A "NEW and improved" model for the much-criticised National Vocational Qualification is in the pipeline to bolster the flagging qualification.
The revamp is expected next spring in line with the Department for Education and Employment's Action Plan of March 1996, which came in response to the Beaumont report. Beaumont concluded that "there are shortcomings which need addressing".
It is expected that measures to improve fairness will include the introduction of a wider range of assessment methods and more external assessment.
The number of awarding bodies will be cut and there will be more intrusive quality control. A clampdown is expected on awarding bodies which also provide part of the training.
Existing administrative ar-rangements between the awarding bodies and the National Council for Vocational Qualifications will be tougher when the NCVQ gives way to the all encompassing Qualifications and National Curriculum Authority (Quanca) this year. Quanca will have statutory power to accredit awarding bodies.
The redoubled Government commitment to NVQs will come as good news to the Confederation of British Industry, which has been lobbying hard to ensure the future of the vocational qualification is secured and that employers' as well as academic interests are taken into account.