Academy for Environmental Leadership SA receives NQF level 5 accreditation

The Academy for Environmental Leadership South Africa (AEL) has been successful in its application to accredit its year-long course Higher Certificate status. AEL was notified in September by the Department of Higher Education and Training that the Council on Higher Education (CHE) had approved its application.

3“There are one or two formalities remaining, but the effect of the accreditation is that it gives AEL full recognition on a tertiary level for its unique and first-ever environmental leadership curriculum. We now have the freedom to publicly advertise a fully accredited course at our unique academic institution in an equally unique environment,” says Gys Botha, CEO and Director of AEL.

The qualification, a Higher Certificate in Conservation Ecology, NQF Level 5, will come into effect during the first quarter of 2017, once further approval has been received by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), after which the certificate will be published on the National Learners’ Records Database.

“The accreditation and recognition of AEL as a higher educational facility comes as a major achievement. Ultimately, if planned and managed carefully, we may decide in future to offer a one year course for a Higher Certificate, a two year course for a Diploma and a three year course for a Degree,” says Adv Fef le Roux, Chairman, Director and founder of the Academy.

The idea for a back-to-the-roots educational program was conceived by Le Roux and endorsed by celebrity environmentalist Dave Pepler. Together, they designed the now-accredited curriculum for which AEL is known.

For school-leavers who are traditionally interested in a gap year, the Academy for Environmental Leadership would be a perfect option. The aim of the institution is to guide and assist school leavers who have decided to follow an environmentally related career, or are still uncertain about their future, to develop their life skills, knowledge, self-confidence and leadership qualities as part of a pleasant and unforgettable experience, while at the same time equipping them with a tertiary qualification. Once achieved, students will be able to follow a variety of career opportunities in environmentally related fields of the alternative energy industry, farming, conservation, tourism, research, impact studies, etc.

For more information or any queries related to AEL, contact Gys Botha at  +27 (82) 4416 825, or send an email to

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