The purpose of this qualification is to build a foundational entry into the field of Computer Sciences and Information Technology, specifically into the field of Systems Development, covering basic knowledge needed for further study in the field of Systems Development at Higher Education Levels.
The qualification can be acquired in the traditional way of formal study as well as in the workplace, through learnerships. Acquiring the qualification through learnerships has the potential of addressing the problems of the past, where newly qualified people getting into the industry struggled to get employment, because they were required to have practical experience. The workplace experience can now be gained while acquiring the qualification through the various learnership schemes that are planning to use this qualification.
A qualifying learner at this level will be a well-rounded entry-level Systems Developer with a good fundamental knowledge of the Information Technology field, coupled with interpersonal and business skills, preparing for later specialisation in Systems Development fields.
Many of the competencies used in the Information Technology profession have traditionally been acquired through short courses and on-the-job training, which did not provide formal recognition of the knowledge and skills acquired. These competencies are still today viewed by most industries as invaluable, with the sad reality that there is no formal recognition. The nature of the Information Technology field means that competence is developed experientially, therefore the assessment processes should recognise experience versus theoretical knowledge. Recognition of prior learning will now allow people 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 further education or 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.