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HELP! Click here for 'Study Options for Me' – Enter your CAO number, ID number or Results to see what programmes you may qualify for at our member institutions.

Terms and Conditions

1. Submit your application as soon as possible.

2. Institutions receive applications from 1 March for the following year's January intake.

3. Some institutions may offer trimester qualifications. Applications for these will be received at various points in the year. See the CAO website for details, or call us for more information.

4. If you are in Grade 12, DON'T WAIT until you have your June examination results to apply. If you are applying before your June results are available, submit a copy of your Grade 11 final results when you apply and submit a copy of your June and September results as they become available. We will add them to your original application.

For early consideration, you must as soon as possible send us:
4.1 A certified copy of your Grade 11 examination results if you are currently in Grade 12. Send us your June and September results as soon as they become available.

4.2 A certified copy of your Grade 12 statement of results OR a certified copy of your Grade 12 OR matric certificate, if you have already completed Grade 12.

5 Institutions start making offers early in the year. It is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as possible. Provide an email address and cellular phone number. Selection decisions are communicated via SMS, and all letters, for example, offer letters, are communicated first by email. Only if you do not provide an email address will we send letters by fax or post (in that order).

6 Most institutions require swift responses to their messages and letters. To fully benefit from these messages or letters you should try your best to provide an email address. Owing to the slow pace and unreliable postal service you may lose out on some of these benefits. We shall not be liable for any loss, claim or expense relating to any communication not reaching you or reaching you late.

7 Messages: We will only communicate messages with you via cellular phone (the cellular phone number that you provide on your original application or the one you may have changed via written communication with us). Letters: We will only communicate with you via the email address you provide in your original application, or by fax or post (in that order).

8 Please ensure that the email address and postal address on your application are correct. If you provide the incorrect address, your messages and letters will not reach you.

9 Please provide the correct cellular number as all SMSs will be sent to the number you provide.

10 If you have provided a cellular number or email address, you will receive a message as well as a letter in which we acknowledge that we have received and processed your application.

11 The letter will have all the details you have provided and request that you inform us if we have made any mistakes/omissions in capturing your information.

12 You will also receive an SMS, a letter (either by email or post) to inform you of any offers that you have been made by an institution to which you have applied. (See number 6).

13 You will receive only an SMS to inform you of any unsuccessful applications.

14 Make sure that the ID number and name and surname you use on your application is exactly the same as the one you use when you register for the final NSC examinations. If it differs, we will not be able to download your NSC examination results from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) database and match them to your application information at the institution.

15 Institutions make selections, not the CAO. We pass on the information to applicants as soon as we receive the selection decision from the institutions. The institution may also contact the applicant directly.

16 An application is considered to be valid only once the full application (including completion and acceptance of the Declaration and Informed Consent) and application fee has been received by the CAO. Only then will it be processed.

17 The official Received Date for the application will be the date on which the completed application (with programme choices), payment and declaration has been received. Applicant and application information will be sent to the institution only once these terms and conditions have been met.

18 Application and Change of Mind fees are not refundable.

19 Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date. However, institutions continually update their programmes and entry requirements.

20 During the course of the year, institutions may make available new programmes that were not finalized in time to be included in this posting – check our website www.cao.ac.za, or contact our Call Centre on 0860 860 226 or 031 268 4444 for updates. At the time of posting, only a few skills training and learnership programmes were included. Contact the TVET College of your choice directly for other programmes offered..

21 Inclusion of a programme does not oblige the institution to offer the programme as institutions continually assess their programmes and may decide to discontinue programmes during the application cycle. If an institution discontinues a programnme that is published in this posting, the applicant may change such a programme at no cost to them. (See number 31).

22 Applicants should apply and pay on or before the published closing dates. Applicants received after these dates will be considered as Late Applications and each institution has its own rules and procedures on how they deal with applications received after the closing date.

23 Specified entry requirements are guidelines used by institutions and each institution sets its own minimum entry requirements.

24 Entry requirements published in this website are MINIMUM requirements for your application to be considered, it does not guarantee acceptance.

25 In most cases, the number of applications for a qualification/programme far exceeds the number of places that an institution has available for the qualification/programme. Therefore, while you may meet the published minimum entry requirements, there may be many more applicants that fare better than you and who may be considered ahead of you.

26 We will send you an Acknowledge Letter by email four weeks after we receive your application. If no email address is provided, the communication will be sent by fax, and if no fax number is provided, letters will be sent by post. Applicants are encouraged to use a valid email address for communication since this is the quickest way that you will receive letters. Posting letters is a last resort. See Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 on www.gov.za regarding emailed documents.

27 If you have not received an Acknowledgement Letter four weeks after you have applied, please contact our Call Centre on 0860 860 226 or 031 268 4442 to enquire if the CAO has received your application.

28 Applicants are fully responsible for carefully checking their Acknowledgement Letters and informing the CAO of any errors, omissions, or changes either by filling in the blanks on the Acknowledgement letter or informing us in writing. If you do not inform us that any information in the Acknowledgement Letter is incorrect or needs to be changed within 10 working days it will be assumed that the information we have is correct.

28.1 You may click here to check whether an Acknowledgement Letter has been sent to you. If you have not received an Acknowledgement Letter, contact the CAO Call Centre on 0860 860 226

28.2 If you have received and checked your Acknowledgement Letter and wish to change and/or add any information, you must:

28.2.1 Print your Acknowledgement Letter and send us your changes and/or additions by fax, email, post or drop off at our reception

28.2.2 Send us your changes and/or additions in writing. No telephonic changes/additions are allowed.

29 We provide your information to institutions electronically. The institutions have full and final responsibility for selection and admission decisions.

30 Offers to study may be withdrawn if:

  • You don't tell the institution you accept the offer;
  • The condition/s of the offer is/are not met; and
  • The institution discovers that you have provided false information in your application. e.g. you have not declared that you have previously studied at that or another institution.

31 If, after you have applied, you want to change your qualifications/programme choices, you may complete a Change of Mind Request Form (COM) and choose a different qualification/programme. These forms can be downloaded from our website or requested from our Call Centre.

32 A COM will only be processed once we have received the COM fee of R100.00, except if it applies to Number 21.

33 Any number of progamme change/additions (up to six programmes) on the same Change of Mind Request Form is considered as one for payment purposes.

34 If you submit qualification/programme changes/additions on more that one Change of Mind Request Form and/or at different times, each Change of Mind Request form submission will be regarded as a separate request and a fee must be paid for each submission, not for each qualification/programme change.

35 Payment/s for multiple COM request forms submissions will be allocated and processed strictly in the sequence that the COM request forms were received.

36 Programmes that are not published on this website will not be processed.

37 We shall take all reasonable efforts to accurately reflect the information provided by institutions and applicants. However, should there be any errors of whatsoever nature (which are not due to our gross negligence), we shall not be liable for any loss, claim or expense relating to your application.





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