Vocational training programmes in universities now have a representative body.
The University Vocational Awards Council, which met for the first time earlier this month, is designed to respond to growing demands for work-based learning and credit accumulation.
UVAC will be chaired by Derek Fraser, vice-chancellor of the University of Teesside, who was elected with seven other board members: Kate Arter, head of continuing education, University of Hertfordshire; Sue Cross, director, continuing education, University College London; Geoffrey Crispin, deputy vice-chancellor, Thames Valley University; Bob Faithon, pro vice-chancellor, University of Derby; Les Hobson, deputy vice-chancellor, University of Glamorgan; Mollie Temple, principal designate, Bolton Institute; and Robin Smith, pro vice-chancellor, Anglia Polytechnic University.
Simon Roodhouse, chief operating officer for UVAC, said: "Increasingly, NVQs are becoming part of the higher education landscape. It was felt by the universities concerned that they needed something to reflect that."
The council has the support of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, the Higher Education Training Organisation and the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
In a letter to Professor Fraser, higher education minister Baroness Blackstone said: "UVAC is a firm sign that in the university sector, NVQs can be useful in adding a vocationally relevant dimension to degree programmes through work experience, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and as a means of encouraging reflective practice."