The acquisition of an NVQ is relatively quick, as informally and incidentally acquired knowledge can be taken into account.

The process of obtaining an NVQ certificate is generally divided into three steps:

  1. submission of an application for the acquisition of an NVQ to the NVQ verification and validation provider;
  2. advising the NVQ candidate and compiling a portfolio (certificates, supporting documents, reference letters, products, acknowledgements, etc.);
  3. NVQ verification and validation.

An NVQ certificate is intended for adults who have acquired work experience, knowledge, and professional competences in any way and wish to have them evaluated and publicly recognised in accordance with the NVQ catalogue.

The first step for the NVQ candidate is to contact a provider, who enables the acquisition of the desired NVQ and inquires about the possibilities for obtaining it. Providers give advice and assistance throughout the process of obtaining an NVQ. Contact information for providers is listed in the list of NVQ catalogues (separately next to each catalogue).

The candidate who wishes to apply for the procedure must submit an application for the NVQ certificate to the provider.

The task of a candidate entering the process of obtaining an NVQ certificate is to start creating a personal portfolio in which they can store evidence of their work experience and skills.

The provider grants the candidate the assistance of an NVQ consultant, who advises the candidate in the creation of a personal portfolio and assists the candidate throughout the entire process of obtaining the NVQ.

Observe an advisory interview between a consultant and a candidate.

Evidence to be put in a personal portfolio may include various work experience certificates, licences, courses, certificates of formal or informal education programmes, letters of reference, statements, products, articles, authorships, acknowledgements, etc. Certificates on skills acquired by working in a home environment, by volunteering, by pursuing hobbies, by performing holiday or student work, by performing leisure activities, by travelling, by meeting new people, by using different media, etc. can also be used.

A personal portfolio is a central way of evaluating your work experience and knowledge. In the personal portfolio, depending on the content of the selected NVQ catalogue, you collect various evidence of your work experience and skills that can be taken into account in your certification for the selected NVQ.

Candidate exhibits knowledge requirements for desired NVQ
Candidate DOES NOT exhibit all knowledge requirements for the desired NVQ

However, if a candidate for an NVQ does not demonstrate all the knowledge and skills for the desired NVQ, shorter training programmes for the missing knowledge and skills are sometimes available, which allows the candidate to continue the process of obtaining an NVQ certificate despite a lack of work experience. These programmes are optional, do not form part of official NVQ procurement procedures and depend on the offer of individual operators.

Programmes only offer the opportunity to prepare a candidate for the NVQ verification and validation process, and a certificate of completion of such a programme does not mean that the candidate has obtained an NVQ certificate. The decision whether or not a candidate receives a certificate can only be made by the NVQ verification and validation commission.

The NVQ verification and validation commission reviews and evaluates the candidate’s personal portfolio. If, on the basis of the prescribed criteria for the evaluation of the evidence in the portfolio, the commission assesses that the personal portfolio is appropriate, it is validated and the candidate receives an NVQ certificate.

However, if the commission finds that the candidate does not meet the conditions for obtaining the NVQ certificate on the basis of the evidence in the personal portfolio, it refers them for examination. In this case, the provider sends the candidate a notice of the performance of the direct examination and indicates both the deadline of the examination and which knowledge will be examined.

Watch an example of validating a candidate’s personal portfolio.

Example of NVQ certificate “Project manager“. The professional competences are written on the back of the certificate.

If the commission, on the basis of the evidence in the portfolio, cannot recognise all the knowledge necessary for obtaining the NVQ certificate, it may examine the candidate in person during an examination, whereby they are asked certain questions or required to demonstrate their knowledge on a practical case, etc. The candidate is given sufficient time and assistance to prepare for the examination.

Watch an example of a candidate’s knowledge examination.

Example of NVQ certificate “Telemarketer“. The professional competences are written on the back of the certificate.

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