National Credit and Qualifications Framework (NCQF)
Country Code:
Stage of development and implementation
Implemented and reviewed
Brief Overview:

The Structure of the National Credit and Qualifications Framework (NCQF

Botswana has a ten (10) level comprehensive framework with twelve (12) qualifications types. Level descriptors are defined in three domains of learning: knowledge, skills and competence. The lowest level on the framework is the Certificate I (e.g. Primary School Leaving Examination) while the highest is Doctoral Degree.

Objectives of NCQF:

  • Provide quality assured, nationally and internationally recognised qualifications.
  • Establish pathways for progression of the education and training qualifications, support lifelong learning.
  • Increase coherence between education and training output and the needs of the labour market.

The NCQF Register of Qualifications has 787 registered qualifications accessible to download (as per 02/05/2023). Registered and accredited Education and Training Providers (ETPs) are encouraged to develop learning programmes, based on the registered qualifications, for accreditation in Botswana.

NCQF helps to create an environment and framework within which RPL is to operate. A National RPL policy has been developed and will be published.

Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) is a parastatal organisation established by the Botswana Qualifications Authority Act, No 24 of 2013. BQA provides for and maintains the NCQF, coordinates the education, training and skills development quality assurance system, and maintain lists of registered and accredited Education and Training Providers, registered qualifications and accredited learning programmes.


RPL/VAE Resources:

Level General Education TVET / Crafts Higher Education Min Credits
10 Doctoral Degree Doctoral Degree 360
9 Master’s Degree Master’s Degree 240
8 Bachelor’s Degree Honours Bachelor’s Degree Honours 120
Post-Graduate Certificate Post-Graduate Certificate
Post-Graduate Diploma Post-Graduate Diploma
7 Bachelor’s Degree Bachelor’s Degree 360
6 Diploma Diploma 240
5 Botswana Certificate V Certificate V 120
4 Botswana Certificate IV Certificate IV 60
3 Botswana Certificate III Certificate III 40
2 Botswana Certificate II Certificate II 40
1 Botswana Certificate I Certificate I 40

Level Knowledge Skills Competence
10 Most advanced Knowledge at the frontier of a field of work or study, Advancement of frontiers of existing knowledge or professional practice in a discipline, professional and/or interdisciplinary discourse through research and high level reflective practice. Ability to undertake original and scholarly research of international standard to solve problems; Highest level of specialized skills and techniques including critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas to develop new knowledge and approaches or extend and redefine existing knowledge and professional practice; Ability to develop and implement a strategy for dissemination of research findings and defend the research work and outputs before a diverse audience. Self- directed and demonstrates strategic leadership,  high level mastery of professional practice  and associated systems design, implementation and management with full responsibility and accountability for resource management, own work output  and of others. Sustained commitment to development of new ideas and processes at the forefront of the profession, through research and high level reflective practice, Exercises a high level of initiative, authority, and autonomy, scholarly and professional integrity in a wide range of contexts.
9 Advanced knowledge at the frontier of a specialized discipline or cross-disciplinary fields. Capable of contributing towards development of professional practice through research or reviewing existing knowledge. Demonstrates a high level of mastery of the field of study or practice and capacity to retrieve, evaluate, analyse and interpret information to make propositions and judgments; critical analysis and evaluation of existing professional practice and ability to comprehend and put issues and ideas in perspective; Specialized research and capacity to develop and apply new skills and techniques to identify and solve problems in a range of professional contexts. Self-directed study or work within a discipline or profession, making informed decisions with considerable authority. Demonstrates innovation, autonomy, scholarly and professional integrity; Takes responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice and accountability for resource management, own work output and of others.
8 Highly specialized knowledge in a discipline or profession involving critical analysis and independent evaluation of qualitative and quantitative data. Grounded understanding of contemporary theories, principles and concepts that can form the basis for professional judgment and/or research. Demonstrates mastery of professional practice in a particular field of work or study.  Ability to manage functions and processes. Capacity to carry out basic research, critical evaluation and synthesis of ideas, issues and concepts. Capable of identifying and solving complex and unpredictable problems. Applies a range of advanced specialist knowledge and skills with a sense of identification with and responsibility for the integrity of the profession. Exercises autonomy, initiative and authority and takes responsibility and accountability for own work output and of others within a field of work or study.
7 Specialized Knowledge in a field of work or study including understanding of methods of enquiry and established codes of practice and capacity for critical analysis and interpretation of information. Capacity to carry out processes that require the use of specialized basic and applied research skills to solve problems, manage processes within broad parameters for specified activities and work outputs. Applies a range of advanced technical processes and skills to generate solutions to unpredictable and complex problems; Demonstrates considerable responsibility and accountability for own work output and of others within a field of work or study.
6 Advanced knowledge of a field of work or study involving understanding of theories and principles. Applies advanced skills and demonstrates mastery of and innovation required to identify and solve complex and unpredictable problems in a specialized field of work or study. Demonstrate ability to select and apply technical processes and assume responsibility for design and/or management of processes within defined area(s) of expertise, including accountability for personal and group outcomes.
5 Broad technical knowledge and understanding of underlying concepts and principles as well as standard codes of practice within a field of work or study. Capacity to apply a broad range of cognitive and practical skills required to solve abstract problems in a relevant occupation or profession Performs complex work and demonstrates autonomy, self-direction, accountability, and responsibility for related work outputs with potential to supervise work / learning of others.
4 Broad knowledge of practical concepts and processes and capacity to interpret information to make informed judgments of concrete, abstract and often unfamiliar problems. Capacity to perform a significant range of practical and cognitive tasks. Ability to select and use relevant procedures and techniques to solve a variety of concrete, abstract and unfamiliar problems. Demonstrates  independence, responsibility and accountability for own work / learning and potential for supervisory functions
3 Basic operational and theoretical knowledge of a field of work or study and ability to interpret basic information. Demonstrates a range of basic cognitive and practical skills and has capacity to perform a range of tasks or standard processes in a specific field of work or study using basic methods, tools and materials. Performs routine work under supervision and takes some responsibility for own learning and completion of work.
2 Basic factual knowledge and capacity to interpret basic information. Demonstrates basic cognitive and practical skills and capacity to perform basic tasks using simple tools. Works under close supervision in structured contexts.
1 Elementary  knowledge associated with literacy, numeracy and cognitive faculties required to carry out simple tasks Demonstrates elementary skills required to perform simple and familiar tasks using simple tools. Demonstrates elementary skills required to perform simple and familiar tasks using simple tools.