmes and work-based application.

Providers should conduct diagnostic and formative assessment. Formative, continuous and diagnostic assessments should also take place in the work place, if applicable. The learner should also be able to assess him or herself and determine readiness for a summative assessment against this qualification.

During integrated assessments the assessor should make use of formative and summative assessment methods and should assess combinations of practical, applied, foundational and reflexive competencies.

To ensure the principles of assessment of fairness, validity, reliability and practicability are upheld, a combination of the assessment methods of observation, product evaluation and questioning should be used, by applying the appropriate assessment tools (as described in the SAQA criteria and guidelines for assessment). 
INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
This qualification and unit standards have been evaluated against, and are comparable to core knowledge and specialised knowledge elements found in the following International Qualifications Frameworks:New Zealand NQF,Australian NQF,British NVQs.

Furthermore input to the development of the qualification has been benchmarked against International sources, where the outcomes and assessment criteria, degree of difficulty and notional learning time has been compared, as described below.

For the core skills required, the following sources were referenced:International certifications like Microsoft MOUS, IC3 and ECDL/ICDL,We also confirmed that the above certifications are used in many African and SADC countries as benchmark for End User Computing skills in a business environment. Countries referred to include, but are not limited to: Mauritius, Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia

For constructing the qualification structure, the following sources were referenced:Edexcel qualification in Using IT, at UK NQF level 2 (refer NVQ code: Q1052641),Edexcel qualification in Operating IT Systems, at UK NQF level 2 (refer NVQ code: Q1052638),NCC Education’s International Certificate in Computer Studies for IT Professionals,Various local short learning programs were also referenced to determine the local demand and structure of the qualification

This qualification combines the NQF principles and requirements, with Internationally accepted Knowledge Areas required in End User Computing, to address the specific needs of the South African environment. 
ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
The qualification at this level is foundational and generic, allowing maximum mobility between qualifications. Apart from the workplace needs the qualification will address, it is also designed as an entry-level qualification into most further education and training fields, because of the wide application of End User Computing in any environment.

This qualification was designed carefully to ensure vertical and horizontal articulation. It was developed to allow for further study in ICT and related fields at further education levels. The qualification was designed as part of a set of IT qualifications from NQF level 3 through to level 5 and higher. Two NQF level 4 qualifications (one in the systems support sub-area of IT and one in systems development) have recently been registered on the NQF. This new qualification addresses the learning assumed to be in place for the two NQF 4 qualifications mentioned, allowing learners articulation into the ICT field.

As described earlier, many of the competencies used in the IT profession has traditionally been acquired through short courses and on-the-job training, which did not provide formal recognition (at a national level) of the knowledge and skills acquired. This qualification attempts to address this by allowing articulation into formal fields of study, by recognising the skills acquired in various means and packaging it as a formal national qualification, and encourage further study having acquired the qualification. 

MODERATION OPTIONS 

Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Qualification must be registered as an assessor or moderator 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 ETQA.
Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQAs policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
Moderation must include both internal and external moderation of assessments at exit points of the qualification, unless ETQA policies specify otherwise.
Moderation should also encompass achievement of the competence described both in individual unit standards as well as the integrated competence described in the qualification.
Anyone wishing to be assessed against this Qualification may apply to be assessed by any assessment agency, assessor or provider institution that is accredited for assessment by the relevant ETQA.
To ensure that national standards are maintained, the final assessment should be conducted on the following basis, which will be under the control of the relevant ETQA’s. National assessment of written papers and/or practical assignments needs to be undertaken, by the relevant ETQA. This must include the necessary assessment tools (e.g. marking schemes) to ensure consistent assessment. The ETQA itself or a nominated body or bodies can perform this function.
Assessment can be institutional or workplace based and must be done by a registered assessor.
External moderation will be undertaken as required, to ensure that the quality of NQF standards are maintained nationally 

The criteria to register as an assessor includes the following:Have a relevant academic qualification or equivalent recognition, at a level higher that the qualification being assessedAll registered assessors must have met the requirements of the generic assessor standard, and should be certificated by the ETDP SETA or by the relevant ETQA in agreement with the ETDP SETA in this regard.Assessors should be registered as assessors with the relevant ETQA, in accordance with the policies and procedures defined by the ETQA. 

REREGISTRATION HISTORY 

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

NOTES 

Below is a list of the End User Computing unit standards that are the learning assumed to be in place for this qualification:
1. Operate a Personal Computer System
2. Use generic functions in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment
3. Install a Personal Computer (PC) peripheral device, in a GUI environment
4. Use a graphical User Interface (GUI)-based presentation application to create and edit slide presentations.
5. Managing files in a Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment
6. Use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based word processor to format documents
7. Use a Graphical User Interface (GUI)-based word processor to create and edit documents.

The qualification is ideal for business people in the following fields:Personal Assistants / ReceptionistsOffice AdministratorsProject Administrators