Educational Opportunities


Introduction and Summary of IPSA's Educational Offerings | Overview of Packaging Technology (Short Course) | One Year Diploma Course | Advanced Packaging Diploma Programme | Short Courses and Workshops | Testimonials / Students' Comments | One Year Diploma Course - Fees for 2017 | One Year Diploma - Lecture Schedule / Syllabus | One Year Diploma Course - Test, Exam and Practical Assignment dates | One Year Diploma Course - Course Rules and Conduct | One Year Diploma Course - Enrolments for the Year | One Year Diploma Course - Various Methods of Study & Lecture Classes Location and Information | Students Questionnaire : Responses | Student Assistance and Advice to Self Study Mentor Assisted and Distance Learning Students | Picture Gallery : IPSA Education : Personnel and Students

The One Year Diploma in Packaging Technology (OYD) is widely recognised by the packaging industry in South Africa as an essential qualification in its field and is accredited by the World Packaging Organisation, the IOP : Packaging Society UK (formerly the British Institute of Packaging), and the Australian Institute of Packaging.  

It is conducted "under licence" from time to time by certain African countries.

Our course DOES NOT at present have an NQF rating, but we are in the process of applying to our SETA for accreditaion at an NQF level 4

International Food Standards Organisations

Our Diploma in Packaging Technology course, being recognised by the World Packaging Organisation, is eligible for acceptance as a suitable packaging qualification for the BRC/IOP Global Standard for Packaging and Packaging Materials and the Foundation for Food Safety Certification (FFSC), such a qualification being necessary for the acceptance of potential auditors by those bodies.  However, aspirant certification organisations or persons need to satisfy themselves that the minimum requirement of those bodies are satisfied by our diploma course.


Lecture Centres for Students attending Lectures ("Attendance Students").

Prospective students may study for The One Year Diploma in Packaging Technology  through the Institute, as Attendance Students (i.e. students who attend lectures weekly), conducted in the main centres - Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town. 

If a student is unable to attend lectures regularly, there are other means of study. For example, in Port Elizabeth a "self study mentor assisted" approach is adopted, and this follows a "buddy system" where each student is allocated a local mentor (normally a previous successful student) to assist them throughout the year.  Counselling / mentorship sessions will also be held from time to time to assist such students with any areas of difficulty they might be experiencing in regard to their studies.  As with all our students - but perhaps more so in regard to such students and distance learning students -this tuition method adds emphasis to our general rule that the onus is on each student to study the prescribed text book according to the syllabus.

 This self-study mentor assisted approach is also available in the other larger centres where a student may be unable to attend all lectures due to workplace constraints.

To establish where lectures are held in your region, go to the appropriate next sub menu item or click HERE.  Further information can be obtained from the contact person named.

AFRICA - lectures are also offered through various Institutes of Packaging (or equivalents) in Africa, from time to time.  For further details contact:The National Education Officer at

Distance Learning Students

The course may also be studied by persons who are not situated in the above main centres.  They follow the same curriculum, the only difference being that they do not of course attend regular lectures.  The Institute's Distance Learning Administrator looks after these students, and attempts to assist and advise them wherever and whenever she can.  Her contact details appear immediately below.  Such students MUST have access to email and scanning facilities as we correspond with all such students by this means.

Such students are required to write their tests and examination at a local IPSA lecture centre where they are within 50 kilometres travel of such a centre.  This does not of course apply where they are overseas or situated in rural areas (subject to prior approval by the Institute's National Education Officer), or in Africa north of the Republic of South Africa

Students from other African countries (who do not have the opportunity to study our diploma locally) , or students from overseas (i.e. outside Africa), also study the diploma course with us, by this method.  However, they MUST have -

1.   regular access to email as we correspond with all our distance learning students by this means, and

2.  access to scanning facilities as answer papers for the test and exams need to be submitted to us by scanning these and then emailing them to us (the postal service simply takes too long to be effective).

Distance Learning does however demand self discipline and the ability to apply oneself constantly to one's studies, so prospective students must understand this and ensure that they are prepared and able, in terms of self discipline, to accept this (quite considerable) challenge.

Other Countries

Our students also study with us from countries overseas (by distance learning) and, as previously stated,  we have arrangements with certain African countries to conduct our course "under licence".  In such cases, exams etc are adjudicated by our central authority.


The fees for the 2017 academic year are as stated in a separate sub menu entitled  "Fees for 2017 (or click HERE).   (NOTE: That these fees MAY NOT apply to the African states mentioned - enquire from our National Education Officer).  

Under the Course Rules, should a student have failed in the previous year, he / she may repeat either the entire year, or the first or second semester, or the student assignment only, at the cost as shown under "Fees for 2017". 

In exceptional circumstances a student may be permitted to repeat either one or both exams only (should s/he have failed one or both) - that is, not having to repeat the entire semester.   Permission to do this must be applied for in writing by the student through his or her region to the National Education Officer.  Approval is generally dependant upon how well the student has done throughout the year in tests and the assignment - if they have done poorly, this approval will not be granted.  Conversely, if they just had "a bad day"on exam day but marks for the rest of the course were good, this may be favourably considered). 

It is clarified that repeating the first or second semester, or the student assignment, or one or two exams, is normally open only to students who studied the diploma course in the previous year.


Awards are presented annually to both the top student nationally, and to top students in certain regions.

Please see the next sub menu item.....


The enrolment form for 2017 may be accessed by clicking HERE This form should be forwarded to the region in which the students resides (see Contact Details on main menu) if he / she intends attending lectures, or to Jill Barclay (see below) if a distance learning student.  

It has not previously been necessary to limit student numbers on the course, but due to a recent surge in enrolments we are reaching the stage where we will perhaps in future need to limit students attending lectures.  Surplus students will however have the option of studying through distance learning.


In the case of any general educational enquiries please contact the Regional Secretary of the region in which you live (click HERE for contact details), or, should you have a general enquiry - our National Education Secretary:

Name :                                             Lara Venter
Telephone:                                        031 782 2817
Mobile:                                             082 776 2201
eMail  :                                   



This diploma course runs from February to October of each year, and is "part time", that is, it is primarily intended for persons who are employed / working.

There are 5 tests, 2 formal examinations, and a student practical assignment (see main menu item Student Gold Pack Awards, or click HERE) which must be completed.

A pass mark for each of the 5 tests is 50%.

A pass mark for the year is -

*  A 50% minimum for each of the two examinations; AND

*  50% minimum for the student practical assignment (see Student Gold Pack Awards main menu item); AND

*  An overall 50% minimum year mark, which is based on a weighted score for the tests, the two examinations, and the assignment.

The programme outline for the diploma course is as follows –

Section 1 Business Aspects of Packaging
Section 2 Packaging Planning
Section 3 Packaging Practices
Section 4 Product Handling and Packaging
Section 5 Packaging Materials
Section 6 Packaging Graphics
Section 7 Food Packaging
Section 8 Special Applications

(to see the detail contained within each of these sections go to the DOWNLOADS section and view the 2017 Lecture Schedule / Syllabus (click HERE) or the 2017 Course Overview (click HERE).


This document sets out the "Rules and Conduct" of the diploma course, and a student enrolling agrees to be bound by these requirements.  To view this document click HERE (220 kb) or go to DOWNLOADS in the main menu.


On completion of the course, the student should be able to -

    • Make economically sound packaging related decisions such as material comparison, and its inter-relationship with handling points throughout the supply chain;
    • Establish the best packaging solution based upon identification and suitability of material for the job in hand;
    • Understand packaging decoration and printing processes;
    • Enter industry as an assistant in production, purchasing, marketing/quality control or in material handling  areas of the business.


This course will help put into perspective those practical skills that practitioners have learned on the job, through their (packaging) employer.   It will also be invaluable to persons who have dealt with only one sort of packaging,  as it will enable them to appreciate and understand how, what they have learned, interacts with other packaging requirements.

It will also help the student to understand not only some of the methods possibly used by his / her employer's competitors, but also to assess alternative forms of packaging to those with which the student is familiar.

It is also well suited to persons new to the packaging field as it will provide them with a well rounded insight into all fields of packaging.

The course is also considered to be essential for sales representatives in the packaging field, who ideally and really need to know what they are talking about, as well as to technical staff and planners.

In this day and age of building one's own degree through different courses, our One Year Diploma has a definite place.

TO VIEW THE DETAILED COURSE OVERVIEW  – click HERE or go to DOWNLOADS in the main menu.  This document explains the content of the course, and sets out other essential information.

Interested persons may contact the National Education Officer – for his contact details see above under the heading General Enquiries.

Please see the sub-menu item under the main menu item EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES (this item).



Please see the next sub menu item for some thoughts expressed by current students, and others, concerning our course, and the prescribed Institute text book upon which it is based (or click HERE).