GQA Qualifications, the fenestration industry’s leading awarding body is encouraging employees to continue to pursue qualifications and upgrade or improve their knowledge during the virus crisis.

Mick Clayton, the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer explains:

“At the time of writing, the sun is shining, and fenestration sector employees at home during lock-down will be enjoying spending time with their families. However, we all have one eye on returning to some kind of normal, and this is an ideal time to update or improve knowledge in readiness for that time when we can get back to work. This is the perfect time to reflect on what we need to know, do some reading or update job knowledge, and GQA can provide the guidance needed through its network of approved centres in order to help employees work towards their qualifications during this time.

“There are still lots of opportunities to collect valid learning evidence, and there is really nothing to stop people from continuing their work. There are lots of opportunities, without breaking social distancing requirements, through access to online learning. Right from the start of the virus crisis, GQA has communicated with its network of approved centres to reiterate the government’s social distancing and self-isolation guidance and requirements and has also sent out communications on alternative methods of assessment that can be utilised.

“Reinforcing the importance of working towards attaining vocational and technical qualifications is a directive to Ofqual just published by the Secretary of State for Education. The government’s overall aim is to minimise disruption and disadvantage for those enrolled on or about to enrol on vocational and technical qualifications courses. The directive requires that ‘consideration is given to adapting assessments or delivery models where this doesn’t undermine the reliability of the result.’ Ofqual has been requested to make appropriate changes to its regulatory framework and work with awarding bodies such as GQA in line with the government’s policy position.

“Taking all this into account, here at GQA we would like to reiterate that working towards qualifications and identifying learning opportunities remain important during the virus crisis; that the government through Ofqual and awarding bodies such as ourselves fully backs this continuity; and that GQA’s network of over 100 approved centres is key to facilitating qualifications attainment, not just in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also.”

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