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Information about NVQS

Principles of Vocational Learning

Gone are the days when the perception that vocational learning was inferior. There has been a big acknowledgment that vocational qualifications have got a special space in learning and development. As a result, there has been a rise and acknowledgment of apprenticeships, which are all part of vocational learning.

Assessor Perspective

Vocational learning has also been reformed over the years. During their inception, there was this belief that anyone with higher academic qualification can assess or moderate vocational qualification. Someone with an undergraduate in business administration potentially could assess a health and social care qualification. This ludicrous view was fortunately replaced by a better understanding of occupational competency.You now have to prove that you are occupationally competent to assess and moderate qualifications. This can be based on relevant qualifications or experience.

Candidate Perspective

As a candidate undertaking vocational learning you have to embrace their working principles. Eligibility on work-based vocational qualifications relies on your job role and assessment opportunities. Being a holder of academic qualifications (undergraduate degrees, masters, PhD etc.) does not entitle you to enter on any vocational courses. Without the right job role and assessment opportunities, you will never meet all the assessment criteria.

Vocational Learning requires you to take ownership and responsibility for your work and actions. Whenever you are asked to demonstrate practice, you have to use the first person “l”. Please do not use the third person “we” as this does not fully acknowledge your part. For example “we gave millions of pounds on Red Nose Day”. This does not mean the person making the stamen actually donated anything. They could just be relating to the general population that actually donated and gave.

As part of vocational learning, you need to fully ensure your address the assessment criteria and met the learning outcomes. If the criteria say demonstrate using the hand washing technique. There is no way you can meet the criteria without actually performing the task. The criteria is not asking you to write some academic speech on what the hand washing technique is.

You have to also understand a number of concepts such as holistic assessment where one piece of evidence might be recognised to meet several assessment criteria.  Vocational Learning also relies on a range of assessment methods such as witness testimonies, prior learning, professional discussions, and observations. These assessment methods have to pass their own principles such as being authentic, valid, sufficient, current and reliable.