THE RQF SYSTEM: HOW IT WORKS

TRACKSS is an expert provider of all waste management, recycling, waste processing / treatment, street cleansing and grounds maintenance RQF qualifications (previously QCF or NVQs).

The National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) that were introduced into the UK in the mid-1980s are written as a series of standards or statements that describe what competent workers should know and be able to do. As such, they provide a target for training programmes and the basis against which an individual’s competence in the work place can be judged.

NVQ's were replaced by the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) qualifications in 2010 and more recently to the Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) qualifications. RQF's are defined in terms of "learning outcomes" and "assessment criteria" and the WAMITAB RQF qualifications focus on the skills and competencies required in the waste management, recycling, street cleansing, grounds maintenance, cleansing and allied industries.

Level 1: for those required to perform simple, repetitive tasks under direct supervision. For example, street sweepers; waste / recycling loaders; civic amenity site operative, transfer stations / recycling / reclamation site operatives.

Level 2: for more skilled operatives who may direct individuals or a small team and, perhaps, operates some type of machinery. For example, charge hands; most drivers in the waste / recycling / street cleansing industry; plant / machinery operators.

Level 3: technician / supervisor level; lower level management role. For example, supervisors in waste / recycling collection, street cleansing, waste processing; also, managers of low risk waste management sites.

Level 4: first level management. For example, managers of most high / medium risk waste management / recycling sites and operations.

RQF's are awarded by various awarding bodies such as City and Guilds and WAMITAB. However, the organisations that undertake the delivery of learning / training programmes and provide assessment and quality assurance services are known as assessment centres, for example, TRACKSS. All assessment centres must be accredited by awarding bodies to provide relevant RQF's. TRACKSS is accredited by WAMITAB.

The other main organisation involved with RQF's is the relevant Sector Skills Council. They were responsible for drafting the various RQF qualifications. The Energy and Utility Sector Skills Council (EU Skills) is responsible for most of the waste management, waste processing and recycling RQF's and Asset Skills looks after the cleansing RQF's (including street cleansing) and also grounds maintenance.

Keeping a quality assurance watch on the Skills Councils is Ofqual (the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator). Through inspection of the awarding bodies and assessment centres, Ofqual and Ofsted ensure that learners receive good service.

HOW IT WORKS: enquiries receive by TRACKSS for RQF qualifications are discussed with the Centre Manager. Registration documents are completed and the potential learner / or learners are put in touch with one of TRACKSS' expert associates.

At the first site visit, the site is inspected to ensure its suitability and health and safety provision. Induction and planning then takes place (at levels 3 and 4 this is likely to be individual 1:1 work; at levels 1 and 2 this is likely to be group work).

This is followed by a series of site visits when the TRACKSS associate observes the candidate(s) and obtains evidence that demonstrates COMPETENCE. That is, the employee's skills and knowledge do match all of the RQF learning outcomes and assessment criteria of the relevant RQF Qualification. The evidence is likely to be in the form of observations of the learner's work (probably backed up by photographs) and documents that show that the learner carries out their work in compliance with legislation and organisational procedures.

The evidence is matched to the Assessment Criteria in the RQF standards. Once this is done and the documentation completed, the evidence and documentation is checked by a TRACKSS internal quality assurer. If everything is satisfactory, we then apply to WAMITAB for the RQF certificate(s) and also for the CoTC, OCS certificate(s).

Because so much of the work is 1:1 learner: associate, our learners have an extremely high success rate at all levels and in all areas of employment.



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