SOUTH AFRICA AUSTRALIA
NQF Level Description NQF Category AQF Level AQF Description
NQF 1 Grade four to Grade Nine (Standard two to Standard Seven) GET – General Education and Training AQF 1 Certificate I
NQF2 Junior Certificate – Grade 10 (NQF 2)

– GET: General Education and Training

– Highest Standard passed being standard Eight / Grade 10

FET – Further Education and Training AQF 2 Certificate II
NQF 3 Junior Certificate – Grade 11 (NQF 3)

– FET – Further Education and Training

– Highest Standard passed being standard Nine / Grade 11

FET – Further Education and Training AQF 3 Certificate III
NQF 4 Senior Certificate – Grade 12 (NQF 4)

– FET – Further Education and Training

– Highest Standard passed being standard Twelve / Grade 12

FET – Further Education and Training
NQF 4 Trade Certification (NQF 4)

– FET – Further Education and Training

– Trade School or Trade College where the qualification is the equivalent to a grade 12

– Syllabus is very different to compulsory schooling subjects

AQF 4 Certificate IV
NQF 5 National Certificate (NQF 5)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Certificate attained after completing your senior certificate or trade certification.

– Nationally recognised but may not be relevant when applying for a job outside of South Africa

– Up to two years

HET: Higher Education and Training
AQF 5 Diploma
NQF 5 National Diploma (NQF 5)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Diploma attained after completing your senior certificate or trade certification.

– Nationally recognised but may not be relevant when applying for a job outside of South Africa

– Up to two years

NQF 6 Higher Diploma (NQF 6)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Nationally and Internationally Recognised (Dependant on the Establishment)

– No shorter than three years to complete

HET: Higher Education and Training AQF 6 Advanced Diploma/Associate Degree
NQF 6 Graduate – Degree (NQF 6)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Nationally and Internationally Recognised (Dependant on the Establishment)

– No shorter than three years to complete

NQF 7 Professional Qualification (NQF 7)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Qualification obtained with a professional body of community experts

HET: Higher Education and Training AQF 7 Bachelor Degree
NQF 7 Post Graduate – Honours (NQF 7)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Only attainable after Bachelors qualification

NQF 8 Post Graduate – Masters (NQF 8)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Only attainable after Honours qualification

HET: Higher Education and Training AQF 8 Graduate Diploma/Graduate certificate/ Bachelor honours degree
NQF 8 Post Graduate – Doctorate (NQF 8)

– HET: Higher Education and Training

– Only attainable after Masters qualification

Source references: http://www.jobs.co.za/?s=article&x=73; http://www.saqa.org.za/docs/brochures/2015/updated%20nqf%20levevl%20descriptors.pdf; https://www.aqf.edu.au/aqf-levels

Generally speaking, a Australian Diploma and Advanced Diploma compare favourably with South African levels 5 and 6 respectively.  However, no specific outcome can be guaranteed until a foreign qualification evaluation has been performed on the finally awarded qualification by SAQA.