Skills & Knowledge Development

Skills & Knowledge Development activities in both primary and secondary dairy industry sectors are limited to the following principles:

1. Continued evaluation

  • Actions of high level expertise that are required to determine whether amendment is necessary of, for example, the curricula, learning materials, assessment tools and qualification design, as well as quality management systems that support these learning interventions, depending on factors like technology development, changing production and manufacturing procedures and requirements set by relevant bodies in the public sector;

2. Interactions with authorities

  • Actions of high-level expertise that are required to study and interpret acts, regulations, policies and procedures regarding knowledge and skills development promulgated by the authoritative bodies in the public sector, in order to interrogate relevant regulations, rules and policies and – where possible – add value for the advantage of the industry in light of the needs of the dairy industry;

3. Promotion and guidance

  • Actions of high-level expertise with emphasis on the need for guidance to enable and empower the members of the dairy industry to navigate and utilize – to the most advantageous extent – the fairly complex learning dispensation and to determine and promote – by methods approved by Milk SA - appropriate learning interventions and implementation methods for quality assurance of same.

Functions that should be funded by the relevant SETAs (Agri SETA and FoodBev SETA) are excluded from these Milk SA projects, while services that are commercially available and based on the ‘user-pay’ principle are also excluded from these projects. Functions conducted under the auspices of Milk SA must be of true collective interest and unquestionably required to enhance the dairy industry’s competitiveness.

The MPO Dairy Qualification

The Dairy Occupational Qualification (Dairy Farm Supervisor and Dairy Unit Manager) was registered with QCTO. While MPO awaits registration as Skills Development Provider (SDP) (with QCTO), the relevant 13 modules are presented under the "MPO Dairy Qualification", which is available on-line as a self-study option:

Module 1: South African dairy farming environment
Module 2: Dairy calf and heifer rearing, feeding and healthcare
Module 3: Dairy animal healthcare
Module 4: Dairy animal production
Module 5: Dairy livestock feeding
Module 6: Milk harvesting and in-parlour processing
Module 7: Team leadership
Module 8: Code of Practice for Milk Producers
Module 9: Dairy farm production management
Module 10: Farm business management 
Module 11: Pasture management
Module 12: Reproduction management
Module 13: Biosecurity management
The book Milk SA Guide to Dairy Farming in South Africa is also available as a free download book here:

The Dairyman Qualification for the secondary industry sector

The Dairyman qualification was registered with QCTO as 10 discreet qualifications, namely:

  • Manufacturing of ripened cheese
  • Manufacturing of butter
  • Manufacturing of cottage cheese
  • Manufacturing of fermented dairy products
  • Manufacturing of liquid long life dairy products
  • Manufacturing of condensed liquid dairy products
  • Manufacturing of dried dairy products
  • Manufacturing of fresh dairy products
  • Manufacturing of processed cheese
  • Manufacturing of frozen dairy products

The registration (with QCTO) of learnerships for all above dairy specific discreet qualifications and the institution of grant policies and systems for these qualifications were outstanding, after which the legacy qualifications could be discontinued.

In addition to the Dairyman ‘family of qualifications’ two further qualifications have been developed in replacement of existing legacy qualifications. 

The first is affectionately called the ‘Milk Reception Operator’ qualification, though it has been re-titled twice by the authorities in the process of consideration and approval. The major outputs contained in this qualification cater for the evaluation of bulk tanker milk for acceptance prior to off-loading; and the off-loading and storage of approved raw milk at the milk reception facility of a factory. Implicit in the skills covered are cleaning and sanitizing of the milk reception facility and tanker with dedicated cleaning and sanitizing processes and equipment, whether manual or automated.

Secondly, a qualification for the Dairy Product Laboratory Analyst was developed - much aligned to the Dairyman range of qualifications - in that it is designed as eight discreet qualifications with some overlap. The basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry and microbiology form the overlap, whereas product-specific analyses present the specialization. The outputs boil down to determination of the composition and safety for consumption of products.

Both the above qualifications have been submitted for approval and registration, but the outcomes of this process have not been finalized. Early comments were received from the authorities that the designs were acceptable and deemed to be occupationally directed.



Project Manager (Primary Industry Sector): 

Ronald Rapholo

Ronald Rapholo

Project Manager (Secondary Industry Sector): 

Gerhard Venter

Gerhard Venter