The purpose of the qualification is to build the knowledge and skills required by learners in End User Computing. It is intended to empower learners to acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to operate confidently in the End User Computing environment in the South African community and to respond to the challenges of the economic environment. The qualification addresses the need in the workplace for nationally recognized qualifications, based on unit standards, which will allow learners with workplace experience in End User Computing to obtain recognition for prior learning. The qualification provides a framework for learners to develop skills that will enable them to become competent in End User Computing. It introduces theoretical concepts of End User Computing and requires the application thereof, to develop a range of skills that will enable learners to be better-informed workers in their chosen industry. It provides a balanced learning experience that lays the foundation for access to further education, lifelong learning and to productive employment.
The qualification at this level is foundational and generic, allowing maximum mobility between qualifications. Apart from the workplace needs the qualification will address, it is also designed as an entry-level qualification into most further education and training fields, because of the wide application of End User Computing in any environment.
This qualification was designed carefully to ensure vertical and horizontal articulation. It was developed to allow for further study in ICT and related fields at further education levels. The qualification was designed as part of a set of IT qualifications from NQF level 3 through to level 5 and higher. Two NQF level 4 qualifications (one in the systems support sub-area of IT and one in systems development) have recently been registered on the NQF. This new qualification addresses the learning assumed to be in place for the two NQF 4 qualifications mentioned, allowing learners articulation into the ICT field.
As described earlier, many of the competencies used in the IT profession has traditionally been acquired through short courses and on-the-job training, which did not provide formal recognition (at a national level) of the knowledge and skills acquired. This qualification attempts to address this by allowing articulation into formal fields of study, by recognizing the skills acquired in various means and packaging it as a formal national qualification and encourage further study having acquired the qualification.