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TVET Council Barbados

Qualification Framework

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National/Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (N/CVQs) are work-related, competence-based certifications which employees (fulltime or part-time) and self-employed persons can gain after their performance of a work role has been successfully assessed against Occupational Standards by trained and certified Assessors.

In this section find out more about certification for a world-class workforce including benefits, levels of qualifications and availability.


N/CVQs cover five levels of competence, with Level 5 being the highest:

Level 5

Chartered, professional and senior management occupations

Level 4

Technical, specialist and middle management occupations

Level 3

Technical, skilled and supervisory occupations

Level 2

Skilled occupations

Level 1

Entry level occupations

Who are these for?

N/CVQs are for those who want certification to prove their occupational competence. N/CVQ candidates can be individuals who are either in full-time employment, part-time employment such as internships or job attachments, are self-employed or hold voluntary positions.


You can enroll for N/CVQs through employer organisations, private training providers and local public training providers which have been approved as N/CVQ Assessment Centres. Existing N/CVQ Assessment Centres include the:

Sandy Lane Hotel (n.b. for employees only)

Nature Care Barbados (n.b. for employees only)

Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP)

Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB)

National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE)

For more information on how to enroll in a NVQ or a CVQ programme, you can contact an approved N/CVQ Assessment Centre directly or you can contact us here.


N/CVQs offer a wide range of benefits for employees, employers as well as the economy.

Employees and other individuals gain:

  • Recognition of their knowledge and skills
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved progress up the career ladder
  • Flexible route to getting qualified
  • Improved employability and transferability

Employers receive:

  • Improved employee performance/skills
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved quality of products and services
  • Improved employee motivation
  • More cost-effective training
  • Better guarantee of job candidate’s capability/capabilities

Our economy benefits through:

  • Labour mobility and transferability of skills within CARICOM
  • Enhanced workforce competitiveness
  • The drive for common standards similar to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)
  • Competence being made explicit and the provision of a clear basis for international comparison
  • Information needs of employers about workforce competence being met

Assessment Process

Individuals are assessed in either their job settings or a simulated workplace by performing related tasks and job roles. For example, to gain the Food and Drink Service Level 1 NVQ, a waiter or waitress’ assessment may include taking customers’ orders and serving food and beverages to them.

Once persons receive satisfactory assessments they are awarded an NVQ/CVQ in that specific work role. The result is that NVQ/CVQs indicate to employers exactly what employees can do, and the employees have the certification to prove it!

Assessment Chain

The N/CVQ ‘chain’ includes several players:


People who want certification for their occupational competence


People in direct contact with candidates who are appointed by an approved centre to assess candidates’ competence

Internal verifiers

Appointed by an approved centre, they check the quality of assessment within that centre

Approved centres

Organisations approved by TVET Council for delivering N/CVQs. They can be educational institutions, training providers, or employers

External verifiers

People appointed by TVET Council to check the internal quality assurance of approved centres. They are a key link between TVET Council and the centres

Awarding body

The TVET Council awards certificates for units and full N/CVQs. It monitors the assessment, and provide external verification to make sure candidates are assessed fairly and consistently

Industry lead bodies

Groups (each representing an occupational area) comprising employers and practitioners, which develop the standards on which N/CVQs are based

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