Why Choose to Study for an NVQ?

If you’re wondering how to get your career off to a running start, then an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) can provide the means to make things start happening for you.

Essential Site Skills offers several NVQs, including Construction and Administration and Leadership.

Let’s break this down. The NVQ is a National qualification, which means it has instant recognition from employers across the UK. It’s Vocational, which means it can give you the practical skills that an employer is looking for. Finally, as a Qualification, it’s properly recognised and goes up to five levels.

An NVQ means you have work-based credentials under your belt, and an NVQ can improve your chances at landing the kind of job that will properly kick-start your chosen career.


What is an NVQ?

As a work-based qualification, the NVQ is competence-based. This means that you learn work-related tasks related to a particular industry or sector. This helps you gain the skills and knowledge that employers are looking for, whether it means you’re starting from scratch, or looking to improve skills you already have.

Why choose to study for an NVQ? Because it’s an excellent practical route into work, and the start of how you can improve your long-term career prospects.

There’s no time-limit on completing an NVQ, so you can learn at a pace that’s right, and comfortable for you. And there are no exams. Assessment is based on your ability to carry out the tasks and duties necessary for the NVQ you’re studying.

Image of women on a course to illustrate blog by Essential Site Skills on NVQs

What are the Different NVQ Levels?

NVQs include entry level then up to seven further levels.

Each of these levels involves learning work-based competencies. A competency is your ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

Here’s what’s involved in the primary NVQ levels:

  • Entry – if you have no previous qualifications or knowledge, this is where to start, where you’ll be taught basic knowledge and skills
  • Level 1 – this introduces you to your chosen subject and involves you in routine tasks and applying basic knowledge in practical situations
  • Level 2 – here you carry out more complex work-based duties and gain a good understanding and knowledge of your subject, performing tasks individually and as part of a team
  • Level 3 – now there is a wider range of duties that are more detailed and complex, and you’ll have more to do based on your own decisions, taking more responsibility
  • Level 4 – this is a detailed, specialist level, normally covering a specific work area of interest, suitable if you’re wanting to work in a technical role, or manage others
  • Level 5 – at this final level, you’re expected to develop a greater depth of knowledge, achieving a high level of expertise and being able to respond to complex situations and work demands. At this level you can also train for senior management and training other people.

As we mentioned earlier, there’s no time limit for an NVQ, but normally the first three levels take about a year to complete.

When it comes to assessment, this comes from a combination of evidence, shown in your portfolio of work, and observation. Assessors will see how you work to make sure you’re capable of carrying out and completing the duties and tasks that your role requires. These duties must meet the occupational standards of your chosen area of work.


Who Can Take an NVQ?

The good news is, there are no specific entry requirements, should you want to take an NVQ. To study for an NVQ you can be any age, and you can start at the level that best suits you and your abilities.

However, you may need to complete level 2 before starting level 3.

You will need a work placement, or a job, which will give you the opportunity to develop the skills you will need to complete your NVQ.


What Are the Benefits?

There are several routes to studying for an NVQ, whether you do it at work, or as part of an apprenticeship. You can also study NVQs at college.

NVQs are a flexible route to becoming qualified in the workplace and demonstrate that you’ve reached a national standard. This has the potential to improve your employability, and to increase your options of transferring your skills to work for other employers.

In other words, studying for an NVQ opens the door to your future career.


NVQs and Construction

The immediate benefit of an NVQ, both to individuals and employers in the construction industry, is access to CSCS and CPCS cards.

CSCS is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. A CSCS card provides proof that someone working on a construction site has the right training and qualifications to carry out the work they are assigned to do.

CPCS is the Construction Plant Competence Scheme. It provides skills cards for the plant sector of the construction industry and industries connected to it.

It’s not a legal requirement to hold these cards, but many contractors or their clients will insist on workers having one before they are allowed on site.

An NVQ provides the necessary means for people to prove they have the right level of training to obtain a CSCS card, or upgrade to a Blue Competent Operator CPCS card.

The NVQs we offer are about more than this, however. They are a benchmark qualification that recognises your ability to carry out essential tasks, in a workplace situation.

As such, employers in the construction industry appreciate how NVQs can improve the quality of their employees’ performance and motivation, and the service they provide to their own customers and clients.

They want a workforce that is properly skilled, up-to-date with best practice, and fully productive.

An NVQ can help turn you into the person they are looking for.

Essential Site Services provides CPCS NVQ training courses, including key level 2 plant NVQs. We offer construction NVQs from Level 2 upwards, including senior management (level 7).


Choose Your NVQ

Whether you’re an individual looking to start a career in construction, or an employer looking to train your workforce, we can help. We offer a range of NVQs and we can advise on funding and support.

Email training@essentialsitesskills.com or call us on 0115 8970 529.