Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management (Spa Operations)

Registered by the South African Qualifications Authority ID No 88062, National Qualifications Framework Level 5.


12 – 24 months (5–10 hours per week. Each module is offered over a ten week period.)

Course Fees

R43 750 (inclusive of all textbooks and examination fees, excludes textbook delivery costs). Talk to us about a discount for full and upfront payment.


Graduates receive the IHS Higher Certificate in Hospitality Management with an AHLEI award for each module completed, as well as for Spa Operations.

Admission Requirements

National Senior Certificate (NSC) with admission to study a Higher Certificate or equivalent.

Course Description

The hospitality industry makes a significant contribution to the national and global economy. As such, the industry requires competent managerial staff who possess the required skills and knowledge for successful hospitality management. Students achieving this qualification are competent to apply hospitality-specific frontline and management skills with specific focus on spa management.

Delivered as a distance learning programme, qualifying learners will through a combination of academic and work-integrated learning, acquire the necessary competencies required to fulfill roles in lower- or middle-management positions within the spa industry.

The qualification is registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) at Level 5.

What does the programme cover?

Students are required to complete eight compulsory modules. One of these modules includes 12 weeks of practical work experience in the hospitality industry.

Spa: A Comprehensive Introduction

This module introduces students to the world of spas, taking a comprehensive look at subjects ranging from the history and cultural development of spas to spa terminology and financial realities. The course takes students through a typical day from a spa director’s perspective, examines the qualities of outstanding service, and discusses industry trends and future directions.

Managing Housekeeping Operations

Efficient housekeeping operations are a business imperative for any lodging operation. This module provides a thorough overview of housekeeping operations, which include hiring and retaining quality staff, planning and organising the daily activities of the department, including the technical details required for cleaning each area of a typical lodging establishment.

Retail Management for Spas

This course explores the importance of retail operations to spas, how to manage them, design them, choose and sell products, market a retail area, and open a new retail operation. It fully explores retail planning, inventory management, maximising profits, sales and service, visual merchandising, and marketing within the spa environment. This course will help aspiring spa professionals increase their retail knowledge and understanding of vendor partner relationships.

Managing Front Office Operations

Students learn to increase front office efficiency and help sales grow with the knowledge and skills gained from the completion of this module. Topics include revenue management and the latest technology applications. This module shows how front office activities and functions affect other departments and focuses on how to manage the front office to ensure the property’s goals are met.

Supervision in the Hospitality Industry

This module is aimed at developing effective managerial skills essential to success in the hospitality industry. Topics include how to recruit, select, and train; increase productivity; control labour costs; communicate effectively; manage conflict and change; and use time management techniques. The importance of self-development to enable career progression is emphasised.

Financial Management for Spas

Designed to provide spa managers and other spa professionals with the financial management skills they need to succeed. Subjects covered include payroll accounting, inventory, income statements, ratio analysis, pricing, menu engineering, operations budgeting, revenue management, cash management, capital budgeting, lease accounting, and business plan development.

Work-Integrated Learning

The completion of periods of Work-Integrated Learning (Practical work experience in industry) is a compulsory component of this course. Students are required to undertake work within the hospitality industry to enable them to apply concepts to the real world of work. The time needed for this is 540 hours or 12 weeks.

If you are already employed in the Hospitality Industry, it would be necessary for you to negotiate a departmental rotation with your employer.

During this time you will be required to collect evidence of your work experience, conduct research, and reflect on your learning.

Hospitality Today - An Introduction

This module takes a management perspective in explaining the organisation and structure of hotels, restaurants, casinos, cruise lines, and clubs. It further examines related topics such as franchising, management contracts, business ethics, human resources and marketing. The hospitality industry’s impact on the national and international economy is examined.

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