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GNTA ι Glossary



  • Accreditation

    Refers to giving credit or recognition to an educational institution as maintaining standards that qualify graduates to advanced training.
    It assures the educational community, the general public and other agencies that an institution or programme has clearly defined and educationally appropriate objectives;
    maintains conditions under which their achievement reasonably be expected; that it is in fact accomplishing them substantially and can be expected to continue to do so.

    Approved Centre

    An approved centre is an organisation that has been granted permission by the National Training Agency to register and assess candidates for Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs) and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).


    This is the process of judging performance. It will involve generating evidence of performance at work, or through simulation or role play, or from previous activities that have been documented by a competent witness.
    For assessing knowledge and understanding, there will normally be a question and answer session with an assessor, but it may also involve taking a written test, writing a report or doing some research.


    This is someone chosen by an organisation to judge the performance of candidates against the occupational standards. The assessor will be someone who is sufficiently experienced and competent to assess what the candidate does.


  • Candidate

    When an application for a CVQ has been made and the registration has been accepted by the National Training Agency (NTA) , the applicant is then described by the NTA, and by those assessing and verifying his/her work,
    as a candidate for the award for which he or she is enrolled.

    Caribbean Vocational Standard (CVQ)

    This is an award that represents achievement of a set of competencies which define core work practices of an occupational area, consistent with the levels articulated within the regional qualification framework.
    To earn an award, candidates must demonstrate competence in reaching CARICOM-approved occupational standards developed by industry experts.


    This is the process by which an approved centre requests, and the National Training Agency provides, a certificate for each candidate on completion of:
    - the entire set of units required for the award of the CVQ
    - one or more units of an CVQ (for those candidates not enrolled for a full CVQ)


    A group of defined characteristics that indicate an individual's acquisition of a set of skills in a given area and a level at which performance is agreed to be acceptable.

    Competency Standard

    A technical specification or code of practice to measure performance or to determine levels of quality.
    It is an industry-determined specification of performance which sets out the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to operate effectively in employment.

    Competency -Based Education and Training (CBET)

    This is a system of education and training that is designed to ensure that upon leaving the education and training system learners possess the requisite competencies or outcomes (knowledge, skills and attitude)
    that meet the needs and interests of the workplace.

    Competency-Based Assessment

    The assessment of an individual's performance evaluated against specific learning outcomes or agreed performance standard and not against the performance of other persons.


    Adequately qualified, trained, and with sufficient experience to safely perform the occupational area with or without minimal supervision.


    This is the extent to which evidence provided by a candidate covers all of the contexts, criteria and explanations required to demonstrate competence in an element or unit of the occupational standards.

    Core Units

    This is a term that is sometimes used to describe mandatory units i.e. those that must be taken for the award of the CVQ/NVQ, as opposed to optional units (electives) which allow a choice to be made from a selection of units.


    Consistency refers to the constant adherence to the application of standardized assessment practices within the Centre.


    A set of established guidelines, rules, characteristics, or conditions which, when used to evaluate an activity, performance or achievement, will determine its value or quality.


  • Element

    A CVQ/NVQ unit or occupational standard is made up of a number of elements, usually around 2–5, each of which consists of a title and a written set of criteria to be met within stated contexts,
    together with any statements about knowledge or understanding needed to support the criteria.

    Employer Needs Assessment

    An organised and systematic process to acquire an accurate and thorough assessment of the present and anticipated training and employment needs of employers and industry
    in order to improve the value of training and meet existing and future challenges.


    This is the process of entering candidates, registered with the National Training Agency, for CVQs/NVQs and units. Candidates are normally enrolled through an approved centre.


    Evidence is information or material, collected or provided by a candidate for a CVQ unit that can be used to assess his or her skills, knowledge and understanding of the elements of that unit.
    Type of evidence is a category within which material required to demonstrate competence would be placed, such as:
    - outcome of observation of performance
    - witness testimony of previous attainment
    - results of oral or written examination

    The type of evidence recommended as appropriate for inclusion in a candidate’s portfolio for the various units and elements of the regional occupational standards would typically be provided in an assessment guidance document.

    Evidence Specification

    This is a set of statements and/or list of items that defines the parameters of material that will meet the criteria for competence in an element of the occupational standards.

    External Verifier (EV)

    An External Verifier is a person contracted or employed by the National Training Agency to carry out a quality assurance audit of the CVQ provision in an approved Centre
    (including equal opportunities, access, and health and safety) to ensure that Centres approved to offer CVQs are consistently judging candidates equally, fairly and to the regional occupational standards.
    The EV will audit the assessment system, including arrangements for the selection, recruitment and training of assessors, records of evidence and assessments,
    and will sample assessment in action where possible to monitor the working relationships between assessors and candidates. The EV will be an experienced senior practitioner in the field.


    Work carried out in return for payment. Also refers to the number of people in paid employment and self-employment.


  • Facilities Audit

    A quality assurance and control mechanism intended to verify that all predetermined criteria set for the implementation of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) are in place. The areas to be audited include:
    - Quality Assurance and Control
    - Staff Resource
    - Physical Resources and Training
    - Training and Development Opportunities
    - Assessment


    The provision of assessment conditions which will offer an even playing field for all participants and promote confidence in the instruments and its results.

    Formative Assessment

    A type of assessment which, when conducted, provides feedback to the instructor/facilitator for the purpose of improving instruction and to the learner for the purpose of improving performance.

    Full employment

    Situation where all persons seeking employment have been provided with paid positions.


  • Industry Lead Body (ILB)

    This is an organisation responsible for development, maintenance and review of the national standards of competence that should be attained by those working in occupations
    within the sectors of industry or commerce for which the ILB has responsibility. Membership of ILBs is representative of government, employers, employees, professional bodies and education.
    ILBs are sometimes referred to as Standard Setting Bodies (SSBs).

    Internal Verifier (IV)

    An Internal Verifier (IV) is a person with direct responsibility for the quality assurance of the assessment process in an approved centre and in any of its satellite sites in which candidates are assessed.
    The IV will be sufficiently experienced in assessment in the occupational area. Even where a centre has only one Assessor, an IV must be appointed to discharge the above duties.
    A large centre may appoint an IV Coordinator, or lead IV, where more than one IV is involved within that centre.

    Informal employment

    Includes all remunerative work (i.e. both self-employment and wage employment), that is not registered, regulated or protected by existing legal or regulatory frameworks,
    as well as non-remunerative work undertaken in an income-producing enterprise. Informal workers do not have secure employment contracts, worker's benefits, social protection or workers' representation.

    Informal economy

    The informal economy forms part of the market economy in that it produces (legal) goods and services for sale or other form of remuneration.
    It covers informal employment both in informal enterprises (small unregistered or unincorporated enterprises), and outside informal enterprises.
    Informal entrepreneurs and workers share one important characteristic: they are not recognized or protected under existing legal and regulatory frameworks.
    The informal economy excludes the criminal economy and the reproductive or care economy.

    Informal workers

    Informal workers do not have secure employment contracts, worker's benefits, social protection or workers' representation.


  • Knowledge

    This refers to the technical information that is required to perform the tasks, described in the unit of competency.


  • Level

    Each CVQ/NVQ is assigned to one (1) of five (5) levels in the qualifications framework. In summary, the level descriptors are set at the following:
    Level 1 - reflects routine and predictable work activities
    Level 2 - covers a significant range of varied work activities in a variety of contexts, some complex or non-routine, with a measure of individual responsibility and autonomy and possibly involving team working
    Level 3 - targets a broad range of varied work activities in a wide variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine, with considerable responsibility and autonomy, and often involving control or guidance of others
    Level 4 - involves a broad range of technical or professional work activities in a wide variety of contexts, combined with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy,
    with responsibility for the work of others and possibly allocation of resources
    Level 5 - involves the application of skills and a significant range of fundamental principles in a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts with very substantial personal autonomy,
    often with significant responsibility for the work of others and allocation of substantial resources, and carrying personal accountability for analysis and diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation


  • Mandatory

    The core units of a CVQ/NVQ, i.e. those that must be taken for the award of the CVQ/NVQ, are normally described as mandatory. Any other units within the qualifications structure for the CVQ/NVQ from which a choice can be made,
    are described as optional or elective.


  • National Qualifications Framework

    A system that is designed to bring all national qualifications within a clear framework which is better understood and more accessible to employers and the general public.
    The framework has two dimensions: Categories of qualifications identifying the nature of the provision, that is academic or vocational/occupational;
    and levels of attainment -which is a broad measure of competence in terms of knowledge and understanding required for the qualification.

    National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

    This is an occupational/work-based award that is achieved nationally through assessment and training. NVQs are based on national standards of competence drawn up by representatives from each industry sector,
    and against which assessments are done. To achieve an NVQ candidates must prove that they have the ability (competence) to carry out their job to the required standard which describes the competencies expected in any given job role.
    Typically, candidates will work towards an NVQ that reflects their role in a paid or voluntary position. NVQs are available in five levels and are accredited by the National Training Agency.


  • Occupational Standards (OS)

    These are the written descriptions of the industry agreed standards for competent performance in occupational roles. The standards, which include knowledge, skills and understanding of each role,
    are presented as a number of units containing elements, each of which has three (3) parts – criteria, range and explanations. (see also Competency Standards)

    Optional Units

    Optional units are units which may be chosen or omitted for the award of a CVQ/NVQ, provided that the required number of optional units has been achieved within the qualifications structure for a particular CVQ/NVQ.
    They are also known as elective units.

    Oral examination

    An assessment through a face-to-face dialogue between the learner/candidate and assessor which examines levels of knowledge and attitudes as they relate to the achievement of competencies defined in the qualification.


  • Performance Assessment

    A method used to assess how well learner/candidate demonstrates knowledge and skills in order to determine the achievement of competencies as defined by the performance criteria within a qualification.

    Performance Criterion/Performance Criteria

    A performance criterion is a statement of the level to which candidates must perform to demonstrate competence in an element of the regional occupational standards.


    This is the name given to the collection of material that candidates assemble and present as evidence to an Assessor that they have performed to the standards required for competence.
    The aim is to keep only as much material as is required to establish competence.


    Practicability refers to the feasibility of the application of specific assessment instruments in a particular context.

    Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

    This is the assessment of uncertified learning gained through work, community or leisure time activities. Prior learning assessment involves recognizing a student's previous certified and uncertified learning
    in order to facilitate access to a programme of study, receive exemptions from elements of a programme or ascertain their level of competence/qualification based on the national qualifications framework.

    Precarious employment

    Work relation where employment security, which is considered one of the principal elements of the labour contract, is lacking. This term encompasses temporary and fixed term labour contracts, work at home and subcontracting.


  • Qualifications Structure

    This is one of a set of qualifications designs that lays out the number and type of units (mandatory or optional) and lists the units in each category for the award of a particular CVQ/NVQ.

    Quality Assurance

    This is the audit system adopted by the National training Agency for granting CVQs/NVQs to ensure that approved centres meet the criteria for all activities associated with achieving
    and maintaining standards for the delivery of CVQs/NVQs.

    Quality networks

    This is a system for communication and dissemination of best practice in the delivery of CVQs/NVQs. It forms part of the Awarding Body’s quality assurance process, involving participants from approved centres for a particular CVQ/NVQ benefiting from their collective experience and that of the EV, who normally plays a leading part in Quality Network meetings which are held once or twice a year.


  • Range

    This is the formal part of the regional occupational standards that describes the extent and limits within which competence has to be demonstrated e.g. type of equipment, extent of procedures, nature of environment.

    Rating Scales

    Values given to performance or achievement based on assessment activities. Rating scales may be numerical or descriptive /narrative and based on pre-established and agreed criteria for determining where along
    a continuum of proficiency an individual who is assessed will fall.

    Reliability of Assessment

    This is the process of entering a candidate on the National Training Agency's database and allocating a unique candidate number.

    Registration of candidate/trainee

    The degree to which the results of an assessment consistently measure knowledge, attitudes and/or skills attained in a particular assessment are dependable based on repeated assessment.
    Reliability demonstrates consistency of assessment decisions and scores among assessors, over time and across different tasks or items that measure the competencies.
    Reliability may be expressed in terms of the relationship between test items intended to measure the same skill or knowledge (item reliability),
    the variation in administration of the same test to the same student or students (test/retest reliability), or the degree of agreement between two or more assessors (assessor reliability).
    The absence of reliability in an assessment affects its validity.


  • Sample

    A selection of a specified number of entries called sampling unit (participants, items, etc.) from a larger specified set of possible entities, called the population. A random sample is a selection according to a random process,
    with the selection of each entity in no way dependent on the selection of other entities.


    Sampling is a process used by:
    - Assessors, where appropriate, to establish the extent of competence being demonstrated or provided via evidence by a candidate
    - Internal Verifiers, to establish confidence in the level and consistency of judgements made by assessors
    - External Verifiers, to establish compliance by an approved centre with quality standards agreed between the centre and the awarding body for the centre’s provision.


    It may be too dangerous or expensive, or there may not be an opportunity, for candidates to demonstrate competence in a particular activity. In such circumstances, with the approval of the awarding body and consistent with the ILB assessment strategy, a scenario as close to the real thing as possible will be set up so that candidate performance can be judged as if it
    was taking place in a real work environment. This is described as simulation.

    Standards Qualifications Framework
    See National Qualifications Framework

    Standards Setting Body (SSB)
    See Industry Lead Body.

    Sufficiency (of evidence)

    Sufficiency of evidence is a term used to describe:
    either a situation achieved when a candidate has provided all of the material required to enable an Assessor to make a judgement on competency at element, unit or award level
    or a recommendation contained in assessment guidance related to the type(s) and quantity of evidence that should be gathered.
    Sufficiency of evidence includes the number of times performance has to be observed or recorded, or the time scale between performances, for competence to be inferred. It is normally not possible to be prescriptive about sufficiency of evidence, as it may vary from candidate to candidate.

    Summative Assessment

    A culminating assessment, which when conducted, gives information on students' competence, attitude and mastery of content. Summative assessment may be a single assessment or a combination of assessment scores/achievements,
    obtained by various methods, which when combined provides sufficient evidence of the prescribed achievement required for national or regional recognition.


  • Third Party Evidence

    Information provided by person(s) other than those directly involved in the assessment process, which contributes to the collection of evidence of competence and achievement in a specific competence.
    Third party evidence may include information from employers, supervisors, peers, clients and others relevant to the competency requirements and the context of the assessment.


    The traineeship or job attachment programme is designed to expose trained participants to the world of work. Its objective is to provide clients with the attitudes,
    skills and knowledge necessary to become competent in their field of interest, by exposure to formal on-the-job performance skills. Assessment will utilize a competency-based format where persons will be
    periodically assessed during the traineeship, according to demonstrated skills in a practical setting - on the job or in a simulated setting.


  • Unpaid work

    Activities without remuneration, e.g. household work, voluntary or civic service, training.


  • Validity

    Validity is the extent to which an assessment measures that which it purports to determine, established by the degree to which the evidence or outcome of the assessment is in accord with the stated standards.


  • Witness/Witness Testimony

    A witness is an independent, responsible person providing evidence or confirming testimony about candidate performance in situations where the Assessor has not observed the candidate in action.
    There are two (2) main categories of witness testimony:
    - peer or peer group testimony, where it is appropriate for colleagues to testify as to the level of performance by the candidate
    - management/managerial testimony, used where it is desirable that a line Manager or superior Officer endorses the evidence of performance

    Advice on the appropriate category of witness testimony for inclusion in portfolios is normally given in the assessment guidance wherever relevant within a unit or an element.


    Human activities, paid or unpaid, that produce the goods or services in an economy, or supply the needs of a community, or provide a person's accustomed means of livelihood.