076 RCI 0717

RCI July 2017

LRWA VIEWPOINT Earlier this year, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) declared its plans to fund a £600,000 scheme to get more trained Assessors into the construction industry, with ten Assessors allocated to roofing specifically. Recognising the “severe shortage” of Assessors in roofing and the wider construction industry, the scheme was also sparked by the increasing pressure on training providers to take on rising numbers of workers, and the lack of training facilities across the UK. Funding like this from the CITB will help to increase the number of construction workers holding nationally recognised qualifications, as at least 500 additional Assessors are required in the next three years. But what does this mean for contractors and manufacturers of liquid roofing? The NVQ Assessor When talking about training, the spotlight tends to focus on the skills shortage or the need to upskill our workforce. But what is often forgotten is the crucial role of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Assessor. Impartial organisations like the LRWA are committed to supporting upskilling in the liquid roofing industry. This not only means encouraging operatives to obtain an NVQ Level 2 qualification to ensure the recognition of quality liquid applicators available throughout the UK, but to achieve this, more trained Assessors for On-Site Assessment Training are required. The Assessor shortage In the last edition of RCI, Chris Bussens, training co-ordinator at the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA), explained the benefits of completing full assessment training in liquid waterproofing. In this article, Chris discusses the shortage of Assessors in roofing and what this means for the industry Put simply, an Assessor’s role is to evaluate the competencies of the workers’ skills and knowledge in the workplace, and those who pass the assessment are awarded an NVQ. Operatives who achieve an NVQ Level 2 liquid roofing qualification will be able to apply for a blue, ‘Skilled Worker’ card from the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). NVQ qualifications distinguish individuals and help to raise the standard of work within the industry. It is the common misconception that CSCS cards are not required or asked for before working on site, but recent changes have put more pressure on roofing contractors to ensure operatives have obtained the correct skills card for the job. Organisations such as Build UK – the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry – is also starting to insist on the correct CSCS skills card before access to site. This applies not only in the new build sector, but Local Authorities and the refurbishment sector should also impose skills cards. There are three ways to achieve an NVQ L2 dependent on experience – completing either a Specialist Applied Skills Programme (SAP), Special Upskilling Programme (SUP) or simply the On-site Assessment & Training (OSAT) for the more experienced worker. All three routes require a qualified Assessor to confirm the completion of the qualification. They must profile the operatives, induct them onto the scheme through a provider, and then make safe and reliable judgements based on the evidence presented against the appropriate standards. Feedback is given to operatives and contractors, reviewing progress and contributing to the overall quality assurance of the training provider. Essential for the sector Becoming an Assessor is a popular career move for experienced professionals within the industry who are looking for a change of job within the same sector. Yet, more investment is needed to allow people to make that move without having to fund the course themselves and take time off work. Being an Assessor in liquid roofing can be highly rewarding, enabling them to pass on valued practical experience and knowledge to sector industry workers. Assessors advise and support learners, ensuring they have chosen the correct learning ‘pathway’ dependent on experience. It is extremely important for learners to be profiled which provides information on existing knowledge and practical experience. This can be carried out by the Assessors, however, a ‘Profiling Document’ is available through the LRWA for SAPS and SUPS. Recording learner progress, Assessors will also agree and monitor a realistic predicted end date for learners. The assessment process itself begins with a plan to identify the units and which liquid method is to be examined. Assessors must guide the learner to the evidence they need, such as observation reports – a record of both performance and knowledge demonstrated by the learner. Digital audio and video can be used as a method of recording the observation, alongside a witness testimony. All documents must be authenticated and validated. A professional discussion with the learner will record evidence of the learner’s knowledge on product systems, communication, health, safety and welfare as well as the general requirement onsite to carry out the work, this can be backed up with other evidence to include time sheets, work reports or completed and ongoing products naturally created through work practice, and relates to either performance or knowledge of the learner. If the learner holds existing training certificates which are current, valid and authentic, these can also be submitted during the assessment stage. A portfolio is also required which acts as a record of the assessment and an audit trail on the learner’s progress. Chris Bussens is training coordinator at the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA): “The capacity of available training centres is just as crucial as the Assessor shortage in our industry” At least 500 additional Assessors are required in the next three years, but there's a shortage in roofing & the wider construction industry


RCI July 2017
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