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GCC factories requirements from the Department of Employment & Labour

Updated: Apr 16, 2021



In one of my posts, I answered the question, 'What is the Government Certificate of Competency (GCC) factories?'


The conclusion was that the GCC factories is a license granted to mechanical or electrical persons to supervise machinery as required by the General Machinery Regulation 2. Furthermore, step 1 of the journey to obtaining the GCC factories electrical or mechanical starts with meeting the GCC factories' requirements from the Department of Labour.


You will need to be given permission by the Commission of Examiners from the Department of Labour before writing the GCC Factories exams.

Remember, the GCC factories exams consist of the plant engineering and the Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Act exams.

You can get permission to write the GCC factories exams by formally applying to the Commission of Examiners. Once approval is granted, you will be classified as a GCC factories candidate.


The prequalifying requirements to obtain acceptance as GCC factories candidate are:

  • You need to be at least 23 years of age,

  • You need to demonstrate sobriety while carrying out your maintenance & operations duties in a factory; Put simply, are you able to make reasonable maintenance & operation decisions that will not endanger the health and safety of persons, and

  • You need to demonstrate good conduct while carrying out your maintenance & operations duties in a factory. Good conduct may refer to your ability to comply with your employer's health and safety requirements, amongst other things - put simply, are you a good employee?


In the context of the GCC factories application process, sobriety refers to the ability GCC candidate to make decisions that may be deemed to be appropriate. The reasonable Certificated Engineer test may then be used to evaluate the appropriateness of a maintenance & operation decision.

The requirements for acceptance as a GCC Candidate also depend on the type of qualification you have. The type of qualification you have will influence the amount of experience required.


The acceptable types of qualifications include the mechanical or electrical Bachelor's degree, National Higher Diploma (T4/S4), or National Technical Diploma (N6). This culminates into three distinct GCC factories routes to becoming a GCC factories candidate:

 

Route 1 - Bachelor's in mechanical or electrical engineering

  • Must be in the position of a Bachelor's in Mechanical or Electrical engineering recognised by the Commission of Examiners.

  • Must have at least 2 years post-graduate experience in the maintenance and operation of mechanical or electrical machinery. The experience needs to be to the satisfaction of the Commission of Examiners.


The type of experience for all GCC factories applicants is the same. The experience needs to be in the maintenance and operation of mechanical or electrical machinery. The experience will be to the satisfaction of the Commission of Examiners.

 

Route 2 - National Higher Diploma (T4) or National Diploma (S4) in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering

  • Must be in the position of a National Higher Diploma (T4) or National Diploma (S4) in mechanical or electrical engineering and passed each subject with a mark of at least 50%.

  • The educational institution needs to structure a curriculum that covers the electrical and mechanical courses according to the plant engineering syllabus. Click here to download the plant engineering syllabus that needs to be covered by the institution's syllabus.

  • Must at least have 2 years post-graduate experience in maintenance and operations of mechanical or electrical machinery. The experience needs to be to the satisfaction of the Commission of Examiners.

  • At least 1-year of the 2 years experience must be at a Factory.

  • Must have received necessary practical training to obtain National Higher Diploma (T4) or National Diploma (S4). 


NOTE: The qualification referred to here is a national diploma that you will ordinarily obtain from a Higher Education and Training institution such as UNISA, UJ, VUT, etc. Applicants with a BTech also fall under the requirements of route 2.

NOTE: The institution's curriculum needs to cover the plant engineering syllabus. This means that you need to check that your curriculum covers:
  • safety & management,

  • electrical technology,

  • applied thermodynamics,

  • structures & strength of materials,

  • theory of machines,

  • fluid mechanics, and

  • environment management.


NOTE: You must submit your application with the Department of Employment and Labour before committing to doing any additional subjects.

 

Route 3 - National Technical N6 Diploma in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering Candidate Requirements

  • Must be in the position of a National Technical N6 Diploma in mechanical or electrical engineering and passed all the subjects with a mark of at least 50%.

  • Must have served an apprenticeship in appropriate trade and gained appropriate years of experience in the maintenance and operation of mechanical or electrical machinery and at least one year of such experience shall be at a factory. Click here for the acceptable trades and the experience required for the respective trades.

  • Must complete Plant Engineering Syllabus structured by TVET College as set out in technical college course and pass the subjects by at least 50%.


NOTE: The qualification referred to here is a national technical diploma that you will ordinarily obtain from a Training and Vocational Education & Training (TVET) college. These are the former called Further Education & Training (FET) college.


NOTE: The institution's curriculum needs to cover the plant engineering syllabus. This means that you need to check that your curriculum covers:

  • safety & management,

  • electrical technology,

  • applied thermodynamics,

  • structures & strength of materials,

  • theory of machines,

  • fluid mechanics, and

  • environment management.


NOTE: Fortunately, the national technical diploma is specific on the minimum subjects that are required to qualify to become a GCC factories candidate.


Click here to view the subjects required for GCC factories applicants with a national technical diploma.

The engineering programmes recognised by the Department of Higher Education & Training are ordinarily acceptable qualifications that may be recognised by the commission of examiners.

 

Conclusion


Candidates need to follow the appropriate process for applying to write the GCC Exam. You can submit the application once you meet the GCC factories requirements from the Department of Employment & Labour.


There are three routes that may allow you to qualify as GCC factories candidate:

  • Route 1 is for applicants with a bachelor's degree in mechanical or electrical engineering obtained from a University

  • Route 2 is for applicants with a national diploma in mechanical or electrical engineering from a Higher Education and Training institution such as UNISA, UJ, VUT, etc.

  • Route 3 is for applicants with a national technical diploma in mechanical or electrical engineering from a TVET college (or the formerly FET colleges)


Route 2 applicants need to satisfy the Commission of Examiners that the educational institution's curriculum covers the plant engineering syllabus.


Route 3 applicants need to satisfy the Commission of Examiners that the educational institution's curriculum covers the plant engineering syllabus. And, the curriculum needs to consist of the minimum subjects for mechanical or electrical applicants.


Click here to learn more about the GCC factories application process.


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