I was recently on a major construction site, assessing tradesmen when I heard the expression, ‘Not Very Qualified’ as a response to my presence as an NVQ Assessor.

What had been misconstrued was the authentic professional endeavour of my candidate to justify his professional expertise through a non-taught route.  Sure, my candidate could go to college for a couple of years or spend three years on an apprenticeship scheme, but this would have been a waste of time and money as my candidate was already performing at his trade at a very high level of expertise.  So what is an NVQ?  It is simply the National Vocation Qualification awarded by recognising the skills and expertise of an experienced worker (by the National Standards set by the Construction Industry Training Board) and awarding that worker the qualification for their current post through various means of assessment by a trained NVQ assessor.  NVQ’s are not tests.

Who qualifies for an NVQ?

The criteria for those who may gain a qualification through an NVQ assessment route is simply having three years experience at the current level of trade expertise or management position.

Role of the NVQ Assessor

The role of the trained assessor is to assist the candidate in gaining the evidence required and assess that evidence in accordance with the National Standards as set by the awarding body (which the CITB is one: The Construction Industry Training Board).  The assessor has the task of assessing the candidate by a variety of means which ensures that a candidate is never disadvantaged but assisted where ever learning difficulties or other disadvantages may be present.

Role of the NVQ Candidate

The role of the candidate is to provide the evidence as agreed with the assessor and to keep appointments or inform the assessor with 24 hours notice if an appointment cannot be kept.

Duration of NVQ courses

This is totally dependant upon the speed by which the candidate is able to provide their evidence.  A level 2 trade NVQ can take as little as three weeks where as a management level 4 or 5 might take between two months or one year, which is usually dependant upon the enthusiasm and availability of the candidate.

Types of NVQ assessments

There are various types of assessment.  An observation or a professional discussion held by the assessor are two of the most powerful forms of assessment. Other assessments include a question and answer session but all of the above can be verified and substantiated by the candidate with a good CV, references, photographs, site and professional documentation records such as site diary, short course certificates and training records etc.  In  assessment language, the assessor wishes to complete ‘The Circle of Evidence’.    The cirle is complete when there are past  references to substantiate  a candidate’s  CV and when that which is discussed with the candidate is evidenced with a current reference and backed up with current working documentation.  In a nutshell, the assessor witnesses performance, the candidate demonstrates the knowledge through interview and current employer and past employers concurr with the candidates performance claims,  both past and present.  An assessor can complete the circle if needed with added questions. A full list of evidence required will be provided on registration.

NVQ Levels of Qualification:

A level II NVQ brick laying qualification is a qualification that is recognised throughout the world as the bench mark for a professional brick layer.  A level III NVQ is an advanced brick work qualification which recognises the candidate’s ability to build advanced brick work such as arches and bulls eyes etc and has within the qualification several units which reference trade or site supervision.

There is a level III site supervision NVQ which recognises that the candidate is a trade supervisor which is surpassed by the level IV and V site management (now (VI & VII) and project management qualification which provide the candidate the necessary professional accreditations to be considered as members of the Chartered Institute of Building.

RivaSure Services

At RivaSure we understand the significance and difficulties involved with individuals obtaining their CSCS cards and the finances involved in securing an NVQ Assessment Course.  Our services in this area of training include the following:

Seeking and providing funded courses for NVQ candidates which can reduce the cost by between 90 and 100%. By 1) providing a proven CSCS introduction 1 day training course, and 2) by providing on a consultancy basis, assistance to individuals undertaking level III, IV and V Construction Management NVQ’s.

All services can be accessed by registering your CSCS and NVQ Training Requirements on our contacts page. We would also be pleased to answer any of your questions or concerns on that same page.