SJPP on Board As NVQ Assessment Centre
November 7, 2009
THE Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council (TVETC) and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), on Saturday, November 7, 2009, saw the strengthening of the working relationship that exists between the two organisations with the public recognition of the first SJPP students to complete a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ).
Nine (9) graduates of the Agricultural Division’s one-year Landscaping and Amenity Horticulture programme were awarded for completion of the NVQ in Amenity Horticulture Level 1, before officials and guests in attendance at the SJPP’s annual graduation ceremony. One person was awarded unit recognition for completing units of the same NVQ.
The SJPP is the first public education and training institution to be approved as an NVQ Assessment Centre.
The NVQ and its regional equivalent the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) are competence-based certification awarded to persons who have been trained and successfully assessed against occupational standards, and have demonstrated competence in a real, or realistic, work environment.
He added: “The syllabi in these programme areas are going to be mapped to the corresponding occupational standards; this will show which units in the standards are being covered within which specific parts of the programmes during training and assessment.”
Mr. Cadogan noted that training and certification for the instructors in competence-based education and training (CBET), and NVQ Assessment, had already commenced.
He said: “The institution has embarked on assessing and upgrading its facilities as well as providing staff development opportunities for its instructors in NVQ Coordination, Internal Verification, CBET, and the NVQ Level 4 in Assessment.”
Emphasising the benefits of the NVQ programme to students, Mr. Cadogan said: “NVQs/CVQs will enhance the on-the-job learning experience because they are competence-based qualifications that reflect an individual’s competence to perform the various work related tasks; as outlined in the occupational standards which are developed from the requirements of industry.
“Therefore, the students should be better equipped to fit in on-the-job and function more effectively,” he said.
Another benefit the NVQ Coordinator noted was the possibility of students graduating with dual certification: “(They can do so) if they satisfy the requirements necessary to successfully complete both the SJPP programme and the NVQ/CVQ.”
“The benefits of the dual certification will allow students to gain an NVQ/CVQ while pursuing an SJPP programme. The requirements to successfully complete an SJPP programme exceed that required in the standards for the NVQ/CVQ in the occupational area,” Mr. Cadogan explained.
The SJPP’s participation in the NVQ programme has also had a positive impact on the institution’s staff development programme. The staff that have undergone training and certification in CBET and Assessment are already seeing the benefits.
Mr. Cadogan said: “They have employed a wider range of delivery methods to train the students and they have taken a more open approach to the assessment process, whereby various assessment methods are used. The practice of surprising the students with tests and exams has been removed from the assessment process; they now ensure that the students are prepared and aware of what, when and how they will be assessed.”
He also elaborated on the benefits of being an NVQ Centre to the SJPP: “It means that the institution can offer another recognized qualification to the society. The training programmes offered at the institution will be aligned with the occupational standards, which have been developed with the approval of industry. Hence the students should gain the knowledge and skills required to function in industry.”
He added: “The SJPP will also be in a position to provide an opportunity for uncertified skilled workers to acquire certification through the assessment process.”
The NVQ Coordinator noted that efforts were underway to make the NVQ/CVQ offerings available by the beginning of the 2010 academic year. Important aspects of the preparation process still to be completed include the completion of a facilities’ audit, successful completion of the assessor training by instructors and mapping of the NVQ/CVQ standards to the relevant SJPP programmes.
He noted that another important aspect of the process was the “strengthening of the links and relationships with firms/companies in industry to assist and ensure that a real work environment can be available for the assessment process.”
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