All about NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications)




A basic understanding about National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) is very essential for every individual in UK who has plans to be part of competency-based occupations. The qualifications included in the NVQ are formulated by employers based on the standards of competence or the National Occupational Standards. With the use of NVQ, the employees or workers' skills and knowledge is assessed. However, the assessment does not use written tests and exams but they are evaluated through their performance in the workplace. The assessment is usually done by a supervisor or a line manager through the process of observation and other methods.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)

The use of NVQ in commercial and industrial institutions has been initially provided in the year 1986. Several workplaces make use of different qualifications to test their workers' skills and knowledge. Most commonly assessed work areas involve administrative offices and clerical jobs. In order to achieve an NVQ, the individual must show adequate capability in performing the vocational job.

Levels of Competencies

The National Vocational Qualifications are divided in five different levels. Each level focuses on specific work activities which must be observed by an employee or a trainee. The five levels include the following:

Level 1

Passing level one means that the individual has the ability to perform wide range of routine or predictable activities with the application of his knowledge and skills. Level 1 only involves basic activities.

Level 2

With level two, collaboration and partnership with the team is tested to determine the individual's ability to perform wide range of activities in different areas. The individual performs several activities making use of his abilities.

Level 3

In level three, the individual must be able to perform wide range of activities with various contexts which are often not part of the routine and are very complex. This will mostly involve partnership and guidance from other workers but their self-sufficiency and dependability is required.

Level 4

Level four involves dealing with broad range of activities which involve professional and technical methods that are often complex and with varied contexts. The employee's self-sufficiency and dependability is tested and the allocation of resources is involved. Reaching level four is equivalent to certificates of higher education.

Level 5

Included in level five are competencies which require the ability to deal with wide range of activities with unpredictable contexts. Personal autonomy and responsibility is highly substantial and the responsibility on the work of others is also involved. The individual deals with the process of analysis, diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation. Level 5 usually involves senior management and is equivalent to master's or doctorate degrees.

NVQ controversies

Although they are very effective in screening employees and workers, the NVQ has become highly controversial. Many became concerned due to the lack of written exams and the possibility of low-defined qualifications. Despite these concerns, the use of NVQ is still very common especially in minority employers.

Having adequate knowledge about the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) is beneficial among workers and employers. These qualifications can provide a lot of help in determining the worker's skills, abilities and comprehension.