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What are SVQs?

SVQs are national qualifications that recognise the workplace skills and experience staff have and provide the organisation with evidence which shows staff work to best practice National Occupational Standards. They are an assessment of competence not a training course, although training can be highlighted as a development need when assessing SVQs.

Who can do them?

NHSGGC has its own approved SVQ Centre which supports staff throughout the organisation to undertake vocational qualifications.

Priority will be given to requests from managers for staff to undertake SVQs when a service need has been identified as follows:

  1. Links to Service Needs, Redesign or Workforce Plans
  2. Identified at PDP Review
  3. Other e.g. (Role Development).
Why should staff do SVQs?
  • They provide staff with a recognised national qualification
  • They demonstrate that staff work to national standards
  • They can improve confidence and performance at work
  • They can provide a new insight to the job role
  • They are a useful developmental tool and can provide strong evidence at KSF Review meetings
  • They can provide staff with appropriate competences for future service delivery and for career progression.
What qualifications are on offer?

At present the SVQ Centre is approved to offer the following SVQs:

  • Business & Administration – Level 2 – 4
  • Healthcare Support (Clinical and Non Clinical) – Levels 2 – 3
  • Team Leading & Management Level 2 – 5
  • Learning & Development Level 3 – 4 (inc Assessor & Verifier awards)
  • Social Services and Healthcare – Level 2 – 3.
Are there any exams?

No. Staff are assessed at their workplace using a variety of methods e.g. observation, reflection, professional discussion, current work products and questioning to underpin knowledge and understanding. They will be assessed on the skills they use every day in their job.

Don’t worry if staff have never studied for anything before or have difficulty writing reports etc. We will help them gather the evidence they need in different ways and can discuss providing support prior to starting a vocational qualification, which can tackle lack of confidence and other concerns which staff and managers may identify.

Who assesses staff?

Staff will generally be assessed by either a peripatetic assessor attached to the SVQ central team, a workplace assessor linked to their local area, an assessor from another workplace or from an outside training provider. There may be development opportunities for staff to train as workplace assessors in some areas.

How long will it take?

Time to complete a qualification is flexible. Everyone works through SVQs at a different pace. However we would expect candidates to finish within 9 -12 months depending on the award and level of qualification being undertaken.

What support is available?

An assessor and internal verifier will both be available for support.

The SVQ Team can be contacted directly for information, advice or guidance in relation to SVQs.

In discussion with managers, staff require support with allocation of time to carry out SVQ assignments and assessments. Underpinning Knowledge and Understanding is an important part of any qualification and links will be made with the relevant education staff to offer support to candidates.

How much does it cost?

The NHSGGC SVQ Centre has limited capacity to assess a small number of qualifications annually which would be corporately funded. Other delivery options are available. Contact the Qualifications Team to discuss funding implications.

I’m interested, what do I do now?

As a manager

Contact us to discuss which SVQs may be appropriate for your staff and any funding implications. A service level agreement may require to be set up.

As a prospective candidate

Contact us for an application form and to discuss which SVQs may be appropriate for you. If undertaking the SVQ is not already highlighted on your PDP, please speak to your manager as you need their support before applying.

Want to know more?

For further information on any SVQ programme please contact: LE.Support@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

Our purpose is to provide direction and focus for the development of qualification and vocational training frameworks across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. As you might expect in an organisation as large as NHSGGC a wide range of learning and education opportunities are available.

It is our job to:

  • Identify and manage the qualification activity within Greater Glasgow and Clyde ensuring that appropriate linkages are made across disciplines and functions
  • Work with internal and external partners to develop and provide individual qualification pathways which will address service learning needs and create new opportunities for groups of employees and individuals
  • Develop knowledge and expertise in the principles and applications of national frameworks such as the KSF, SCQF and the NHS Career Framework ensuring that Greater Glasgow and Clyde is able to exploit the full potential of such developments
  • To lead and manage the provision of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Greater Glasgow and Clyde ensuring robust processes are in place to successfully offer a wide range of vocational qualifications to our employees.

Explanation of Levels

SVQs are offered across 5 levels:

The Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF) has been developed to help Employers and Learners understand how qualifications relate to each other and to other forms of learning. SQA has developed an interactive framework to visualise this. A full explanation of all qualifications are shown on the SCQF Framework.

Level 2 (SCQF Level 5/6)

For a level 2 SVQ, candidates have to be able to show that they are competent in a range of varied activities, in a variety of contexts.

Some of the activities will be complex, and the person will have some individual responsibility or autonomy. The job may also involve collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team.

Level 3 (SCQF Level 7)

At this level, candidates have to perform a broad range of activities in a variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine.

They will usually be working with considerable responsibility and autonomy, and may have control or guidance of others.

Level 4 (SCQF Level 9)

Level 4 SVQs involve a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities. They will be performed in a wide variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. People doing these SVQs will often be responsible for the work of others and for allocating resources.

How the SVQ Process Works

The decision to apply for a vocational learning programme may be identified for staff either by the individual or by Service Managers.

Criteria

This may be as a result of one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Links to Service Needs, Redesign or Workforce Plans
  2. Identified at PDP Review
  3. Other e.g. (Role Development).

In all cases PDPs should indicate the required learning need.

Determining the correct SVQ award and level

Informal discussions may be required to determine the correct SVQ award & level. Application forms are then completed and forwarded to the SVQ Centre. Further discussions may be required with Managers regarding delivery options and possible funding implications/cost. Assessment is generally provided internally (using assessors from within the organisation) or in some cases externally (using assessors contracted to an FE college or external provider). The NHSGGC SVQ Centre has a limited resource and can offer a number of SVQ programmes annually which will be funded corporately, assessed and quality assured directly from the Centre. Intakes will take place around September and March of each year. Priority will be given to the applications depending on the need for staff to undertake a vocational qualification.

The SVQ Centre manages the Vocational Learning provision for NHSGGC, including quality assurance, any relevant internal verification and appropriate administration.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) may require to be drawn up between the service area and the SVQ Centre. This agreement will confirm how the required underpinning Knowledge and Understanding for candidates will be met.

Sessions, workshops and tutorials

Introductory workshops/planning sessions for candidates will be arranged. This will include training on the e-portfolio system ‘Proof Positive’ if necessary.

These sessions will be followed by individual tutorials arranged with the candidate and the assessor.

Assessments and certificates
  • Assessor judges and assesses candidate competence against the standards and advises on how to cover gaps
  • Assessor accredits SVQ units individually until full SVQ achieved
  • Certificate is then issued by awarding body.

What NHSGGC can offer

NHSGGC SVQ Centre has approval to offer various S/NVQs across these areas:

  • HealthCare Support
  • Business and Administration
  • Learning and Development
  • Social Services and Healthcare Management.

Update to Management SVQs

Due to operational reasons the SVQ Team have taken the decision to temporarily withdraw the Management SVQs from our portfolio of Qualifications. As soon as we are in a position to deliver this qualification we will update this site. If you have any question regarding this, please contact Brian Keogh, Senior Learning and Education Advisor either by email (brian.keogh@ggc.scot.nhs.uk) or call 07834 228 569.

Applying for an SVQ

Complete section one of the application form. All questions must be completed. Once you reach the end of this section you should click the save and continue later button. This will now ask you to enter an email address, enter your line managers email address. This will email your completed application directly to your line manager. 

Please inform your line manager that they must complete all of section two on the application form and click the submit button. Once both sections are fully completed your application will be held on our waiting list and once an assessor becomes available they will contact you directly to arrange an induction workshop. If you have an queries regarding your application please contact: L&E Support and Advice: 0141 278 2700 (Ext. 12700) or email: LE.Support@ggc.scot.nhs.uk

Further guidance for Managers

Managers have an important part to play in the NHSGGC SVQ Programme. As a manager, the following information should give you a brief insight into your role in helping to make the scheme a success for candidates and the organisation as well as being a useful tool for yourself.

If you have identified that SVQs may be useful as a development tool within your area please contact the SVQ Centre on 0141 278 2700 and choose option 3 for guidance as to how to proceed.

Why are Managers important in the SVQ process?

The manager is responsible for individual PDPs and their unit or departmental training plan. It is the manager who prioritises learning and education activity in line with organisational and individual needs. Managers are responsible for the budget for learning, education and training including possible funding associated with SVQs. Managers require to support candidates with regards to allocating and agreeing time for the candidate to prepare for assessment visits/activities.

Staff will see you as a leader

You can:

  • Positively support the development of staff in line with service requirements and workforce planning 
  • Authorise and support their applications
  • Help them achieve their awards by giving ongoing training, encouragement and support
  • Provide opportunities to gather evidence
  • Give everyone fair and equal access to the programme.

You can also help in the evaluation of the SVQ programme by giving feedback on how the scheme helped you / your workplace and how it could be improved.

What can you do to support candidates?

You can:

  • Provide them with witness testimonies or statements about the work they do and the way they do it
  • Provide them with development opportunities, which fit in with their SVQ
  • Show an interest in their progress
  • Carry out observations of them at work and provide witness testimonies of this – also very useful at appraisal times
  •  Identify and agree underpinning Knowledge and Understanding training needs in line with the national standards requirements
  • Introduce yourself to the candidate’s assessor and consider attending their initial workshop if you feel it would be helpful in understanding the process
  • Accommodate candidate’s requests for preparation time for assessor appointments
  • Familiarise yourself with the SVQ your candidate is doing by talking to them and their assessor about it or looking at the standards themselves
  • Consider undertaking a management or related vocational qualification yourself
  • You may also wish to consider facilitating a member of staff in becoming a workplace assessor and thereby supporting colleagues through the SVQ process.
What can you expect from the candidate?

The candidate should:

  • Tell you about their SVQ and discuss their progress with you
  • Consult with you regarding assessment preparation time to gather evidence for their next assessor visit
  • By undertaking SVQs, show increased understanding and confidence in their ability to do their job.
What can you expect from the assessor?

The assessor will be one of the following:

  • A qualified member of the SVQ Centre team, trained workplace assessor from within your own service area or another service area (subject to negotiation with the appropriate manager in that area)
  • An external assessor from an outside training provider.

The assessor should:

  • Contact candidates regularly (usually monthly visits are arranged)
  • Provide progress reports and update you on your candidate’s progress
  • Provide you with a contact phone number / email address and give you all the help and advice they can when and if you need it
  • Give advice on any agreements in place with regards to SVQs.
So what’s in it for you?
  • You can use SVQs as an excellent staff development tool e.g. for PDP’s / KSF Reviews to help the candidate at appraisal time
  • Your staff may learn new skills and be interested in having work delegated to them
  • Your staff will be more motivated and will be looking for opportunities to achieve their award
  • You can use SVQs to ensure that your staff have the competences necessary for current and future service delivery.

Additional Information

Social Services and Health Care

This qualification is suitable for employees who are involved in direct patient support/care, the qualification consists of eight units, four of which are mandatory and must be completed with four more units being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice at level 2 this is reduced by 1 optional unit. The candidate would be expected to complete this award over a twelve month period. This qualification is available at level 2 and 3, SCQF levels 6-7.

Health Care Support (clinical)

Again this qualification is open to employees who are involved in direct patient support/care but with the main emphasis being on tasks that are carried out within the clinical environment. At level 3 this qualification consists of eight units 3 of which are mandatory and must be completed with five more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice at level 2 this is reduced by 1 optional unit. The candidate would be expected to complete the award over a twelve month period. This qualification is available at levels 2 and 3, SCQF levels 6-7.

Healthcare Support (non clinical)

This qualification is suitable for employees who are involved in support services within the NHS that do not routinely involve direct patient support/care i.e. those who are employed within the facilities dept of the NHS. At level 3 this qualification consists of 8 units, 3 of which are mandatory and must be completed with five more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice at level 2 this is reduced by 2 optional units. This qualification is available at levels 2 and 3, SCQF levels 6-7.

Business Administration

This qualification is suitable for employees who provide administration services, for example, business administrators, secretaries and receptionists. At levels 2 and 3 this qualification consists of 8 units, 3 of which are mandatory and must be completed with five more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice. This qualification is available at levels 2 and 3, SCQF 5-6.

Learning and Development 

This qualification is suitable for employees who are working in a training role or Learning and Development role. Workplace PDAs are available to those who wish to assess or verify candidate competency in the workplace. The SVQ in Learning and Development is also available at levels 3 and 4 SCQF levels 8 and 9. At level 3 this qualification consists of 6 units, 3 of which are mandatory and must be completed with 3 more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice. At level 4 this qualification consists of 8 units, 3 of which are mandatory and must be completed with 5 more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice.

Team Leading

This qualification is suitable for employees who have responsibility for providing support and supervision to others. At level 2 this qualification is available to those who are considered to be Team Leaders and the optional units you chose will reflect this. At level 2 this qualification consists of 6 units, four of which are mandatory and must be completed with two more being chosen to show competency in specific areas of practice. This qualification is available at level 2 (SCQF level 6).

PDAs in Management

NHSGGC offer PDAs in Management at different levels, where staff can opt to undertake a smaller award linked specifically to their role. The benefit they offer is that staff with limited time available can start with an easily manageable award but may then choose to go on and complete the full qualification later. The PDA in Management is available at SCQF Level 6.

Management SVQs

Due to operational reasons the SVQ Team have taken the decision to temporarily withdraw the Management SVQs from our portfolio of Qualifications. As soon as we are in a position to deliver this qualification we will update this site. If you have any question regarding this, please contact Brian Keogh, Senior Learning and Education Advisor either by email (brian.keogh@ggc.scot.nhs.uk) or call 07834 228 569

Further Information

The Qualifications Team support the development of qualifications and vocational training frameworks across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde through the following activities:

  • Identify and manage the qualification activity within NHSGGC ensuring that appropriate linkages are made across disciplines and functions
  • Work with internal and external partners to develop and provide individual qualification pathways which will address service learning needs and create new opportunities for groups of employees and individuals
  • Develop knowledge and expertise in the principles and applications of national frameworks such as the KSF, SCQF and the NHS Career Framework ensuring that NHSGGC is able to exploit the full potential of such developments
  • Lead and manage the provision of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in NHSGGC ensuring robust processes are in place to successfully offer a wide range of vocational qualifications to our employees
  • Promote and support the use of Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks across our services in line with NHSGGC’s Workforce Employability’s Workforce strategy (Workforce Employability pages).

Our current provision is offered through the delivery and support of: A range of SVQs (Scottish Vocational Qualifications).

For further information or an application form for any of the above qualifications please email: LE.Support@ggc.scot.nhs.uk.

To discuss how the Qualifications Team can support the development of qualifications pathways please contact L&E Support 0141 278 2700 (option 3) or email svq.qualifications2@ggc.scot.nhs.uk .

Meet the Team

John McIndoe

Role: SVQ Assessor/Internal Verifier

Background: Almost 30 years experience in the provision of care services, predominantly in the learning disability field in the provision of hospital care, respite care and supported living, I have worked in residential child care in both secure and non secure environments.

SVQ Assessor for Social Services and Health Care, Health Care Support, Business and Administration and Management.

Emma Brogan

Role: SVQ Assessor

Details to follow

SVQ Assessor for Healthcare Support Worker (Clinical & Non Clinical).

Brian Keogh

Role: Senior Learning and Education Advisor (SVQ Centre Manager)

Background: I have over 20 years experience in Learning and Education, HR and Frontline Management both within NHSGGC and previously Royal Mail. I have been a qualified N/SVQ Assessor for 18 years and I have been an Internal Verifier for 6 years. 

SVQ Assessor for Learning and Development, Business and Administration and Management.

Sandra Colhoun

Role: SVQ Assessor/Internal Verifier

I have 13 years experience working within the SVQ Team. Before that I worked in L&D and HR within the NHS. I assess IV Business and Administration and also L&D 9DI and L&D 11 for Learning and Development.

Moira MacDonald

Role: Head of Learning and Education

Moira is our Head of Learning & Education as well as the Head of Centre for our SVQ Centre. Moira has been an assessor for over 10 years and an internal verifier for 7 years.  Moira specialises in Management and Learning and Development qualifications.

Jacqueline Johnstone

Role: Administrator for SVQ Centre

Background: I have worked for the NHS for 14 years within the Learning and Education function and I am now currently working in the SVQ team. During this time I have completed a SVQ 3 in Business and Administration and I feel this has enabled me to develop my role and skills in my work place.

Responsibilities: It is my role to undertake all administration duties for the SVQ centre and to support the SVQ Assessors and Manager.

Further Information