Assessing the business and employee benefits resulting from the implementation of NVQs

Rodney McAdam, Julie Crowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) have been introduced and developed within a competency framework by successive UK governments. Potential benefits are listed as improved skills, less skills shortages and more appropriate job-employee fit. However, there has been considerable and sustained criticism of NVQs from employers, employees and academics. Criticisms include excessive bureaucracy, overly complex terminology and a lack of credibility of the competence concept. This case-based study examines the implementation of NVQs in an organisation based on 60 semi-structured interviews with those involved. The findings reveal that NVQ is seen as a training regime within the organisation and that there are no clear links to improved business performance or employee morale. Moreover, there were contextual problems in applying the standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-152
Number of pages15
JournalEducation + Training
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Apr 2004

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Business performance
  • Competence based training
  • National vocational qualifications


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