Qualification born without a name

December 4, 1998

A new layer of vocational qualifications that can be gained in college or university is to be created in the new year.

The awards, which will be a half-way house between work-based national vocational qualifications and broader general NVQs, will form a recognised part of the post-16 years qualifications framework being put together by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

But original plans to call them "related vocational qualifications" (RVQs) have been dropped amid fears that they would cause confusion among students, parents, institutions and employers.

The new qualifications will probably have a variety of names, given to them by the awarding bodies expected to bid for accreditation early next year.

But at least one national training organisation is pressing for them to be formally titled RVQs, in recognition of the need for a truly vocational qualification that does not require assessment in the workplace, mandatory in NVQs.

Skillset, the training organisation for broadcast, film, video and multimedia, said such qualifications had to be available in higher education and further education.

Kate O'Connor, Skillset director of standards and qualifications, said it was hoped RVQs could be built into some vocational degree courses and sit alongside existing NVQ courses.

"The problem is, NVQs are not pre-entry qualifications to the professions. We need something that is vocational but also provides proof to people in the industry that students holding this qualification can do the job," she said.

A QCA spokeswoman said the qualifications would not have a group title because "it was generally felt that to add another qualification name would only add confusion".

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