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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)
where to look for information and requires supervision
Level 2: Knowledge (K)
when to refer to guidance
Level 3: Skill (S)
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)
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:
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