What NQF Level Is A Trade Test Equivalent To?

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In order for any trades specialist or artisan to be qualified in their respective fields, they must successfully undergo and complete a trade test. Once individuals have completed the test, they will receive some form of certification. 


A trade test is the final summative assessment for people who are completing an artisan qualification for a listed trade. Individuals wanting to take a trade test are required to meet specific criteria set out in the Skills Development Act, 1998 (ACT 97 of 1998).

Trade tests were created to provide for a single national artisan trade testing and certification system across all economic sectors in South Africa.

It is believed that by setting national standards for trade testing, relevant industries and the broader economy will benefit from suitable qualified artisans.

There are certain requirements that need to be met before a trade test is taken, but once the test is the completed the qualification is yours. Technical trade theory programs quality assured by a SETA are deemed to be equivalent to NQF level 3.  

Here Are The Entrance Requirements Of A Trade Test

  • N2 Certificate including the four relevant subjects of Maths, engineering science and a fourth subject as required by the trade; or
  • Technical trade theory programs quality assured by a SETA deemed to be equivalent to NQF level 3; or
  • Relevant Engineering NCV Certificate with seven subjects at NQF level 3; or
  • Technical Grade 11 with Maths, Science, Language and related trade theory subject; or
  • Relevant (directly related to the trade theory subjects) N6 certificate or National Technical Diploma (T, S or N stream.)

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is a strategy in response to the changing educational environment. This system brings education and training together. It also tracks your academic achievements and ensures that they are recognised. 

The various NQF levels represent different types of academic achievements that can be obtained by a student. 

The NQF levels range from level 1-10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. The different levels represent the different levels of education and the different qualifications achieved by the person. 


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An electrician working with wires.

Before tradespeople are considered to be qualified, they must successfully complete a trade test. Trades tests are completed for most artisan trades, such as electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and more. 


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