The purpose of the evaluation function is the recognition of foreign qualifications in terms of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF). SAQA derives this mandate from the NQF Act, 67 of 2008 (as amended) and performs the function according to thePolicy and Criteria for Evaluating Foreign Qualifications within the South African NQF (as amended, 2021).
The function is an integral part of a national recognition value chain, as explained in the above Policy and Criteria. The focus of SAQA’s role is on the location of foreign qualifications within the NQF. For admission to study; professional licensing; and employment the specific internal criteria and requirements of other relevant institutions must be met.
Evaluation is a two-phased process by SAQA to:
1. Verify foreign qualifications by ensuring the following
- Issuing bodies are accredited/recognised in the national systems they operate in
- Qualifications are legitimately issued by those issuing bodies and part of the national qualifications of that country
- Qualifications documents are in order and awards claimed by individuals are genuine
2. Compare foreign qualifications with South African qualifications, considering the structure and outcomes of the foreign qualifications, to locate them within the South African NQF.
What are foreign qualifications?
A foreign qualification is issued by a nationally recognised institution and forms part of the national education and training system of a country other than South Africa.
According to SAQA a foreign qualification is not:
- Professional membership or a professional designation.
- A certificate based on a short course; or in-service training, a workshop or seminar, or workplace integrated learning which does not form part of the requirements to obtain a qualification.
- A South African qualification.
- None of the above should be submitted as a foreign qualification to be evaluated by SAQA
Who may apply for evaluation?
Only qualification holders (QHs) may apply for the evaluation of their foreign qualifications.
The above is to ensure that QHs are the prima facie owners of their applications and the outcomes thereof, including the protection of their private details and improved communication between them and SAQA. For this reason, SAQA will interact directly with QHs, and involve third parties only when they are the parents or legal guardians of the affected QHs.
QHs must register applications using their own, unique contact details.
SAQA is not responsible for third party administrative or financial assistance to QHs and does not regard such assistance as a part of its process. SAQA makes evaluation results available to third parties only when QHs authorise such collection in writing.
How to apply
Click on Apply for an evaluation, register as a user and lodge an on-line application. Always check for possible updated information under Notices above.
The Online Application System contains all the relevant information, including:
- A Notice Section where SAQA will always post important alerts;
- The current tarrifs as approved by the SAQA Board;
- Payment per qualification submitted for evaluation;
- How payment can be made;
- How to compile and submit documents After you have created an online profile
- What happens with results:
– When results are ready, SAQA will also inform applicants of the electronic SAQA Certificate of Evaluation available to them
- Processing time and delay; and
- Recognition decisions and the right to appeal.
The SAQA Certificate of Evaluation
The SAQA Certificate of Evaluation (SCoE) indicates the recognition decision taken by SAQA in respect of a foreign qualification and the comparability of that qualification with a South African qualification registered on the NQF.
- SAQA holds the copyright to the SCoE and it remains the property of SAQA.
- SAQA reserves the right to revoke the SCoE if any evidence comes to light that compromises its integrity and validity. Revocation takes place in accordance with the SAQA
- Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services Revocation Policy.
How much does SAQA evaluation cost?
The fees structure for the evaluation of foreign qualifications is outlined as follows: First (main) qualification – R950; Subsequent (additional) qualifications – R520 each.
What is needed for SAQA evaluation?
SAQA only accepts SSC and HSC qualification documents issued by the respective authorised government board of education for evaluation purposes. For all other education and training, only FINAL graduation certificates will be acceptable, including full transcripts of academic record.
The SCoE has several security features, as specified below. Therefore, it is important to always insist on seeing the original SCoE and to look for the following:
- The new SAQA Certificate of Evaluation Security features on the front of the certificate (Page 1)
- The new SAQA Certificate of Evaluation Security features on the front of the certificate (Page 2)
- The new SAQA Certificate of Evaluation Security features on the back of the certificate
- The new SAQA Certificate of Evaluation The contents on the back of the certificate
SAQA also issues an electronic SCoE under certain conditions. Eligible applicants will be informed of this at the time of issue.