CHANGES TO THE NVQ – WHY WAS THE A1 AWARD SUPERSEDED BY THE LEVEL 3 NVQ (QCF) CERTIFICATE IN ASSESSING VOCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT FOR NVQ ASSESSORS?
NVQs were moved from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) into the Qualification and Credits Framework (QCF) during 2011. This was to give all qualifications in England, Wales and N.Ireland a ‘common currency’ which is based on points (QCF Credits) and achievement levels. This applies to vocational qualifications and academic qualifications alike. The change from the old A1 Award to the new Level 3 NVQ (QCF) Assessor Award and Certificate was part of this change.
WHAT DOES THE ‘FRAMEWORK’ IN QCF LOOK LIKE?
Please see the link here to the OfQual explanation of the QCF. Page 6 of the Regulatory Arrangements for the QCF explains, the 8 Levels, and how credits make up Awards, Certificates and Diplomas.
HOW DOES THE QCF AFFECT NVQS?
There were few substantial changes to NVQs following their migration into QCF. The changes that happened were mostly changes to terminology. the notable changes were:
- Units will still be called Units, but each Unit is assigned a Level, a Credit Value, and Guided or Notional Learning Hours.
- Elements (sub sections of Units) became ‘Learning Outcomes’
- Performance Criteria became ‘Assessment Criteria’. Knowledge & Understanding questions come under the heading ‘Assessment Criteria’ and may be grouped in separate Learning Outcomes or Units – but not always
- If qualifications keep ‘NVQ’ in the title, all organisations will still be subject to the NVQ Code of Practice 2006. A good overall description of changes brought about by QCF can be found on the Pearson/Edexcel website .
WHAT IS THE NEW QCF NVQ ASSESSOR QUALIFICATION CALLED, AND WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE?
There is no short-hand name for the new NVQ Assessor qualifications, such as there was with the A1. However, there will be an NVQ QCF Assessor Award, and an NVQ QCF Assessor Certificate – full title is the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (QCF); this is sometimes informally abbreviated to ‘Level 3 CAVA’.
The QCF Assessor and IQA Qualifications are part of a family of qualifications that is sometimes referred to
informally as TAQA (Training, Assessment & Quality Assurance).
The Level 3 QCF Assessor Certificate is the higher level qualification as it allows you to assess in all settings; that is, in a work setting and in a training setting. To become a qualified QCF Assessor, you choose which of the three QCF Assessor Qualifications you want
- The Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment: This qualification is intended for those who assess occupational competence in a Learner’s work environment.
- The Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement:This qualification is intended for those who assess vocational skills, knowledge and understanding in environments other than the work environment (for example a workshop, classroom or other training environment).
- The Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement: This qualification is intended for those who assess occupational competence in a work and training environment.
NOTE: See Units explanation below, and if you can take any more detail, have a look at the OCR Centre Guide for the (new) Assessor Qualifications.
The three Units you choose from to get one of the above qualifications are:
- Unit 1: Understanding the principles and practices of assessment
- Unit 2: Assess occupational competence in the work environment
- Unit 3: Assess vocational skills, knowledge & understanding
If you are definitely only ever likely to assess in the workplace, you could go for Units 1 and 2 which will give you the Award. If you might assess occupational competence in environments other than the workplace, you should go for Units 1,2 and 3 to get the Certificate. ATD recommends taking the Certificate, which will give you maximum flexibility in NVQ Assessor employment.
SO, WILL MY A1 OR D32/33 REMAIN VALID?
Yes, these qualifications will remain valid. Any updates may be published on the Education & Training Foundation website although at this time E&TF are not claiming ownership of any vocational qualifications.
As with all NVQs you should to maintain up-to-date knowledge of your National Occupational Standards (NOS), and to keep a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) file, containing a record of how you have kept up to date.