Four of our most experienced assessors share advice on completing an NVQ
Too many experienced construction workers approach their NVQ with trepidation. But there’s really no need to fret. To help allay your fears, we asked four of our assessors to share their best advice on completing an onsite NVQ in the construction industry.
1 – Start the underpinning job knowledge questions as soon as you receive them and allow yourself one month to complete all units. Don’t be afraid to ask your assessor for help if you’re uncertain of any of the questions (especially the wording of the questions, which throws nearly everyone!)
2 – Stay in regular contact with your assessor throughout the qualification. They are there to guide you through the NVQ.
3 – Obtain photographic evidence* whilst at work – this will support your portfolio. You can start grabbing shots before you begin the NVQ, but your assessor will also provide you with a list of photos required once you are enrolled.
*Keep reading for basic guidelines on taking photographic evidence.
1 – Enjoy and take pride in your NVQ. An NVQ is a showcase for your skills and experience, which culminates in a recognised qualification for life.
2 – Ask for help and support from your assessor without feeling embarrassed. Have regular conversations with your assessor and remember: there is no such thing as a daft question! Most assessors will go the extra mile to support their candidates during the NVQ assessment process.
3 – Your assessor was an NVQ candidate once and understands how you feel.
4 – Have fun!
1 – Listen to your assessor; they are there to help you through the process.
2 – Always contact your assessor if you need support or guidance.
3 – Remember: you are not necessarily learning anything new during your NVQ (especially if you have years of experience). The goal of the NVQ is to build a portfolio of evidence showing the skills you’ve amassed during your career.
1 – To speed up the process, make sure you talk to your assessor about the types of supporting evidence you’re expected to submit. We can use evidence from previous qualifications and training, such as existing CSCS cards and previous NVQs.
2 – Take photographs and videos of the work you are doing. Your assessor may not be able to witness you doing all aspects of your job when he completes his site visit, and any visual evidence of your competence will speed things up.
3 – Speak to your assessor regularly. Assessors are not there simply to tick boxes. Your assessor can provide guidance on completing the question packs or liaise with your company about setting aside time to work on your qualification. Where helpful, we can also draw on years of experience in the trade to show you new techniques or work methods and ensure you are working safely.
A few extra words from Ian on gathering photographic and video evidence
Photos or videos that feature the candidate can be used in the same way as a site observation (where the assessor visits the candidate onsite to observe him working). Photos and videos can show you completing different aspects of the work. But we can also use images of work you have completed by asking your supervisor to verify the photos.
So there you have it
Talk, talk, talk to your assessor. Let them support and guide you towards your NVQ and CSCS card. And in James’ words, have fun in the process.