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The primary purpose of the Executive Development Programme (EDP) is to improve competence and address professional development needs of individuals in order to build the capacity of public service leaders in a democratic, developmental state. The EDP is also pertinent for the closing of skills gaps as identified through competency
assessments.This may be achieved as follows:

  • Individual modules for targeted skills enhancement: You may select individual modules with the aim of enhancing specific competence areas and professional
  • Certificate in Executive Leadership:You may enrol for the six core modules of the EDP to acquire a Certificate in Executive

According to the Directive on Compulsory Capacity Development, Mandatory Training Days and Minimum Entry Requirements for SMS (issued by the DPSA, Nov 2014; amended on 8 April 2016), with effect from 1 April 2016, every SMS member must spend a minimum of 18 days on a combination of generic and technical/professional training over a 3-year performance cycle. Training must be appropriately prioritised for all SMS members.
The EDP modules are in place, aligned to the core SMS competencies, for continuous professional development (in-service) and to close identified development/ competency
gaps, rather than for a qualification.

Target Group

Senior and Middle Managers who are central in strategic decision making within public service departments and public sector institutions.

Minimum Requirements for Enrollment

  • Senior Managers on salary levels 13 – 14 (or equivalent).

For redress and development of a public service leadership succession pool; the EDP is open to the following members of Middle Management Service:

  • High performing managers, preferably female, on salary levels 11 – 12 (or equivalent).
  • Persons with a disability regardless of gender, salary levels 9 – 12 in the South African Public


A compulsory orientation session is held before the presentation of the first module.
Six Core Modules leading to a Certificate in Executive Leadership (Short Learning Programme) are jointly offered by the NSG and the relevant higher education institute
(HEI).The modules below are also offered as stand-alone courses:

  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Programme and Project Management
  • Finance Management and Budgeting
  • Strategic Planning and Management
  • Leadership for Good Governance
  • Policy Formulation and Implementation

Four Additional Modules

  • Research Methodology in the Public Service
  • Communication and Citizen Focused Strategies
  • Leading Change
  • South African Economy in a Global


As a short learning programme (SLP), the EDP has been quality assured and internally approved by participating HEIs at a senate level. It is not SAQA accredited.

Assessment Approach

The EDP follows an integrated assessment approach and focuses on the application of competence. The programme is also structured to facilitate an active learning process, which allows for periods of research, reflection, learning of new knowledge, interpretation and application.
Formative assessment will be done through various class activities in which participants will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their previous and newly acquired understanding and competence. For stand-alone modules taken without completion of the summative assessment, a Certificate of Attendance will be issued.
Summative assessment is compulsory when modules are taken with a view to obtaining the Certificate in Executive Leadership.


Each Module of the EDP is presented over a three-day contact session.For the Certificate in Executive Leadership, the orientation and six core modules of the EDP are presented over a period of 12 months – one module in a cycle of five weeks.