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Accreditation

The formal recognition of a candidate’s work against prescribed criteria; candidates can be accredited for all or part of a unit, or in all or part of an award.

Action Plans

The tasks an indivdual needs to undertake to reach particular goals; plans usually include target and review dates, and are often agreed with a supervisor; they may cover any time period, one or more goals, and may be recorded on formal documentation or in note form.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

APL is a process by which NVQ candidates can use proof of past achievements and experience in their portfolios of evidence.

Approved Assessment Centre

An organisation approved by an Awarding Body to conduct NVQ assessments. The Royal School of Military Engineering (RSME) is an Approved Assessment Centre.

Assessor

A person qualified to assess candidates. An Assessor must be competent in the occupation being assessed and hold training and development NVQ D Units 32 and 33.

Assessment

The process by which the occupational competence of NVQ and SVQ candidates is confirmed by an Assessor who is occupationally competent and holds learning and development NVQ Unit A1 or the old training and development NVQ Units D32 and D33.

Assessment Instruments

The range of questionnaires, tests, checklists and other materials used to assess specific skills, knowledge, qualities or understanding

Assessment Opportunities

The range of options to candidate and assessor to determine competence or achievement; these may be work-based, or training centre/college-based; they may be formally planned, occur during normal work and be based on a whole range of sources of evidence.

Assessment Plans

An agreed statement between candidate and assessor, normally written, of how the candidate will demonstrate competence; plans may cover whole or part awards or units; assessment plans need to specify as a minimum what will be assessed, the criteria for assessment, how the assessment will be undertaken and by whom, the time-scale involved and any special arrangements that need to be made: assessment plans can be for individuals or for groups.

Authentic

Evidence can be established as being that of the candidate rather than that of another or a group; if group work is used as evidence, the candidate’s contribution should be clearly identifiable.

Awarding Body

An organisation such as Edexcel, City & Guilds, CSkills and CITB approved by QCA and SQA to award qualifications.

Barriers

Anything (physical or mental) which prevents a candidate from taking up opportunities for training or assessment.

Candidate Report

Used in range statements to indicate oral or written reports from the candidate which involve descriptions of activities and processes and some self-assessment, eg. a work diary.

Certification

The process of registration, assessment, recording results, completing documentation, applying for and receiving certificates.

Competence

QCA and SQA define competence as ‘the ability to perform to standards required in employment across a range of circumstances and to meet changing demands’. This includes the requisite knowledge, skill and understanding.

Context

Sometimes called Scope or Context, Range Statements defines the scope of circumstances and contexts to which an individual Standard applies. It may include lists of equipment used, factors such as “uncooperative/cooperative customer”, and what in Army Training Objectives are called “Conditions” (eg “by night and by day”).

Continuous Assessments

Making judgements on a candidate’s performance or ability over a period of time.

CPD

Continuing Personal or Professional Development.

Credit Accumulation

An arrangement which enables candidates to collect individual units or elements of competence over a period of time; these can then be matched and accredited against appropriate awards or qualifications: reassesssment does not have to take place should a credit be used for credit transfer.

Credit Transfer

Using credits (units, qualifications) to count towards another different (but usually related) award.

Currency

Refers to evidence which shows the candidate can competently perform at the time of the assessment; currency often depends on the subject, eg. computing changes quickly, bricklaying techniques less swiftly; evidence less than two years old is usually required.

DET (S)

Directorate Educational and Training Services (Army). Responsible for ‘pan Army’ NVQ schemes (ie those not exclusive to one or 2 capbadges).

Direct Assessment

Assessing a product or process, eg. a cake, a completed stocksheet, a training session.

Differing Sources Of Evidence

Evidence drawn from a number of different sources, including natural performance; see range for D33.

DFES

Department for Education and Skills.

Element ( of Competence )

A description of a single action, behaviour or outcome required to be demonstrated separately; a number of elements make up each unit; for assessment purposes, elements can be accredited separately; all elements must have been accredited before a unit award is given.

ERR

All Apprenticeship programmes require learners to be made aware of their Employment Rights and Responsibilities.

Evidence

That which a candidate offers to an assessor in order to be judged competent (see Competence). Both Performance Evidence and Knowledge Evidence will be required. Evidence may include work products, statements by line managers/colleagues/customers, photographs, video/audio tape, work records, assignments/projects, and statements by the Assessor. Evidence must be; authentic, complete, current, reliable, sufficient and valid.

Experiential Learning

Learning which has happened through and from experience, as opposed to formal programmes of education or training; much adult learning occurs in this way and the learner often needs help to recognise skills, knowledge and understanding gained in non-formal ways.

External Assessment

Assessment by an assessor who is not part of (is external to) the assessment or accreditation centre.

External Verification

The process by which the Internal Verification of the Assessment of NVQ and SVQ candidates is confirmed by an External Verifier from the Awarding Body.

Fairness

Ensuring just and equitable conditions in the assessment process for al candidates, eg. by providing for candidates with special needs and by following that national standards for assessment

Feedback

Receiving a process and giving constructive oral or written comment to the candidate so that they understand the strengths and weaknesses of their performance evidence and understand what to do as a consequence.

Formative Assessment

Assessment made to help determine future actions and development or to confirm progress.

Field Test / Pilot / Trial

Means of testing proposed NVQ/SVQs and the National Standards upon which they are based.

Functional Analysis

The process of breaking down a whole job or task into its component pieces according to the different tasks performed in that job; NVQ competences have been determined through the process of functional analysis.

Functional Map

A paradigm of work functions in an occupational sector used to guide the development of National Standards for that sector’s NVQ/SVQs.

Generic Standards

Standards of competence common across occupational boundaries, eg management, health and safety.

HEFCE

The Higher Education (HE) Funding Council for England allocates Government funding for HE. It has counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Index of Evidence

A reference document agreed with an external verifier which lists fully acceptable, guaranteed NVQ evidence that is held centrally and need only be referred to and cross-referenced in a candidate’s portfolio, replacing the need for the actual evidence thus listed to appear in the portfolio itself. The evidence listed may include material not suitable for reasons of security or confidentiality for inclusion in a document which is outside the Army’s control, central course records (including test scores) and individual course reports, though this is not an exhaustive list.

Indirect Support

Help for the candidate which is organized from another source, eg. by putting them in touch with someone who could train them in certain techniques.

Internal Assessment

Assessment by an assessor who is a member of staff of the assessment or accreditation centre with which the candidate is registered.

Internal Verification

The process by which the Assessment of NVQ and SVQ candidates quality assured by an Internal Verifier.

Internal Verifier

A person approved by the external verifier to co-ordinate the assessment prosesses and practices within a centre, and who liases with the external verifier and the awarding bodies. An internal verifier must be competent in the occupation concerned and hold learning and development NVQ Units V1 or the old training and development NVQ Unit D34.

Knowledge Evidence

A means of showing that a candidate knows and understands both what they are doing and the context in which they are working; knowledge evidence is also a means of showing that the candidate knows what to do in a range of different situations.

Learning and Skills Council ( LSC )

Government agency that:
Promotes and supports learning and upskilling
Allocates Government funding to all training and education for adults except Higher Education
Audits all training and education that it subsidises
The LSC has about 40 regional branches covering England and Wales.

Level of Qualification

NVQ/SVQs have 5 Levels from basic competence (level 1) to strategic management (level 5); the levels are determined by job role and are defined on the basis of the skill, knowledge and understanding required, together with the degree of responsibility and supervision involved in performing the related work roles.

Log Book

A document issued by many awarding bodies to candidates in which detailed tasks and tests are set out together with the required units and elements of competence; both assessor and candidate are required to sign in the book as competence is confirmed.

Moderation

A process whereby the results of assessments from more than one source are compared together and against an agreed, accepted standard; moderation can be internally or externally conducted.

Module

A self-contained unit of learning which can build towards a qualification; a BTEC leisure studies course might include modules in organizing sporting events and obtaining sponsorship for sport.

National Framework of Qualifications

A means of classifying both National Occupational Standards and qualifications (including NVQ/SVQs) to illustrate their Levels and inter-relationship. The NQF in England and Wales recognise 8 levels above entry level. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) recognises 12 levels.

National Occupational Standards

NOS are standards designed by an SSB to define competence within the occupational sector for which it is responsible.

Naturally Occuring Evidence

Evidence which occurs as a normal part of an individual’s work, ie. part of their job or part of a programme of study.

NVQ

A National Vocational Qualification is a qualification fulfilling QCA criteria, eg based on occupational competence, achievable by a variety of methods, etc. An NVQ consists of several Units of Competence. The Scottish equivalent is the SVQ.

Occupational Map

A paradigm of occupations within a sector and their inter-relationships. Details the sector’s structure and strength.

Occupational Standard

A specification of expected performance in employment.

An industry body empowered to specify occupational standards within an industry.SSBs develop and seek QCA/SQA accreditation for National Occupational Standards.

Open Access

Systems of learning, training, education or assessment open to as many people as possible through removing as many barriers to participation as possible.

Open Learning

Methods of acquiring skills, knowledge and understanding which do not involve traditional attendance: at classes or even require contact with a tutor; they often involve the use of interactive learning packages (written or video), supplemented by appropriate tutor support.

OU

Open University

PDR

Personal Development Record issued to soldiers. To be used to plan and record all personal development.

Peer Reports

Oral or written descriptions of activities or pocesses from the candidate’s peer group providing information about the candidate’s performance which can be used for assessment purposes.

Performance Criteria

Statements which indicate the standards of performance required for each element of competence; all performance criteria need to be met before an element can be accredited.

Performance Evidence

Evidence from the candidate’s workplace activities, including things produced (product evidence) and the means by which they have been so (process evidence).

Portfolio

A collated collection of evidence of competence that the candidate presents for assessment. See Assessment and Evidence.

QCA

The Qualifications & Curriculum Authority is the regulatory and accreditation authority for NVQs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is responsible for all academic and vocational qualifications other than degrees. It is also responsible for the National Curriculum. SQA is the Scottish equivalent.

QIA

The Quality Improvement Agency (formerly the Learning & Skills Council Development Agency).

Quality Assurance

Methods by which standards are regularly checked and monitored; systems which ensure that procedures are done in certain ways, eg. BS5750 (also known as as BSEN ISO 9000).

Range Statement

Sometimes called Scope or Context, Range Statements defines the scope of circumstances and contexts to which an individual Standard applies. It may include lists of equipment used, factors such as “uncooperative/cooperative customer”, and what in Army Training Objectives are called “Conditions” (eg “by night and by day”).

Replication

A realsitic exercise set up specifically to assess knowledge, skills or understanding; it should replicate a real work stuation and should be used in circumstances where it would be difficult or costly to assess within the work context leg, fire fighting procedure, dealing with an emergency first aid situation. The internal verifier should be able to advise on the acceptable use of simulation in consultation with the external verifier. Sometimes known as ‘replication’.

Satellite Centre

An organization which conducts its own assessments under the supervision of a larger approved centre; staff follow the same practices and procedures as those of the approved centre.

Scope

Sometimes called Scope or Context, Range Statements defines the scope of circumstances and contexts to which an individual Standard applies. It may include lists of equipment used, factors such as “uncooperative/cooperative customer”, and what in Army Training Objectives are called “Conditions” (eg “by night and by day”).

Sector Skills Council

The 25 SSCs are bodies licensed by the Sector Skills Development Agency to identify, monitor and report on workforce development needs in their respective sectors and to ensure the development and maintenance of appropriate occupational standards and qualifications for them. Some are Standards Setting Bodies in their own right, others work with independent SSBs.

Simulation

A realsitic exercise set up specifically to assess knowledge, skills or understanding; it should replicate a real work stuation and should be used in circumstances where it would be difficult or costly to assess within the work context leg, fire fighting procedure, dealing with an emergency first aid situation. The internal verifier should be able to advise on the acceptable use of simulation in consultaton with the external verifier. Sometimes known as ‘replication’.

Special Assessment Requirements

NVQs emphasise the importance of access to fair an reliable assessment. According to candidates’ circumstances, this may involve special arrangements being made, eg. physical access.

SQA

The Scottish Qualifications Authority is the accreditation authority for SVQs in Scotland. QCA is the equivalent for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

SSDAM

The Sector Skills Development Agency was established by DfES to promote and direct Sector Skills Councils.

Standard

A specification of expected performance in employment.

Standards Setting Body

An industry body empowered to specify occupational standards within an industry. SSBs develop and seek QCA/SQA accreditation for National Occupational Standards.

SVQ

A Scottish Vocational Qualification is a qualification fulfilling SQA criteria, eg based on occupational competence, achievable by a variety of methods, etc. The equivalent elsewhere in the United Kingdom is the NVQ.

Training Needs Analysis

The identification of individual or organisational training needs through a systematic analysis of current skills against future performance requirements.

Transferability

The ability to relate learning or performance in one area or context to another, eg. a candidate who can measure.

Unit ( of Competance )

A Unit is the smallest part of an NVQ/SVQ that can be certificated in its own right. It describes a significant aspect of a job. Some NVQ/SVQ Units consists of 2 or more Elements.

Underpinning (Knowledge & Understanding)

That which ensures that tasks are not performed unthinkingly, but shows that candidates know why things are done in a particluar way, and that they have a general and/or specific knowledge about the task overall.

Unit Credit

Units within NVQs can be accredited separately; a unit is the smallest amount of achievement or competence which can be submitted to an awarding body for accreditation.

Validity

An assessment process has validity if it measures what it is supposed to measure.

Verification

The process of checking that the correct and agreed procedures and systems have been used.

Witness Testimony

A third party statement confirming competence against specific units/elements.

Work Based Evidence

Evidence from the candidate’s workplace activities, including things produced (product evidence) and the means by which they have been so (process evidence).

Work Based Learning

Learning which occurs in the workplace rather than, through attendance on a formal programme of study based in an institution; some programmes of study do, however, include work-based learning as part of the course.