Easing the strain of NVQ assessments

Social care workers are to benefit from a suite of online tools aimed at
modernising the assessment of NVQ training.

In a national pilot scheme, Tribal Technology and FDLearning – both owned by
the Tribal Group – will work with training providers to reduce the time that
learners have to spend on assessment outside the workplace. The aim is to make
it easier to engage employers of all sizes in NVQ training.

The demand for social workers is increasing, but nearly 80 per cent of the
UK’s one million-strong social care workforce have no qualifications, according
to a report by the national Training Organisation for the Personal Social
Services (Topss).

With shift patterns and many personnel working independently, it is
difficult for training providers to offer work-based learning and assessment in
the sector.

The initiative, spearheaded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), comes
in response to the workforce development plan ‘Modernising the Social Care

A key element of the pilot scheme is to automate the production of learner
portfolios and the procedures used for evidence collection and assessment.

"We’re still trialling the technology at the moment," said Phil
Sanders, business development manager of Tribal Technology. "One approach
sees assessors take laptops out into the field to gather data offline and
another links the system to the internet with data being captured online. A mix
of both approaches seems the most flexible.

"Based on feedback, we’ve also tried to emulate paper-based processes
so the system seems familiar and is intuitive," said Sanders.

"NVQ assessment involves a lot of data management," said Sanders.
"One of the things we’ve tried to do is relate a piece of evidence to more
areas of the NVQ assessment programme. You still need an assessor’s experience
and knowledge to determine what evidence is valid, but we’ve tried to build in
prompts that help them relate it."

A spokesperson for the LSC said that the initiative should lead to increased
numbers of learners gaining NVQ levels 2 and 3 in Health and Social Care.

FD Learning has over 20 years’ experience of management information systems.


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