Those working within the Care Sector will be aware that their sector has finally been brought into line with the introduction of the new QCF Diploma (NVQ) at Level 2. Most other sectors had introduced QCF Diplomas some months ago but the sheer size and complexity of the care sector caused an inevitable delay.
So what has changed and what has happened to NVQ Level 2 in Health and Social Care? The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) is a new system that replaced the existing National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the new Diploma consists of a number of Units which carry a credit value, once you get above 36 credits you are eligible to apply to go to University for example. Under the old system, if you achieved an NVQ at Level 2 in Care you got a Certificate and a badge but that represented the practical end, now with the introduction of the QCF Diploma a whole new world of academia opens up. So the NVQ Level 2 for care staff has come to an end in so far as there will be no new registrations and with it all its shortcomings.
Although the program may have changed, the name still continues as the new QCF Diplomas retain the letters NVQ in the title and it is predicted that in time they will simply be known as an NVQ once this period of transition has passed. In the new order, the QCF Diploma NVQ at Level 2 in Health and Social Care offers a simply vast array of Units to choose from. Each learner will have to take the mandatory or standard Units but is then faced with the choice of dozens of optional Units that can be tailored to reflect their working environment or their fields of expertise. With the new program the Learner is already treated differently and their pathway is much more akin to that of a student in higher education. Some difficult decisions will have to be made over Unit choices and Learners should seek the help and advice from their qualified Assessor when doing so to make sure that their choices are suitable. But because the QCF Diploma works on credits, it will be possible for Learners to bring in points awarded from other qualifying courses, such is the modular nature of the program.
So what has remained the same? Well, the QCF Diploma NVQ in Care at Level 2 is a benchmarking tool that proves that the Learner has reached a defined level of expertise, understanding and experience in Health and Social Care, so no change here. The employers position is unchanged although the Learner has new avenues to explore as a result of a successful completion. And of course the name NVQ is still retained since this is a direct and exact replacement which is no bad thing, generations of those involved in the Care Sector have taken pride in their achievements and this factor has not been lost.
In summary then, the fundamental elements of the NVQ in Care have been retained but the new pathway has opened up fantastic new areas of choice that can be tailored to reflect the working life and aspirations of each individual Learner. It is to hoped therefore that this does not lead to a two-tier qualification where an NVQ in Health and Social Care gained in 2010 is seen as inferior to a QCF gained in 2011 because the fundamental ability of the Learner is the same, it only the method of testing it that has changed.