Understanding Management NVQs and VRQs

Management, is an occupation, and as such, management qualifications need to be related to occupational professional standards.These professional standards are referred to NOS- National occupational standards.

 Management qualifications generally would fall into two broad categories:

Management Vocationally Related Qualifications. (VRQ)

Vocationally Related Qualifications (VRQs) are nationally recognised management qualifications which mix the academic study process of learning and reflection with work related or case study related assessment enabling participants to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding and how it can be applied in the workplace.

 The very nature of vocational related qualifications means that both training and assessment is provided.

Assessment is usually through written assignments where you demonstrate you knowledge and how to apply it.

Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas are all typical vocationally related qualifications and are normally available for each level of management qualification.

Management National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ)

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are qualifications designed to assess an individual’s physical ability to actually perform tasks. An NVQ is based upon the live performance of an individual in the workplace.

 Assessment takes place in the workplace and an assessor visits you at your place of employment. they may observe you undertaking taks – running meeting, doing appraisals etc, or look at live work you have done, reports etc.

 It is often the case that only assessment is provided for NVQs, without any training input.

Important considerations are therefore:

  • Whether skills training or knowledge is required or desirable – if so choose a VRQ
  • Whether assessment only is required – if so choose an NVQ
  • Whether your current role and experience would enable you to complete the NVQ assessment requirements, if not a VRQ is the best option.
  • Whether you employer is happy for an assessor to come to your workplace

 Whilst NVQs can be useful in that they prove your actual practical performance, in many professions, employers prefer vocational related qualifications, and this is generally the case within the management profession.

 It is important not to confuse vocationally related professional management qualifications with general business studies type courses which are often suitable for younger full time students.

Management Qualification Information Centre

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