The Truth About UFO Codes

BY Clarice Oelofse

Did I say UFO Codes ? I meant OFO Codes. The Organising Framework for Occupations is a coded occupational classification system. It is a key tool to which enables the Department of Higher Education and Training to identify report and monitor skills demand and supply in the South African Labour Market.


Let’s explore a few strange concepts:


The OFO code is constructed from the bottom up by:

  • Analysing jobs and identifying similarities in terms of tasks and skills
  • Categorising similar jobs and occupations
  • Classifying these occupations into occupational groups at increasing levels of generality

The OFO adds value to skills development planning and implementation purposes in that it:

  • Captures jobs in the form of occupations
  • Groups occupations into successively broader categories and hierarchical levels based on similarity, tasks, skills and knowledge.
  • Ease of generating legislated reports such as Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) Annual Training Report (ATR) and PIVOTAL plans and reports

You will notice that there are 8 occupational groups:

  1. Managers
  2. Professionals
  3. Technicians & Trade Workers
  4. Community & Personal Service Workers
  5. Clerical & Administrative Workers
  6. Sales Workers
  7. Machinery Operators & Drivers
  8. Elemantary Workers

Here are some examples of OFO codes as it relates to the food safety industry:

  • 121908 – Quality Manager
  • 226301 – Food Safety Manager
  • 332205 – Sales Rep
  • 422601 – Receptionist
  • 524401 – Telesales Clerk
  • 732101 – Driver
  • 832904 – General worker

All SETAs require that each occupation is linked to an OFO Code. Keep close watch on your local SETA's website to see what is out there.

 May 12, 2014
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Food Safety
Clarice Oelofse

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