Advertising practice demands an attention to detail, adherence to deadlines, work ethic, positive regard for others (i.e. colleagues and clients), professionalism and a willingness to go beyond the obvious. The purpose of this qualification is to ensure that qualified learners understand advertising agency processes, systems and technical methods in general, and specialise in the processes, systems and technical methods that they are (to be) involved in by achieving specific competence. These processes, systems and technical methods refer to copywriting, art direction and design, client service, media buying, television/radio production, and print production.
For the individual that achieves this qualification, it means improved levels of competence to compete internationally, achieving defined learning outcomes in a shorter space of time, getting a foot in the door to progress to higher levels on the learning and career pathway in Advertising, and improved employment opportunities as a result of the integration of knowledge (theory) and skills (practical) to do their job from day one. The industry also benefits from increased efficiency and saving time and money, and improved competitiveness and quality. Access to information and products and services is improved, with resulting social and economic benefits.
Although the National Certificate: Advertising qualification provides and exit point from learning and they do not have to achieve an entire degree before earning a living, learners can come back and continue their learning process at any time. In addition, certain outcomes achieved to qualify are transferable to other fields, for example, project management, team work, seeing from another person’s point of view, and improves career options for qualified learners. To qualify, learners learn to learn by evaluating progress and outputs, and improving on their own work.
Qualified learners are capable of:
- Analysing and sourcing information required for advertising decision-making.
- Presenting ideas and making recommendations regarding appropriateness and relevance of ideas and recommendations.
- Interpreting information for advertising assignments to determine resource requirements.
- Evaluating advertising assignment progress.
- Evaluating advertising assignment outputs.
- Implementing and coordinating advertising assignment activities according to brief.
International and national trends that impact on competence needs in the Advertising field include the following:
- There are increasing numbers of full time freelancers, and freelancing agencies who do only ad hoc projects.
- Younger people are being promoted earlier and are required to sell with higher levels of energy.
- The importance of working unsupervised and managing oneself is increasing.
- Working at a faster pace and higher expectations to do things faster because of the application of technology.
- Agency culture is changing to value creativity in all departments, and not just in the creative department as has traditionally been the case.
The advertising industry in South Africa generally requires two sets of competence, namely, front line (with a focus on the big picture) and behind-the-scenes/back-end (with a detail focus) competencies. People employed in advertising agencies apply these sets of competence to fulfill copy writing, art direction and design, client service, media buying, television/radio production and/or print production functions. Historically, agencies have engaged in a large amount of informal training in the workplace, but are facing challenges (i.e. in terms of resources and competitiveness) to address training needs in this way. In addition, training has, for the most part, not been comparable from one agency to the next, as learning outcomes remained undefined, and learners could not receive national recognition for what they have learnt. This qualification is aimed at addressing the needs for competence by ensuring that learning achievements are clearly defined and are nationally recognised.
Qualified learners are employed as copywriters, junior account executives, junior producers, etc. Typical learners would enter this qualification after achieving a Further Education and Training Certificate: Advertising (NQF Level 4), or Further Education and Training Certificate in related fields such as Design, or Marketing. Most learners are employed by advertising agencies (about 90% of learners) and some are self-employed