N1 to N6 Certificate Delays on Repeat?

The problems that led to N-diploma Learner certificate delays in 2016 are likely to reappear for current candidates until DHET includes all stakeholders in the discussions ranging from industry to beneficiaries.

Certificate Delays

What are N – Certificates?

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Think of them as the occupational training alternative that combines grades 10 – 12 with a post-school qualification. For learners who don’t enjoy a broad curriculum and have already identified a passion for the career that they which to master – it’s a pretty awesome choice.

All N Certificate and Diplomas are issued by the National Department of Education and are recognised by Commerce and Industry.

The table below shows the TVET model for N1 – N6

Course TypeNATED / Report 191
Description / DefinitionNATED / Report 191 programmes fall under the Department of Higher Education and Training and are quality assured by Umalusi. The programmes consist of 18 months theoretical studies at colleges and 18 months of relevant practical application in workplaces

.Engineering studies range from N1 – N6 while Business and Utility Studies range from N4 – N6

Duration1 Year for N1 – N3 Engineering Studies

1 Year for N4 – N6 Engineering Studies3 Years (18 months theoretical studies + 18 months workplace application) for N4 – N6 Business and Utility Studies

QualificationN6 Diploma
Admission RequirementsGrade 9 for N1 admission

Grade 12 for N4 admission

ResourcesNATED / Report 191 programmes fall under the Department of Higher Education and Training and are quality-assured by Umalusi. The programmes consist of 18 months theoretical studies at colleges and 18 months of relevant practical application in workplaces

.Engineering studies range from N1 – N6 while Business and Utility Studies range from N4 – N6

tvet college benefits

Certificate Delays: Warning Bells

Now let’s take a look at the reasons provided by the Department of Higher Education, published 26 Jan 2017, for explaining the delay in learner certification. The following excerpt is extracted from the DHET statement titled:

DHET: Higher Education on South African FET Students Association issues


Unreleased Diplomas

It has come to the department’s attention that many students are applying for the N–Diploma without doing a relevant work placement.

In order to preserve the credibility of the qualification, every N-Diploma application is evaluated. We do however accept that students are often not aware of the specific qualification requirements and may be accepting work, which will not fulfill the requirements of a qualification.

DHET has started engagements with the QCTO on this matter and will continue to do so until the matter is resolved. This could mean that colleges will need to provide greater support and play a key role in this process, or that formal workplace approvals must be done by either the Seta or QCTO.

END. ( http://www.polity.org.za/article/dhet-higher-education-on-south-african-fet-students-association-issues-2017-01-26 )

Certificate Delays: What this means for Learners

  1. The college you were at was unable to build links with industry, create the demand for your skill sets and ensure that your training was integrated with work placement.
  2. The college you were at failed to understand the implications of an occupational training delivery model and failed to suitably inform you of the required expectations you must meet.
  3. Implementation strategy between the DHET, colleges, SETAs, QCTO and industry was either confused or lacking. Although they appear genuine in trying to iron these issues out – they are still not bringing all stakeholders to the discussion. Whilst they mention SETAs and the QCTO – they should be engaging with industry structures, SARS, unions and learners as the issues are complex and complicated by a compounded lack of understanding, tax rebate and definition issues.
  4. Learners on these programmes need to know upfront what practical expectations are embedded in the certificate requirements so that they may plan accordingly. Let’s face it, as a learner you’re in charge of your learning. It’s to your advantage to independently network with businesses in your chosen sector if you want to stand out.
  5. Learners need to have clarity on who sets industry standards for employers and protects learners during an internship/work placement.
tvet college list of websites

Whose fault is it when learners are ‘often not aware of the specific qualification requirements’?

‘Fault’ is as complicated as ‘solution.’

Blame can lay at policy level (uncoordinated government and industry collaboration), or it can be the fault of unworthy learning programme managers and institutions.

You may have been at a great college (let me know), where you signed a statement listing all requirements or thoroughly worked through each aspect of the qualification during induction and confirmed that you understood all expectations. If this happened, definitely share the details with us!

Leonie Hall

Leonie Hall, disruptive thinker and dynamic strategist, is an expert in education, development, quality management and innovation. She has spoken at local and international conferences; and currently works as an independent consultant and content developer. Contact Leonie for a consultation.

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  1. Malerato Tsipane

    Hi,my name is Malerato.I lost my N1 to N6 and matric certificate.I applied for them and paid at the post office but received only N6 and matric certificate. I’ve done everything in my power to get hold of them but to no avail.Please help me in this matter.My email address is malerattsipane01@gmail.com

  2. Bonisiwe

    I really need help i was doing Business Management at Sedibeng College and i had to change my Surname during N6 level before my final exams that was 2015, so I was advised to apply for certificates under my new surname so that my N6 Certificate will be on the new Surname so I had to return all my certificates N4&N5. I did everything that was required for me to change the Surname. But till today I haven’t received any of my certificates and I am struggling to apply for In-service training because I don’t have any proof that I have completed my course. Please help what must I do.
    Please reply to this email : bonisiwehappieness@gmail.com

  3. Amanda

    I did n4, n5n6 educare in 2014 to2017even now I don’t even have one cetifificcate while I finish my in in-service training 2019 last time I to the college they told to to apply no I’m giving up goin t.

  4. Pamella same

    I am so stressed because i did my N4 & N5 last year but i never get my certificates now i doing N6. when i ask the exam officer she said the are still 2015 outstanding certificate they are waiting for from the department so now that means i also have to wait 4 years to them

  5. Manini Mosoeu

    I am frustrated I have finished my N6 Business Management at Vuselela Klerksdorp …I am struggling to get my certificate..They cannot Give me answers…I was communicating witj the Dept of Education at Pretoria they said my certificate was delivered to Klerksdorp Campus …I am realy frustrated

  6. Leonie Hall

    Report them to the Department of Higher Education and Training.

  7. Palesa Beuty Motaung

    I applied for my diploma in 2016 I did marketing management at the college and was doing my practicals at the wholesalers now is 2018 I fail to understand why it’s taking so long even at the college they don’t have answers to give to me. they always make a call when I’m there but no one answer Motaung Palesa Beuty course Marketing Management

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