Traditionally the primary and secondary schools are teaching according to nationally recognized curricula and conduct exams and award G.C.E. (O/L) and G.C.E. (A/L) certificates. Further, the bachelor degrees in Arts and Science, those awarded under the preview of UGC (University Grant Commission) that have equality and recognition irrespective of universities. Nevertheless certificates and Diplomas those offered by the Public and Private vocational training institutions do not carry such status. As such, youths are in puzzle of selecting a quality programme to prosper their future as a carrier path. Similarly, at the recruitment, the employers are also in difficult stage to consider which certificate to accept and complying with Industry requirements.
Therefore Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission has taken steps to introduce a National Vocational Qualification System (NVQ) consisted with 7 Levels in collaboration with all Government Technical Education and Vocational Training Institutes and Skills Development Project presently as TEDP under the guidance of Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training. Many developed and developing countries have introduced vocational skill certification systems similar to that fifth NVQ system.
At present such system is in real practice in those countries. As such international awareness on skills relating to NVQ certificate levels are prevailing in the manner as it is applicable for knowledge and skills. With regard to GCE (O/L) and GCE. (A/L). Therefore, National Vocational Qualification System could be considered as nationally and internationally recognized vocational certification system, which is a unified one.
Implementation of the NVQ system
- NVQ System is implemented under a direct monitoring of Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC)
- Once the Occupation identifies to develop National Skill Standard by the TVEC, they inform NAITA Thereafter a group of industrial experts is nominated to prepare the draft National Skill Standard and seek public opinion for same.
- The National Industrial Training Advisory committee, which is under the NAITA, will validate the respective National Skill Standard and the TVEC will endorse same as National Skill Standard for particular occupation.
- Assessment for awarding of NVQ certificates will be conducted by a licensed assessor who trained by NITESL and registered by NAITA.
- If the candidate is successful at the assessment and found competent, will issue respective NVQ certificate with the signatories of the Director General – TVEC and the Head of training institution.
- For those who interested, the National Skill Standards will be available for reference at all carrier guidance centers and Learning Resource Utilization Centers those are under the Ministry of Vocational and Technical Training. The competencies required for respective NVQ levels are mentioned in the National Skin Standards.
The routes of obtaining NVQ certificates
There are two routes to obtain NVQ certificatesThere are two routes to obtain NVQ certificates
If the candidate could prove his/her ability with adequate evidence of his/her competencies pertaining to qualifications stipulated in the Skills Standards, then the candidate is eligible to receive NVQ certificate through RPL. This is known as Recognition of Prior Learning.
The other route of getting NVQ certificate is, by following a Competency Based Training (CBT) course relevant to the qualification which is accredited by the TVEC. The public Institution those conducting Competency Base Training courses are National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority, Vocational Training Authority, National Youth Service Council or at a Technical College of Department of Technical Education and Training. There are private and NGO sector institutions where their courses conducted are accredited to issue NVQ certificates.
Advantages of NVQ System
Advantages to NVQ certificate holders
- NVQ Certificate is not a training certificate. It is a certificate that certifies your skills. It is a nationally recognized certificate that confirms, you possess skills up to the respective NVQ level in that occupation.
- Career path to obtain qualifications in higher levels of this framework and gaining relevant skills on the basis of experience and competencies.
- NVQ System is a skill evaluation system & has a high tendency for a foreign employment.
- Since the Skill Standards are prepared with the contribution of professionally competent personnel in the industry, such skills are consisted with functions to be carried out in the Industry. Therefore, it is easier to seek jobs for NVQ certificate holders.
- If NVQ certificate recipients are enthusiastic to gain higher qualifications; the system encourages upgrading their career development.
Advantages to employers
- As skills required for Industries are identified and consisted with skills those certified by NVQ system, it is the best fit to employ NVQ holders in their institutions.
- NVQ Qualification could be used for the recruitment of technical hands for institutions, and also eligible for promotions and higher salaries etc.
The NVQ framework provides for persons to acquire certificates through undergoing a formal institutional training as well recognizing competencies acquired through informal non- institutional means as shown in figure below.
Training institutions that have been registered and whose courses have been accredited by the TVEC provide formal institutional training in Sri Lanka. Whereas the informal training is acquired by persons by following means:Training institutions that have been registered and whose courses have been accredited by the TVEC provide formal institutional training in Sri Lanka.
Whereas the informal training is acquired by persons by following means
- Workplace experiences
- Life experiences
- Self-directed study
- Informal un-certificated learning
- Formal un-certificated learning
- Informal undocumented study
- In-service training
- Distance education or open learning
- Community based learning
- Overseas education, training or experiences
Competencies acquired by means of formal institutional training as well as informal training need to be assessed in relation to the requirements of National Skills Standards to qualify for award under the NVQ framework. The NVQ framework comprised of 7 levels of upward mobility.
To identify and develop NVQ levels in a particular standard.
A group comprised with the experts in the respective trade, supervisors and senior managers are got together to develop National Skills Standards. A skill standard is a document which defines competency units pertaining to a certain skills, its elements, and its standards, comprise with range of activities required for knowledge competencies and attitudes. A group comprised with the experts in the respective trade, supervisors and senior managers are got together to develop National Skills Standards. A skill standard is a document which defines competency units pertaining to a certain skills, its elements, and its standards, comprise with range of activities required for knowledge competencies and attitudes.
And the competency units are identified based on the industry requirements of a particular occupation.
- Action will be taken to obtain the services of a licensed assessor by the training center to conduct evaluation of trainees those who follow Competency Based Training courses. The said officer will examine the progress reports and other relevant documents of trainees and take action to conduct practical and theoretical examinations.
- Applications for obtaining NVQ cel1ificates without following a CBT course should be submitted to the National. Apprenticeship and Industrial Training Authority or any other public Vocational Training Center that is nominated to issue NVQ certificates through RPL system. The candidate should undergo an assessment by licensed assessors.
- If you produce adequate and other supportive evidences regarding skills, the assessor will recommend for issuing of NVQ certificates.
- When the evidences produced are inadequate, then the assessor will visit to get your skills evaluated at your workplace or office. Action will be taken to hold practical tests at a training center when the required facilities cannot be demonstrated at a workplace.
- If you fail to demonstrate the skills, the assessor will advise you on your shortcomings to correct and get the NVQ certificates.