2016 sees NVQ Academy celebrating 20 years of qualifying Staff exclusively in the Children and Care Sectors

1996 – The Spice Girls took the world of music by storm, Take That split up, Dolly the Sheep was cloned and NVQ Academy was established.

10,000 Units, over half a million miles of driving and a quarter of million miles of train journeys later we are proud to say that we still provide Vocational Qualifications exactly as they were meant to be when conceived in the early 1990s.

Our concept is based on the clear choice between the Organisation being fully invested and involved in staff development, mentoring, supervision, training and qualification by utilising a Work-Based Assessor who is available on-site - against passing all the responsibility to a stranger who - we hear - sets a few tasks, provides a few hand-outs and visits every six weeks or so to make a judgement.

From the very early days it was apparent that a “stranger” in a Specialist Environment was at the very least disruptive – and at worst extremely dangerous. The ONLY safe solution is a Work-Based Assessor.

The biggest advantage of work-Based Assessors is that all the evidence is collected from REAL work activities.

There have – of course – been challenges. “Funding” became the norm in the early 2000s leading to a huge growth in “Centres” and so called “free qualifications”. This seemed to result in a culture of epidemic proportions where the Adult Care Industry particularly was targeted by Colleges and others (who previously had no interest or expertise in Care) suddenly offering “free” qualifications and flooding the Industry with visiting “peripatetic” Assessors.

Now that “Funding” is scarce and not freely available –those Centres have mostly disappeared and Care Qualifications have all but disappeared from College Timetables.

There have been many changes in Childcare and Development – particularly in Foster Care Services, Residential Childcare and Special Schools. We have been at the heart of customising and developing our long established Work-Based systems to meet new Legislation, Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

Last but not least – we are probably the best value on the market. To back up our continuing belief of in-house provision - we continue to train and qualify Work-Based Assessors free of charge as a part all our Candidate Packages.

Thank you for your continued support – and we look forward to the Care Sector challenges -  and working with you to qualify your staff over the next 20 years.

Colin and Nicola

More Information

NVQ Academy System

Work-Based Assessors

Case Studies


Regulations regarding compulsory Qualifications for Children’s Homes Staff

Level 3 from £675 + VAT per Candidate* and Level 5 from £925 + VAT per Candidate*

I am sure you are aware there is a deadline in less than 6 months for those who were working (and unqualified) in Children’s Homes

We need to pay particular attention to this ruling in the latest Children’s Homes Regulations – part 32:-

“…………….. (4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(b), an individual who works in the home in a care role has the appropriate qualification if, by the relevant date, the individual has attained— (a) the Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare (England) (“the Level 3 Diploma”); or (b) a qualification which the registered person considers to be equivalent to the Level 3 Diploma.

(5) The relevant date is— (a) in the case of an individual who starts working in a care role in a home after 1st April 2014, the date which falls 2 years after the date on which the individual started working in a care role in a home; or (b) in the case of an individual who was working in a care role in a home on 1st April 2014, 1st April 2016.”

We believe that the only way to reach these deadlines successfully is to use an internal Work-Based Assessor because evidence opportunities exist 24 hours a day rather than being restricted to those times when a visiting assessor can attend.

It is not too late! Providing that you have a staff member who would be willing to take on the role of Assessor (and gain an Assessor Qualification) – and you are willing to give them the time and support to do it – you can qualify your current staff team within the deadlines – and you will be well prepared to qualify any other members of staff you employ in the future.

Talk to us now on 01234 765554 – we will visit you and show you how it is done



New QCF Level 3 and Level 5 for Residential Childcare

Prices - Level 3 from £675 + VAT per Candidate* and Level 5 from £925 + VAT per Candidate*


The following new Qualifications for Residential Childcare are available from 5th January 2015 and will become mandatory for all Residential staff and Registered Managers working in Children's Homes from April 2015:-

Residential Staff - QCF Level 3 Residential Childcare
Registered Managers - QCF Level 5 Leadership and Management in Residential Childcare


These Qualifications replace the QCF Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce - Social Care Pathway and the Registered Managers Pathway of the QCF Level 5 Diploma Leadership in Children and Young People's Services (for Children's Homes staff only)

Staff who have already started the old QCF Diplomas prior to 5th January 2015 can continue with their award as normal and this will be counted as equivalent to the new Residential Childcare Qualifications.

All staff who have not begun the old QCF Diplomas - should be registered for the new QCF Residential Childcare Diplomas.

New Department of Education regulations naming the Level 3 Diploma for Residential Childcare and the Level 5 Leadership and Management in Residential Childcare will come into force in April 2015. These regulations will be named The Children‟s Homes (England) Regulations 2015.

These new regulations will also state that all residential staff must complete the new QCF Level 3 Diploma in Residential Childcare within 2 years of commencing their role. Additionally all Registered Managers must complete the new QCF Level 5 Leadership and Management in Residential Childcare within 3 years of commencing their role.

Those new to the role may not need to complete the new qualifications if they hold what is deemed to be equivalent. The QCF Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce - Social Care Pathway is deemed equivalent to the new QCF Level 3 Diploma Residential Childcare and the QCF Level 5 Diploma Leadership in Children and Young People's Services - Residential Management Pathway is deemed equivalent to the new QCF Level 5 Diploma Leadership and Management for Residential Childcare. For information on any other qualifications which are equivalent - please contact the Department of Education direct.

Social Care staff and Managers in Residential Schools which are not registered as Children's Homes will continue on the Social Care Pathway of the QCF Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce or the pathways within the QCF Level 5 Diploma Leadership in Children and Young People's Services

Foster Carers will also continue on the Social Care Pathway of the QCF Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young People's Workforce

Please Click below to view Unit Lists:

QCF Level 3 Residential Childcare
QCF Level 5 Leadership and Management in Residential Childcare

For more information please contact NVQ Academy on 01234 765554 or

* subject to minimum number of Candidates at site depending on geographical location and availablity of a senior member of staff to act as a Work-Based Assessor (Training and Qualification included in package price)



No Funding - No Problem

The Skills Funding Agency has withdrawn most funding options for Level 3 and above qualfications - increasingly forcing employers to examine the 'real' costs involved in qualifying staff.


Far from seeing this as a threat - it presents an ideal opportuntity to revisit the way Organisations qualify their existing workforce now - and to make plans for the future.


The biggest - and most obvious - problems for Organisations who accessed funding and “free” qualifications was that it was impossible to control the quality, timings, start dates and indeed visiting personnel. In other words they were made to feel grateful for what they got - and outcomes were unpredictable to say the least!


Since its inception in 1996 - NVQ Academy has found that the ONLY way to qualify a Specialist workforce knowledgably, efficiently and cost effectively is to have an in-house Work-Based Assessor (a person who knows and shares the philosophy and pride of the Organisation). Qualification then becomes an integral part of staff development/training. This creates a team that feels informed and valued . New staff buy in to the whole ethos very quickly and can see clear pathways for their own personal development and career. 


For those very reasons NVQ Academy will train and qualify a senior person/s of the Organisation's choice FREE of charge when a minimum package is purchased.


Our FULLY-INCLUSIVE packages start at £675 + VAT per candidate (less than you would be expected to pay as match/ co-funding contribution with other schemes).



Price Increase from 1st April 2014

Please note - our prices per candidate will be increased by £75 from April 2014.

This is due to the steady rise in fuel costs, travel fares and Registration Fees.

Confirmed (invoiced) orders and bookings taken before 31st March will qualify for the current prices.

For invoicing purposes - we are able to charge to your 2012/2013 or 2013/2014 budget as required.

Please ring 01234 765554 for further details.




An all in one time-saving professional package to induct and qualify your specialist workforce. Two qualifications – one portfolio

Children's Workforce Induction Standards

Common Induction Standards CIS (Adults)

Training, Support and Development Induction Standards for Foster Carers (TSD)

  • Consistently satisfy CQC (Care Quality Commission)/Ofsted Inspection criteria regarding assessment and documentation of Induction Standards and show a clear path for continuing staff development

  • An incentive for you to retain staff – and an incentive for them to stay

  • Induction is expensive – qualification is expensive – why do it twice?

  • Using the probationary period as a learning and developmental stage towards Level 3 qualification

  • ONE set of paperwork – ONE assessor – TWO qualifications – absolutely no duplication
  • An induction document which fits right inside the Diploma document – job done
  • On completion of the Induction Standards (and Probationary Period) your staff member is approximately 40% of the way to completing the QCF Diploma Level 3! – How’s that for saving time and money?
  • Easy to use paperwork and system can result in a fully qualified workforce to QCF Level 3 Standards in approximately one year.

Prices start at £300 + VAT per Candidate for Induction Package – and £350 + VAT per Candidate to top-up to the QCF Diploma I Level 3 (using the same NVQ Academy work based assessor)*.

Worth bearing in mind the Level 3 QCF Diploma as a stand alone qualification starts at £600 + VAT per Candidate.

Please ring 01234 765554 for an individual quote for your Establishment.

* subject to minimum number of Candidates at site depending on geographical location and availablity of a senior member of staff to act as a Work-Based Assessor (Training and Qualification included in package price)


Common Induction Standards (CIS) Background

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) state that all staff should receive a comprehensive induction that takes account of recognised standards within the sector and is relevant to their workplace and their role. The relevant induction in this context means the Common Induction Standards (CIS).

The CIS incorporate standards that are specific to adult social care and standards that are generic to the working environment. Service providers are advised that all adult social care practitioners should complete the CIS within 12 weeks of starting their job.

NVQ Academy welcomes the long-overdue initiative of Common Induction Standards and believes it will run hand-in-hand with its own on-going Specialist Provision. Academy Director Colin Raine says “It makes perfect sense that Care Staff should embrace DIGNITY and RESPECT from the word go – growing, nurturing and developing these priceless skills throughout their career. Much of the training and learning from a people centred Induction sits perfectly with the QCF Diploma structure – ensuring a knowledgeable and Qualified Specialist Staff team for future generations”.

The standards

The eight standards map across to the mandatory units of the new Health and Social Care Diploma to ensure there is consistency of approach for the workforce. 

Standard 1 Role of the health and social care worker

Standard 2 Personal development

Standard 3 Communicate effectively

Standard 4 Equality and Inclusion

Standard 5 Principles for implementing duty of care

Standard 6 Principles of safeguarding in health and social care

Standard 7 Person-centred support

Standard 8 Health and safety in an adult social care setting

Each standard contains a number of areas of knowledge that care workers need to know about before they can work unsupervised. Managers have a duty to ensure new staff know enough to meet the required outcomes in each knowledge area. 

Skills for Care have been working closely with the government to develop plans for “high quality training” for every social care worker and Chief Executive Sharon Allen said: “Every worker in adult social care should know what is expected of them.”



QCF (NVQ) Diploma and Apprenticeship Comparison

Following BBC1 Panorama Documentary 02/04/12- Click Here for Full News Item

QCF (NVQ) Diploma
Modern Apprenticeship
Totally In-House
Requires learning days off site
Aimed at experienced workforce
Aimed at unemployed

Uses real life evidence on a day-to-day basis – valuing and recognising an indivdual’s specialist knowledge, skills, ability, development and experience to provide an all-round holistic VOCATIONAL qualification

Compulsory completion of key skills (maths & English), Employer Rights & Responsibilities (ERR), Personal Learning & Thinking Skills (PLTS). Individuals are required to complete these areas (which are not OFSTED or Care Commission requirements) – regardless of previous learning and experience – which could devalue existing staff

Flexible Timetable – can be evidenced any time of day or night using work-based assessors
Strictly timetabled regarding term-times, enrolment and completion dates
Not funded – so does not require unnecessary paperwork or entry criteria (available to all experienced staff at any time)
Strict Funding restrictions apply – i.e. must be individual’s first qualification at that level. Must not be in full-time employment – unless changing job or role
Listed as a requirement in the National Minimum Standards of many Care Sectors e.g. Health Care, Residential Care Homes, Children’s Homes, Special Schools etc.
Modern Apprenticeships themselves are not listed as part of any National Minimum Standards Requirements
Paperwork is designed and customised to suit the needs of the individual, the workplace and the specialism
Paperwork is designed to meet the needs of the funding requirements
Does not require Candidates to be absent from the workplace at any time – and therefore no hidden expenses such as cover, time-owing and travel expenses
Requires attendance at an external site which could result in staff cover (for existing staff), time owing and travel expenses
The Diploma is a professional Qualification designed and produced by the relevant Skills Council to meet the needs of the workforce
The Modern Apprenticeship is a Government Scheme – which may or may not lead to a professional Qualification at the appropriate level
Available immediately – to start immediately or at any time to suit the work environment
Available through agents or “scheme providers” at certain times of the year



New QCF Diploma Level 3 successes – amongst the first in England

NVQ Academy is extremely pleased to announce its first successes for the new Level 3 Diploma Awards.

Three candidates from Apex Care Homes based in Bedfordshire are amongst the very first in the country to complete the new Award.

Samuel Ogbuagu, Anna Chileshe and Daniel Chilese were ably assisted and mentored by their Work-based Assessor and Manager Dorothy Hamaimbo who has received her Qualified Assessor Award.

Quote from Anna “Thank you very much for all the support and encouragement you gave us doing our training. Thanks once again and God bless you”

Quote from Daniel “My thanks go to my work based assessor, Dorothy, who tirelessly worked and mentored my work. I would also like to thank Colin Raine, the Internal Verifier for NVQ Academy for having verified and passed my work. I stand ready to do any further training”.

Quote from Dorothy “I am  very pleased to be associated with the successes of the three candidates from Apex Care Home for the new Level 3 Diploma Award - especially so for being amongst the very first in the country to do so. I am proud that I was one of those involved in their successes assisting and mentoring them during their learning process.

I gained the skills needed for collecting and judging evidence of competence. My own learning process in assessing candidates was not plain sailing so to speak - it was challenging and at times frustrating - but it is one I would gladly do again. The sense of achievement I felt was immense. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

I would like to thank Colin -NVQ Academy for supporting me and also for their dedication to work, I would also like to thank the operations and training manager, Mr Ranjit Yogendra for Apex Care Homes Ltd for his guidance during the course of my work. I wish to extend my thanks to other members of staff for their enthusiasm and dedication who were always eager to help.

Ranjit Yogendra (Operations and Training Manager for Apex Care Homes) himself a Work-Based Assessor with NVQ Academy said “I am very proud of my candidates who have achieved this new award through their hard work and would like to thank NVQ Academy for the support the candidates and the Assessor received and I myself had a good relationship with the Internal Verifier throughout the course”.

Colin Raine (Internal Verifier for NVQ Academy said “I am delighted for Samuel, Anna, Daniel and Dorothy who have each gained a new and valuable National Award. They can be justifiably proud to be among the first in England to achieve the new Diploma”.




01/04/11 New QCF Level 5 Diploma Leadership for Health & Social Care and Children & Young People's Services ready for registration now!!

The Diploma is replacing the following NVQs

  • Health & Social Care Level 4 (Adults)
  • Health & Social Care Level 4 (Children & Young People)
  • Leadership and Management in Care Services Level 4

with: Level 5 Diploma Leadership for Health & Social Care and Children & Young People's Services - Residential Management, Management and Advance Practice Pathways



01/01/11 New QCF Level 3 Diploma Health & Social Care (Adults) ready for registration now!!

The Diploma is replacing the following NVQs

  • Health & Social Care Level 3 (Adults)

with: Level 3 Diploma Health & Social Care (Adults)- Learning Disability, Dementia and General Pathways



Funding Update

You will have noticed that Train to Gain and various other adult learner funding have disappeared – and you are not getting people knocking on your door offering all sorts of qualifications for nothing.

The Train to Gain scheme was reviewed early 2010 revealing that the management of the programme compromised value for money - source

You may have also noticed that you may have been persuaded to “under qualify” your team – in other words offer them Level 2 instead of a Level 3 Qualification – this was not because your staff were not capable of completing a Level 3 – it was purely and simply the fact that funding was only available at Level 2.

It really is no wonder that the new coalition government has stopped this type of funding with immediate effect.

The BIS has just released their Skills for Sustainable Growth Strategy document which quotes " Co-funding at Level 2 for workplace learning outside of Apprenticeships will only apply to SMEs and applies at a level of 50%. Learning at Level 3 and above for workplace learning outside of Apprenticeships and entitlements will not receive Government funding" Extract from (Page 10)

The good news is that you will now have a GENUINE and APPROPRIATE choice in the way forward for your Care Workforce and/or Classroom Support Staff .

NVQ Academy offers value for money combined with 15 years of Specialist Care Service Qualification Provision.

Due to our low overhead costs we are able to offer you training/qualification of a Work Based Assessor (a member of your Senior Care Staff/Teaching or Senior Assistant team) FREE of charge as part of our package.  You will only pay £550 + vat per Candidate *at either QCF Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma for Adult Services or Children & Young People's Workforce (including the various pathways). We price both Levels the same  so that you chose the right and APPROPRIATE one. You will find this amount equates to the same or less than the 50% compulsory employer contribution (for level 2) as quoted above.

Our systems are designed and customised to suit your workforce – not to respond to “funding” requirements – and they fit around you and your Organisation to ensure there are no forms or unnecessary paperwork – just quality Qualifications at the APPROPRIATE Level.

We are ready right now to qualify your team and demonstrate to your inspectors your commitment to staff development and quality provision.



01/09/10 New QCF Level 3 Diploma for the Children & Young People’s Workforce ready for registration now!!

The Diploma is replacing the following NVQs with:

It has been developed to meet the requirements of the QCF (Qualification and Credit Framework) introduced across Europe to bring about equality, conformity and acceptability to Qualifications. More details of the QCF in general.

The qualification is COMPETENCE based – backed up as before by knowledge specifications in line with the relevant National Occupational Standards developed by Sector Skills Councils and Standard Setting Bodies.

The learner will be awarded credits for each Unit achieved which NVQ Academy/Awarding Bodies will enter onto their PLR (Personal Learning Record).



Whilst it would appear that there is still some funding available for 19 – 25 year olds – funding for Level 3 Qualifications is now almost non-existent.

Some would-be candidates have been disappointed that the fact that they had already had funding for Level 2 ruled them out for the more relevant Level 3 Qualification.

Employer contributions towards the little funding that remains is in the region of 47.5% of the grant and therefore would mean that employers would be paying anywhere from £600 upwards per candidate.

NVQ Academy has changed its pricing structure to recognise this - making it cheaper to avoid funding altogether – please refer to our pricing page here.

Some Organisations may still be eligible for TSI funding. This could mean that candidates are funded up to £75 per completed Unit. Please contact us for more details. Please note you cannot claim more than you have paid in (8 units at £75 would be £600) - and you can only claim one type of funding per candidate.



QCF (Qualifications and Credit Framework)

Qualification and Credit Frameworks have been (or are being) developed across Europe to bring about equality, conformity and acceptability to Qualifications.

All qualifications are being integrated into the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) for each country.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) will take their rightful place amongst all other qualifications in England And Wales.

NVQs continue to be offered until the end of December 2010.

The Qualifications may be re-branded – and may be known as a “Diploma” or a “Certificate” – but importantly they will remain VOCATIONAL Qualifications.

The qualifications will be COMPETENCE based – backed up as before by knowledge specifications in line with the relevant National Occupational Standards developed by Sector Skills Councils and Standard Setting Bodies.

They may (or may not) continue to carry the acronym NVQ – but the philosophy of WORK-BASED competence will remain.

Worthy of note is that the changes are only being made in England and Wales. Significantly Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) have already been integrated onto the SQF (Scottish Qualification and Credit Framework) – and will continue under the same name for the foreseeable future – and in exactly the same successful format demonstrated by NVQs and SVQs over the last ten years.

NVQ Academy will be offering its customers the choice to:- register for the current NVQs from now until the end of December 2010, register for the new Diplomas and Certificates as soon as they are available – or indeed to access SVQs through their accreditation with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).


SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) Accreditation

NVQ Academy is accredited to offer Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in England.

SVQs have been integrated directly onto the Scottish Qualification and Credit Framework (SQF) – and the systems will remain virtually unchanged for the foreseeable future.  

The Credit Frameworks have been developed to ensure equality, conformity and acceptability to Qualifications throughout Europe.

Scotland’s approach is particularly welcome to those who believe in the value of VOCATIONAL Qualifications. Retention of the acronym (SVQ) will undoubtedly avoid confusion that could have been caused by the introduction of Diplomas and Certificates (interpreted as academic, vocational or both).

We are delighted to be able to offer the following SVQs as a European accepted qualification to those who prefer the description of VOCATIONAL QUALIFICATION.

  • SVQ Health & Social Care Level 2
  • SVQ Health & Social Care Level 3 Adults/Children & Young people
  • SVQ Health & Social Care Level 4 Adults/Children & Young people
  • SVQ Leadership & Management In Care Services Level 4
  • SVQ A1 and V1 Assessor & Verifier Awards


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