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Further Education and Training Certificate: Project Management NQF 4 50080

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION

Purpose:

The primary purpose of the qualification is to provide learners with:
A foundation of basic project management knowledge and skills which can be used to build further project management related competencies.
Competence to be an effective project team member.
Competence to provide administrative support to a project manager and team members.
Competence to provide assistance to a project manager of medium to large projects.

As electives specialisation in:
Competence to plan, execute and control small, simple projects.
OR
Competence in specialised technical areas to support project management processes.

This qualification is directed at learners working:
As contributing team members on a moderately complex to complex project when not a leader or;
As a leader in the context of a simple project/sub-project.

A simple project/sub-project is seen to be one that involves few resources and has a limited impact on stakeholders and the environment.

This qualification is intended for those with prior work experience or an NQF Level 3 qualification in project management or business administration or equivalent. The learners accessing this qualification will be working in or with project management teams or using a project approach to their business. These projects may be technical projects, business projects, government projects or community development projects and will cut across a range of economic sectors. This qualification is also of value to learners running their own business, as project management is an integral component of any business system.

Qualifying learners working on a project will have the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes to function more effectively and in a professional manner, add value to their job performance and enhance their ability to follow and implement policies and procedures.

On achieving the applied competencies of the Qualification, learners may advance their career opportunities further into project administration, support services or management within an organisation, in all sectors.

Rationale:

The (Further Education and Training Certificate) FETC: Generic Project Management, NQF level 4 Qualification replaces the National Certificate: Generic Project Management. It caters for the current and future needs of those working on projects, in a general skills-set that is not sector-specific. The Project industry is integral in the global business environment and skilled practitioners are required to meet the demands of the industry, providing significant benefits to individuals, global corporations and the country.

Projects are diverse in their nature, so a wide range of competencies is required to manage them and other similar systems and programmes. This qualification aims to provide the foundation or the initial skills required for an individual in an organisation to conduct projects successfully; be an effective project team member; undertake a range of project management administration or support tasks and contribute to the planning and execution of projects or sub-projects. It is designed for people working in a project environment as a team member, project administrator or leader of a small project/sub-project.

The Qualification gives accessibility and flexibility to the unemployed and employed. The level of flexibility reflects the multiple job roles, organisational requirements and changing technological nature of the industry and also allows the individual to work towards a nationally recognised Qualification.

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING

Learners accessing this Qualification will have demonstrated competence as follows:
Communication at NQF Level 3 or equivalent.
Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 or equivalent.
Computer Literacy at NQF Level 3 or equivalent.

A basic understanding of the workplace, project processes and operations and competence in National Certificate at Level 3 in Business Administration or Project Support Services or equivalent is preferable.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Learners may access this Qualification in terms of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), which is subject to quality assurance by the relevant accredited ETQA and is conducted by a registered workplace assessor, subject to the terms of the model decided upon by the relevant ETQA.

Acess to the qualification:

No restrictions, other than the learning assumed to be in place are prescribed.

Candidates for this qualification may be working part-time or full-time in the workplace, on community or volunteer projects and have limited formal project management training / experience. They may be a team member, a team leader, in specialised support roles including Project Secretary, Project Administrator, procurement or cost support, or planner-estimator support. Learners who have completed a Bachelors degree and who wish to enter the field of project management may also access the qualification.

Familiarity with the English language such as speaking, reading and writing skills is needed since some of the learning material is not available in any other language.

QUALIFICATION RULES

The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component.

To be awarded the Qualification, learners are required to obtain a minimum of 136 credits as detailed below.

Fundamental Component:

The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:
Mathematical Literacy at Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.
Communication at Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.
Communication in a Second South African Language at Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.

It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at Level 4 and the other at Level 3.

All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.

Core Component:

The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 66 credits all of which are compulsory.

Elective Component:

The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 56 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 14 credits.

EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES

On achieving this Qualification, the learner will be able to:

1. Work with others to undertake or support the project management activities.
2. Assist the project manager and/or project team by contributing and participating in planning, execution and control activities.
3. Provide support to the administration of a project.

For electives one of:

4. Supervise a project team of a small project to deliver project objectives.
OR
5. Support the project environment and management activities to deliver project objectives.
OR
6. Describe and apply specialised technical methods, tools and techniques to a project to deliver project objectives.

ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Own and team member interactions and contributions to the project are described with examples.
Own workload and time are effectively managed in conjunction with the requirements of others in the project.
Successful support that is provided to others for project management activities is described with examples.

2.
Contributions are made to the planning, scoping, scheduling, budgeting and risk management of the project in accordance with agreed procedures, tools and techniques.
Assistance is provided to the project manager and team in the execution of project management activities in accordance with project requirements and agreed procedures.
The control of scope, time, cost, risk and quality is described in accordance with project requirements and agreed procedures.
Contributions are made to the ‘close-out’ recommendations and/or lessons learned during the project in accordance with experiences and agreed procedures.

3.
Project data is gathered, processed and recorded in accordance with project requirements and procedures.
Project meetings and/or workshops are organised in accordance with project requirements.
Different methods of communication are used and described with reasons for their use in the project.

4.
Project management processes and techniques are applied to manage a small project from start to end and to supervise the team working on the project.
Progress is reported and status, including problems, communicated to project stakeholders

5.
Support is provided to project managers / project teams in developing strategies, tactics, structures, methods and processes for project operations.
Project environments are checked for compliance with agreed procedures.
Lessons learned are consolidated and used to improve project procedures.

6.
Processes, methods and techniques for the chosen technical field are described and evaluated within the project context.
The appropriate project tools and techniques are applied in accordance with agreed policies and procedures.

Integrated Assessment:

Development of the competencies may be through a combination of informal and formal 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. The learner should be able to assess him or herself and determine readiness for a summative assessment against this Qualification.

Learning, teaching and assessment are inextricably linked. Whenever possible, the assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values shown in the unit standards should be integrated.

Assessment of Communication and Mathematical Literacy should be conducted in conjunction with other aspects and should use authentic Project Operational contexts wherever possible.

A variety of methods must be used in assessment and tools and activities must be appropriate to the context in which the learner is working. Where it is not possible to assess the learner in the workplace or on-the-job, simulations, case studies, role-plays and other similar techniques should be used to provide a context appropriate to the assessment.

The term ‘Integrated Assessment’ implies that theoretical and practical components should be assessed together. Groups of standards may also be assessed together.

Assessment should ensure that all specific outcomes, embedded knowledge and critical cross-field outcomes are evaluated. The assessment of the critical cross-field outcomes should be integrated with the assessment of specific outcomes and embedded knowledge.

The final summative assessment for the qualification should be undertaken under the direction of the relevant Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body.