If you need Carpentry and Joinery NVQ courses at Level 2 or Level 3, there are a number of routes you can take, depending on your experience. You can count on SuperSkills to give you Free, Impartial advice at all times. Don’t forget, you are welcome to call us on 01845 527 445 to find out more at any time!
A most important point to start with – NVQ’s (the letters stand for National Vocational Qualification) involve your work being assessed in the workplace. You cannot get your NVQ by just attending a training programme and you cannot just start getting assessed in a workplace until you have built up some experience. See why knowing that is important.
Having a National Vocational Qualification means the person has met the National Occupational Standards for whichever job is involved. These standards are set by Sector Skills Councils, bodies set up by Government. This oversees the workforce skills across the country. You may have heard politicians talking about “Building the skills of the workforce” – what they mean is that employers are being encouraged to get their people qualified. The Sector Skills Council for the Construction Sector is the Construction Industry Training Board – which everyone knows as “CITB”
All qualifications are regulated by OFQAL – The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. Sometimes incorrectly referred to as the “Exam Watchdog”, OFQAL is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England. Organisations that issue qualifications are known as “Awarding Organisations” and they have to show OFQAL their approach to assessment or examination for a particular subject is robust and effective.
SuperSkills Carpentry NVQ Assessments – and all our training and assessment programmes – are accredited by CSkills Awards– the leading Awarding Organisation in construction.
By taking an Apprenticeship, where an employer releases you for training, you get the Diploma (and qualifications in Literacy and Numeracy if you don’t have them). Then you are visited in your workplace as the course progresses by your Assessor. You must be an employee to be an apprentice and you must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage for your age group. This presents a challenge for people in construction, where most workers are self-employed sub contractors, even when they work for the same lead contractor.
By the time the Apprenticeship concludes, you have all the theory and the practical skills and you have been assessed as being able to put them into practice at work. Following changes to the way in which the Government funds Apprenticeship Training a few years ago, SuperSkills does not offer Carpentry Apprenticeships. However, you can see details of how to get an apprenticeship on the Government’s website here.
By On Site Assessment and Training. This route is open to people who have three or more years of general site experience. This route involves our Assessor visiting you in the workplace and seeing what level you are working at.
He will judge your work and skills against the National Occupational Standards. This will establish the “gap” between your skills and those required for the Carpentry NVQ Level 2. He then agrees an Individual Learning Plan with you. He will continue to visit you, give you on-the-job training and undertake assessments of your work.
At the same time, you will be building a file of evidence with photographs and any references you get from other trades. Once the evidence is there to show you are operating at the standard of a Skilled Worker, the assessments finish. Then you will be awarded your Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Site Carpentry from CSkills Awards – the leading awarding body in construction.
By Experienced Worker Practical Assessment. To access this route, you must have at least FIVE Years general site experience. There are tens of thousands of excellent carpenters and joiners who have been working capably for decades, but never got their qualifications. Yet they need to have their Carpentry NVQ Level 2 to get a “Skilled Worker” CSCS Card.
The Construction Industry Training Board recognised this and created a Fast Track process for them to get their Carpentry NVQ Level 2. This gets the evidence of assessment in the workplace in a different way. People you have worked with or for – who must themselves be in the trade – certify your level of skill on site and this is backed up by undertaking a Professional Discussion and Practical Assessment at the SuperSkills Training Centre.
Don’t be fooled, this is NOT an “Easy Option” and we turn down applicants nearly every day, because they don’t have broad enough experience to undertake it successfully. However, if you have got at least five years in the trade and you have been doing a full range of work, then this is quicker and certainly cheaper. It’s important to know this is not a “Test” – because of your experience, we can collect the evidence using a “Fast Track” process. And it’s not ‘Pass or Fail’ – if we get to the end of the process and we haven’t got all the evidence we need to show your skills match those for Level 2 Carpenters, we just arrange with you to get the missing pieces of evidence.
You can download the full details of the CSkills Awards Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Wood Occupations – Site Carpentry here.
The Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Site Carpentry is a much bigger qualification than the Level 2. If you equate the qualification with GCSE’s the Level 2 is the “O” Level and Level 3 is at “A” Level. It can be acquired through taking a third year of Apprenticeship. However, the majority of our clients are very experienced trades and achieve the qualification by On Site Assessment and Training. There is no “Practical Assessment” route for Carpentry NVQ Level 3.
Download the details of the CSkills Awards Level 3 NVQ Diploma – Site Carpentry here.
Level 3 qualifications take longer than Level 2 – so they are more expensive. It may sound a little strange, but our staff will always check with you just why you want to be assessed for Level 3. It’s not because we don’t want to do the work, far from it. It’s because we find that quite often the client only needs to have Level 2 for the CSCS Card they require. At SuperSkills, we simply do not believe in selling you something you don’t need.
You don’t need your Level 2 to be able to get assessed for Level 3. Yes – another myth busted. You can be what is called a “Level 3 Jumper” – a candidate who has all the skills and capabilities and who is working at Level 3 standard.
Carpentry NVQ’s aren’t all that SuperSkills has to offer – you can see the rest of our NVQ Assessment programmes here.