NVQ or QCF Diploma for Data Cable Engineers Explained
I am a structured cable engineer that needs a CSCS Gold Card
We have recently had a number of structured network engineers asking about getting a Data Cable Level 3 NVQ which would make them eligible for a CSCS Gold Card and we have had to clear up a bit of confusion about the qualifications available to them.
It is true that NVQs were the standard method for people to develop and accredit their skills but in 2010 QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework) qualifications were introduced as a replacement for NVQs. The aim of the QCF was to provide a new way to recognise achievement based on the credits that the units and full qualifications offered. Essentially, it was brought in to be new way of providing more flexible routes to gaining full qualifications and enabling progression to be achieved in smaller steps through the accumulation of credits. It means that learners can gain credits for units completed at different levels.
The QCF is intended to:
- Enable people to gain qualifications at their own pace, using flexible routes
- Make it easier for employers to understand the level and content of the wide variety of qualifications that people hold
It does this by awarding credit for ‘small steps of learning’ (qualifications and units). All qualifications are presented as units with varying credit values.
Types of Qualification
Where there used to be straight forward Level 1,2 and 3 NVQs , qualification titles have now changed to demonstrate the size of the qualification. Qualifications are now titles as Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas
- Award = 1-12 credits
- Certificate = 13-36 credits
- Diploma = 37 credits or more
Why do some qualifications still have NVQ in the title?
Some qualifications have been allowed to retain NVQ in the title to demonstrate that they are competence based. This tends to be if there are two types of qualification with the same title but one is a learning course and one is a competence course.
So where does that leave me and getting a Data Cable Level 3 NVQ?
Well it is quite straight forward. Structured network engineers are able to enrol onto the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals (QCF) which is a QCF competence based qualification. Engineers need to build a portfolio of evidence which will then be assessed by one of our assessors. Once all of the criteria have been covered engineers will receive their certificate. Once they have this and have completed the CSCS Health and Safety test they can apply for the CSCS Gold Card (Communications Installer Team Leader).