How to make sure you choose the right Assessor Qualification

How to make sure you choose the right Assessor Qualification

There’s no doubt that training for a new role/career can be costly; both in terms of money and time. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right Assessor Qualification from the start. Not only will this save you a considerable amount of money in the long run, it will also qualify you for that role or assessor job you want, even sooner.

Making the right choice will depend entirely on your career goals and what you want to be able to assess. At Brooks and Kirk, we offer a range of courses suitable for the trained Assessor looking to refresh their knowledge, all the way through to experienced individuals looking to become qualified as assessors for the first time.

What are my options?

The first step in choosing the right Assessor Qualification is knowing exactly what options are available to you and where these qualifications could lead.

You’ll see on our site that we offer four Level 3 qualifications – Does this mean they all do the same thing?

Not quite! Although all of our qualifications represent a high standard of training, each one equips learners for a different end goal.

What’s your end goal?

People undertake training for a number of different reasons. For example, some people are looking to update their knowledge after being in one role for a long time. Others may be working within an industry but are looking to sidestep into a new position. Then there are those who want a completely new career and are looking to become qualified in areas they’ve never worked before.

In the rest of this article, we’ll take a look at different learner goals and explain which Assessor Qualification is right for each one.

Assessor Qualifications Acronyms

1.     I want to update my knowledge

If you’re already a trained Assessor who is simply looking to refresh their knowledge or learn about updates in the industry, then you will need our Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA) – Unit 1.

This course does not qualify a learner to become a trained Assessor. Its purpose is to upskill people who are already working in an Assessor role. Perfect for those looking to keep their skills sharp!

2.     I want to be a classroom assessor

If you’re looking to become an Assessor exclusively in a classroom, workshop, or virtual setting, then you need the Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA) – Units 1 & 3.

This award will qualify you to assess learners in a classroom setting but is not suitable for people who want to assess in a workplace environment.

3.     I want to assess on the job

If you want to become an Assessor of occupational competency – i.e. you want to make sure people are doing their jobs right! – then you’ll want to take the Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE) – Units 1 & 2.

So on the flip side, this award will qualify you to assess in a workplace environment only. You won’t be qualified as a classroom Assessor upon completion of the course.

4.     I want to do it all

If you’re looking to dive in the deep end and become an all-around Assessor who can work both in the classroom and on-the-job, then you will want to take the Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA) – Units 1,2 & 3. On completion of this certification, you will be a fully qualified assessor. This is our only certificate that ensures you are fully-qualified in every setting.

Reading the fine print

It’s important when choosing the right Assessor Qualification that you’re aware of which awards actually qualify you for your desired role, and which are unaccredited training. At Brooks and Kirk, all of our awards are part of the NVQ Framework and are nationally recognised. You can choose to receive your certification from City and Guilds, Pearson Edexcel or Industry Qualifications.

Are you sure? What about A1, D32, D33 or the TAQA?

Okay, so a really brief history lesson for you here… The D32/33 awards were replaced by the A1 awards, which were later replaced by a suite of qualifications that is often referred to as ‘TAQA’ in 2010. If you still feel like you are a little bamboozled by all of these acronyms, assessor qualifications run-through should help.

But most importantly, don’t worry – we offer the most up-to-date qualifications!

I have a full-time job. What are my options for studying?

Over 70% of the trainee assessors we currently have on-programme are fitting their study around a full-time job. This is made possible by Brooks and Kirk’s completely unique delivery model.

Exactly what your course will involve depends on which assessor qualification you choose. That being said, even if you were to enrol onto the most prestigious of the lot – the CAVA, you would only be required to attend one day. You will be able to complete the rest of your course online, entirely at your own pace.

Still not sure?

If you’re still not sure what’s right for you, then there’s no need to worry. Our expert team is available to help and make sure you’re getting exactly the training you need.

Get in touch with us today and talk us through your career goals. We’ll make sure you choose the right Assessor Qualification to get you where you want to be.

The EPA Workshop in London | July 2019

The EPA Workshop in London | July 2019

We held our first End-Point Assessment Workshop in London just under a couple of weeks ago (19th July 2019) and we’re proud to say, it was a great success!

Over 40 people attended our workshop, to learn all there is to know about EPA and put those all important EPA-specific skills into practice. These attendees were experienced in a variety of sectors; to name just a few, there were individuals experienced in: Health and Social Care, Engineering, Management, Customer Services, Banking, Beauty… The list goes on and on.

Anyway, here’s how The EPA Workshop in London panned out…

Brooks and Kirk’s EPA Workshop

Brooks and Kirk EPA Workshop

Our End-Point Assessment Workshop covers all of the aspects of End-Point Assessment that you, as the assessor, need to understand; from Assessment Plans and Apprenticeship Standards, through to grading assessments and standardisation. Not only that, but attendees get the opportunity to network with an End-Point Assessment Organisation actively recruiting as well as with other Assessors, IQAs and professionals. 

But before we even touched on End-Point Assessment, we got the EPA Workshop in London underway by telling everyone who we are and what we do. That looked something like this…

After the introductions were done and dusted, it was time to start talking EPA.

EPA Overview

Anyone who attended one of our Getting Started with EPA webinars would have been familiar with a thing or two after the intros.

With some delegates having years of experience in assessing, others having just started their journey to becoming an assessor and some currently working as apprenticeship assessors, it’s safe to say we had a mixed bag when it came to experience in assessment. So we made it our priority to make sure everyone was on the same page from the get go. To do this, we took a moment to discuss what has changed in Apprenticeships over the past few years.

This lead us nicely on to End-Point Assessments; and in particular, who delivers them. That’s where our headline sponsor, NOCN came in. 

End-Point Assessment Organisations

We delivered the EPA Workshop in London in partnership with NOCN. NOCN are an industry leading End-Point Assessment Organisation.

So who better to talk about EPAOs, than an EPAO themselves? 

nocn talking epaos brooks and kirk epa workshop

What happened next?

There is a good chunk of the day between discussing EPAOs and carrying our mock End-Point Assessments that we aren’t going to tell you about. Why? Well, if you are that keen to find out more about EPA, maybe you should book your place at the next EPA Workshop. Otherwise, it’s only for the eyes and ears of those that come along!

Anyway, back to the EPA Workshop in London…

Mock End-Point Assessment

Throughout the workshop, delegates have the opportunity to get involved with plenty of activities. Which is handy because let’s be honest, no body enjoys a ‘death by powerpoint’ kind of event! But the most important of all, is a mock End-Point Assessment. 

The mock EPA gives everybody the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of an Independent End-Point Assessor. Here’s a quick snapshot of one of those mock EPAs taking place; and as you can see everyone was hard at work!

Oh and there wasn’t just one mock EPA, but three!

As you can see from the image below, two of our attendees kindly volunteered to take part in an Interview as part of one of the mock EPAs. Meanwhile, the rest of the room took notes and used our fancy interactive voting system to grade the ‘candidate’ on their performance.

mock end point assessment brooks and kirk epa workshop

Next EPA Workshop

If you think that this sounds like a CPD event you could benefit from attending, then head over to our EPA Workshop information page to find out when and where the next workshop is running.

Please bear in mind: The EPA Workshop is a Brooks and Kirk exclusive national event. So don’t hold back on booking a place because you would like a workshop closer to you. We have individuals travel from all over the country to attend these events, because you won’t find them anywhere else.

Alternatively, if you’d like to hear what delegates from the EPA Workshop in London had to say about this event before booking on, here’s a taste of some of the feedback we received.

Feedback from Attendees

By the end of the day, all of our wonderful attendees left with a much better understanding of End-Point Assessment and a certificate to prove it. This certificate also happened to count for 6.5 hours of CPD; making for a very useful addition to their CPD records. All we could do then was hope that everyone had enjoyed the day as much as they appeared to have. Cue the results from the feedback survey…

Would you recommend the EPA Workshop to others interested in EPA?


Did you find the pace of the workshop suitable for you?

Eva | Early Years

I now have a clear understanding of what the role of an EPA is. It was great to get to see how it is done in practice. I found it was also a wonderful networking opportunity! Thank you, I had a great day. Once again high quality training from Brooks and Kirk as expected!

Sally | Cabin Crew

Many thanks to all the facilitators today. The workshop was very well planned and executed. The participant’s contributions were always valued. Very positive experience. Thank you for an interesting day.

Pat | Business Management

The workshop was extremely informative and covered thoroughly all the questions and mysteries of EPA. I’ve certainly taken away a huge amount of information most of which I will be able to use in my existing role as it evolves over time. Thank you.

Pete | Project Management

Good workshop, provided the clarity of the EPA that I was looking for. Case study provided a good insight into some of the challenges of assessing.

What is End-Point Assessment?

What is End-Point Assessment?

End-Point Assessment (EPA); the new assessing role. Are you curious as to what this EPA is all about? Well, you’re starting in the right place.

What is End-Point Assessment?

End-Point Assessment was one of the biggest changes to come out of the most recent Apprenticeship reform. Basically, EPA is a series of one-off assessments an Apprentice has to do at the end of their Apprenticeship. And on that note, you will only find End-Point Assessments in Apprenticeships. So, if you deliver/assess stand-alone vocational courses for example, you won’t be impacted by EPA.

The ‘new’, if you can still call it new, Apprenticeship model is distinctly different from the original Apprenticeship frameworks. With the old Apprenticeship frameworks, Apprentices were assessed continuously throughout their qualification until they had completed all of the components (NVQ, ERR, Functional Skills, Health and Safety etc.). Once all of these components had been ticked off, they can get their Apprenticeship certificate. Now however, before the certificate can be claimed, the Apprentice must pass the End-Point Assessment. The whole process looks something like this…

New Apprenticeship model

EPA does not include anything from any other assessments or qualifications the Apprentice has done throughout their Apprenticeship, or even prior to this. The assessments that are carried out during the EPA are completely independent from the ‘On-Programme’ element. Which is why you will see assessors responsible for delivering the EPA are called, Independent End-Point Assessors (IEPAs).

Exactly what each EPA looks like, depends entirely on the sector the Apprentice is working in and the level of the qualification they are doing. In any case, every Apprentice must pass their End-Point Assessment in order to pass their Apprenticeship and most importantly, be deemed competent to work in their role.

With any luck, you should now have a fairly good understanding on what End-Point Assessment is.

How to Become an NVQ Assessor?

How to Become an NVQ Assessor?

Who knew one question could have so many answers! Trying to find out what you need to become an NVQ Assessor can be hard work. Especially when every job vacancy and training provider says differently. But that hard work ends here… If you want to find out how to become an NVQ Assessor, all you need to do is read on. 


How to Become an NVQ Assessor?

What you need to become an NVQ assessor will vary based on the prospective employer and the qualification you are looking to assess. However, generally speaking, to become an NVQ Assessor, you need two things. These are occupational competence and the appropriate assessor qualification.

In addition to that, any assessor jobs that state assessment experience is required, will also likely require you to have an up to date CPD record. 

Just in case you would prefer a more visual answer to that question.

We hope that has helped! So that’s all you need from us, surely? If only…

Unfortunately, it’s not that straight forward for everyone. So let’s break that answer down into two parts and take a look at each part in more detail.   

Occupational Competence 

It almost goes without saying, but you need to be experienced in the field that you are looking to assess in. Experience of working within a certain industry and any qualifications or courses you have completed whilst working in that industry can both be used to evidence your level of occupational competence. Obviously, for anyone that has been working in in a certain role for over 5 years and has either achieved a level 3 or 5 NVQ, there shouldn’t be any issues with being able to provide prospective employers with occupational competence evidence. In fact, it would make sense for you to skip to the second part of the process for becoming an NVQ assessor; and that is finding the appropriate assessor qualification

If, on the other hand, you think you may be short on experience or qualifications; then you’ve got more to learn. 

What does Occupational Competence look like?

The most important form of occupational competence is undoubtedly experience of working within relevant job roles. And yes, ideally, you should have qualifications to back up that experience. However, if you haven’t, not to worry. As this isn’t always a necessity.

At this point, you may be thinking;

Hold on! Are you sure? When I type ‘How to Become an NVQ Assessor?’ into Google and search assessor jobs, everyone says that I need at least a Level 3 NVQ?

So, I want to clarify something quickly. No, you don’t HAVE to hold an NVQ, BTEC or even a degree to be eligible for an assessor job. Granted, a lot (but not all) of assessor job vacancies do say that you need a qualification. But that is because it is down to the individual employer to decide what they require their assessors to have to be deemed ‘occupationally competent’. You see, all that learning providers need to be concerned with is ensuring their assessors meet the requirements set out by the relevant awarding body (City and Guilds, Pearson Edexcel, Highfield etc).

The problem is, most awarding bodies’ qualification specifications have incredibly subjective requirements for assessors. They say things like;

Assessors must:

“have substantial operational experience that is current and appropriate to the unit(s) of NVQ/SVQ they are intending to assess.”

“be capable of carrying out the full requirements within the competency units they are assessing. This occupational competence should be maintained annually through clearly demonstrable continuing learning and professional development.”

Soooooo, in terms of requirements; what does that tell you exactly? Not a great deal! I have quoted those straight from specifications for the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing and Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Construction respectively. As you can see, it is pretty much left down to the training provider or college to decide what is acceptable. This means that whilst one training provider might decide that you’re not occupationally competent, another might say that you are. 

A general rule of thumb

Hopefully this has helped you to see the answer to; ‘How to become an NVQ assessor’ isn’t as simple as you may have first thought! But, we want to give you some kind of idea as to where you stand with being able to become an assessor. So, if you have:

  • Picked up at least 2 years experience working in a certain industry;
  • A good command of the English language and ideally have some form of Maths and English qualifications (GCSEs or Functional Skills);
  • Undertaken accredited vocationally related training;

… Then you will be deemed occupationally competent by most employers. So all that’s left for you to do before you can start applying for assessor jobs is to complete the appropriate assessor qualification

Assessor Qualifications

Ahh now, this part is far easier to advise on. You just need to get an assessor course under your belt and you are good to go. Presumably, we just need to take a look at the qualification(s) that all of the assessor jobs are asking for? So, for the purpose of this post, I searched ‘assessor jobs’ online and looked at the first 5 that I came across. Here are all of the terms I came across referring to the required assessor qualification:

  • D32/33
  • D Units
  • A1/A2
  • A1 Award
  • TAQA
  • CAVA
  • Formal Assessing Qualification
  • Assessor Award


Where do I start with this! Unfortunately, as you have probably witnessed for yourself, trying to find the name of the assessor qualification you need can be an absolute nightmare. But it doesn’t need to be; I’m going to explain what A1, D32/33 and TAQA all mean. But first, I am going to clearly talk you through the current assessor qualifications, so that you know which assessor qualification you need to become an NVQ Assessor. 

Current Assessor Qualifications

There are four current assessor qualifications to choose from. As I don’t like to beat around the bush, I’ll start with the most popular and highly regarded assessor qualification of the bunch…

Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (CAVA)

The CAVA is a 3-Unit qualification. In a nutshell, this qualification would make you a fully-qualified assessor. Upon completion of this qualification, you would be qualified to assess a learner’s occupational competence within a workplace. But on top of this, you would also be able to assess vocationally related knowledge and skills in learning environments. These learning environments could include classrooms, online learning systems, workshops and simulated environments, for example. 

Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (ACWE)

This assessor qualification comprises 2 of the 3 units that are covered in the CAVA. The unit that the ACWE leaves out is the one that would qualify you to assess a learner’s vocational knowledge and skills outside of the work environment. So, if you only are only interested in being able to assess occupational competence, then the Level 3 ACWE will be ideal for you.

Level 3 Award in Assessing Vocationally Related Achievement (AVRA)

Again, this Level 3 Assessor Award is also only 2 of the 3 units from the CAVA. If we were to tell you that the theory-based unit from the 2 aforementioned qualifications appears in all 4 assessor courses, you don’t need to be any Sherlock Holmes to work out what the AVRA is all about… This assessor course would only qualify you to assess a learner’s vocational knowledge and skills in learning environments. 

Level 3 Award in Understanding the Principles and Practices of Assessment (UPPA)

Finally, we have the UPPA. This single-unit assessor qualification does not qualify you to assess learners whatsoever. Given that you are probably reading this because you are looking to become an NVQ assessor, I can assure you that this course isn’t going to be the one for you. Whilst at first it can sound pretty strange and useless as an assessor qualification, the UPPA has its purposes. If you had previously qualified as an assessor and you needed a refresher course to bring your CPD record up to date, this would be the one. 

Your Next Step

I appreciate that is a lot to take in, so here’s a brief recap; to become an NVQ assessor, you need to be experienced and ideally, qualified in the area you wish to assess. In addition to this, you will also need to have, or be working towards, the appropriate assessor qualification. This would more than likely be the CAVA or the ACWE. 

Now that you know this, what’s your next step? Well, for anyone without an assessor qualification, getting one of the above added to your CV would be your starting point. Alternatively, if you are already a qualified assessor, then you just need to find yourself a job! FE Careers have got hundreds of Assessor Jobs live right now, so that would be your next port of call. 

BUT WAIT! Before you go anywhere, there’s one final matter that we haven’t gone over yet. I mentioned earlier about how quite a few assessor jobs say that you need the ‘D32/33’, ‘A1 Award’ or the ‘TAQA’? Well, I still need to address what each of these are so that you don’t think that I have given you useless information. So, without further ado…

Making Sense of Assessor Jobs

Old Assessor Qualifications

I’m not going to bore you to death with a history lesson. After all, you’re not going to be completing an old assessor qualification to become an assessor! But I just want to make sure that you can make sense of all those pesky, confusing assessor vacancies…

D Units – D32/D33

This was the very first assessor qualification.

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) were created in the 1980s. So, by the time we got to the year 2001, a lot had changed with both the structure of NVQs and the way that they were regulated. This meant that there needed to be a change in the training that assessors received as well. This is where the A1 and A2 qualifications come in. 

A1 Award

Although you will often see the ‘A1 Award’ mentioned on job applications, there was actually 2 units you could do. These were:

  • A1 – Level 3 Award in ‘Assess candidates using a range of methods’
  • A2 – Level 3 Award in ‘Assess candidates’ performance through observation’

Fast forward to 2010 and the introduction of the Qualification Credit Framework (which is no longer in use); this meant that another change was needed. Cue…

The Troublesome ‘TAQA’

The very first thing I will say is, notice how ‘The Troublesome TAQA’ is a sub-heading in itself. And that is because ‘TAQA’ is not a qualification… DER DER DERRRR. I know, it may look like it from what you may have seen on assessor jobs, but it quite simply isn’t. 

TAQA stands from Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance. It is the name that is given to the suite of Assessor qualifications I went through earlier (CAVA, ACWE, AVRA, UPPA) and the Internal Quality Assurance qualifications. So, you can do a qualification from within the TAQA suite, but you cannot do ‘a TAQA’. 

If you are still slightly confused, you might benefit from having a quick read up on what TAQA is

Now you know how to become an NVQ Assessor and what assessor jobs are really asking for. Good luck with gaining your assessor qualification and finding your ideal job!

Mesh’s Throwback Thursday

Mesh’s Throwback Thursday
Throwback Thursday

Welcome back for another Throwback Thursday. We have a good mix of throwbacks for you today, everything from Christopher Columbus to Paul Pogba to our very own Mesh! 

Remember, if you would like to feature in one of our Throwback Thursday posts then please get in touch;
01205 805155(ext 212)

What has happened in this week over the years?

  • March 1493

    Christopher Columbus returned to Spain

    Christopher Columbus returns to Spain after his first of four voyages to the New World.

    Quick Fact – Christopher Columbus was not his real name. In addition to Christopher Columbus, he has actually been referred to as 6 different names in total! These include:

    • Cristoforo Colombo
    • Cristóbal Colón
    • Christofferus de Colombo
    • Xpoual de Colón
    • Christoual 
    • Christovam


  • March 1956

    My Fair Lady opened on Broadway

    The musical “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway. The play based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion from the mid-1930’s and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. 

  • March 1993

    Paul Pogba was Born

    This one is for all of you Manchester United fans – Paul Pogba was born on the 15th March 1993.  Happy 25th Birthday Paul!

  • March 2017

    Mahesh Becam a Qualified Assessor!

A Quick Bit About Mesh

Almost exactly a year ago to this day, Mahesh (or Mesh as he liked to be known as) received that important piece of paper which confirmed that he is ready to be let loose in the world of assessing NVQs. 


Mesh enrolled on to the CAVA course back in 2016. Before enrolling on to the course, he worked in a variety of different sectors including Retail and Health and Social Care. He decided to become an NVQ assessor so that he could share his knowledge with others and put his wealth of experience to good use. 

After just 6 months of being on the course, Mesh became a qualified assessor in March 2017. 

If you are eyeing up a change of career and like what you have read, drop us a call today on 01205 805 155. We’re always happy to have a chat 🙂 

See you in two weeks for another Throwback Thursday!

Lauryn x









Our New #CertSelfie Competition

Our New #CertSelfie Competition

new certselfie competition

We have a new monthly competition which is only accessible to our past learners and the first one is running next week!

With learners completing our courses weekly and lots of them sending in selfies with their certificates, we wanted to put these masterpieces to good use. So, three scraps of paper, two cups of tea and one lengthy brainstorming session later, we came up with the new #CertSelfie competition. Here’s everything you need to know about our new competition and how you can get involved… 

Can I Enter?

If you have completed a course with Brooks and Kirk then yes, you will be able to enter! If not, then I’m afraid you won’t be able to enter. However, you can take part in helping to decide a winner.

What’s Involved?

In a nutshell, five selfies with certificates, one Facebook page and a whole load of likes, once a month… Every month! 

Anyway, that probably doesn’t help a great deal. So, here’s a breakdown of what’s involved with the new #CertSelfie Competition: 

  • There will be one CertSelfie Competition running every month;
  • Every competition will have 5 entrants (5 CertSelfies);
  • The 5 entrants will be selected at random at the beginning of every month;
  • The competition will run throughout one week (Monday – Friday) towards the end of the respective month;
  • Every day during that week, we will post one of the #CertSelfies on our Facebook page;
  • The person with the selfie that gets the most likes by Monday of the following week wins.

What Can I Win?

If your #CertSelfie rakes in the most likes on our Facebook page by the end of the week, you will win £25 in Love2shop vouchers. 25 quid just for getting your pictured liked? Can’t be bad! 

How Can I Enter?

It’s really quite simple and in fact, some of you may already be in the pipeline to be contacted for future #CertSelfie Competitions!

If you have already sent us over a selfie with your certificate, then you will be contacted at some point over the coming months to see if you would like to feature in one of our competitions. 

However, if you haven’t sent us over a #CertSelfie, but you have completed the course with ourselves, then I think you know what you need to do… Please email me over a selfie of you with your certificate and your name, to the email address below. Feel free to make your selfie as nice, random and/or pet orientated as you like!  

email me icon

Look Out For The First Competition

The first #Certselfie competition is running throughout next week. Here are the names to look out for on the respective days next week. 

Monday – Sarah

Tuesday – Rachel

Wednesday – Andy

Thursday – Fiona

Friday – Abi

If you haven’t already done so, please head over to our Facebook page and hit like so that you don’t miss out on the first of many new #CertSelfie competitions.

#FlakeNews From Brooks and Kirk

#FlakeNews From Brooks and Kirk

Snow and icy winds continue to grip many parts of the UK with worse still to come, but it’s business as usual for Brooks and Kirk Assessor Training.

flake news

The Met Office is warning of further heavy snow and plummeting temperatures in the days ahead. In response to this news, motorists are being urged not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary and many schools and colleges have been forced to close. This is leaving many students unable to study at this important time of year.

Speaking on behalf of Brooks and Kirk Assessor Training for our Flake News report, Steve Kirk said –

This is a very important time of year for students and not being able to attend college can have a negative impact on a learner’s studies. Thankfully, the unique way Brooks and Kirk deliver their NVQ Assessor Training means that their learners can study anytime, anywhere and at a pace that suits them. Bad weather is not a barrier to the success of our learners, nothing is.

Snow So, whilst many students will be locked out of college and unable to study it would appear that Brooks and Kirk learners can just carry on as normal. Meaning their dream of becoming an NVQ Assessor will be that much closer, but no excuses for a few days off… Sorry!

But, for those of you that are snowed in and working away, here’s a dog telling snow related joke just to brighten your day up a bit! 

dog will smith snow joke

And that’s our Flake News for today! 

Our Christmas Feel Good Friday

Our Christmas Feel Good Friday

It’s Friday (Wheeey)! And it is nearly Christmas (Wheeeeeeey)! So, for both of those reasons, we are going to keep our final post before Christmas a fun one. 

There’s going to be three sections to this post; each designed to do nothing more than put a smile on your face. No link to buy anything, no requesting you to sign up for anything and no encouraging you to like or follow anything. Instead, we just have these three Feelgood Friday topics for you to have a gleg (I know, ‘gleg’ sounds strange and it’s not even a word, but who cares?) through:

Let’s start with the friendly-feedback!

Here’s a small handful of our Facebook reviews…

Geoff said;

“Fantastic opportunity to meet great folk from all professions. Learned at my own pace and set class days are very flexible. Great learning experience I can apply daily in my own vocation. Thank you Brooks and Kirk!”

Ian said;

“I would like to thank you all at Brooks and Kirk for the help and motivation to complete my education and training and cava assessor training. I found it very useful to do online in my free time as I could go back to watch the videos over again and help was only a phone call away if I ever needed it.”

Lisa said;

“Really enjoying my CAVA course. The online learning platform is so easy to use, and the quality and accessibility of the resources make the assignments much easier to understand. They have exceeded my expectations on feedback times, usually within days rather than the two weeks they give themselves. When I have had questions, the team have always been really helpful and nothing has been too much trouble. They are a great example to assessors as to how to run vocational training!
I will be returning to do my verifier’s qualification with these guys and highly recommend them.

I have finished the qualification now, and it has been excellent. The assessors day was a fantastic opportunity to gain experience completing an observation and professional discussion in a context where the trainee assessors’ needs come first. This means that as the assessor, you feel safe to try things and in asking your trainer questions without worrying about being professional in front of an apprentice and their employer. 
This is how all new assessors should be trained as you feel so much more confident at the end of it!

I cannot recommend Brooks and Kirk highly enough! Their service is excellent, the marking is fast and feedback is clear and supportive. 
I have talked at length with them on the phone about things like the new apprenticeship standards, which shows they are not just there to help you with the qualification, but are ready and willing to support you in your professional development as a whole.”

Now for some of the feedback we received via email…

Mahesh said;

“I’m super chuffed and thank you all at Brooks & Kirk for this fine opportunity with the CAVA course. It’s been an amazing experience and have recommended Brooks and Kirk to some friends who are looking to do Assessing”

Nicole said;

“Your company had been amazing and I had loved training for you. Thank you for all the support”

Shireen said;

“Brooks and Kirk provide an excellent service and support to which I will continue to recommend other too. Hopefully, in the future, I would love to undertake the IV course next”

A Bizarre Nativity

Have you seen any photos online of any bizarre Nativity scenes? Well, we have and we thought we’d share some of the best ones with you! Our personal favourites are;






Have you made a comical Nativity scene this year, or infact any previous years? Let us know and show us your photos!

Festive Animals

Now, we all love photos of cute animals, but they get even better (if that’s actually possible) when they have a touch of Christmas! 


That’s all for this year! We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from all the team at Brooks and Kirk!

QCF, RQF, GLH, TQT? What Do They All Mean?

QCF, RQF, GLH, TQT? What Do They All Mean?


If you have been involved in Further Education in any way, shape or form over the past 7 years, then you will have seen the term QCF dotted around. Well, you may or may not have noticed but the QCF has been quietly slipping away over the past couple of years. In addition to this, you may have seen the acronym ‘RQF’ creeping in. But before we go into the details as to why the QCF was replaced and what by, just in case you’re not quite on the same page, let us bring you up to speed.

What was QCF?

QCF stands for the Qualification Credit Framework. The QCF was the system that Ofqual introduced in 2010 to regulate all vocational qualifications. This framework used ‘credits’ to form qualifications.

For some of you, the term ‘QCF’ may ring a bell but you’re not sure where you have seen it? It might help if we were to say that it often appeared at the end of qualification titles and still does in many cases. For example, if you enrolled onto the CAVA assessor qualification in the past 7 years, your certificate would have been for the ‘Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement (QCF)‘.

How did the QCF work?

To help you understand the system a bit better, we have broken down the main workings of the QCF into 5 bullet points. We will be referring to vocational qualifications a lot in these 5 points, so to keep it simple we will just refer to them as ‘VQ’s (Apologies for adding another acronym to the mix). 

  • Each VQ has a credit value;
  • Every VQ comprises units (mandatory and sometimes optional units as well);
  • Each unit within a VQ has a specific amount of Guided Learning Hours (GLH) assigned to it;
  • Each unit within a VQ is worth a specific amount of credits;
  • When the total credit value of all mandatory units within a VQ doesn’t add up to equal the credit value of the qualification, then the learner picks optional units to bring the overall credits up to the credit value of the qualification.

As we briefly mentioned at the top of this post, the Qualification Credit Framework was scrapped back in 2015. Why are we telling you all this now, two years on? Well, even though the QCF was replaced by the RQF (which we will come onto in a moment), learners could still be registered onto qualifications on the QCF up until the 31st of December 2017. This means that it is still possible and completely acceptable to be completing or even registered onto a QCF qualification right now, even after it was binned off two years ago. So, it is likely that anyone new to the idea of becoming an assessor, wouldn’t have known that the QCF was being replaced; if indeed they knew what the QCF was in the first place. But not to worry, that’s why we are here!

NQF and QCF’s replacement – The RQF

Just on a quick note before we go into the RQF, you may be thinking “Come on, you’ve got to be joking… NQF? Why are you throwing ANOTHER acronym at me?” Don’t worry! It really isn’t going to be relevant to you going forward. But for the purpose of this post, you need to know. NQF is the National Qualification Framework. All of the non-vocational qualifications that Ofqual regulate were on the NQF. The academic qualifications if you like. You are just about to find out why we had to introduce this to you now…

The Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) was branded as a “simple, descriptive framework” in Ofqual’s RQF publication from 2015. The RQF will be used to manage every qualification that is regulated by Ofqual. That includes qualifications that were stored on both the QCF and the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). 

It’s quite simple really; why have two frameworks to manage qualifications, when you can just have one? The Regulated Qualification Framework brings standardisation. It now provides an easier way to measure all qualifications as well. Now, anyone can see how both general and vocational qualifications relate to each other, which hasn’t been that simple (if at all possible) before. How does the RQF do this? Well, mainly through the introduction of TQT. 

What is TQT?

TQT stands for Total Qualification Time. It is the measurement awarding bodies must use to describe the size of a qualification. It kind of does what it says on the tin; TQT is the minimum amount of hours a typical learner will take to complete the respective qualification. TQT takes into account the learner’s study-time with and away from the assessor.

Total Qualification Time (TQT) has replaced Guided Learning Hours (GLH).

GLH was used as a way to measure the size of qualifications on the QCF. However, it soon became apparent that Guided Learning Hours often wasn’t an accurate representation of how long a learner would actually take to complete their qualification. Thus, making them next to pointless. However, just so that you know, GLH hasn’t gone anywhere; they now form a part of the TQT. 

So, to summarise:

  • QCF is the old framework that Ofqual used to store and manage all of the vocational qualifications they regulate. 
  • RQF is the new framework that Ofqual is using to store and manage all of the qualifications they regulate. 
  • GLH is the old measurement of the size of qualifications on the QCF. 
  • TQT is the new measurement of the size of qualifications on the RQF. 

There we go, now you know what all those pesky three-letter acronyms are all about!

Our Christmas Special Offer!

Our Christmas Special Offer!

To celebrate Christmas, ‘Black Friday’, ‘Cyber Monday’, Turnip Tuesday and Where’s Wally Wednesday all in one, we’re offering you all of the following if you enrol onto our CAVA assessor course:

  • Access to learners to assess (should you require them);
  • The ability to get started the same day for just £50;
  • No deadlines – start and finish when you like;
  • Free unlimited support from your assessors and tutors;
  • A saving of £50 if you pay in full;

Oh… Hang on. That’s not a Christmas special offer. We already offer that. All year round for that matter. It is possible that we were just being a bit silly.

Also, on the silly note, I don’t believe either ‘Turnip Tuesday’ or ‘Where’s Wally Wednesday’ is a thing, unfortunately. However, the sooner there is a ‘Where’s Wally Wednesday’ the better. 


See, in the midst of all of these overblown sales and offers that companies are hurling at you from all angles, it can be tricky to establish “what is actually a good offer?” Funnily enough, in most cases, the companies that are actually offering the best services and value for money are the ones that aren’t force-feeding you all of their ‘special offers’. 

‘Christmas Special Offer’ – been there and done that…

We’re not going to lie, last year, we were one of the many that ran a ‘Black Friday’ campaign and a ‘Christmas Special Offer’. But this year we thought, is all of that stuff really necessary? At the end of the day, the courses we deliver are for those that want to further their career. Whether that be in a new direction or to progress in their current role. The assessor courses are an investment in life if you like. So you should know whether or not becoming an assessor is for you and, to be honest, no ‘Black Friday’, ‘Cyber Monday’ or any other deal for that matter should influence your decision. After all, you are preparing yourself for what could be a completely new role. So don’t just choose the company with the best special effects on their Christmas special offer, choose one that you can trust. 

At Brooks and Kirk, we are lucky enough to have received hundreds, if not thousands of emails, reviews and letters from learners expressing their gratitude. There is a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes here. We have to make sure that every learner receives the support they need and the timely feedback they expect, day-in-day-out. But then it is all worth it when you hear stories like Monique’s

So we are sorry to disappoint, but there will be no special offers for us this festive period. Simply because our special offers run all day, every day. In our eyes, the best thing we could offer you this Christmas is the high-quality training you deserve to kickstart your new career in the new year! Cheesy… but true!