National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)


The emergence of the post-industrial society and the establishment of the preponderance of the service sector instituted the significance of skilled labor bred in specific competencies required in different professions. The lessons imparted as a part of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) gets regarded as an extremely helpful avenue for augmenting one’s knowledge and fulfillment of one’s career aspirations. NVQ gets regarded as a useful mentor in dispensing functional expertise for sharpening the employability of a person through different NVQ levels and the endowment of the NVQ qualification at the end of the term. The NVQs are essentially awards ceded in return of acquisition of certain technical skills pertaining to specific professions, in Northern Ireland, Wales and England. NVQ encompasses various NVQ levels, and each level encapsulates diverse on-the-job activities and tasks which aim at testing the competencies of the individuals for the effective performance of their job through testing in different NVQ subjects. The process of learning is carried out at different places, be it workplace or college or school. The trajectory of NVQ courses begin with the employment of one’s knowledge to fundamental tasks and may advance to the level of incorporation of basic principles into diverse contexts, with the attainment of the NVQ qualification.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum History

With the introduction of the Education Reform Act in the year 1988, the legislation of the five key stage curriculums was initially applicable for both England and Wales. It was later that Welsh adopted an autonomous approach towards educational services and departed from the prime legislation. In 2014 the present form of the National Curriculum of ks1 till 5 was applied to all primary and secondary schools in the UK with a few modifications made in 2015. Under the present curriculum, the Key Stage 5 identifies with students between the age group of 16 and 18.

The Objective of Study

The objective of NVQ essentially gets gauged from the ultimate projected impact of the NVQ qualification. The arena covered by NVQ encases a broad array of NVQ subjects which corresponds to practically every occupational space in different business sectors. NVQ is regarded as possessing immense advantages for the individuals as well as the employers.

  • Individuals:
    • It provides an adaptable medium assisting in providing one with the requisite NVQ qualification without the necessity of specific examinations.
    • A rational manifestation and nurturance of the competencies, comprehensibility and knowledge of the individuals through a prudent program of study of the NVQ subjects.
    • An authorization certificate at the end of the NVQ courses which sanctions an individual avouching his credibility regarding meeting the national standards for a specific occupational duty.
    • Ease in situations of transfer and acquisition of new jobs due to improved employment skills.
    • Opportunity for procurement of acknowledged NVQ qualification for individuals who do not have a backing of any formal education.
  • Employers:
    • A potent avenue for developing the workforce to a nationally acknowledged standard which generates productivity and effectiveness.
    • The certification through the NVQ qualification acts as an evidence establishing the credentials of a candidate regarding their capability to do their job as the lessons acquired and skills displayed is contingent upon the tasks that they can accomplish rather than the information that they possess.
    • It furnishes commitment and adherence to quality, externally as well as internally to the clients.
    • An assurance for establishing that the employees are well versed in best practice and industry standards.

Students Should Get Instructions About

The program of the NVQ courses gets organized into five levels, and each focuses on nurturance of different kinds of competencies. For instance, the NVQ level 1 focuses on fundamental work activities while the NVQ level 5 stresses upon senior management. The different levels covered are:

  • Entry Level: Appropriate for individuals lacking any backing of prior knowledge or qualification. Lessons imparted pertain to the employment of fundamental knowledge and competencies on a general level.
  • NVQ Level 1: Initiation into the subject area that one opts for studying, involving different kinds of procedural activities.
  • NVQ Level 2: The NVQ curriculum at this level covers the performance of complicated work-related responsibilities and acquiring proficient knowledge of the subject.
  • NVQ Level 3: The spectrum of liabilities and responsibilities gets widened, and their nature becomes more complex. Sovereignty to take decisions and requirement to shoulder responsibilities becomes more significant at this level, though it gets accompanied by significant mentorship and control.
  • NVQ Level 4: Dispenses professional and comprehensive learning, generally encapsulating a specified arena of work. This stage is appropriate for those desirous of visualizing oneself in a management position or performing technical duties.
  • NVQ Level 5: Comprises of exposure to learning about a specific arena of professional activity extensively, permitting one to comprehend and react to perplexing situations, all along acquiring a superior level of competence. Additionally, it covers senior management and coaching of individuals.

NVQ Equivalents

The NVQ is a vocational qualification. It gets presented as equivalents to many other certifications, thus unleashing a wide array of education and career opportunities.

The equivalents for the different NVQ levels gets exemplified below:

  • Equivalent of NVQ Level 1: ¾ GCSE grades D-G
  • Equivalent of NVQ Level 2: 4-5 GCSE grades A*-C
  • Equivalent of NVQ Level 3: 2 A Levels
  • Equivalent of NVQ Level 4: Higher Education Certificate/ BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council)
  • Equivalent of NVQ Level 5: Higher Education Diploma/ Foundation Degree

NVQ Subjects

The NVQ qualification is provided in a wide array of subjects covering almost every sector of the economy. Some of the most prominent subjects covered are:

  • Teaching
  • Social Care
  • Health Care
  • Administration
  • Business and Management
  • Plumbing
  • Childcare
  • Hairdressing
  • Catering
  • IT
  • Property and construction

Target Group

The target population for NVQ is a flexible lot. It is traditionally regarded as a support system for individuals lacking formal education as well as those directed towards the idea of boosting their employability. The different NVQ levels relate to the NVQ curriculum with different vigor and difficulty level. Accordingly, the target individuals differ as per the NVQ levels. Given the fact that it falls under the Key Stage 5 curriculum, the targeted age group is generally 17 and 18.


The NVQ courses get regarded as being prudent programs of study for individuals struggling to make a place for themselves within the job market by providing relevant NVQ qualifications.