National Vocational Qualifications

NVQs are national vocational qualifications; they are work-related qualifications that reflect the skills, knowledge, understanding and competence related to defined occupations. Vocational qualifications originated from the belief that if you can assess an individual and award him/her a recognised national qualification related to their work, this will help to improve their ethos and attitude towards safety and working practices on site. NVQs are derived from National Occupational Standards (NOS). NOS are statements of skill, knowledge and understanding aligned to job roles that clearly define the outcome of competent performance for that given trade, occupation or profession.

The NVQ structure in tunnelling operations is designed to provide a means of recognising the competence, skills and experience of a variety of occupations in the tunnelling industry. The benefits to employees completing an NVQ include:

  • Achievement of a nationally recognised qualification
  • Allow competency in a job role to be demonstrated and recognised
  • Can encompass underpinning knowledge and skills alongside competency; combining job knowledge with what can be done in practical situations
  • Allow a relatively flexible way of learning which can be tailored to suit the individual
  • Recognised by industry and employers as a competence based qualification

The benefits of NVQS to employers include:

  • They provide a useful tool to re-skill staff to relevant national standards
  • They demonstrate a commitment to employee development
  • They boost the confidence of employees with few or no formal qualifications
  • They can help employees understand the business better, often resulting in greater productivity and competitiveness
  • The employer can help choose the pace, place and way in which employees learn/achieve
  • NVQs are mainly assessed in the workplace and therefore employees do not require time off-site for learning/training
  • They help businesses demonstrate workforce competence to potential clients