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Should I choose a course or a qualification?

Should I choose a course or a qualification?

How do I choose whether a course or qualification is the right path to go down?

Firstly, what are courses and qualifications?


One or more lessons make up a course to teach the skills required in a specific activity. Indicating that this person has the knowledge and skills about that specific activity. However, this does not mean that this person is competent or a qualified professional in this area.

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Qualifications require the person to complete a series of structured training and assessments in which the candidate can pass or fail. Providing the candidate with the skills, knowledge and evidence to demonstrate that they are competent in that area of work.


We offer National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs). These qualifications are recognised in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are based on recognised occupational standards. As these qualifications are work-based awards, the candidate must be employed in a related job role. Through a series of on-the-job tasks, candidates will gain skills, knowledge, and experience. These tasks are designed to test the candidate’s ability and demonstrate their competency in their job role. On completion of the NVQ the candidate will receive a recognised NVQ certificate and CSCS Card.

Routes available to achieve an NVQ

There are three routes available to suit the candidates needs and experience:

EWPA (Experienced Worker Route)

This route gives candidate with a numerous year of experience the opportunity to demonstrate their competency with existing skills in the job role, whilst being assessed by the relevant standards. This route will enable the candidate to complete their NVQ in 2 days.

OSAT (On Site Assessment & Training)

This route is suitable for candidates that have recognised existing skills, knowledge and experience, the candidate will again be assessed using the relevant standards, however this route will take longer than the EWPA route due to less experience. To achieve the NVQ through this route the candidate will have to gather evidence to create a portfolio demonstrating competency in the work area.

DSA Apprenticeship Routes

This route targets candidates with little to no experience. The apprenticeship route follows a modular programme over 18 months. The candidate will learn through our new eLearning platform. You can read about this platform on the eLearning page of our website.  In which candidates will use a variety of teaching methods to gain knowledge about the different modules. Once the candidate completes the relevant module on the eLearning platform, we will invite them to our training facilities. There, the candidate will undergo practical training on the module and gain skills and experience with the tools. All modules will follow this structure this then allows the candidate to work alongside a qualified operative, in order to gain experience and confidence on the tools they are training on.

All candidate will go through an initial assessment to help you choose the most appropriate route for you to achieve your NVQ.

For more information about our courses and qualifications please contact us on 0115 985 2455.

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