Home Student & Career Tips TVET Colleges: Courses and Requirements 2021

TVET Colleges: Courses and Requirements 2021

The term ‘Technical and Vocational Education and Training or TVET was officiated at the World Congress on TVET in 1999 in Seoul, Republic of Korea . The congress recognised the term TVET to be broad enough to incorporate other terms that had been used to describe similar educational and training activities including Workforce Education (WE), and Technical-Vocational Education (TVE), FET, etc.

TVET Colleges

The term TVET is in line with other types of education and training e.g. Vocational Education but is also used as an umbrella term to encompass education and training activities.

Aims and Purposes of TVET

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) serves multiple purposes. A key purpose is preparation of youth for work. This takes the form of learning and developing work related skills and mastery of underlying knowledge and scientific principles. Work is broadly defined and therefore refers to both formal employment and self-employment. To support self-employment, TVET curricula often include entrepreneurship training. Related to this is the social reproduction and transformation of occupational and vocational practices.

A related role is continuing professional development. The rapid technological changes demand that workers continuously update their knowledge and skills. Unlike the past where a job could be held for life, it is common place to change vocations several times. TVET enables that flexibility in two ways. One is providing broad based technical knowledge and transversal skills on which different occupations can be based on.

The second is providing continuing vocational training to workers. In the past, workers were assured of a job for life, with full-time employment, clear occupational roles and well established career paths. This is no longer the case. The knowledge dependent on global economy is characterized by rapid changes in technology and related modes of work. Often, workers find themselves declared redundant and out of work.

TVET today has the responsibility of re-skilling such workers to enable them find and get back to work. Apart from providing work related education, TVET is also a site for personal development. These concerns the development of those personal capacities that relate to realizing one’s full potential with regard to paid or self employment, occupational interests, and life goals outside of work.

At the same time TVET enables individuals overcome disadvantages due to circumstances of birth or prior educational experiences. From a development point of view, TVET facilitates economic growth by increasing the productivity of workers. The returns from increased output far exceed the costs of training, which eventually leads to economic growth.

TVET like any other form of education also facilitates socio-economic development by enhancing the capacity of individuals to adopt practices that are socially worthwhile. As a form of education similar to all others, TVET aims at developing a broad range of personal capabilities that characterize an educated person. Thus, the provision of broad based knowledge seeks to ensure critic-creative thinking. TVET also aims at developing capacities for effective communication and effective interpersonal relations.

Continuing TVET involves ongoing training to upgrade existing skills and to develop new ones and have a  higher profile in ageing societies and knowledge-based economies. Increased recognition of the importance of human capital for economic growth and social development made it necessary to increase learning opportunities for adults in workplaces.

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Having known briefly about TVET colleges, a lot of people may desires to enroll into the college for one reason or the other but do not know if they are qualified to apply. As a result of that, this article contains information on the admission requirements INTO TVET colleges and below are the requirements.


Below are what are required of prospective students for Admission

1. Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and Mathematics

Having Mathematics is a compulsory requirement. Learners, who had Mathematical Literacy at school and achieved an 80% result, will be considered.

Students with Grade 12 (passed or failed), or equivalent are the preferred applicants. Where students have passed Grade 9, Grade 10 and Grade 11 they may be considered based on the results of a competency test. In Engineering, students who do not pass the competency test will be referred to the extended programme.

Note  that the minimum requirement proposed by the Department of Higher Education for admission is Grade 11.

2. No Criminal Record

To get admission into TVET, make sure you do any criminal record

  • Not younger than 17 years
  • South African Citizen
  • No visible tattoos

The admission requirements for other learners are;

  • Qualification specific requirements must be met e.g. SETA requirements


However, all students will be required to submit the following

  • A certificate of Good Conduct, from their previous institutions of learning or place of work
  • A certified copy of last school report original must be presented on application
  • 8 certified copies of ID (where a student is 16 years or older) original must be presented on application
  • Parents or guardians must accompany the Applicant in order to verify the correctness of personal details being given, in the case where students are a minor or where the parent or guardian is providing the financial support.

Students will be selected according to their potential ability based on their highest qualifications and other relevant factors to successfully complete the course. Students who transfer from another TVET College must submit the following:

  • A letter to confirm that they have been de-registered at the previous institution
  • A Certified copy of Identity Document
  • A report of their academic history on a College letterhead, including Internal Continuous
  • Assessment (ICASS) and Integrated Summative Assessment (ISAT) results
  • The student’s Portfolios of Evidence for all subjects from the previous institution, if transferring during an academic year.
  • Competency Tests – NCV

The purpose of the competency test is to ensure that the student is placed in a programme best suited to his/her ability. A competency test must be completed by the student to determine his/her proficiency in English as it is the medium of instruction in the College. Competency tests are prescribed by the National Department of Education and Training as a requirement for admission and it is important that these be conducted in the best interests of students and the College.

Competency tests are also completed in the following subjects:

  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Vocational subjects, in specialised fields

Students who are not successful in the competency test will be directed towards other study options.

Signed application form by the Student

  • Correct parent/guardian details must be provided and verified at the time of registration. Upon verification, if falsified information is given on the application form, the application will be cancelled and the student/parent/guardian will be held liable for any costs incurred. If a student fails to comply with the above, the College Council has the right to cancel such registration.
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It is one thing to qualify for the Admission to TVET colleges and another thing to know exactly which course to apply for. TVET colleges offer an extremely wide range of vocational courses, preparing students for a number of careers. There are four main types of qualifications offered at TVET colleges:

  1. The National Certificate Vocational qualifications
  2. The Report 191 Programmes,
  3. The National Introductory Certificate (N4) and National Certificates (N4).
1. National Certificate Vocational (NCV) programmes

National Certificate Vocational (NCV) programmes begin after grade 9 and are typically three-year programmes that take you from an NQF level 2 qualification (grade 9) to an NQF level 4 qualification. This is the same level as a traditional matric, which means that you are able to apply to study at most universities of technology and to some university courses.

NC(V) programmes consist of seven subjects, two recognised languages, one mathematical subject, life orientation and three elective subjects. The elective subjects are where most of the specialised education and training will take place. Once you have completed an NC(V) qualification, you are able to work in your field as a qualified professional, or study further towards a higher certificate, national diploma or bachelor of technology degree.

The following NC(V) qualifications are offered by TVET colleges:

  • Electrical Infrastructure Construction
  • Civil Engineering and Building Construction
  • Education and Development
  • Engineering and Related Design
  • Drawing Office Practice
  • Hospitality
  • Tourism
  • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Management
  • Office Administration
  • Finance, Economics and Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Mechatronics
  • Primary Agriculture
  • Primary Health
  • Process Instrumentation
  • Safety in Society
  • Process Plant Operations
2. Report 191 Programmes

These programmes are specifically engineering-orientated and allow you to work in a range of careers in the engineering field or to pursue a national diploma in Engineering studies. These courses are not the same as degrees offered by the universities in South Africa, however, you do qualify to pursue a national diploma in Engineering and after that you can study towards a BTech degree in Engineering. The Report 191 programmes available to study are:

National Certificates:

  • N1: Engineering Studies
  • N2: Engineering Studies
  • N3: Engineering Studies
  • Multi-Disciplinary Drawing Office Practice

Non-national Certificates:

  • Engineering Certificate of Competency
  • Installation Rules
  • Specialised Electrical Installation Codes
3. National Introductory Certificates and National Certificates

National Introductory Certificates and National Certificates are qualifications that you pursue after completing either an NC(V) or Report 191 qualification. National Introductory Certificates are often used in order to qualify you to apply to pursue a National Certificate without having to redo some of your post-school education.

The following National Introductory Certificates are offered by TVET colleges in South Africa:

  • N4: Art and Design
  • N4: Business Studies
  • N4: Clothing Production
  • N4: Educare
  • N4: Food Services

The following National Certificates are offered by TVET colleges in South Africa:

  • N4: Art and Design
  • N4: Business Management
  • N4:Financial Management
  • N4: Clothing Production
  • N4: Educare
  • N4: Engineering Studies
  • N4: Farming Management
  • N4: Fertilizer Manufacturing
  • N4: Management Assistant
  • N4: Hair Care
  • N4: Hospitality and Catering Services
  • N4: Human Resource Management
  • N4: Interior Decorating
  • N4: Legal Secretary
  • N4: Marketing Management
  • N4: Medical Secretary
  • N4: Popular Music: Composition
  • N4: Popular Music: Studio Work
  • N4: Public Management
  • N4: Popular Music: Performance
  • N4: Textiles
  • N4: Tourism
  • N4: Public Relations


TVET colleges offer a wide range of qualifications. This makes it possible for you to be able to study towards a career path that suits you and your lifestyle. 80% of the tuition fees for all programmes at public TVET colleges are subsidised by the government. This means that studying at a TVET college is extremely affordable compared to other forms of tertiary and post-school education. TVET colleges are a great option for someone who is unsure that tertiary education is for them and would rather become qualified in a specific field to do a specific job.

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Access to post-school education is one of the Department of Higher Education and Training’s (DHET’s) major concerns. As a result of this, the DHET have started the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which is aimed at helping students who do not have the financial means to study at a TVET college or public university. Students who meet the entry requirements to study at such a college and qualify for a loan will need to pay back the loan to NSFAS, but, depending on your marks, up to 40% percent of your loan can become a bursary that you are not expected to pay.

What does this tell you as a student? This simply means that if you you want part of the loan to be waved, you are required to study hard and make good grades.

I hope this information in this article has been helpful?

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  1. jambo am obuyekha opiyo, i would like to apply for a tvet but i cant seam to be lucky to find one institute that can support school based learning, i need help, before the helb loan forms are closed by friday this week.

  2. Am festar chekenyere i have studied construction technology in zim so i need to go up with my studies jumping to civil engineering now


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