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National Certificate: Labour Relations Practice NQF Level 5 93993

National Certificate: Labour Relations Practice NQF Level 5 93993


This Qualification is the second step in a learning pathway that underpins a career in the Labour Relations arena. A large number of the competencies developed in the Qualification are rooted in actual workplace practice and should lead to greater productivity resulting from the improved performance by the learner, due to the integration of the knowledge mastered with workplace practice.

Many different roles and careers are linked to and affected by this Qualification. They include but are not limited to:
HR officers
Case Management Officers – Bargaining Councils
Department of Labour Advice officers
Labour brokers
Union officials, particularly organisers
CCMA case management officials
Public and/or private agents providing labour law advice
IR administrators
Dispute Resolution Call Centre Agents

Specifically the purpose of this Certificate Qualification is to:
Equip learners to understand and apply the underlying principles of the Labour Relations sector and associated Human Resource Development Legislation.
Provide a Qualification at NQF Level 5 that is the second step in a learning pathway in the Labour Relations field which will enhance the mobility of employees along a career path in the sector This can be done through an individual learning programme or through associated learnerships at various levels and areas in the Labour Relations environment.
Provide for mobility of learning into associated areas such as Human Resource Practice, Consulting etc.
Equip learners to become effective employees, employers and/or self-employed members of society.
Develop a richer learning environment in the field of Labour Relations through high quality lifelong learning.
Improve the Labour Relations skills of employees in the sector, as well as of employers who wish to become experts in the labour relations field to ensure compliance of their organization with labour legislation
Enable the learner to assist workers/employees within his/her community in terms of their labour rights and obligations and thereby ensure social and economic transformation.
Ensure the development of competence in the Labour Relations field, arguably one of the most important arenas for social and economic transformation in the country.

Qualifying learners will have acquired a range of competencies in the areas of:
Labour Relations Practice.
Human Resources.
The implementation of policies and procedures.
Legal knowledge.
Business practice and ethics.

This learning supports the objectives of the NQF through increased portability and articulation of learning and career path progression. It creates increased opportunity for access to lifelong learning for learners both employed and unemployed. It also provides recognition to learners through a formal qualification of knowledge and skills they might have acquired in the workplace. By concentrating on the link between theory and practice, the quality of education and training as well as the personal development of the learner will be elevated.


The Certificate in Labour Relations Practice: NQF Level 5, is part of the learning pathway in Labour Relations, which starts with a National Certificate at NQF Level 4 and will end with a Qualification at NQF 7 so encouraging the notion of life-long learning.

With the advent of democratic government in South Africa in 1994 an entirely new approach to Labour Relations Practice in South Africa has emerged. There has been the establishment of new statutory structures with implications for every level of labour relations in the country. It is estimated that between ten and fifteen thousand persons will require some or all of the competencies contained in this Qualification.

The Certificate in Labour Relations Practice: NQF Level 5, is designed to meet the needs of learners who are already employed and involved in the fields of Labour Relations and/or Labour Law. Additionally, however, it will also meet the needs and aspirations of the youth and unemployed who wish to pursue a career in the Labour Relations and associated fields, or in other fields where this learning may be useful. This includes adult learners who want to enter the sector or develop their careers in one or more of the related sub-fields. This Qualification would also be relevant to many Human Resources (HR) Practitioners. Since the Certificate is part of a learning pathway, it will offer mobility to persons operating at any level in the field.

The Qualification provides learners with a background in Labour Law. This will enable them to understand the South African Labour Relations field and will underpin their ability to use this learning in various business environments. The development of competence in this field will lead to better service delivery, company longevity, the promotion of wealth and job creation. Application of the learning achieved in completing this Qualification will also assist employed and unemployed persons to enforce their labour rights, while at the same time enabling them to become aware of their obligations.

The Qualification recognises the fact that knowledge and the application of Labour Legislation is a business imperative, necessary for the success of any organisation, both strategically and operationally. This Certificate is thus designed to enable individuals to develop the theoretical competencies and the practical skills to operate effectively in the field.
Practitioners and/or organisations in the following fields would have an interest in the Qualification:
The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation & Arbitration.
The Department of Labour.
Labour law, labour courts (including appeal courts) & labour consultants.
Bargaining & statutory councils.
Private labour agents.
Public & private labour advice offices.
Law firms, particularly labour lawyers.
Commercial organisations.

This Qualification also reflects some of the needs of the Human Resources sector both now and in the future.

The impact of the Qualification on society and the economy is reflected in the multiple job roles and careers that can stem from the Qualification, including self-employment opportunities, job creation opportunities and the development of, or entry to, learners who are employed within the private or public sector. It can further stimulate and support skills development in the SMME sector.

The Certificate in Labour Relations Practice is structured in such a way that it supports the ability of public agencies to enforce the rights and obligations of both employers and employees while also allowing for specialised competencies in Labour Relations for use in commercial situations

The Qualification is also ideal for the development of a number of learnerships leading to the attainment of the Qualification and so to improved career opportunities for employed and unemployed learners.


Learners accessing this Qualification should be competent in:
Communication at NQF Level 4.
Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

This Qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through the Recognition of Prior Learning and the Qualification may be granted to learners who have acquired the skills and knowledge without attending formal courses providing they can demonstrate competence in the outcomes of the individual Unit Standards as required by the Fundamental, Core and Elective areas stipulated in the Qualification and by the Exit Level Outcomes.

An RPL process may also be used to credit learners with Unit Standards in which they have developed the necessary competency as a result of workplace and experiential learning

RPL may also be used by learners, who are not in possession of an FETC or equivalent qualification, to gain access to the Qualification.

Learners submitting themselves for RPL should be thoroughly briefed prior to the assessment, and will be required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence in the prescribed format to be assessed for formal recognition. While this is primarily a workplace-based Qualification, evidence from other areas of endeavour may be introduced if pertinent to any of the exit level outcomes.


The following combination of Credits is required to attain the Qualification:
Fundamental Component: 20 Credits
Core Component: 89 Credits
Elective Component: 12 Credits
TOTAL 121 Credits

Fundamental Component:

While there is no SAQA requirement relating to the specific number of credits in the Fundamental Component of a level 5 Qualification, the scoping exercise carried out clearly indicated that there is learning which is essential for all learners to function effectively in their designated workplaces and to ensure success with the Core and Elective learning that has to take place. This learning is included in the Unit Standards, totaling 20 credits, designated as Fundamental for the purpose of this Qualification.

All these unit standards are compulsory

Core Component:

The Core Component of the Qualification consists of Unit Standards designed to equip the learner with the necessary functional skills and knowledge base required to operate competently within the Labour Relations Practitioner environment. These competencies relate directly to the actual work performed by employees in the sector.

All these Unit Standards totaling 86 credits are compulsory.

Elective Component;

A wide range of Elective Unit Standards has been identified for inclusion in the Elective Component of the Qualification. They relate to the range of areas in which the Labour Relations practitioner can work. The range of possibilities embodied in the list means that both individual and company choice are readily possible. This also enhances the possibility of any Learnership that is registered based on this Qualification being demand-led rather than supply-driven. It is anticipated that over time more Unit Standards will be added to expand the scope of the Certificate.

The learner is required to select Unit Standards to a value of 15 credits for this Component.


Industrial Relation Support (Learning Programme ID 94078):
ID 337082: Apply labour dispute prevention approaches, Level 6, 16 credits.
ID 264409: Use negotiate in multi-faceted situations to achieve the objectives of function, Level 6, 5 credits.
ID 255514: Conduct a disciplinary hearing, Level 5, 15 credits.
ID 264403: Apply problem-solving techniques to make decision on decision on a multi-faceted problem, Level 6, 5 credits.
ID 114227: Demonstrate understanding of the transformative elements of the HRD legislation, Level 5, 10 credits.
ID 117853: Conduct negotiations to deal with conflict situations, Level 6, 8 credits.
ID 11286: Institute disciplinary action, Level 5, 8 credits.
ID 376119: Interpret unfair dismissal in terms of Labour Relation Legislation, Level 6, 10 credits.
ID 13952: Demonstrate basic understanding of the Primary Labour Legislation that impacts on a business unit, Level 4, 8 credits.
ID 12139: Facilitate the resolution of employee grievances, Level 6, 5 credits.


1. Communicate effectively in the workplace with internal and external clients.
2. Screen and refer cases.
3. Operate the case management process and manage the flow of information.
4. Apply knowledge of applicable Labour legislation to real or simulated cases.
5. Apply the Rules of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.
6. Understand the regulations of the Labour Relations Act relating to Collective Agreements and Bargaining Councils.
7. Analyse referred disputes and select appropriate resolution process.
8. Apply knowledge of the Compensation for Occupational Injury and Disease Act of 1993 (COIDA).
9. Demonstrate an understanding of the transformative elements of the Human Resource Development Legislation.
10. Conduct a pre-conciliation by telephone.

Critical Cross-Field Outcomes

The various constituent parts of the Qualification, namely, Labour Relations Administration, Legislation and Dispute Management as well as the Fundamental Component, present numerous opportunities to develop each of the Critical Cross-Field Outcomes.

The following Critical Cross-Field Outcomes will be developed as an intrinsic part of any learning programme leading to the awarding of this Qualification:

1. Creative problem-solving is explicitly required throughout the learning process.

2. Team and group work is a functional necessity and the Associated Assessment Criteria specify this.

3. The capacity of the individual learner in “manage and organise him/herself and his/her activities responsibly and effectively” will be developed by all Unit Standards.

4. In defining a solution to the Dispute Resolution problem at hand, each learner is required to “collect, analyze, organise and critically evaluate information”.

5. Communicating effectively is explicitly part of the requirements built into the Fundamental Component of the Qualification.

6. In Labour Relations Practice within an organisational setting, a systemic approach is encouraged throughout.

Exact details of how the Critical Outcomes are handled are given in each Unit Standard.


Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:

1.1 The correct language, industry specific terminology, format, register and conventions specific to business texts for effective writing are used in written communication.
1.2 Information needed to compile reports, memorandums, letters, etc is identified and collected for a specific business environment.
1.3 Plain language avoiding the use of jargon, but using industry specific terminology, is used in all business writing, presentations and oral communications.
1.4 Tables, graphs, diagrams and charts to capture information relevant to a variety of workplace functions are selected and used appropriately in terms of the type of information to be relayed and the target audience.
1.5 Presentations are made using tables, graphs, diagrams, charts and electronic aids such as PowerPoint.
1.6 Oral communications are interpreted, understood and acted upon in the workplace.
1.7 Effective oral communication is undertaken so that colleagues and clients understand the message being relayed.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:

2.1 The purpose of Screening of Referrals is understood in terms of the cases received.
2.2 Cases are screened according to organisational policy and procedures.
2.3 Cases are allocated to the appropriate person/department according to organisational policy and procedures.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:

3.1 Newly referred cases are captured and recorded on the Case Management System and information can be managed and retrieved when required.
3.2 Cases are processed on the Case Management System for scheduling purposes.
3.3 Outcome details of the cases, which have been heard, are accurately recorded.
3.4 Finalised cases are closed according to organizational policy and procedures.
3.5 Decisions regarding information flow can be made based on specific circumstances and the work environment.
3.6 The effectiveness of Information flow processes are examined and decisions made to improve them for efficient case management.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:

4.1 The scope and primary purpose of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act are determined, summarised and explained with examples.
4.2 The bodies established by the L.R.A. are identified and a description given of their purpose, powers, functions and roles.
4.3 Issues such as dismissal disputes, unfair labour practices, dispute resolution routes and codes of good labour practice as covered by the act are specified and explained with examples.
4.4 The regulation of working time, the particulars related to employment, remuneration and termination of employment and the application of an employee’s leave entitlement as set in the act are understood and applied to real or simulated cases.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:

5.1 The process for serving and filing documents and various applications filed in terms of the CCMA Rules are applied to real or simulated cases.
5.2 The CCMA Rules pertaining to the conciliation and con-arb, arbitration, pre-dismissal arbitration (section 188a) processes and certification of award(s) (section 143) are applied to real or simulated cases.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:

6.1 The creation of the CCMA, its origins, functions, powers and duties are clarified, clearly understood and explained orally.
6.2 A collective agreement can be explained in terms of the parties to a collective agreement, their roles and its legal status.
6.3 The differences between a collective and an extended agreement are explained together with the legal processes of enforcement to the two types of agreements.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 7:

7.1 The complaint is identified and an analysis of all relevant information is carried out to aid resolution.
7.2 A solution to the problem is selected based on the facts and parties in the cases.
7.3 The solution is communicated to all stakeholders and the necessary actions executed within field of authority.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 8:

8.1 The purpose of the COIDA is explained with examples.
8.2 The Provisions of COIDA are applied to real or simulated cases.
8.3 Avenues available to a complainant who is dissatisfied with an award are explained and the necessary assistance given to the client.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 9:

9.1 An overview of the South African HRD legislation is given with an emphasis on the transformative elements it.

Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 10:

10.1 The rationale of the pre-conciliation process is understood and an explanation is given of the preparation required for conducting a pre-conciliation.
10.2 A pre-conciliation is conducted by telephone.
10.3 A pre-conciliation is concluded with the relevant parties.