The NQF is organised as a series of learning achievements arranged in ascending order from one to ten. Each level on the NQF is described by a statement of learning achievement known as a level descriptor.
Level descriptors provide a description of each of the levels on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The purpose of such description is to assist a writer of standards or qualifications in designing a qualification by allocating a level to a unit standard or a qualification, and to formulate outcomes and criteria for assessment that could clearly indicate the level of knowledge of a learner required to successfully achieve the unit standard or qualification.
In 2008 the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act No 67 replaced the South African Qualifications Authority Act No 58 of 1995. The NQF Act brought changes in the education and training sector – the levels of the NQF form part of these changes. There are now 10 levels on the NQF.