How do NVQS work?

NVQS are work based qualifications where the learner is required to demonstrate competency in their chosen role or career path. As a learner you will be assessed by a portfolio (which contains evidence of the work you’ve done) and by observation where an assessor watches you work.

Qualifications are available in a range of levels from level 1 (basic) to level 7 (senior management).

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    What is the difference between an award, certificate and diploma?


    Awards are the ‘shortest’ or ‘smallest’ qualifications offered and will have the fewest number of modules to complete. An award will give you brief coverage of specific subject areas.


    Certificate qualifications are the next step up from Awards and will provide the learner with a fundamental understanding of the particular subject matter.


    A diploma course requires more in-depth study compared to a certificate course. Most of the diploma courses are professional and job-based and offer training to prepare the candidate for a similar job or professional role.

    The primary difference between a diploma and a certificate is the scope of the programme and the duration of the course.

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      What are NVQs equivalent to?

      NVQ Level 1 equivalent – 3/4 GCSE grades D-G

      NVQ Level 2 equivalent – 4-5 GCSE grades A*-C

      NVQ Level 3 equivalent – 2 A Levels

      NVQ Level 4 equivalent – Higher Education Certificate/BTEC

      NVQ Level 5 equivalent – Higher Education Diploma/Foundation Degree

      NVQ Level 6 equivalent – Undergraduate Degree/Degree Apprenticeship

      NVQ Level 7 equivalent – Master’s Degree/PGCE

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        Can I fail my NVQ?

        You cannot fail an NVQ. You are either classed as competent or not yet competent, which means you would need to provide additional evidence over a period of time.

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          Is there funding available to me?

          If you’re a CITB registered company, you should be eligible for funding which could help cover the cost of qualifications and training:

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            How long do they take to complete?

            Targets are set to help you achieve your course in a timely manor:

            NVQ level 2- 3-8 weeks

            Level 3 12-16 weeks

            Level 4 16- 20 weeks

            Level 6 16-24 weeks

            Level 7 16-24 weeks

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              When and how do I receive my certificate?

              On completion of your qualification, your portfolio will be assessed and certificate will be applied for. Once we have received this from the awarding body, your certificate will be posted to you via recorded delivery.

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                Can I do my NVQ from home?

                Some elements of your NVQ can be completed from home but you will need to be working to produce product evidence and be observed in order for your competency to be assessed in a work setting.

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                  Individual learner requirements

                  Need help with reading and writing? Our assessors are here to help and can spend extra time with those who need more support. We can also use audio recordings within your portfolio to reduce the amount of paperwork required.

                  Contact us for more information.

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