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National Vocational Qualifications

The National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) are the qualifications

which assess someone’s competence in a work situation and they are based on

national occupational standards (levels). The NVQ

is created mainly with the objective to promote and develop the proposals

for integration of vocational training with the assessment and

certification of the corresponding

professional competencies.

As an example of the national occupational standards (levels), the

Quality and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is the guardian of standards in

education and training in England & Wales (The

Scottish equivalent is SQ) and it is utilizing the following 4

occupational standards:

Level 1 (Foundation) indicates an initial stage below the usual

standard for work. The QCA definition of Level 1 is "competence in the

performance of a range of varied work activities, most of which may be

routine and predictable."

Level 2 (Intermediate) People who work under supervisions or who work

in teams are considered as 'Intermediate' or level 2. The QCA definition is

"The QCA definition of Level 2 is competence in a significant range of

varied work activities, performed in a variety of contexts. Some of the

activities are complex or non-routine, and there is some individual

responsibility or autonomy."

Level 3 (Advanced) People at level 3 are employees who do not have

the responsibility of managers, but do not work under supervision, and have

the freedom to move about at work. The QCA definition is "competence in a

broad range of varied work activities performed in a wide variety of

contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine."

Level 4 (Management) is for people who are responsible for organising

people and production. QCA definition is "Competence in a broad range of

complex, technical or professional work activities performed in a wide

variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal

responsibility and autonomy. Responsibility for the work of others and

allocation of resources is often present".

A second example of the national occupational standards (levels) is the

following 4 Levels used as Scales of Competency Standards (Levels)

and applied in Competency Based Education and Training (CBT):

Level 1: Awareness (A)

  • Knows the basic, has awareness and can work only under supervision.
  • Understand on basic level, identify, list, recognize, ask sensibly, know
where to look for information and requires supervision

Level 2: Knowledge (K)

  • Knows how to do and can work independently without supervision.
  • Describe, participate, contribute, explain, work with guidelines, and know
when to refer to guidance

Level 3: Skill (S)

  • Skilled and able to train and coach others
  • Plan and analyze, take accountability for own work area, deal with range
of activities and tasks, find ways to increase own and others’

contribution, provide guidance and coaching to others, begin to take an

external perspective and demonstrate competence to others

Level 4: Mastery (M)

  • Expert and provide training and coaching to others
  • Adapt, create, innovate, originate, conduct troubleshooting, provide
guidance and coaching to others (as expert), challenges others thinking,

define new standards, take a broad long term perspective, anticipate and

plan ahead

When the areas of occupational performance are associated with different

levels (standards) of competency and these are, at the same time,

articulated in the existing educational system of a country, a National

Qualifications Framework is developed. Countries have recently defined

these frameworks of reference in order to harmonise their employment

policies, training and education. Furthermore, the introduction of these

frameworks facilitates mobility and allows making the concept of continuing

learning real.

The National Qualifications Framework and the established [[National

Vocational Qualification]]s and Occupational Standards will highly

support the development of training programmes and [[Assessment of Learning

Outcomes|assessment]] tools and finally lead to the [[Occupational

Certification]] and Licensing. At such stage of development, every

practitioner of any occupation has to obtain the license to practice his or

her job. Hiring services from award and license bodies is also opted to at

the stage of Occupational Certification and Licensing with a view to:

  • Accredit TVET Centres and Centres of Competence (CoC)
  • Certify Instructors / Trainers, Assessors & Verifiers
  • Certify test exams and assessments

Original content submitted by
Eng. Moustafa Wahba
Competency Assurance & TVET Consultant

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