Community Development (NQF 5)

National Certificate: Community Development
NQF Level 5 | SAQA ID: 80946


This qualification equips learners with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to add value in guiding and supporting individuals and organisations (both emerging and exiting) so as to achieve their community development goals and objectives.
It provides the learner with competencies to work collectively towards the identification, planning and mobilisation of resources for community interventions of social change, to improve the quality of life of communities in an integrated and sustainable manner.
The competencies embedded in this National Certificate: Community Development (CommDev) (NQF level 5) will open up opportunities for qualifying learners to either, progress towards the NQF level 8 BCommDev degree, or enter into a number of employment opportunities as learning occurs through occupationally directed workplace training.

To empower people to work and act as agents of change, in order to add value to the practice of community development – and in order to contribute towards improvement in quality of life and the eradication of poverty.

People who have worked in the community development sector for years as well as those who want to take up a career in the field of community development. This qualification could create an opportunity for further learning and vertical progression to the degree of Bachelor Community Development (NQF Level 8).

People working with and in communities require relevant knowledge and skills to operate effectively; hence the need for the qualification. This qualification is designed to equip the learner with the tools to address the challenges of communities in a holistic and integrative manner.
Upon successful completion of this course, you could pursue a rewarding career as a CommDev Practitioner (CDP) in public, or private sector or even in NGO’s, NPO’s, FBO’s and CBO’s – i.e. any organisation focusing on community development.

Pre-requisites for learner entry are determined by the requirements set by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for the relevant qualification to be obtained.

Learners are assumed to be competent in:

  • Communication at NQF level 4
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4


People who have an FETC, (Grade 12) or equivalent qualification, but who do not have a development practice education qualification.


Learners with a NQF Level 4 in development practice or other recognised NQF Level 4 qualifications.

Prospective learners should be able to read, write, listen and speak English equivalent to the relevant specified NQF level. The prospective learner should be able to undertake independent learning. In addition to the aforementioned competency, those learners who wish to enrol for our my-eLEARNING online e-platform mode of learning would also be required to have basic computer literacy and the ability to navigate an electronic learning platform.

Specific requirements for the my-eLEARNING mode of learning course requires from learners to:

  • be computer literate
  • have access to a computer
  • have access to internet
  • put aside dedicated timeslots for interactive discussions, forums and chat rooms
  • have an active e-mail address
  • have access to a printer
  • have a cell phone to receive SMS notifications

See details of the computer requirements to also be indicated on the Application Form

1) Prospective applicants may either contact CEFA at 021 873 3998 or complete and send us the “Enquire Now” form on this page.

2) Prospective learners are to send the completed and signed application form, with the following supporting documents to or alternatively to CEFA, PO Box 173, WELLINGTON, 7654:

  • proof of payment of the application fee (R800 not refundable)
  • three (3) original certified copies of the ID (not older than three months)
  • three (3) original certified copies of the highest school qualification (not older than three months)
  • Certificate of the relevant grade passed for the qualification (not older than three months)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

3) Providing that the application has been approved by the CEFA Review and Selection Committee; the applicant will be notified of the outcome in writing by the Review and Selection Committee meeting

4) CEFA will send the applicant this outcome notification letter of successful application and to the applicant indicating that the applicant must now pay the required course registration fee (R4 500). CEFA will also send a notification letter to unsuccessful applicants and provide the reason/s for being unsuccessful.

5) CEFA enrolls successful applicants on the ETDP SETA’s learner data base.

6) CEFA notifies the EDTP SETA of the intent to commence training.

Prospective applicants who are not explicitly clear about which course of study to choose will be offered guidance about the particular study programmes, the requirements for admissions, the duration and programme specific requirements such as the alignment of the theoretical and practical requirements of specific qualifications.

Please note that you cannot enrol for this programme if you are not at least involved as a volunteer or if you are not employed in public, or private sector or in a NGO, NPO, FBO or CBO – i.e. any organisation focusing on community development. This requirement is in light of the required compulsory workplace training component of this qualification which requires from you to be at a place of work full time for the duration of your practical workplace training component (i.e. 60% of your course time).

CEFA implements a set of systematic processes designed to meet learning objectives related to a specific job (workplace training). Current delivery consists of face-to-face and e-learning modes of learning, underpinned by specific techniques and materials implemented by facilitators to structure learning experiences. Once appropriate methods have been identified, they are applied to the training plan set out in the SoL.

The CEFA face-to-face training mode provides information orally as well as in a written form by facilitators in a classroom environment to convey knowledge (lecture) and to stimulate discussion. For the face-to-face training mode learners are supplied with hardcopies of the learning material which is discussed in the classroom and takes the form of lectures supported by discussions in the classroom.

With the e-learning (my-Elearning of CEFA) mode of delivery, content is delivered by means of a computer, using any combination of text,
video, audio, chat rooms, or interactive Moodle assessment tools. This mode of delivery replaces the theoretical face-to-face (classroom) component of the course and therefore increases accessibility of training by employees/volunteers who may now be able to study from their home/office computers.

My-eLEARNING as alternative to classroom (face-to-face) training advantages:

  • reduce cost, particularly costs associated with travel to a training location;
  • provide instructional consistency, by offering the same training content to learners countrywide;
  • reduce boredom or anxiety that may occur during certain times of the day as in face-to-face training; and
  • increase performance as the learner has 24/7 access to his/her facilitator and assessor with regard to the learning material and exercises to be completed towards achievement of the qualification.

Workplace training plays a major role in the South African Post School System, thus CEFA uses behavioural methods to assist learners to practice good behaviour in a real life style in the workplace. The Community Development course requires 60% workplace training.

Learning is stimulated through experience, the skills transferred and attitude influenced by the exposure. ‘On-the-job’ training is seen as a combination of many methods and is effective in developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes of learners.

You will either attend compulsory face-to-face training or compulsory online my-eLEARNING. The National Certificate: Community Development NQF level 5 qualification consists of seven cycles of modular training comprising 40% theory followed by 60% mentor guided work based application (theoretical into practice) of each module.

The training periods are equally distributed for preparation towards assessments in the form of assignments and summative assessments (examination) in each cycle. The Schedule of Learning (SoL) will indicate the dates and duration of the theoretical training as well as the practical workplace training, due dates of practical assignments and examination dates.

Thus, after every theoretical training cycle learners will spend a specified period at an assigned organisation to complete COMPULSORY practical workplace training according to the SoL. Learners are required to be at the workplace full day for the duration of the practical workplace training.

Within 18 months you could acquire The National Certificate: Community Development NQF level 5 and at the same time gain experience in the workplace, under the guidance, mentoring and supervision of CEFA trained mentors, which greatly enhances your knowledge and skills.

Module 0: Academic Foundation is an extra-curricular orientation to the qualification and distinctive of the CEFA success model. This serves as a bridging programme to prepare learners for the training and skills transfer to be delivered in the training programme. This module focuses on assessment and equipment of a learner’s reading, writing and learning styles, learner support and other essentials for successful learning.

Module 1: Community Development: Theory and Practice Foundation: This module focuses on the theories and approaches to facilitate community development interventions, the community development process and intervention plan, how to monitor budgets related to community projects, facilitate learning in a community context as well as leadership and related theories in a work context.

Module 2: Regulatory and Policy Framework: Relevant legal and regulatory frameworks for sustainable and integrative Community Development are the focus of this module.

Module 3: Community Development Skills: This module focuses on how to negotiate and deal with conflict situations, explore and coordinate networks, promote and support collaborative partnerships between stakeholders and sectors, as well as how to recruit, induct and manage volunteers.

Module 4: Community Development Research: How to plan and conduct community based research that redresses social development issues is the focus of this module.

The Fundamental Unit Standard focuses on principles for the practice of non-discrimination, the concept of human rights and democracy and its application in society, as well as language and communication strategies for vocational and occupational learning.

Early Childhood Development:
Learners will learn how to manage and evaluate an Early Childhood Development (ECD) service, prepare early childhood development programmes – and promote healthy development in ECD programmes.

  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the community development theories, approaches, principles and community development process to be applied within the relevant context.
  2. Conduct community-based research to inform community development interventions.
  3. Examine and apply legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate sustainable and integrative community development.
  4. Explore and coordinate networks and partnerships, with due regard to diversity, in pursuit of meeting community requirements in an ethical manner.
  5. Plan, design and manage a community intervention. Select and apply appropriate leadership and/or management styles/models for the purpose of community well being.
  6. Select and apply appropriate leadership and/or management styles/models for the purpose of community well-being.