Can I study public management with a higher certificate? | Regenesys

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This question can be interpreted in two ways: whether you can join a higher certificate programme to study public management, or whether you can go on to study public management if you already have a higher certificate.

The answer in both cases is yes! You can join a Higher Certificate in Public Management (HCPM) programme, and if you have HCPM certification, you can go on to study public management at bachelor degree level.


  • What is public management?
  • What public management course subjects does an HCPM cover?
  • Public management skills
  • The value at the heart of public management
  • Who is the Higher Certificate in Public Management for?
  • Public management course requirements for enrolment
  • Study mode choices
  • Accreditation of Regenesys’ public management courses

What is public management?

Public management uses private-sector business and management approaches to manage the provision of government services to the public. The goal of good public management is to optimise government organs’ efficiency and effectiveness, and improve customer service.

Public management is crucial for a government to provide services to the public. It involves planning and implementing the policies that underpin public services, as well as delivery of these services. It’s what’s behind the service that collects your refuse each week, ensures there is water in your taps, and that the streets are maintained and kept safe, along with a host of other public sector services.

The principles of public management are applied in both the government and the nonprofit sector.

What public management course subjects does an HCPM cover?

A Higher Certificate in Public Management provides you with basic introductory knowledge, critical thinking skills and practical techniques you will need to exercise in the field.

Your public management course subjects for this programme include:

  • Public Human Resource Management
  • Public Project Management
  • Public Finance
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Public Performance Management
  • Quality and Customer Service Management

Public management skills

Many of the skills you will learn in your public management courses are transferrable between jobs – for example, leadership skills, which relate to the ability to influence, guide and inspire people to achieve a common goal; teamwork; and monitoring and evaluation.

Ethics, which concerns the exercise of moral requirements in the public service, and is intimately linked to individuals’ personal integrity, is crucial. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Public Management Policy brief No 7 states:

“Public service is a public trust. Citizens expect public officials to serve the public interest with fairness and to manage public resources properly daily. Fair and reliable public service inspires public trust and creates a favourable environment. Public service ethics are a prerequisite to and underpin public trust, and are a keystone of good governance.”

Your courses will, therefore, also bring home the importance of your conduct as a public functionary, your special duty to be open, fair and impartial in interacting with the public, and to live by the Batho Pele standards. In general practice, public servants’ fundamental motivation must come from their commitment to the Batho Pele principles, which require:

  • Putting the people first; and 
  • Optimal service delivery – where value for money is sought in its broadest sense.

The value at the heart of public management

The essential value of public sector ethics lies in the honesty and probity of financial management. If all public officials were imbued with a fundamental sense of honesty, and if probity were central to the organisational culture of every government department at every level, it would not be necessary to confront the ethical failings in the government and the consequences of these failings daily.

South Africa’s government recently updated its management and control systems to prevent – or at least discourage – unethical behaviour in the public sector, and you will learn about these provisions in your programme.

Who is the Higher Certificate in Public Management for?

If you are keen to make a difference by helping to improve service delivery or would just like to advance your career in government, public management will be a good career choice for you. You will be equipped to contribute to the professionalisation of South Africa’s public service, state-owned entities, Chapter 9 institutions, and nongovernment organisations through your public management studies, particularly if you do so through Regenesys School of Public Management.

The higher certificate programme lays a foundation for you to go on to study public management at several higher levels:

Qualification Duration NQF exit level Credits
Higher Certificate in Public Management 12 months 5 120
Bachelor of Public Management 36 months 7 360
Postgraduate Diploma in Public Management 12 months 8 120
Master of Public Management 24 months 9 200

Public management course requirements for enrolment

To enrol for Regenesys’ Higher Certificate in Public Management, you need a matric endorsed with a certificate pass, and at least 30% for English.

If you are older than 23 and don’t have a matric or equivalent qualification, you can apply for admission if you have a mature age exemption certificate from Universities South Africa, or apply to enrol through recognition of prior learning.

Study mode choices

You can study your public management courses through distance learning, or through contact classes at our campus. Distance learning offers the added advantage of being:

  • More affordable;
  • Without travel costs; and
  • Permits you to earn and learn at the same time.

Whether you study online or on campus, your classes will use interactive teaching and learning methods that encourage self-reflection and promote independent and critical thinking. The key to Regenesys’ approach is an understanding of adult learning principles, which recognise the maturity and experience of participants, and how you need to learn.

Accreditation of Regenesys’ public management courses

Regenesys is registered with the Department of Higher Education as a private higher education institution (registration certificate number 2000/HE07/023).

Its academic public management qualifications are approved by the Council on Higher Education.

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Thabo Bob

MPM, PDPM Tutor | Regenesys Business School


MPM, PDPM Tutor | Regenesys Business School

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