Having worked on the qualification of over 500 management candidates, I am of the opinion that the majority of construction managers are not of an academic background, but are currently being asked to complete, via the NVQ process, an academic exercise to gain a professional qualification. This is problematic for most!
The Past Solution
Up until now, the solution has been the hard working NVQ assessor assisting the candidate as much as he or she has been able. It is the assessor’s role and responsibility to provide the guidance and support necessary to enable the candidate to provide the necessary evidence to meet the National Occupational Standards (NOS). They have achieved this, by often repeating the same guidance many times to many of their candidates. The progress of candidates has been slow and many candidates have just simply given up! Why, because an assessor has many candidates and the time they are able to give to each candidate is limited!
Our Online Assessor and Audio Podcast solution
At RivaSure, to resolve the issue, we have specifically created in this case a series of Podcasts based on the NVQ learning aims and standards for the General Route for the ‘Construction Contracting Operations Management’ Level 6. This resource enables candidates, in their own time, to provide an informed written response to each of the standards that requires a written response and enables each candidate to more easily complete their candidate statements or knowledge questionnaires.
The typical standards that require a written response usually commence with the words: Describe, Explain and How. Each of our Podcasts unpacks the standard statement or request, gives insight and guidance so that all candidates are then able to locate themselves and their working history specifically to what is being requested in a systematic fast track system. We do not give specific answers but the guidance given is designed to trigger a correct candidate response adequate to the level of the qualification.
What has been the main problem experienced by NVQ candidates?
The feedback I have received many times is that, “I could have answered the question if I could have understood the question! I would then have been able to relate the question to my own work experience”.
The problem, I believe, has arisen because those persons, who write the NVQ Standards, in accordance to the National Occupational Standards (NOS), are not the professionals who are actually employed on site. This has created a difficulties, because of the language used, in that many candidates find if difficult to actually understanding what is being asked of them.
An NVQ is a National Vocational Qualification. The NVQ is a work based qualification which recognises the skills and knowledge a person needs to do a job. The candidate needs to demonstrate and prove their competency in their chosen role or career path. It is the process by which a practicing professional with a minimum of three years experience is awarded recognition and a qualification for the job they are doing, without having to go to college or take time off work!
The majority of Supervisors and managers NVQ’s will be carried out online and consists of completing a knowledge questionnaire which is broken down into units. eg. approx. 18 units for a Level 6. Trade NVQ’s require more assessment time by the NVQ assessor on site.
When a candidate has completed a unit questionnaire they are asked to submit evidence to substantiate their answers. For instance on the H&S unit, to support their answers a candidate could submit a H&S audit of their site, copies of an induction and tool box talk and copies of their H&S Quals. and Certs. This information will then be assessed by their assessor and following the assessor’s guidance, they will then be asked to continue with the next unit.
Having understood the NVQ process and the pitfalls, we are here to assist Construction NVQ candidates to complete in a timely fashion. We identify each candidate’s knowledge and performance to the qualification standards, with each candidate, and enable them to record these evidences in their NVQ portfolio. We not only provide the NVQ’s but we stand with the candidate on their NVQ journey.
The unit titles, as you will see below, depict accurately the role and responsibilities which are recognised in the industry by practicing management professionals.
To give you an idea here are the units from the Level 6 ‘Contracting Operations’ NVQ. You will only need to complete 8 or 9 of them.
NVQ 6 Unit 1: Maintain Health, Safety and Welfare Systems in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 2: Plan, Allocate and Monitor Work in Own Area of Responsibility
NVQ 6 Unit 3: Chair Meeting and Take Decisions in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 4: Develop and Maintain Working Relationships and Personal Development in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 5: Plan Measured Surveys in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 6: Establish the Condition of Property in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 7: Identify, Assess and Evaluate Project Requirements in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 8: Develop and Agree Detailed Project Designs in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 9: Specify and Control Production Documents in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 10: Prepare Procurement Schedules and Programmes of Works in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 11: Implement Strategic and Integrated Supply Chain Management and Sourcing Partnerships in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 12: Obtain Tenders and Appoint Successful Contractors in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 13: Evaluate Enquiries and Submit Tenders in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 14: Evaluate Work Methods and Programme in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 15: Analyse, Monitor and Optimise Materials, Plant and Services in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 16: Control Contract Work in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 17: Optimise and Control Contract Progress and Costs in Construction Contracting Operations Management
NVQ 6 Unit 18: Prepare and Agree Contract Accounts and Entitlement in Construction Contracting Operations Management
Will I have to do all of the Units?
Absolutely not; the first four are mandatory Units on the General Route and you will need to choose between 4 or 5 other Units.
Who is the NVQ for?
From my experience, this NVQ is suited to Contracts Managers, Senior Estimators, QS, Buyers, and Planners. ie. Professionals who have responsibilities for others in their field of occupation.
As a practicing NVQ assessor since 2007, the content within the Podcast guidance series is exactly the type of simple guidance I have provided for my NVQ candidates over the years. Our online guidance system is being offered free, as an integrated part of out NVQ delivery service, for our registered candidates and also as a stand-alone for all. External candidates can conveniently purchase individual units, starting with the ‘Starter’ overview and unit summaries, with or without our one-to-one interactive feed back service . This is a new addition to our services but there is nothing new about what we do. Please see below.
At your initial interview we establish your eligibility for the NVQ and therefore, provided you complete your candidate statements and supply relevant evidences etc, you will eventually be successful. We will guide you through each step of the process.
Each candidate is given a personal NVQ assessor. The assessor’s job is to give the guidance and support necessary for the candidate to evidence his working history at the correct level / standard. It’s not rocket science and if there are parts of the process which are unclear, it is the assessor’s responsibility to bring clarity and understanding.
The standards of each NVQ are met by a variety of means such as completing a Knowledge Questionnaire, sometimes called the candidate’s statement, assessor’s report and or professional discussion, copies of certificates, qualifications and site documentation. The standards of the NVQ’s are set in accordance with the National Occupation Standard and offered by awarding bodies such as the CITB or EDEXCEL and are delivered via NVQ assessment or training centres. These qualifications are recognised throughout the world!
The NVQ OSAT (On Site Assessment and Training) process is a profiling exercise which is carried out in a systematic fashion, led by the assessor. Management NVQ’s are primarily evidenced by submitting site records and completing a knowledge questionnaire online.
There are two aspects of a candidates working life which are assessed, that which they do and that which they know. These are known as the knowledge and performance criteria.
The assessor is there to assist, assess and to ensure that eligible candidates gain their qualifications as efficiently as possible.
All NVQ’s are delivered in sections called Units. There are primary compulsory units and a choice of secondary optional units, some of which have to be completed to ensure that the qualification standards are met in full. Candidates are able to select some optional units which best reflect their working history and knowledge.
Each unit in of itself is broken down into mini sections with a learning aim specific to each mini section. A learning aim can be explained as that which a learner should know or confidently be able to exercise and evidence as part of the NVQ process.
A Level 7 will take a minimum of two to six months with a maximum of one year
A Level 6 NVQ will take a minimum of 6 weeks to three months with a maximum of one year.
A Level 4 NVQ will take a minimum of 4 weeks to three months with a maximum of one year.
A Level 3 NVQ will take a minimum of two to eight weeks with a maximum of one year.
All dependent upon ability, time and commitment.
Yes there is a payment plan – 50% of the cost once accepted onto the course with the second 50% due when the course has been completed.
The actual cost of an NVQ – Please complete our contact form so that we can discuss current prices.
There are various levels of NVQ which include:
Other NVQ level 6 related services
NVQ 6 Additional Guidance and Support programmes
MCIOB Application Mentoring Assistance programmes
Online Management and Supervisory H&S GAP Training courses
If you complete our contact inquiry page and forward a copy of your CV. We will then be able to confirm you have selected the correct NVQ.
NVQ, The Next Step
If you are interested and you would like to be put in touch with an assessor, the next step for you is to complete our ‘Assessor’ Contacts Form, right/below.
If you are not yet ready to fill out the contacts form in full, please just leave you name, telephone number and details of how we may assist you. You will receive an automated email within 10 minutes to confirm we have received your message. Please check your email inbox (and spam).
Fast Track Enquiry
To speed up the process, or when requested by us, please would you attach the following documents.
- a copy of your latest CV (download Sample CV Doc here)
- our one page RFI, Request For Information form (download Blank RFI Doc here)