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How to obtain GCC Factories mechanical if you have GCC Factories electrical

Updated: Feb 26, 2021



What is a GCC certificate?


In South Africa, the Government Certificate of Competency (GCC) Factories is a prestigious certificate that allows engineers, technicians, and artisans to be considered Competent Person to supervise machinery.


Employers are required to appoint a Competent Person to supervise machinery on their premises. The Competent Person needs to have a GCC Factories whenever the sum of the power generated by machinery is above 3000 kW. The other option is that the Competent Person must have a bachelor's in engineering and pass the GCC Factories OHS Act exam.

Suppose machinery is used primarily for the distribution of electricity. In that case, the Competent Person needs to have a GCC Factories whenever the maximum demand exceeds 10000 kVA. The other option is that the Competent Person must have a bachelor's in engineering and pass the GCC Factories OHS Act exam.


The above are General Machinery Regulation (GMR) requirements. The appointment of the Competent Person is a requirement in terms of GMR 2.1. That is why the position is called the GMR 2.1 appointment.

How do I get a GCC certificate in South Africa?


To obtain the GCC Factories, one will have to do the following:

  • Meet the GCC Factories mechanical/electrical exam entry requirements

  • Apply to write the GCC Factories exams

  • Prepare for the GCC Factories plant engineering & OHS Act exam

  • Register, write, & pass the GCC Factories plant engineering & OHS Act exams

  • Send your statement of results to the Department of Employment & Labour - the commission of examiners will then recommend that the Chief Inspector issue you with the GCC Factories certificate

GCC Factories mechanical Vs. GCC Factories electrical


The Department of Employment & Labour issues the following Government Certificates of Competency:

  • Certificate of Competency as Mechanical Engineer (Factories).

  • Certificate of Competency as Electrical Engineer (Factories).

The steps to obtaining the GCC Factories mechanical and electrical are the same. The difference is on the candidates' exam entry requirements.

GCC Factories mechanical and electrical candidates write the same exams. The difference is that the certificate issued stipulates whether a person has the mechanical or electrical certificate (see image below).

GCC Factories Mechanical and GCC Factories Electrical certificates
GCC Factories Mechanical and GCC Factories Electrical certificates

The GCC Factories mechanical appointment will typically be as GMR 2.1 for premises where there is predominately mechanical equipment. And The GCC Factories electrical appointment will typically be as GMR 2.1 for premises where there is predominately electrical equipment.

However, the GMR requirement is that the Competent Person must have the GCC Factories and experience maintenance & operation of machinery they will be supervising. It does not matter whether one has a GCC Factories mechanical or electrical. What matters most is that the GCC Factories holder has experience in maintenance & operation of machinery they will be supervising.

How to obtain GCC Factories mechanical if you have GCC Factories electrical


Here are the steps to follow to obtain the GCC Factories mechanical if you have GCC Factories electrical:

  • Meet the GCC Factories for mechanical exam entry requirements

  • Apply to write the GCC Factories exams

  • In the GCC Factories mechanical application, produce proof of at least two years of experience in the maintenance and operation of mechanical machinery OR at least four years of mixed experience in the maintenance and operation of mechanical and electrical machinery. It needs to be experience gained after the acquisition of the GCC Factories electrical certificate.

  • Send your statement of results to the Department of Employment & Labour - the commission of examiners will then recommend that the Chief Inspector issue you with the GCC Factories mechanical certificate

In short, it is not necessary to write the GCC Factories again. The determining factors are qualification and experience.


Artisan applicants will require proof of passing applied thermodynamics and fluid mechanics at the S4 level. These are the conversion subjects required by the Department of Employment and Labour.


National Diploma and Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering may also be required to complete the conversion subjects.


Do you have to get GCC Factories mechanical and electrical certificates?


The short answer is NO.


Based on the discussion above, here are the reasons you do not need to have GCC Factories mechanical and electrical:

  • The GCC Factories application process for mechanical and electrical is the same.

  • The GCC Factories mechanical and electrical write the same exams.

  • The GMR requirements do not distinguish between GCC Factories mechanical and electrical. So, you could have either one to meet the qualification requirements from GMR.

  • The vital aspect is to have relevant experience in the class of machinery you will have to supervise.

  • The process of obtaining the GCC Factories mechanical will require you to prove that you have the relevant mechanical experience. It further supports the assertion that the vital consideration is that you have the relevant experience in the class of machinery you wish to supervise.

Why do others want to get the GCC Factories mechanical if they have GCC Factories electrical?


I think it's bragging rights more than anything.


What's essential for me (and perhaps the Chief Inspector) is that you have the relevant experience in the class of machinery you are supervising and have obtained the GCC Factories.


From a regulations point of view, having both certificates does not have any noticeable advantages.

Want to learn more about GCC Factories? Check out these articles that cover more details:


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