Learners FAQ's

NVQ/QCF - What is it?

An NVQ and QCF are nationally recognised qualifications. This means that they are recognised by employers nationwide as a qualification gained whilst working. Many young people find that they do not have time for evening classes, or can’t take time off for extra education. Well by doing one of our training programmes you can work and gain a qualification!

The qualification can be adapted to suit your exact job description and your organisations needs, but generally it will be flexible and easily fit in with your normal every day work.

For more details on the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) please get in touch.

What’s in it for me?

A good question!

Would you like to have better skills and to have the ability to be multi skilled, enabling you to ensure that you are fully skilled and knowledgeable?

Well this is your chance to ensure that you are trained to National Standards, whilst still working.


Because you work towards your qualification every day whilst you are working! You will need the support and guidance of your employer throughout.

Terminology Explained

The hardest part is coming to Terms with the meanings of ‘new’ words used in the documentation. Once these have been properly explained to you, the rest is easy.

Unit: A section of the course. Look at it as a book. The unit is best described as a chapter. The course is made up of several ‘units’. Each unit will deal with a particular subject.

Performance Criteria: These are parts of a unit. This may seem long-winded but it does prove to assist you in working through the course. By dealing with each PC you build up a unit.

Within proving your performance, you will also have to show that you are able to carry out the objectives in a range of situations. You will also need to prove your knowledge and understanding of the relevant industry. This will also cover legislation, regulatory and statutory requirements.

Evidence: Possibly the hardest part of the course to understand. BUT once you understand what evidence is, the going is easy. The best way to describe a piece of evidence is to look at it as proof that you have carried out a function that is required for the qualification.

Functional Skills Explained

Functional skills are a part of the Apprenticeship.

You may be required to complete a functional skills assessment test.

These tests are completed on line to enable us to assess your level of literacy and numeracy.

They are not there as a test to decide whether you can complete the qualification, but to give a clear indication of the where we may need to give you additional support and training.

If it is identified that you are competent for the functional skill level required for the Apprenticeship you are to complete, then we would encourage you complete the functional skill at a higher level.


The English Functional Skill is there to encourage you to demonstrate your speaking and listening, reading and writing skills in a range of contexts for various purposes.

You will complete a speaking and listening task which involves doing a short presentation and will then do onto completing an exam to assess how well you can read different text in different situations and obtain and relay information from the text and answers questions. This exam can be paper-based or online


In whatever area of training, numbers feature significantly. You will find a wealth of examples in the workplace as well as outside of work. It could be calculating a customer’s bill, measuring ingredients for a recipe, working out the amount of stock that was used for a particular day, counting stock. Each and every day numbers feature heavily in our working life. Maths functional skills will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge when working with numbers in different situations. You will complete a paper-based exam in order to complete your Maths Functional Skill. Online tests will be available from January 2010

Employers Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)

It is a requirement that all learners are aware of ‘Employers Rights and Responsibilities’ (E.R.R) within their qualification. This will be covered initially at induction and throughout the course.

It will cover Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety, legislation, National Minimum Wage, Contracts of Employment amongst other areas linked directly to employment.

You will receive information packs containing all relevant guidelines within these areas.

Technical Certificate - Retail Only

The Technical Certificates play a main role in the Apprenticeship. The Technical Certificate will be delivered alongside the NVQ/QCF, Functional Skills and ERR.

The aim of the Technical Certificate is to ensure your awareness and knowledge within the industry (underpinning knowledge). It will ensure that your knowledge is at the required level and that you are aware of the industry as a whole.

An external exam will be completed with regards to the Technical Certificate for SOME qualifications to confirm that you have developed the knowledge required and in some qualifications you will also be required to complete specific assignments.

Do I need to have any qualifications to enrol on a training course?

That will depend on what prior qualifications you may have and on the level or type of qualification that you choose.

How will I know what qualification will be suitable to me?

Once you have decided that you wish to complete a qualification and are eligible, you will be visited by a Trainer/Assessor. Your Trainer/Assessor will carry out an initial assessment with you and your employer to assess the most suitable type and level of qualification. You will then together complete an Individual Learning Plan which will form the basis of your planned learning.

Will I have my own trainer?

Yes, you will be allocated a Trainer/Assessor. This will be the same Trainer/Assessor that completes your initial assessment with you. They will support you and deliver planned training and assessment to guide you through your qualification. They will assist you in putting together your portfolio of evidence.

Is all training and assessment carried out in the work place?

Yes!! All training will be conducted whilst you are at work and you will be assessed in the workplace and/or via e-learning.

Are there any exams/tests?

There are on-line tests that have to be completed for the Technical Certificate and Functional Skills. These will be conducted in your workplace by the use of a laptop computer that your Trainer/Assessor will provide.

Do I have to do homework?

Not exactly homework, but you will be expected to complete some assignments, personal statements and collect evidence to prove competency, this will be discussed in more detail when you meet your Trainer/Assessor. On average we anticipate 1 hour a week for a level 2 and 2 hours a week for a level 3.

What happens if we already have our own in-house training programme?

That is not a problem. With agreement from your employer, we can integrate you in-house training programme with the NVQ/QCF. This will further assist in the development of your skills and knowledge across a broader area.

What Qualifications will I get when I finish my training?

If completing an Apprenticeship, you will receive a set of qualifications certificated by City and Guilds for: NVQ/QCF in achieved area of training, Technical Certificate in achieved area of training and Functional Skills in Mathematics and English where applicable). You will also receive an Apprenticeship Framework Completion Certificate from the relevant National Body.

What if I decide to change my job/employer?

That is not a problem. The qualification you will be working towards belongs to you and you can carry it forward to a new job at any time. However, this will be dependent on it being a similar job role. If the new job role is significantly different, we can change the programme of training to one more suitable or alternatively if we cannot offer a suitable programme, we shall refer you to a suitable provider. This will be with the agreement of the new employer.

Are there any penalties for not completing?

No, but you would not get a completion certificate that could help with your future career opportunities. However, you will be certificated for any completed units that you achieve.

What are the benefits to the Learner?

  • You can Earn whilst you Learn
  • You will receive a nationally recognised qualification certificated by City and Guilds.
  • You can learn at your own pace.
  • You may get promotion within your current organisation.
  • It will give you better career opportunities.
  • You can take your qualification with you wherever you work.
  • You will increase your skills, knowledge and confidence in the job you are doing.
  • If you are thinking about going to university at a later date, some qualifications can be used within the Universities points system.
  • Sign up, become a student and get your own NUS card
  • Save up to 30% off Oyster travel with an Apprentice Oyster Card

If I decide I want to go ahead, what is the next step?

Call our team on 01375 480088, or email us sarahcollins@davidsontraining.com and we can arrange for one of our Trainer/Assessors to either visit you or talk to you and your employer. We can then discuss all the options and opportunities available to you. Alternatively we can send out an information pack.