Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (2024)

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Have you ever heard of an NQF Level 4 Equivalent? When applying for further studies, you may have come across this word as one of the requirements. This might be somewhat confusing for someone with a traditional Matric Certificate who wants to apply for courses.

Today, we will go over exactly what an NQF Level 4 is and how you may use it to your advantage.

What Are The NQF Levels?

The National Qualified Framework is a system that assists in determining your qualification’s level of education.

A Bachelor’s Degree, for example, is quite different from a Master’s Degree and falls on different levels of the NQF level structure. A Bachelor’s Degree is a lower degree of education than a Master’s Degree and is classified as NQF level 7, whereas a Master’s Degree is classified as NQF level 9. Each NQF level’s learning outcomes vary from one another.

The table below shows the many types of NQF levels and the qualifications that are equal to these NQF levels.

NQF Level

Type Of Qualification

Level 1

General Education Certificate obtained by completing Grade 9 or GETC: ABET Level 4

Level 2

Elementary Certificate obtained by completing Grade 10 or National Vocational Certificate Level 2

Level 3

Intermediate Certificate obtained by completing Grade 11 or National Vocational Certificate Level 3

Level 4

National Senior Certificate or Amended Senior Certificate or National Vocational Certificate Level 4

Level 5

Higher Certificate

Level 6

National Diploma or Advanced Certificate

Level 7

Bachelor’s degree or Advanced Diploma

Level 8

Honour’s degree

Level 9

Master’s Degree

Level 10

Doctorate’s Degree

There are other qualifications available that are not part of the NQF level system. They are known as the Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) levels, and they are as follows:

ABET Level


Level 1

Grade 1 to Grade 3

Level 2

Grade 4 to Grade 6

Level 3

Grade 7 to Grade 8

What Is An NQF Level 4 Equivalent?

The short answer is that an NQF Level 4 Equivalent, also known as a National Vocational Certificate, is equivalent to a National Senior Certificate or Matric Certificate. They have the same equivalence and can both be used to apply for further studies. There is, however, a distinction between how they are earned and where you should study to obtain one.

What Are The Differences Between An National Vocational Certificate And A National Senior Certificate?

A National Vocational Certificate and a National Senior Certificate differ in a few major ways. Their differences are listed below:

National Vocational Certificate

  • Is earned at a TVET college
  • Focusses on a specific trade of study
  • Main focus is on practical education

National Senior Certificate:

  • Is earned at a High School
  • Learn about different fields of study
  • Main focus is on theoretical education

Is NQF Level 4 A Degree?

No, a NQF Level 4 qualification is not a degree. A degree is equal to an NQF Level 7, while an NQF Level 4 qualification is equivalent to one of the following:

  • National Senior Certificate
  • Amended Senior Certificate
  • National Vocational Certificate

How Many Credits Is An NQF Level 4?

An NQF Level 4 course is equivalent to anything between 120 and 130 credits.

What Is A TVET College?

A Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College is ideal for those who are interested in and do well at practical tasks. These colleges focus on teaching important trades to their students so that they will be highly employable as soon as they complete their qualification. They specialise in one job field and teach students all they need to know about it.

Where Can I Study?

We have gathered a great selection of TVET colleges where you can complete your National Vocational Certificate or any other course that these colleges offer:

TVET Colleges in South Africa


TVET college


Central Johannesburg TVET College

Ekurhuleni East TVET College

Ekurhuleni West TVET College

Sedibeng TVET College

South West Gauteng TVET College

Tshwane North TVET College

Tshwane South TVET College

Western TVET College


Coastal TVET College

Elangeni TVET College

Esayidi TVET College

Majuba TVET College

Mnambithi TVET College

Mthashana TVET College

Thekwini TVET College

Umfolozi TVET College

Umgungundlovu TVET College

Free State

Flavius Mareka TVET College

Goldfields TVET College

Maluti TVET College

Motheo TVET College


Capricorn TVET College

Lephalale TVET College

Letaba TVET College

Mopani South East TVET College

Sekhukhune TVET College

Vhembe TVET College

Waterberg TVET College

Western Cape

Boland TVET College

College of Cape Town

False Bay College

Northlink TVET College

South Cape TVET College

West Coast TVET College

Eastern Cape

Buffalo City TVET College

Eastcape Midlands TVET College

Ikhala TVET College

Ingwe TVET College

King Hintsa TVET College

King Sabata Dalindyebo TVET College

Lovedale TVET College

Port Elizabeth TVET College

North West

Orbit TVET College

Taletso TVET College

Vuselela TVET College


Ehlanzeni TVET College

Gert Sibande TVET College

Nkangala TVET College

Northern Cape

Northern Cape Urban TVET College

Northern Cape Rural TVET College

What Are The Advantages Of Studying A National Vocational Certificate?

There are several benefits to pursuing a National Vocational Certificate. They are as follows:

  • A National Vocational Certificate will prepare you thoroughly for the workplace.
  • You will have an easier time finding work in the trade you have specialised in.
  • If you did not fit in at a traditional school, studying for a National Vocational Certificate will be better suited for you.
  • When applying for jobs related to the trade you studied, you will be given an advantage over other students with only a National Senior Certificate.
  • You are not required to study things that you do not wish to learn about; instead, you may study ones that interest you.

Is It Possible To Study Further With A National Vocational Certificate?

Yes, you can continue your education with a National Vocational Certificate. You can pursue courses that accept NQF level 4 equivalent applications or courses that do not require a Matric Certificate at all. Many different colleges provide accredited and recognised courses that can help you achieve your career goals.

Which Courses Can I Study With A National Vocational Certificate?

Here are some courses you can study with a National Vocational Certificate:

  • Short courses
  • ICB courses
  • NATED courses

Can I Find A Job With A National Vocational Certificate?

You certainly can. National Vocational Certificates are designed for those who desire to get a job and specialise in a certain trade. If you hold a National Vocational Certificate and apply for a job in the industry you studied in, your chances of getting the position will be greatly increased.

Author: Esmari Pool
Editor: Megan Dreyer
Published Date: November 3, 2022

9 thoughts on “Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent”

  1. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (2)

    Thulane nqokwane

    January 19, 2023 at 1:14 am

    Can I study while I’m home…does this have age restriction


  2. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (3)


    January 23, 2023 at 10:23 pm

    can i study while i’m at home


    1. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (4)


      February 2, 2023 at 3:51 pm

      There are distance learning colleges out there like Skills Academy and Bellview Institute, for example, where with them you can study from home. so it’s 100% possible.


  3. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (5)


    February 2, 2023 at 4:22 pm

    Very helpful


  4. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (6)

    Walter Netsh*tuni

    March 21, 2023 at 8:14 pm

    Is it possible to study teaching using NQF or NCV Level 4 certificate?


  5. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (7)


    June 13, 2023 at 10:17 am

    hi I would like to open day care as I have experience I work at school for 2 years and I have qualifications for Early child hood education I need funds and I found the place where there was creach before the facility still in good condition for kids


  6. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (8)


    August 12, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Hey there
    If one has a level 4 which is equivalent to senior level , when one applying what does one indicate on the symbol obtained for English as our certification are not the same with the normal senior certificate and does not have the marks on the certificate


  7. Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (9)

    Ntombi Vivian Ngwenze

    January 23, 2024 at 1:18 pm

    we’re can I study in freestate welkom with my NQF4


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Understanding An NQF Level 4 Equivalent - Together We Pass (2024)


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