Appendix 1: demonstrating competence - general National Occupational Standards National Occupational Standards (NOS) state the standards of performance individuals must achieve when carrying out functions in the workplace and specify the underpinning knowledge and understanding needed. NOS have been developed through the relevant industry Sector Skills Councils or standards-setting organisations. For most NOS relevant to the quarrying industry, this is the Mineral Products Qualifications Council (MPQC). A list of relevant NOS can be found on MPQC’s website (http://www.mp-qc.org). Competency Qualifications; QCF/SCVQ For most people working in the quarrying industry, the current nationally recognised means of demonstrating competence is by obtaining relevant qualification units through, in England and Wales, the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) and, in Scotland, the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These qualifications have replaced National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). NVQs remain fully recognised and will continue to be so, provided they (as with QCFs) are supported by relevant Continuing Professional Development (CPD). QCFs for quarrying functions were launched in England and Wales in 2011. Those people registered under the previous NVQs should have completed them by the end of 2013. In Scotland, SVQs will be replaced by SCVQs over the period to 2015 as each of the relevant NOS is reviewed and the necessary changes made to ensure the SCVQ meets the standards set in the appropriate NOS. Table 1, below, lists QCFs/SCVQs with their equivalent NVQs/SVQs and includes the traditional academic equivalents. However academic qualifications only demonstrate underpinning knowledge, not competence because they do not include any vocational element. The table gives equivalent levels of achievement, but does not show direct equivalence between vocational and traditional type academic qualifications. Table 1: Equivalent qualifications QCF Level SCVQ Level NVQ/SVQ Level Traditional Academic Equivalents QCF Level 8 7 6 5 4 SCVQ Level 12 11 10 9 8 NVQ/SVQ Level 3 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 3 2 1 Entry 3 Entry 2 Entry 1 Traditional Academic Equivalents 2 1 PhD Masters Honours Degree Ordinary Degree HND, Diploma in Higher Education HNC 3 ‘A’ Levels 3 GCSE Grades A-C 3 GCSE Grades D-F Entry Basic Skills 5 4 Other Competency Qualifications For Engineers, the alternative nationally recognised system for the demonstration of competence is via the Engineering Council’s staged membership scheme, which, for the extractive industry is administered through the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOMMM). These qualifications must be achieved in a discipline relevant to the tasks being undertaken. Members can progress through the grades of Engineering Technician, Incorporated Engineer and Chartered Engineer, with an assessment of their competence against the Engineering Council’s standards at each stage Formal professional qualifications are also required for some specialist activities. For example, geotechnical engineers must be either Chartered Engineers or Chartered Geologists, both with 3 years relevant experience (see QR 1999 regulation 2(1)) and be competent to perform a geotechnical analysis to determine the hazards and risks from the excavation or tip. Continuing professional development (CPD) CPD is a key element in demonstrating continuing competence. An appropriate QCF/NVQ/SCVQ/SVQ for particular work (or an equivalent or higher qualification) only demonstrates competence at the time of the assessment. Undertaking and recording CPD is necessary to demonstrate continuing competence. Keeping suitable records, such as those suggested by the Institute of Quarrying and other bodies’ CPD schemes, is a demonstration of commitment to maintaining and developing competence.