Tuesday, 9 December 2008

What are NVQs

NVQs (or National Vocational qualifications) are flexible qualifications that ensure you have the skills, knowledge and understanding to do a job well. They signify that you are able (competent) to perform a specified range of work related tasks. Competence is the ability to apply knowledge, understanding and skills in performing to the standards required in employment, carrying out tasks and achieving results.

Developed in partnership with Employers the NVQ is a highly regarded qualification that not only gives you recognition for what you already do but also guarantees the Employer the skills they need in the workplace. NVQs are associated with a particular occupation, but parts of them may have value in more that one section of industry and commerce, for example dealing with customer's covers many aspects of many jobs in many industries.

NVQs are also flexible in that they allow you and your Employer to decide when, where and at what pace your training should be. There are different levels of study and NVQs are available to anyone irrespective of age or present qualifications.

NVQs have been developed in 5 levels of competence. Level 1 is at Foundation Level and Level 5 is at a level suitable for very senior managers as indicated below :

Level 1: Requires competence in a range of activities, most of which are routine and predictable and require supervision.

Level 2: Requires competence in a range of activities, some routine and some non-routine, performed in a variety of contexts. There will be a level of individual responsibility often in a work group or team.

Level 3: Requires competence in a broad range of work performed in a wide variety of contexts, both routine and non-routine. There will be considerable responsibility and autonomy. In most industries supervisors or team leaders will fall into this category.

Level 4: Requires competence in a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities. There will be a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. Frequently this will involve the responsibility for the work of others and allocation of resources. First line managers may fall into this category.

Level 5: Requires the application of fundamental principles and complex technical activities across a range of contexts. There will be significant responsibility for the work of others and the allocation of substantial resources. The jobholder will be accustomed to personal accountability for analysis and diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation. Middle or senior managers may fall into this category.

But how do NVQs stack up and compare against other qualifications that are available?

The National Framework compares the level of achievement of new vocational qualifications with more traditional awards. There are currently many examination bodies awarding qualifications and it can be difficult to see how the various qualifications relate to one another. In order to simplify the system, QCA has established a national framework through which individuals can be assessed against nationally agreed standards.

NVQ assessors support and assess people working towards National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), making sure that they meet the occupational standards needed to achieve the NVQ.

As an NVQ assessor we offer:

planning and delivery of NVQ training programmes and workshops
observe and assess candidates in their workplace
examine candidates' portfolios of evidence
question candidates about how they would deal with non-standard situations
provide feedback and offer advice if the standards are not met
sign off the NVQ when all the requirements have been met
keep records of candidates' progress, according to the requirements of the NVQ awarding bodies
attend meetings with other assessors
work closely with training staff and candidates' line managers.
We also offer Internal verification and can carry out quality checks on the work of NVQ assessors to make sure the assessment process is carried out properly.

What qualifications and experience do employers look for?

We have the following,
experience, knowledge and skill in the occupational sector you work.
an assessment qualification – usually the Level 3 Award in Assessing Candidates Using a Range of Methods (A1).We have the qualifications listed above at D32 and D33, the internal verification qualification D34 and the apel verification qualification D36.
We are also members of Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).

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