Formal NQF Endorsed Qualifications

If you charge money or receive any other benefit from taking people out in the mountains, you need to conform to the law of our country and have the appropriate NQF qualification. Sign up for one of our courses.

The National Quality Framework is a comprehensive system for the co-ordination, registration and publication of all formal South African education and training. This is overseen by the South African Qualifications Authority (NQF Act 2008, old 1995 updated). This is a body which has the authority to enforce laws, and only qualifications which fall under this body are valid legal qualifications in South Africa. The department which falls under South African Qualifications Authority for mountain, abseiling and climbing guiding is the Sector for education and training, is known as CATHSSETA, or the Culture, Art, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector.

This body together with the Department of Tourism has put together a number of formal qualifications which are MANDATORY for any form of guiding in South Africa.

The Dept. of Tourism defines tour guiding as follows:

Any person who, for monetary or other reward, accompanies people who are traveling through or visiting any place within a country, and who furnishes those people with information or comments concerning a place or objects visited is defined as Tourist Guide.

Tour Guiding is governed by the Tourism Act no.72 of 1993.

This act states that any person or body who wishes to operate as a tourist guide for reward, whether monetary or otherwise, must:

1. Register as a Tourist Guide with the relevant Provincial Registrar
2. Be in possession of a certificate of competency issued by the South African Qualifications Authority
3. Sign and adhere to the code of conduct and ethics provided by the Provincial registrar.

If you do not have the appropriate NQF qualification, your adventure company is operating illegally.

Here are the official NQF qualifications offered by the SA Outdoor Academy:

  • Unit Standard 9284: Conduct a guided mountain walking experience in a limited geographical area.
  • Unit Standard 9288: Plan and conduct a guided mountain walking experience
  • Unit Standard 9283: Provide a guided single pitch abseiling experience of less than 60 metres
  • Unit Standard 9282: Provide a guided single pitch abseiling experience of more than 60 meters and less than 150 meters.
  • Unit Standard 9285: Provide a single pitch rock climbing experience
  • Unit Standard 9286: Plan and provide a guided rock climbing experience

Please email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require more information and to register for these courses download the appropriate enrolment form, fill it in, scan it and send it back.

We will them discuss a date which suits everybody. Note some courses require minimum numbers to be viable, but courses can be run for single individuals or 2 individuals at a higher price. These personal courses offer fantastic value for money, as the personal attention provides more effective teaching.




Enrolment Forms