Always Learning

 NVQ/SVQ and competence-based qualifications 

NVQs - National Vocational Qualifications - are qualifications delivered in the workplace or settings that replicate the working environment.  SVQs - Scottish Vocational Qualifications - are the Scottish equivalent of NVQs.


NVQs and SVQs – what are they?

NVQs and SVQs are work-related, competency-based qualifications that reflect the skills and knowledge needed to do a specific job. Delivered in the workplace (or a setting that replicates the workplace), they are usually studied part-time and can be taken as a standalone qualification, or as part of an apprenticeship.

NVQs and SVQs are available at different levels, from Levels 1 to 7 on the Qualifications and Credit Framework and Levels 1 to 11 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.


Why take an NVQ/SVQ?

NVQs and SVQs are based on National Occupational Standards, which are set by Sector Skills Councils or Standards Setting Bodies in consultation with stakeholders in the sector. This means that our NVQs and SVQs courses are designed to meet the requirements of your area of work and the changing needs of your employer.

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance which describe what competent people in an area of work should be able to do. This may include:

  • the knowledge and understanding that underpin competent performance
  • current best practice
  • the ability to adapt to future requirements.

What subjects can you study?

NVQs/SVQs are sector-specific qualifications. There are over 1100 programmes available across 25 industry sectors ranging from gambling operations (betting) to policing. You can see the full list courses available by visiting the Pearson Work Based Learning website.


How will I be assessed?

You assessment is based on the practical activity you undertake in the workplace and a portfolio of evidence to show that you meet occupational standards. A qualified assessor will observe you whilst you’re at work and question you to test your knowledge and understanding.


What can I do once I've completed my NVQ or SVQ?

NVQs and SVQs are designed to enhance your promotion prospects by allowing you to learn and demonstrate new skills.

Once you’ve completed your course, you may decide you want to continue with further training like an NVQ at the next level or another related professional qualification.

If you've studied an NVQ at level 3, you could also achieve a full Apprenticeship by completing the remaining qualifications in the framework including the BTEC Specialist Qualification for the sector.

What subjects can I study?

You can see the NVQ/SVQ courses we offer in each sector and what each course covers by reading the specification.

Browse and download specifications.