Quality assurance for NVQs in higher education

Date01 March 1996
Published date01 March 1996
AuthorDavid Billing
Subject MatterEducation
NCVQ requirements
The Chief Executive of NCVQ has clear]y
stated that NCVQ is essentially a quality
assurance body for systems of assessment,
rather than for programmes of study. In
respect of quality assurance, the NCVQ has
an interest in:
processes which lead to the development of
standards in terms of precise learning
outcomes; this work being given to lead
processes used to assess NVQs; this
responsibility being invested in awarding
This article concerns only the second aspect,
for which the NVQ Criteria and Guidance
(NCVQ, 1995a) lays down the following
criteria for awarding bodies in respect of
quality assurance:
NCVQ has an overriding responsibility for
ensuring that awarding bodies have adequate
arrangements and resources for quality assur-
ance and that systems approved at the time of
accreditation operate effectively and maintain
the required performance throughout the
period of accreditation. It will therefore require
awarding bodies to:
1 ensure the availability of sufficient compe-
tent assessors and verifiers;
2 monitor or verify that assessment is operated
in accordance with their requirements, and
consistently maintained at all assessment
3 select, train, certificate and review the
performance of verifiers;
4 approve centres within which assessment
will take place and ensure they are capable of
meeting all the requirements of the NVQ;
5 institute monitoring arrangements providing
evidence of the effectiveness of their quality
assurance systems and be prepared to com-
mission outside agencies to undertake
evaluation where appropriate;
6 have arrangements and adequate resources
for administering, implementing, supporting
and co-ordinating the above arrangements;
7 permit NCVQ staff and representatives to
attend meetings and/or training sessions for
verifiers and assessors, and require centres to
allow NCVQ or its agents to monitor the
assessment and verification process;
8 provide access to NCVQ staff or representa-
tives to the awarding body’s quality assur-
ance information.
NCVQ has published a consultation docu-
ment, the Awarding Bodies Common Accord
(NCVQ, 1993). This makes the following
proposals for criteria for the approval of cen-
tres to offer NVQ assessment, and against
Quality Assurance in Education
Volume 4 · Number 1 · 1996 · pp. 5–11
© MCB University Press · ISSN 0968-4883
Quality assurance for
NVQs in higher
David Billing
The author
David Billing is Pro-Rector at the University of
Westminster, London, UK.
Summarizes the quality assurance requirements, criteria
and processes of the National Council for Vocational
Qualifications (NCVQ), with those for two NVQ awarding
bodies active in management education in UK higher
education. Describes the effects of these on the quality
assurance systems of one large accreditation centre and
sets out some implications for the future.

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