Qualifications Explained



Our wide range of specialised qualifications are available at various levels and cover more than 15 industries. PAA\VQ-SET qualifications are designed to be undertaken in the workplace, in the classroom or as a combination of the two.


PAA\VQ-SET offer Competence Qualifications and Knowledge Qualifications; below is a summary of the main features of these qualifications:


Competence Qualifications – including National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)


The vast majority of the qualifications PAA\VQ-SET offer are competence qualifications. These qualifications are achieved in the workplace and enable individuals to demonstrate their skill at work. 


What are Competence Qualifications?


Competence qualifications are achieved in the workplace and are usually based on National Occupational Standards (NOS), which are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do. NOS cover all the main skills and competence required to work in an occupation along with the knowledge and understanding that underpin competent performance.


Competence qualifications enable employees to demonstrate their skills in the workplace. There are no age limits and no special entry requirements.


SVQs operate in the same way as NVQs, but are used in Scotland


How are Competence Qualifications achieved? 


Competence qualifications are achieved in the workplace and are usually assessed by portfolio and observation:

  • Portfolio - learners build a portfolio of evidence to show what they have done at work

  • Observation – assessors observe learners at work to check they meet the requirements of the qualification


Assessors will plan progress with learners so they know what they can expect to achieve, how to do it and how long it will take. Assessors will test learners' knowledge, understanding and work-based performance to make sure they can demonstrate competence in the workplace. 


Knowledge Qualifications


Knowledge qualifications may be achieved in a classroom and can provide the underpinning knowledge to support entry into the workplace or may be taken as part of an Apprenticeship Framework. Learners do not need to be employed to achieve them.


These qualifications are assessed in a number of ways including: assignments, practical tests, written exams or even online multiple choice tests.



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