John Sparkes's understanding of NVQs is incomplete. All bodies responsible for designing NVQs must do so according to national criteria. These criteria demand that they embrace the following:
* The appropriate level descriptor; * Job competence: - task performance - task management - contingency management - job/role environment interface; * Core skills: - communication - application of numbers - information technology - personal skills - problem solving; * The underpinning skill, knowledge and understanding necessary for effective performance; * Adaptation to meet new and emerging occupation patterns; * Creativity, ethics and values.
This means that NVQs are designed to address the very issues Sparkes raises - literacy, science, mathematics, innovation, anticipating future practice.
The National Council for Vocational Qualifications is to embark on a major marketing campaign.
Let us hope that its work enlightens Sparkes and his ilk so that they can devote their energy to developing high quality NVQs rather than waste it in ill-informed criticism.
RICHARD LARCOMBE Development director Engineering Occupations Standards Group