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National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are externally awarded qualifications, which confirm that individuals have demonstrated competence (to national benchmark standards) in an occupational area.

The only way to achieve an NVQ is to prove that you work to the specified standards. This means that an approved assessor assesses your actual work activity.

NVQs are not tied to any specified training programme – you don’t achieve an NVQ by completing training – only by putting that training into practice.

  • you can achieve your NVQ in as little as ten weeks
  • or, if you’re not in a hurry you can take all the time you need
  • no need for huge portfolio, we operate a paperless system
  • as industry leaders you know you are in safe hands!

It is a myth that people being assessed for NVQs have to prepare a hefty paper-based portfolio. This has been the practice by many providers in the past – because it puts the emphasis on the individual to collect and collate evidence of work performance to show to an assessor.

The only requirement for achieving an NVQ is a record of evidence and a record of assessment by an approved assessor.

We have been involved in NVQ development and implementation since the beginning of the national standards programme in the UK. Shirley Fletcher worked at policy level on this new form of qualifications and, since 1993 when her company was set up has helped many organisations provide NVQs for their staff. Thousands of people have been assessed for NVQs relevant to their work – and not one has had to produce a paper-based portfolio.

To achieve an NVQ, each person is monitored and visited by one of our accredited assessors. The initial contact is a planning session, checking what work individuals undertake and matching this to standards, reviewing training undertaken and planning the assessment.

Further contacts or visits are then conducted where our assessor will observe actual work, question the individual – and their line manager – to obtain evidence of their work performance and confirm whether this meets the specified national standard. This process helps to identify any development needs – these needs may be met by use of resources available in the company, by coaching, or by formal development programmes. Following development, the individual continues assessment.

Each person works on the units most relevant to their role first. Each person works at their own pace and achieves units one at a time. When the full NVQ is achieved a national certificate is issued.

Level 1 I entry to work, Level 2 is equivalent to a ‘craft’ level, Level 3 is a supervisory level (or individual work equivalent), level 4 is middle management equivalent and level 5 is senior management (operational or strategic).

We can offer a wide range of NVQs with approved assessors, we also manage all administration with the national awarding bodies.

Individuals undertaking an NVQ are provided with a set of national standards and full briefing. We also provide an ‘evidence diary’ format – which individuals can use as a notebook, or add as a computer file – to note relevant work activities for review with their assessor.

Assessors communicate and visit on a regular basis, as agreed with the individual and can also assess remotely by phone, email or on-line.. Our verifier also visits to sample quality across our assessors. The awarding body may also visit – as a quality monitoring visit for Fletcher Europe best practice.

The most cost effective and added-value route to providing NVQs for staff is to work with groups of 4 or more individuals for each NVQ. This gives each person support, allows possible use of action learning (to link individual work directly to business objectives) and makes the best use of assessor time.

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Whitbread Cellar service and Shirley Fletcher of Fletcher Consultancy Ltd have worked together to produce a competence based development and assessment scheme for all its staff in both technical and non-technical sections… the support and experience has proved invaluable to both myself and Whitbread during the development, trainign of staff and implementation of our scheme which is now recognised and certified by the City and Guilds of London institute. — John Shaw. Technical Procedures Manager. Whitbread Beer Company – Cellar service