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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is an NVQ?

A: It's a National Vocational Qualification for experienced workers. NVQ's were developed as 'work based' training courses. Each course is made up of units based on a specific trade or occupation. The units are drawn from National Occupational Standards. To complete there must be Valid, Authentic and Sufficient evidence of your competence and knowledge for all units.

NVQs are delivered by an assessor who will visit your workplace and works with you to record evidence in a portfolio that reflects the units.  The courses are divided between knowledge and performance elements. Your NVQ is complete when all units have been met and signed off by your self, your assessor and our quality assurance person. See our  Learner Handbook page 7

Q2: I want to change my job. Can I do an NVQ in the new trade I want first?

A: No. NVQs are ‘competence’ qualifications, you need to have experience and be doing the job professionally.Training 'Diploma' courses are a good place to start if you are serious about changing trade or even our Introduction to Damage Repair course. They will equip you with basic knowledge and skills to gain work experience on site.

Q3:  Aren’t NVQs free anymore?

A: NVQs were never free! Training grants are are available from the CITB to registered employers and companies.

 General funding has been cut back over the years and comes and goes.

 Your age (16-23), employment status, nationality, previous qualifications and choice of course are all factors that can effect funding, if and when, it is available; 

We are generally operating as a commercial centre delivering full cost courses. 

If funding becomes available we will post this on our blog and tweet @Dec_Assess so make sure you follow us!

Q4:  How and when do I pay?

A: How-Primarily by BACS bank transfer.There are a range of methods detailed in the store section of the site including PayPal. 

When-There is a £100.00 induction deposit paid prior to the induction. This is deducted from the remaining balance of your course cost. The balance is paid following your on site induction and prior to registration, as agreed. See our terms and conditions (T&Cs) and Learner Handbook page 7

Q6: What am I paying for?

A:  You are paying Dec-Assess Ltd to deliver your chosen NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) course to you in your workplace. This involves onsite induction, registration with the awarding body, site visits and completion of a portfolio by your assessor, quality assurance and certification. The process is explained in the Learner Handbook page 7. 

Q7:  Is there a discount if there's more than one of us and we're working on the same site? 

A:  We have already discounted L2 courses with multiples in mind.The same site means added value as we will be dedicated to your team/company and you will all progress together. For employers there are conditional discounts of 5% for 5-10 learners and 10% for 10+ learners or a payment plan contact us to discuss.

Q8:  How long will my NVQ take?

A: This will be between you and your assessor. You will discuss realistic targets at induction and you will need to be working. Typically there are between 2 and 4 visits following the induction. The process is explained in the Learner Handbook. We have to follow TQT (total qualification time) from registration which is usually a minimum of 2 to 3 months at level 2. 

Trainees and apprentices will complete NVQs over a longer period than experienced workers. For apprentices the NVQ has been replaced by a new system.  

There are  new standards and End Point Assessments (EPA) to replace the previous frameworks. Live new standards and EPAs are here.

Q9:I’m quiet at work, can I do the assessments at home?

A: No. However, there’s nothing stopping you from doing your knowledge questions in your own time at home. Assessment observations can’t be carried out at your home. That comes under DIY. You need to be working professionally. 

Q10:Can I fail an NVQ?

A: We need to make sure that the course and level is right for you at the beginning and that you’re committed to completing. Your assessor is looking for knowledge and competence. If you don’t meet the criteria the assessor will support you and give feedback , guidance and training. You must be available to follow this up and meet the criteria to be deemed competent. In the case of funded qualifications there is a timely completion date that must be met. Although you will agree this at the start of your course the centre may withdraw you if you haven’t competed by then. See our terms and conditions.

Q11: Can I be an interpreter for someone doing an NVQ who doesn't speak English?

A:  No. Our Awarding Body  states that the course must be delivered in English (Irish Gaelic or Welsh). There must be a conversational level  of English between the learner and the assessor. There is  ESOL support for those that want to improve their conversational level of English to do the NVQ. If you or your colleagues are interested in this contact ESOL specialists English for Tea for excellent training, support and guidance.

Q12: How long will my NVQ last, will it run out?

A: No. Your NVQ is permanent qualification like your driving test. CSCS cards expire every 5 years. 

The HS&E test has to be re-taken, to get a new card, if it is over 2 years since you last passed it or if you are upskilling to supervisor or higher levels. 

You are a professional. It is important to continue your training and development after you complete your current NVQ. Try getting email newsletters from trade specific websites or suppliers. We all undertake regularly CPD here at Dec-Assess.

Q13: When will my new CSCS card come?

A. We don’t deal with your CSCS card and test, but we advise you on the process. We aim to get your NVQ certificates to you within 8 weeks of your last visit . Make sure you inform your assessor or the centre of any change of address.

Q14: Can I claim the cost back as a tax expense?

A: Yes. If you are self- employed the cost of the NVQ training is a claimable expense in your tax return. Also as an employer if you employ PAYE staff. You will receive a receipt for all your payments. We advise you to discuss this process with your accountant or HMRC Self Assessment.

Q15: How far do you travel? We work all over the country?

A: We generally operate within 1.5 hours of travel from Central London. Our listed prices are for our primary zone, see our Operational Area Map. We are happy to discuss further travel in our secondary zone or beyond and will cost a package on request. Contact us to discuss.

Q17: I'm an employer and want to sponsor my employees and subcontractors for the NVQ. What if they leave me before they complete?

A: We strongly advise employers to have an agreement in place between them (the sponsor) and the prospective learners (the employees and/or subcontractors) with an agreed process to deal with this eventuality BEFORE you sponsor any training.This is between you and them. On completion the certificates will be mailed c/o the sponsor (unless advised otherwise by the sponsor) but are the property of the learner.

Q18: Great, I understand what's involved now! I'm ready to go ahead. What next?

A: Complete the form and pay your deposit. You will  receive a text or email from us -respond with the details to book your induction. We prefer to induct at your work site so you don't lose time and money being away from work. 

We have also begun evening inductions by appointment at our office for groups of 5+. If you are an individual and you would like to be part of a group induction contact us. Inductions generally take 30 mins to 1 hour.  You will need to supply photographic ID (e.g passport or driving licence), NI number and home address. All data is protected to ICO guidelines.

Q19: I've been inducted by my assessor and paid my balance, when will I be registered?? I can't get back on site until I get my new CSCS card!!

A: We have to complete your registration with the LRS (Learner Records Service) and our Awarding Organisations. This generally takes up to 5 working days from your payment showing depending on the 3rd party IT systems. We will have you registered as soon as possible and forward the registration to you by email with advice regarding CSCS. 


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