The purpose of the NQF level 5 Public Finance and Administration qualification is to provide a structured programme for public officials that work with senior management officials so as to provide support to strategic leadership and management needed to transform all spheres of government. The need for well-qualified efficient, client-oriented public officials is therefore identified as a priority in all the three spheres of government. The National Diploma in Public Finance Management and Administration (NQF level 5) is aimed at practitioners working in the public sector. It is a qualification in a career pathway towards an accomplished public finance management and administration specialist.
The National Diploma in Public Finance and Administration consists of exit level learning outcomes covering accounting reporting, administration, auditing, budgeting, economics, information systems, business calculations, risk management and legislative framework for the public sector. The competencies covered in the unit standards encapsulate the competencies required by public officials working at the operational level.
The qualification will therefore enhance the ability of the qualifying learner as a public finance official to perform the necessary financial administration tasks expected as well as improve management abilities. In this way, the qualification enhances transferability of skills within different spheres of the public sector. At the same time, a learner will gain a firm foundation required for studies leading to qualifications registered at NQF levels 6 and 7. All these enhance transferability of skills between the private and public sector.
With regard to the implementation of public financial management and administration reforms, the qualification serves, as a basis of an effective implementation process by defining and identifying those competencies required by technical public officials. The possession of relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes by technical public officials is crucial to the implementation of public sector financial management and administration reforms. Thus, the qualification contributes to the upliftment of the South African economy in line with the aims of existing skills development legislation through enhancing of skill levels of public sector employees.
Qualifying learners could follow a career within the Public Sectors in:
- Financial Services.
- Project/Public Entity Management.Rationale:The public officials in South Africa operate in a wide variety of roles within the public management structures. Often they work in diverse operating and service delivery circumstances. Therefore, they have to be widely acknowledged for their understanding and awareness of the unique characteristics and challenges they may face in the process of service delivery.The sustainability of South Africa’s democratic process and developmental governance are strongly linked to capacity building within the three spheres of government, i.e. the national, provincial and local spheres of government. It is imperative that public officials receive an up-to-date relevant and respected public financial management and administration qualification that recognises that the knowledge and skills which South Africa’s public sector officials require have been satisfactorily obtained. In order to do that most effectively, public officials need to have excellent awareness and understanding of the changing needs of today’s public service delivery systems and to identify very clearly the highly relevant expertise which these officials bring to their roles in the public sector.The exit level learning outcomes highlight many of the public finance management and administration skills required within the public sector. Such skills and knowledge are geared towards enabling public officials in all spheres of government to operate effectively and successfully in a demanding environment. Therefore, exit level outcomes and related assessment criteria are outlined for the areas of competence, which mark out public financial management as key and highly influential in public sector service delivery.
It is understandable that most public officials will occupy specialised positions that do not require all of the contributions outlined in this qualification. In that sense, some of the exit level outcomes are shown as electives that address specialised knowledge and skills.
The National Diploma in Public Finance Management and Administration is a specialised Qualification which offers administrative, managerial and financial knowledge and skills to learners who:
- Have attained the National Certificate in Business Administration: Level 4 or any related financial, accounting, or public administration qualifications and wish to continue on a path of life-long learning within Public Finance Management and Administration or related qualifications.
- Have worked in Public Administration, Accounting, Public Financial Management, Municipal Financial Administration/Management for many years, but have no formal Qualifications in their area of expertise.
- Wish to extend their range of skills and knowledge of Public Finance Management and Administration so that they can become knowledge workers.
- Are contracted in a learnership agreement.
- Have recently taken up a position in Public Finance Management and Administration.
- Have not yet acquired the skills and competencies required for learning in Public Finance Management and Administration at NQF level 6.The skills, knowledge, values and attitudes reflected in the Qualification are building blocks that will be developed further in a related NQF Level 6. The intention is:
- To promote the development of knowledge and skills that are required for the efficient performance of Public Finance Management and Administration functions.
· To release the potential of people.
The National Diploma in Public Finance Management and Administration: Level 5 should produce knowledgeable, multi-skilled workers who are able to contribute to improved productivity and efficiency within the public sector. It should provide the means for current workers to receive recognition of prior learning, to upgrade their skills and achieve a nationally recognised qualification. It should also assist new entrants to the public sector.
It will ensure that the quality of education and training in the public sector is enhanced and of a world-class standard.
The National Diploma at NQF Level 5 allows the learner to work towards a nationally recognised qualification. The qualification will allow both those in formal education and those already employed in organisations in the Public Finance Management and Administration field access to a Qualification that can be used as a benchmark to gauge their competence against local and international standards.