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Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services

The purpose of the evaluation function is the recognition of foreign qualifications in terms of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF).

SAQA performs the function as an integral part of a national recognition value chain. The focus of SAQA's role is on the location of foreign qualifications within the NQF. For admission to study; professional licensing; and employment qualification holders must meet the specific internal criteria and requirements of other relevant institutions.

SAQA follows a two-phased evaluation process:

  1. Verify foreign qualifications by ensuring the following
    • Issuing bodies are accredited/recognised in the national systems they operate in;
    • Qualifications are legitimately issued by those issuing bodies and form a part of the national qualifications of that country; and
    • Qualifications documents are in order and awards claimed by individuals are genuine.

  2. Compare foreign qualifications with South African qualifications by considering the structure and outcomes of the foreign qualifications, to locate them within the South African NQF.

SAQA reviewed and amended its evaluation process during 2013/2014, in order to strengthen both its verification and comparison practices. It is therefore likely that recognition decisions made after March 2014, may differ from those made in respect of similar qualifications prior to this date.

Foreign Qualifications

A foreign qualification is usually issued by a nationally recognised institution and forms part of the national education and training system of a country other than South Africa.

Please note that the following are not considered foreign qualifications and mustnot be presented to SAQA for evaluation:

  • Professional membership or a professional designation.
  • A certificate based on a short course; or in-service training, a workshop or seminar, or workplace integrated learning which does not form part of the requirements to obtain a qualification.
  • A South African qualification.


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