Why Take an NVQ Construction Course?
Employers in the construction industry are constantly on the lookout for skilled workers. Whether the project is a miniature patio or a massive skyscraper, getting the right talent for the job is essential. An NVQ Construction course or qualification will demonstrate to would-be employers that you’re able to do the job in question to a high standard, and safely, too.
A National Vocational Qualification is a form of work-based qualification that’s greatly favoured in the construction industry. When it comes to rapid and sustainable career progression, they are synonymous with success. Take a look around any given site, and you’ll probably find that the most valuable workers are the ones carrying around qualifications earned on NVQ Construction courses!
NVQs are the most widely-recognised qualifications in the industry. Every day, thousands of site managers rely on them to make hiring decisions. They’re therefore an obvious choice for those looking to get on in the construction industry. Unlike academic qualifications, most construction NVQs don’t require studying for an all-important exam at the end. With that said, many will require that you complete a few written questions as part of the assessment process.
You don’t need to have graduated high school with flying colours to get along in the construction industry. In fact, some of the foremost talents in the country don’t have a single GCSE to their name. The NVQ provides access to recognised qualification, even to those who haven’t completed any other form of formal education.
NVQ Construction courses are completed while on the job, and thus your employer won’t need to work around your absence. Moreover, you’ll be able to continue to earn as you progress.
The Construction NVQ is a great thing in and of itself. But it’ll also grant your access to other means of advertising your competencies. Among the best of these are CSCS cards. The Construction Skill Certification Skills Scheme is the foremost body of its type in the UK. They keep a database of skilled workers in the United Kingdom. CSCS cards are a system of colour-coded identity cards that can be displayed just about anywhere. They let everyone around you know that you’re qualified to do the job you’re doing.
Once you’ve earned an appropriate NVQ in Construction, you’ll be able to apply for the corresponding CSCS card. If you’re in the process of earning your first NVQ, you’ll be able to apply for a red ‘trainee’ CSCS card, provided that you’ve enrolled on the course in question and that you’ve completed a small Health, Safety and Environment Test. These last for five years, which is plenty of time to complete an NVQ from start to finish.
Much like the NVQ itself, CSCS cards are a widely-recognised standard within the construction industry. While holding a CSCS card is not a legal requirement, if you’re going to be working on a construction site, most major builders and contractors consider them a requirement.
How are Construction NVQs Assessed?
Almost every job in the construction industry requires a practical skillset. The only way to build this skillset is by practicing the relevant skills. If you’re a bricklayer, then you’ll need to lay plenty of bricks. If you’re a crane-operator, then you’ll need to operate cranes. Or, to put it another way, you’ll be judged on what you can do, rather than what you know!
For this reason, construction NVQs are designed with the workplace in mind. You’ll be assessed onsite, as you work. At the start of every course you’ll be put in touch with an assessor. The job of this person is to observe you working and assess your capabilities. They’ll ask you and your co-workers questions, they’ll take a look at your work once it’s finished, and they’ll look at your work while it’s in progress.
As well as allowing you to demonstrate your skills in their natural environment, this approach also allows you to continue to work and earn money throughout the NVQ process.
NVQ Assessment Visits
The extent of the on-site assessment will depend on the course. Lower-level courses involve simpler skills, and thus can be assessed relatively quickly. More advanced courses where students are expected to perform complex tasks and make judgements will require more time.
The assessor will typically visit several times toward the end of the course. These aren’t surprise visits! Dates will be arranged to suit both you and your employer. The entire assessment process rarely takes longer than ten weeks. In most cases, it’s much less!
Nowadays, evidence of your NVQ assessment can be submitted electronically. Wherever you are in the world, and whatever time it might be, you’ll be able to submit!
Available NVQ Construction Qualifications
- NVQ Level 7 Construction Senior Management
- NVQ Level 6 Construction Contracting Operations Management
- NVQ Level 6 Construction Site Management – Building & CE
- NVQ Level 4 Construction Site Supervision – Building & CE
- NVQ Level 3 Plastering (Construction) – Solid
- NVQ Level 3 Decorative Finishing & Painting Occupations – Painting & Decorating
- NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Occupational Work Supervision
- NVQ Level 2 Plastering (Construction) – Solid
- NVQ Level 2 Interior Systems – Dry Lining Fixing
- NVQ Level 2 Plant Operations – Cranes and Specialist Lifting
- NVQ Level 2 Plant Operations – Fork-Lift Trucks
- NVQ Level 2 Wood Occupations – Site Carpentry
- NVQ Level 2 Diploma Decorative Finishing and Painting Occupations – Painter
- NVQ Level 2 Formwork (Construction)
- NVQ Level 2 Trowel Occupations
Different sorts of construction NVQ will require different levels of independent study. Many lower-level NVQs will not require anything other than turning up to work and doing the job well. There’s only so much that reading can teach you about practical vocations like trowel application and formwork. On the other hand, if you’re doing higher-level NVQs that involve management and other more theoretical skills, then you’ll need to set aside time at home for study and revision. If this sounds daunting, or you’re concerned about where you’re going to find the time, then don’t worry: we’ll be able to support you in any independent study you might want to engage in.
Can I Skip Ahead?
With more than half-a-dozen levels to progress through, the NVQ qualification offers a fairly smooth upward learning curve. Once you’ve completed one course, you’ll have a solid foundation of knowledge from which to move onto the next.
But this doesn’t mean that moving gradually from one level to the next is mandatory. You’ll naturally be able to progress much more quickly if you do so in leaps and bounds. If you’re capable of going straight to the top of the tree, then there’s no reason not to skip ahead. If you feel this would be appropriate, then be sure to mention it when you come to enrol on your course. We’ll discuss the idea, weighing up the pros and cons. We’ll point you toward the course that best matches your skills and ambitions – wherever on the hierarchy it might be.
Is it Possible to Fail?
It’s technically impossible to fail an NVQ. At the end of the course, you are classed as either ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent’. The latter outcome might seem tantamount to a fail, but there’s a crucial difference: you’ll be able to provide additional evidence over a period of time to eventually boost your points total up to a ‘competent’. Thus you won’t have to start all over again!
In practice, most students will be judged ‘competent’. At the outset of each course, our providers will sit down with you and assess your suitability. That way, they’ll be able to point you toward a course that you’ll be able to complete, and that’ll be as useful to you as possible. Should any weakness in your skillset be noticed, you’ll be made aware of them. In many cases, you’ll be able to bolster your points total by taking additional, optional units.
If you’re unsure of which NVQ Construction course would make the best match for you, or you have more questions why not get in touch? We’ll be able to discuss your requirements, and arrange a sign-up meeting if you wish to proceed. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll benefit from support on just about every aspect of your course – giving you the best possible chance of completing it successfully. Whichever NVQ construction course you decide to embark upon, we wish you the best of luck!