Students taking vocational courses are worried about how the changes to the national examination framework will affect them. Thousands of people studying practical subjects such as electrical courses and plumbing courses are nervous about their academic future once the new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is introduced, according to the Guardian.
The QCF is in the process of replacing the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and has been implemented in order to provide a more flexible route to a full qualification, however, a lack of communication is causing concern among students and teachers.
Many are worried that the qualification they are studying for will no longer exist in the near future although current qualifications are being reviewed and redeveloped for the QCF.
Summit Skills chief executive Keith Marshall told the newspaper that he is aware that a lack of information about the changeover has resulted in confusion among those affected.
He told the Guardian: “We’re developing a completely new suite of qualifications based on up-to-date employment standards. That’s not straightforward. But I recognise communications could have been better, and people are edgy.”
“My understanding is that there’s no pressure on people on existing programmes to transfer. But if you want to progress from an NVQ 2 to an NVQ 3, yes, there is a question mark.”
The UK Vocational Qualification Programme Reform Board is aiming to have the QCF fully implemented by December 1st 2010 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Vocational subjects on the QCF such as plumbing courses and electrical courses are comprised of mandatory and optional units which allow learners to progress step-by-step until they achieve a full qualification.
The QCF has been introduced to allow students the opportunity to develop at their own pace through the accumulation of credits.
Each credit is worth ten hours of ‘learning time’, which has been calculated on how long it would take an average learner to complete a unit.
Completed units will be stored on record meaning students can ‘bank’ their skills and track their development as the course progress, which removes the possibility of repeatedly learning the same aspects of a course.
City & Guilds, which provides NVQ qualifications through plumbing courses, claims to already have 500 qualifications accredited on the QCF.
The implementation of the QCF will not result in the end of competency based qualifications as the term ‘NVQ’ can be used in the title of QCF qualifications to help identify the assessment as competency based.Learning, Progressive, Training