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Certificate Accounting Technician: Public Sector

Course Overview:

If you work or want to work in finance in government or municipalities, the Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 3 is the one to study. It’s been designed to address the lack of skills in the public sector and give learners knowledge that will help government run more productively and effectively.

The qualification offers accounting officials a formal qualification that ensures immediate demonstration of the acquired skills through their practical and competence-based assessment structures.

This is the introductory level of the AT(SA) Qualifications for employees in the Public Sector. The Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector Qualification consists of four units. The learner will also gain invaluable self-management and time management skills and will develop an appreciation of ethical issues and sustainability, which are essential for any workplace.

Course Details:

Accredited by SAICA for Accounting Technician qualifications:

  • SAQA ID: 73710
  • NQF level: 3
  • Credits: 120

12 – 16 Months

There are no formal entry requirements in terms of qualifications

Learners must either already be employed in a relevant Public Sector finance role or be employed under the conditions of the learnership in order to participate.

Competency in the following is required:

  • English Language literacy
  • Computer literacy
  • Mathematical literacy

A learner with similar qualification and/or experience can apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). In this case, proof of qualifications and work experience will be required.

Administer public accounts. Help improve public sector financial management by adding value, efficiency, and productivity to government departments.

Course Structure

The qualification consists of 4 units:

  1. Bookkeeping to Trial Balance


This unit is about understanding the basic principles of accounting. The elements within this unit involve the discussion of accounting concepts, accounting frameworks, the fundamentals of the double entry accounting system, and VAT. It also includes the differences between cash and credit transactions and the books of prime entry.

  1. Public Accounting Administration


This unit is about those skills that all accounting practitioners need to operate effectively as a member of an accounting team, or as the accounting member of a broader team, within an organisation. The unit includes an introduction to the public sector.


It includes prioritising, planning and organising work tasks with an emphasis on training and development to improve performance. It also includes legislative frameworks governing financial management in the public sector.


This unit also includes the principles of professional ethics and how an employee applies these principles in the work environment.


  1. Financial Management- Present financial data for internal and external use


This unit is about understanding the planning and budgeting concepts and processes in the public sector. The monitoring of the spending against the budget is a critical process in the public sector and the regulatory requirements for this process are discussed in this unit.


The elements within this unit address time frames, formats of the budget, budget structure, terminology, the economic reporting format. It also includes the reporting timeframes, formats, expenditure reports for the monthly reporting of expenditure and revenue in comparison to the budget.

  1. Computerised Bookkeeping

The elements within this unit involve the safety checks to be performed, the use of specified software at an introductory level and the responsibilities when using a computer system. It includes an understanding of the need to keep data confidential and secure. This unit is about how to use a computer system safely and effectively.

Upon completion of the qualification, learners will be awarded a Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 3 from SAICA/AT(SA) and you can enrol for the FET Certificate: Accounting Technician Public Sector NQF Level 4 qualification.


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