Tips, Assessment and the Future
A National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) is a work-based award that involves assessing an individual’s performance in the workplace. To obtain an NVQ, students must demonstrate that they can competently carry out work-related activities to the required standard of their job role.
Level 3 Certificate to Level 5 Diploma
The City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety is designed for those who have general health and safety responsibilities in the workplace. This qualification aims to equip candidates with a core understanding of how to identify and manage workplace hazards and promote a positive health and safety culture.
For those who have authoritative responsibilities, the City and Guilds Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety aims to help candidates develop the appropriate skills to devise and implement good practice within a broad range of health and safety matters.
For the assessment, you will be required to submit a portfolio via our eLearning platform to prove you have the knowledge and understanding to carry out the tasks required. The best thing is, this qualification does not involve any examinations, meaning you can learn at your own pace. Our team of skilled tutors and assessors will monitor your progress and offer you support and guidance along the way.
News for existing candidates
We are continuously trying to improve the NVQ process and work very closely with City and Guilds when developing any new guidance or changes to the Learning Assistant.
New guidance on the description of evidence has been added to the Learner Guidance notes in the ‘view resources’ folder of each unit. Please make yourself familiar with this as it applies to both new and existing candidates. (See also common problems and tips section this document)
The video conferencing facility discussed in my last blog has been sourced and we have been testing this for the last couple of months. We should be ready to roll this facility out in the near future once we have completed final testing. We have been working closely with the software provider and they have made the changes we have requested at every stage of testing. Initial conferences will be able to be conducted on computers, laptops, Android tablets and phones with video capabilities. We will have a bespoke application for Apple iPads and iPhones shortly too.
The example of the competence claim matrix discussed in my last NVQ blog is now available in the resources section of the Learning Assistant.
Just to remind everyone, we have completed examples of the Witness Testimony in the view resources folder for unit 501.1 and a Reflective Account example in 508.1.
We have put six members of the very experienced Sheilds Tutor team through the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement last month. This will increase the NVQ’s resilience facture reducing any chance of long term disruption or short term delays to the service we provide our candidates.
For the future
We are again offering ‘open surgeries’ for new and existing candidates in August, on the 9th and 10th there are still a few places available, so please contact us on 01482 806805 to book. These have proved very popular and we will be continuing with them on a quarterly basis.
We are currently carrying out integration and training of the new NVQ assessors to ensure enhanced capabilities and resilience factors for the NVQ courses.
Conference call guidance’s with step by step guidance of how to conduct them and what will be expected of the candidate will be out soon.
Common problems and tips
I would like to take this opportunity to address some common problems we encounter while assessing your NVQ’s.
The description of the evidence is often missing, making it difficult for assessors to determine whether evidence has been produced by the candidate or is being referenced. The following guidance has been added to the Learner Guidance notes in the view resources folder:
“As you know, evidence which you have not produced yourself, such as a company policy or a photograph, can be used to support your competency claim, however we must be told how you use it.
When uploading a document via the Evidence Wizard you are asked to give the evidence a title and the opportunity to write a small description. Some students are not completing a title and description, this is compulsory. Within this description you must make reference to how you use it, for example the PDF document is one that you use within the company or this is a photograph of the notice board where I post notifications or updates for all staff. This is in essence giving it ownership.
This way your assessor can quickly check ownership of each piece of evidence by passing their cursor over the “I” icon which brings up the evidence description.”
We have had candidates work on their NVQ off line and then submit all 10 units at once. We have not as yet had one of these candidates who has got this right. In all cases the units were returned for improvements that could have been addressed in the early stages had the work been submitted. Please when starting your first unit complete and submit one element or unit so your assessor can issue guidance on your submission. This will prevent you going too far down the wrong lines and give you a template of the standards required of all elements and units.
Due to the way the Learning Assistant site works your assessor will not see any work until you submit the element for review.
Candidates often submit evidence of only one type either Examination of Evidence (EofE) or Product (P) into the competence matrix; this will never meet the requirements of the element. The assessor will need to see that you have examined evidence whether this is external guidance or organizational procedures (EofE) and then used this to produce product (P).
The last element in every unit is considered to be the knowledge element, this is the time for you to re-enforce to your assessor your knowledge and experience of the subject.
Remember not to include evidence that is more than two years old as we are not able to accept this, furthermore blank company documents and forms will add little or no value to your competence claim. Completed risk assessments, audits, completed training records or attendance sheets obviously including your name and the date would be good evidence.
Finally – and most problematically – we are experiencing an increased amount of copied and pasted information from the internet in the reflective accounts, your assessor will have to return this.
It cannot be overstated that the reflective account needs to be your own work and not that of generic internet documents. Your success on our NVQs is dependent on your work and evidence, so don’t try to cheat your assessor; you’ll only be cheating yourself in the end.