The Management NVQ: a critique of the myth of relevance
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KeywordsManagement NVQsNational Vocational QualificationsWorkplace competenceWorkplace practiceManagement roles and responsibilities
Permissions© 2000 Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
The Management NVQs were (according to their proponents) designed to provide a new mechanism for certifying workplace competence. Centred on descriptions of practice in the workplace they offered a qualifications route that could be accessed by all. This article draws on an in-depth study of the implementation of NVQs in three private sector organisations. It argues that, in practice, this competence-based format is highly problematic. Candidates are required to work towards criteria that may not match their roles and responsibilities, developmental work is systemically discouraged and work is routinised. The article concludes by arguing that these flaws are structural ones which may be expected to continue as long as NVQs continue to attempt to distil the essence of occupations into `standards¿.