NVQ Level 3 and Level 6 Comparison

NVQ Level 6 Diploma and NVQ Level 3 Certificate

Course information and guidance

As of the July 2018, SHEilds Ltd have the pleasure of being able to offer NVQ Level 6 Diploma and NVQ Level 3 Certificate courses via our e-Learning platform:

ProQual Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety

ProQual Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice

Below you will find course information and guidance to establish whether they will be suitable for your style of learning and future Health and Safety Career plans.

What is an NVQ?

If you’re wondering “what is an NVQ?” it stands for National Vocational Qualification.

This course does not involve exams, but the learner will have to meet criteria via providing and demonstrating their competency in their workplace. This is done via discussions and observations with their primary assigned assessor, providing written responses to questions and providing work documentation which has been used and produced in the workplace.

This style of learning is ideal for learners who do not like exams and are more practical in their approach to learning. It prepares learners to undertake tasks and increase their confidence in the workplace.

You cannot fail an NVQ

As strange as it may sound, you cannot fail an NVQ. You are either deemed:

  • Competent (having met the criteria).
  • Not yet competent (having not met the criteria yet).

If you are not competent, you will be tutored and guided by your Assessor in ways to meet the criteria and the evidence you need to provide by undertaking tasks in the workplace.

NVQ levels run from Entry level through to Level 8. Level 8 is high as you can go, however note that not all qualification types extend this far.

The courses explained in more depth

In order to establish whether the Level 3 or Level 6 NVQ is better suited for your qualification level and goals the courses are explained in more depth below, with a breakdown of the key points:

ProQual Level 6 Banner image

Have you discovered our new Level 6 NVQ Diploma? Gather evidence through your job without any exam requirements.

ProQual Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety:

  • Equivalent to Academic A- levels.
  • A good alternative to the NEBOSH General Certificate in Health and Safety – Which has exams.
  • You can fit it to your daily schedule easier and will not have to take time off to sit exams.
  • It will take approximately 310 hours to complete.
  • Of the 310 hours – 161 hours will be guided learning hours, directed and supported by your assessor.
  • It is aimed at persons who complete health and safety tasks as part of their everyday workplace role. They could be team leaders, new persons in a health and safety department who wish to develop the skills to complete risk assessments, site inspections and good practice in their workplace, with regards to Health and Safety.
  • To achieve the course, you will need to complete 5 mandatory units and chose a minimum of 2 units from a list of 4 optional units. Candidates must demonstrate the level of competence described in the units.
  • Assessment is the process of measuring a candidate’s skill, knowledge and understanding against the standards/criteria set in the qualification.
  • Although there are no formal entry requirements for this course, it is advisable to have completed some health and safety training prior such as the IOSH Managing Safely course.
  • You will also need to be employed within a workplace and work role which will allow you to generate evidence to demonstrate you’re able to meet the criteria of the qualification.
  • Benefits of vocational training are that it’s hands on, you can fit it into your day-to-day schedule easily, no exams, you build confidence in your skills as you demonstrate your competence against qualification standards for the industry and gain experience in applying the knowledge and theory to your workplace.
  • On completion you can apply to IOSH for the TechIOSH membership category and undertake the CPD element.
  • The next natural step in progressing your Health and Safety Career will be the Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Vocational) or the NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (Exams).

ProQual Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice:

  • Equivalent to Graduate level.
  • It will take approximately 1064 hours to complete.
  • Of the 1064 hours – 532 hours will be guided learning hours, directed and supported by your assessor.
  • Aimed at candidates who are responsible for developing and applying health and safety procedures day to day in their workplace. They may be a staff member, high-level supervisor or manager looking to improve their skills and knowledge, taking on responsibility in the work place for health and safety matters.
  • To achieve the course, you will need to complete 10 mandatory units and a workbook designed to incorporate your professional development by recording skills through the course, preparing you to undertake your IPD for IOSH Chartership members level. Candidates must demonstrate the level of competence described in the units.
  • Assessment is the process of measuring a candidate’s skill, knowledge and understanding against the standards / criteria set in the qualification.
  • Although there are no formal entry requirements for this course, it is advisable to have completed some health and safety training prior such as the ProQual Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety or NEBOSH General Certificate in Health and Safety or similar.
  • You will also need to be employed within a workplace and work role which will allow you to generate evidence to demonstrate you are able to meet the criteria of the qualification.
  • Benefits of vocational training are that it is hands on, you can fit it into your day-to-day schedule easily, no exams, you build confidence in your skills as you demonstrate your competence against qualification standards for the industry and gain experience in applying the knowledge and theory to your workplace.
  • On completion you can apply to IOSH for the GradIOSH membership category and undertake the IPD preparation for your peer Interview to obtain Chartership and CMIOSH member category.
  • The next natural step in progressing your Health and Safety Career will be to undertake a University course at Master’s level or equivalent.
  • The ProQual Level 6 NVQ Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice replaces the ProQual Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice qualification.

Please note that IOSH will accept learners from all Awarding Bodies enrolled on the old Level 5 Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety Practice up to the certification cut-off date of 31st August 2019.

(https://www.iosh.co.uk/Membership/About-membership/Qualifications.aspx?currentPage=8)

How the Level 6 NVQ differs from the Level 5 and NEBOSH Diploma

If you are familiar with our other qualifications, you may be wondering how the Level 6 NVQ differs from the Level 5 and NEBOSH Diploma. To help make things simple we’ve provided a comparison chart below:

Diploma’s in Occupational Health and Safety
NEBOSH L6 DiplomaNEW NVQ L6 DiplomaNVQ L5 Diploma
Qualification typeAcademicVocationalVocational
Assessment3 x 3-hour examinations

Plus an 8,000 – 12,000 word assignment

Work based evidence

No examinations

Work based evidence

No examinations

UK framework equiveillance665
Equivalent qualificationBatchelors DegreeBatchelors DegreeFoundation Degree
Average completion time12 – 24 months6 – 12 months6 – 12 months
Entry requirementsNo formal entry requirementsAbility to complete qualificationAbility to complete qualification
AccessCourse online

Examination at a local exam centre

Online portfolio

Work placed observations

Online portfolio

Work placed observations

AvailabilityGlobalGlobalUK  Mainland Only
MembershipsGradIOSH / CMIOSHGradIOSH / CMIOSHGradIOSH / CMIOSH

(extra NVQ unit required)

Route to CMIOSHGradIOSH membership is available upon successful completion of this qualification.

CMIOSH: You would be required to complete IPD “Skills Development Portfolio

GradIOSH membership is available upon successful completion of this qualification.

CMIOSH: You would be required to complete IPD “Open Book Assessment

GradIOSH membership is available upon successful completion of this qualification.

CMIOSH: You would be required to complete IPD “Open Book Assessment

Post NominalsDip.NEBOSHN/AN/A
Qualification statusLiveLiveLive
EmploymentNEBOSH examinations are consistent; therefore, employers are able to confidently, identify qualified personnel, from a benchmarked level.NVQ’s assess a candidate’s competence in the workplace, showing employers the candidate physical ability to undertake the required roleNVQ’s assess a candidate’s competence in the workplace, showing employers the candidate physical ability to undertake the required role

Benefits to NVQ Training from SHEilds

In Summary, the key Benefits to NVQ Training from SHEilds are:

  • You do not have to take time off from the workplace to sit exams.
  • You are assigned a Primary Assessor who will work with you to gain your qualification.
  • You can contact your primary assessor via Learning Assistant Message system, telephone or video call mediums.
  • The learning is very “hands on”.
  • You collect evidence from the workplace from the tasks you complete as part of your work role.
  • You drive the qualification at the speed you like – on average it takes about 12 months to achieve all the units.
  • It prepares you for your next step in your Health and Safety career.

Does this sound like the next step forward in your SHE career? Get in touch with our staff through the ‘chat with us now’ tab for further guidance on course details.

Gill Phillips

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