Working in construction offers many different career paths and a multitude of different occupations. But if you wish to move forward and progress in your occupation then you will need a good balance of practical experience and qualifications; a Construction NVQ can offer you this. To get the most from your construction NVQ and improve your chances of passing there are several tips you should consider.
Meeting the Entry Requirements
There are no set entry requirements to undertake a construction NVQ. If you are studying the NVQ as part of an Apprenticeship scheme then initially you may need some GCSE’s to gain a place as an Apprentice but this is not a requirement for the construction NVQ itself.Practical experience in construction is advantageous, as you will need to undertake practical tasks to pass your NVQ. Candidates with some construction experience tend to do better that those that are completely new to the industry.
A practical qualification like a City and Guilds Certificate or B-TEC Certificate can improve your chances of securing a place on a construction NVQ but they are not essential.
Securing Construction Employment
The NVQ is a work-based qualification so the assessment process is primarily built upon practical assessments that take place on site or in the workplace. In order to complete the work based practical assessments you will need to be employed or undertaking an Apprenticeship with a construction firm that specialises in the field you have chosen.Alternatively, if it is financially viable, you could offer your services for free in exchange for work experience and access to site.
If you are undertaking your construction NVQ as part of a package supplied by a training provider you may be assigned to an employer or employment agency who will provide you with work whilst you complete your construction NVQ.
Applying for a Temporary CSCS Card
Health and Safety and the competence of a work force is very important in the construction industry and at present over 80% of construction contractors are complying with the CSCS card scheme. Without a CSCS card you are likely to be refused access to site so you will need to get one in order to complete your on site assessments. Whilst you will not be eligible for a permanent CSCS card until you have completed your construction NVQ you can still apply for the Temporary Trainee CSCS card.
The Temporary Trainee CSCS card is valid for three years and you will be permitted site access with this card. Acquiring the Trainee Red CSCS card will also show employers and training providers that you are committed to work at a competent level and that you have a good understanding of construction industry protocol and standards.
Whilst you are undertaking your construction NVQ you must keep the lines of communication open between you and your NVQ Assessor and Training Provider. It is important that your contacts details and work location are up to date so that you are easily contactable and your NVQ Assessor and/or Training Provider can arrange to visit you on site.
As part of your construction NVQ you will be required to compile a Portfolio of work. You will need to document the practical tasks you have undertaken that relate to your construction NVQ units. These documented tasks will need to be supported with evidence such as photographs or job sheets. It is important that you document your tasks as clearly as possible and back up your statements with supporting evidence.
Take pride in your portfolio and ensure that it is well presented, legible and accurately compiled.
Guidance and Help
As a construction NVQ is primarily a practical qualification you will learn by doing but if you are unsure about anything or need to see a task practically demonstrated don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your superior or line manager. It is important that you learn how to do things correctly because competency and accuracy are very important in construction. Construction sites can be hazardous places and mistakes can lead to accidents so make sure you are confident you know what your doing before you move onto the next task.
Attending site inductions, toolbox talks, health and safety meetings and any other relevant site events are an important part of your training. You need to familiarise yourself with the site rules, the site risks and the health and safety procedures in place so that you can complete your construction NVQ tasks safely and competently.
Things to Remember
• Be safe
• Pay Attention
• Be accurate
• Wear your PPE
• Document Your Work
• Be Enthusiastic
• Be Aware
• Communicate with Your Superiors
• Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
…And enjoy your construction NVQ training.