National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) show that those who have achieved these awards actually can do the job to the recognised national standard.
Each NVQ and SVQ consists of a number of units taken from the national occupational standards. Someone taking the NVQ or SVQ has to show they can carry out all the activities covered by the units to the standard described.
NVQs and SVQs are not training courses. Staff may need training, development and practice before they can show they are competent.
Candidates for NVQs/SVQs have to demonstrate to their assessors that their work consistently meets the national occupational standards, and that they possess the knowledge, understanding and skills that underpin competent performance in each unit
This can be done using the following methods:
- assessors observing candidates at work (or, in some cases, under realistic simulated conditions).
- candidates supplying examples of records and documents that show they work to the standard.
- line managers and supervisors providing statements about the candidate's work.
- candidates answering questions from their assessors.
- evidence of the candidate's performance, knowledge, understanding and skills needs to be recorded and examined for quality control purposes. This is often presented in a folder known as a portfolio of evidence.
There are five levels of NVQs and SVQs from Level 1 for those carrying out simple, routine activities, to Level 5 for those with substantial professional or managerial responsibility.
For more information about NVQs consult www.qca.org.uk
For more information about SVQs consult www.sqa.org.uk