|1 UK competence-based qualifications;|
|2 Mutual recognition of existing qualifications across Europe (the ‘Euroqualification’ Programme). 1|
For the last two decades, concern has been expressed in the UK about the plethora of UK vocational qualifications. In the UK, progression for individuals within a single industry has often involved repetitious ‘time-serving’ in education classes, repeating lessons already learnt on a previous course. It has also been difficult for people who have not followed a limited number of accepted routes within each industry to progress and gain promotion through that industry.
With the increasing requirement for more skilled and qualified employees, capable of switching occupational sectors at least two or three times in their working lives, the existing ‘system’ of vocational qualifications was seen as inadequate (Manpower Services Commission 1981), and a completely new system has been developed under the guidance and auspices of the Employment Department, the National Council for Vocational Qualifications (NCVQ), and the Scottish equivalent, the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC). This new NVQ and SVQ system is currently being implemented (NCVQ 1995a; SVEC 1994).
The development of NVQs and SVQs has involved most UK industries setting up employer-led Lead Bodies to develop a new form of standards and