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Countdown to new qualifications for colleges


With just four months to go before new qualifications in the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) are introduced to colleges, Lantra Sector Skills Council reports on the good progress being made in its work with awarding organisations and land-based training providers to ensure QCF is a real success.

Twelve months so far in the making and its already clear that the new Qualifications and Credit Framework is proving to be a breakthrough in the way the skills of individuals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are recognised and accredited. QCF allows people to pick and mix what units of learning they choose to build up their qualification. Lantra has been working with City & Guilds NPTC, Edexcel and Landex since September 2009 to get the qualifications ready for the new framework.

Michael Smith, Lantras Director of Policy, Research and Development was keen to expand on the Sector Skills Councils enthusiasm for the new qualifications. This has been a particularly exciting project for Lantra as its given us the opportunity to bring representatives from industry together with awarding organisations and training providers to produce these new QCF units and qualifications.

This development has given industry the opportunity to directly influence these new qualifications and ensure they provide the best mix of knowledge and application of skills required.

Martin Staniforth, Practical Training Co-ordinator at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, who has been involved with the project commented, Whats encouraging about the QCF is that it allows qualifications to be accessible for all types of learner.

You can compare different qualifications offered by different awarding organisations and it allows learners to access bite-sized and larger qualifications, to provide a more rounded learning and understanding of industry.

Martin continued, The QCF is trying to make what could be a complicated and often confusing qualification landscape a lot simpler. And industry benefits through our Sector Skills Council Lantra, getting a chance to have its say and influence the qualifications system.

As September approaches, when the new QCF range of qualifications will replace the current Centre-based Qualifications offered by City & Guilds NPTC and Edexcel, Lantras Michael Smith concluded, Were convinced the new qualifications will prove to be a really positive step for learners and businesses, helping them fulfil their training needs and ensuring the recognition of a highly skilled workforce.

Lantras research shows that training not only boosts staff motivation but also confidence and loyalty and so the more employers that invest in skills development, the better. We look forward to seeing these new qualifications being delivered in colleges in September.

If you want to find out more about the Qualifications and Credit Framework, Lantra can help. Visit email or call 02476 858 424.

QCF benefits

A new centralised database, due in late 2010, will help to track credit and provide learners with an online record of their achievements

Recognises achievement, through the award of credit for units and qualifications

More demand-led, responsive qualification, with quicker turn around times

It provides more flexible routes to full qualifications, achievable in smaller steps

New standardised titles will make it easier to understand and compare

Greater commonality through shared units and a standard unit template.

About Lantra

Lantra, the Sector Skills Council for the environmental and land-based sector, is licensed by the UK government to drive forward the new skills, training and business development agenda for the sector.

Lantra represents 17 industries and 1.5 million workers and volunteers in agricultural crops, agricultural livestock, animal care, animal technology, aquaculture, environmental conservation, equine, farriery, fencing, fisheries management, floristry, game and wildlife management, land-based engineering, landscape, production horticulture, trees and timber and veterinary nursing. For more information see

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