Home: June - July 2006 › Rail Training International - Staff development and assessment-the NVQ approach
Rail Training International - Staff development and assessment-the NVQ approach
31/07/2006 | Channel:
Skills & Training
Every company operating within the rail industry should be assessing and assuring the competence of its workforce.
More and more companies are looking to relate the performance of their staff to National Occupational Standards (NOS), and to award their staff accordingly with appropriate NVQ units or full Awards. Some of the largest organisations in the industry report that they have successfully linked competence assurance programmes with NOSs and NVQs. Generally in smaller companies uptake is slower - mainly due to some of the issues involved in applying the standards to particular rail occupations. What is clear, however, is that the processes involved in delivering NVQ units - building portfolios, assessing and verifying - actually fit the needs of the railway very well. What is necessary is the ability to map NVQ units to roles, reflect the true needs of each role, and assess and verify using familiar documentation.
Recognising this need, RTI has established a partnership approach with Southern Railway\'s NVQ Centre, which has enabled the provision of a growing portfolio of Full Level 3 & 4 NVQ Learning and Development awards, Management awards and specific Assessor A1-A2 and Verifier V1-V2 training and awards.
Assessor & Verifier
Network Rail, with specific competence requirements, now has 125 managers and 25 area managers enrolled and progressing through Southern NVQ Centre on RTI A1 Assessor and specifically designed Verifiers awards. To achieve the necessary Award all candidates are required to attend two-day workshop. This intensive training programme is used to establish good practice, and help the candidate understand the requirements of the Award. Candidates will then be allowed to progress and develop their portfolio, with the continuous support of dedicated helpline that is manned by a team of NVQ-qualified assessors and verifiers with extensive railway experience.
Southern Railways also has numerous members of its own workforce working towards NVQs through its NVQ centre. Working with RTI, Management NVQ units have been applied to a number of engineering roles involving management skills.
Mapping NVQ units to roles
The starting point is to develop an NVQ competence assessment model for each role, mapped against the management National Vocational Qualification framework and standards. The key activities of the roles are developed into a generic role profile so that this can be mapped to the appropriate National Standard units. Role activity checklists are then developed by mapping the key activities of the role to the management standards (e.g. NVQ Level 3). The result of this exercise may indicate that the particular role activities do not cover the performance criteria required for the full award of a management NVQ, but the appropriate units can be identified and used for assessment. A development path can however be identified towards the full award.
In this case, training needs were identified to complete the process. The units that could be mapped to the role checklist from the National Occupational Standard were transferred to role-specific Individual Development Plans. These Development Plans are formatted to enable an assessor to indicate whether the individual being assessed is either \'Competent\' or \'Not yet competent\'. A \'Not yet competent\' rating identifies a development gap that will need to be filled by some form of intervention. A role training specification can then be developed to contain the key skills of each NVQ unit, suggest training options that can be provided to develop the skill and how the training might be delivered if it has been identified as a development need.
RTI has shown that by making the right choice in partners and by working effectively together, it is possible to deliver NVQs or specific unit packages within the rail industry in a cost-effective and manageable format.
Tel: 020 7340 0900