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Foundation Learning Competence (FLC)

Photo by Charles Wundengba:

Level: 2  

Credits: 256


The purpose of Foundational Communication is to enable individuals to confidently and successfully handle the Language of Learning and Teaching (LOLT) of formal occupational training. Foundational Learning refers to the competence needed in the two key areas of Communication and Mathematical Literacy in order to deal successfully with occupational learning at NQF Levels 2-4 with the purpose to remove barriers to learning and progress in occupational pathways and skills development.



Numerous South Africans are unable to attain qualifications within their occupations and/or trades, at NQF levels 2, 3 and 4 due to the barrier to achieve the fundamental requirements of the four levels in the FET band for both mathematical literacy and language. Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) provides such learners with an alternative qualification option and an opportunity to progress in their chosen career.

The proficiency a learner may have in the language is closely linked to their success in educational programmes. Many adult learners have a deficiency in their understanding of, and ability to apply language and mathematical literacy concepts and problem solving in their jobs. Learners are often able to perform a task in an occupational environment, however, their communication and language skills in English (normally the language of teaching and learning) are at a much lower level than they need. They’re mostly unable to deal with theoretical concepts in learning material and the acquisition of new skills and knowledge in the occupational training, thus hampering their progression in their careers.

Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) provides the minimum skills level required in each learning area in order for an employee to function optimally and efficiently in the occupational world. It supports the objectives of the NQF that the fundamental unit standards were intended to achieve in terms of redress, access to meaningful learning, the achievement of qualifications and providing a basis for lifelong learning. Learners will only need to complete Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) once as it is applicable to Levels 2 -4 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

Learners who successfully complete Foundational learning competence have a marked increase in confidence and expertise in applying language and mathematical skills in different real-life situations and contexts, and especially those situations relating to the workplace. Qualifications that require additional mathematical or communication skills to that provided in the FLC will include these requirements in the curriculum of those qualifications.

Some learners struggle to cope with the demands of qualifications at NQF levels 2, 3 and 4; often because of a gap in understanding mathematics and language, but also for many the time elapsed between their formal schooling years and their current age is great and much of what they have learned have been forgotten or never really mastered.

Foundational Learning Competence (FLC) is designed to enable the learner to access further qualifications, be more efficient and able to work and engage better in real-life situations by establishing a proper Foundational in their abilities to communicate efficiently and calculate, think critically and solve problems in their everyday life, both at work and at home.

The FLC is a part qualification registered at NQF Level 2 and describes the minimum competence required of learners to deal successfully with occupational learning at NQF Levels 2-4. It has a credit value of 40:

  • 20 credits for Foundational Learning Competence in Communications

  • 20 credits for Foundational Learning Competence in Mathematical Literacy

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