Competence Based Vocational Qualifications
What is Competence?
Competence is the acquisition of knowledge skills and abilities at a level of expertise sufficient to be able to perform in an appropriate work setting The Quarry Regulations require the operator to demonstrate this competence.
Competence Based Vocational Qualifications/SHE Awards
NVQs/SVQs are competency-based qualifications, meaning that they attest to the ability of an individual to do a job of work to nationally agreed standards. A key concept in this is the idea of competence. This word carries a number of distinct connotations, but the meaning used in NVQs/SVQs indicates that competence is linked to an ability to:
- Perform activities within an occupation or function,
- Work consistently to agreed standards - a person’s performance must meet specific criteria before he/she can be termed competent,
- Transfer skills to a range of situations within, and even external to, the central occupational area.
The Safety Health and Environmental Management in the extractive and mineral processing industries NVQs at levels 3, 4 and 5, are also known throughout the industry as the SHE Awards. These NVQs help you to demonstrate your competence or those of your supervisors, managers and senior managers within the extractives and mineral processing industries or quarrying industry.
There are three levels of the SHE NVQ. As a guide level 3 is supervisor level, level 4 manager and level 5 senior manager, director or area director. However it is the role of the individual and the level of responsibility which would determine the appropriate level rather than a job title.
HSE View on Vocational Qualifications
HSE's operational policy position is that by obtaining S/NVQ's the workforce are able to show that they have reached a common understanding of their duties under the regulations.
The advantage of nationally recognised standards such as the S/NVQ is that in obtaining the qualification, each person has had their knowledge and experience checked systematically in their working environment, with any omissions identified and remedial actions taken. For the individual, their qualification is transferable between sites or employers, as the standard of achievement reached is clear. It can be built upon, as new skills are required for career development.
For further information please refer to the MPQC website: www.mp-qc.org