The Targeted Review of Qualifications is part of the industry training review which began in 2008 to ensure qualifications are useful and relevant to learners, employers, and other stakeholders. The review is the result of a proliferation of qualifications on the NQF (National Qualifications Framework), many of which were considered not relevant and their status unclear.
The review and development of emergency management qualifications is being led by EMQUAL. Their role is to ensure qualifications reflect the needs of the sector. This is a consultative process in which industry is reviewing the packaging and scaffolding of skills into qualifications from levels one to six.
One of the significant reasons for standardising qualifications is to support inter-operability across emergency response agencies, so that incident management is improved through better understanding of skill expectations and effective tasking. Meaningful qualifications are a means of recognising a level of competency which is then maintained, refreshed and developed.
NZFS are currently reviewing their role and engagement with the process to better understand the nature and scope of how qualifications reflect the training needs of both the volunteer and career workforce. As a result, there is now an opportunity to confirm the current process and consider the strengths and weaknesses of alternative options.
1) Status Quo
Supporting the EMQUAL-led review. This is a NZQA quality, assured process involving representation from across the sector exploring synergies between roles and responsibilities in order to define effective learning pathways which include pre-course, practical and post-course learning. Qualifications also reflect rank-based skill needs.
2) No external qualifications
Skills would be defined largely by rank, i.e. programme based and led by NZFS national training. This could include some unit standards but would not include unit standards-based qualifications which would limit the transferability between disciplines (including trades and other skill-based vocations).
3) Internationally recognised qualifications
This approach may suit some disciplines better than others, and would require a redevelopment of moderation and assessment processes to fit the local context.
4) A combination of elements
This is open to interpretation and could include unit standards, rank-based programmes and some international recognised qualifications e.g. USAR
Send Us Your Feedback
The new qualifications include a graduate profile which describes the skills, knowledge and application of skills. Draft qualifications, including graduate profiles are available at emqual.org.nz/qualifications/new-zealand-certificates other useful background information is available at emqual.org.nz/qualifications/review/documents.
Some questions to prompt you
- Is it important for NZFS to engage with industry, i.e. other emergency management agencies, to develop qualifications? Why/why not?
- Do you value transferable qualifications? (i.e. recognised by other agencies, employers etc)? Why/why not?
- Do you think unit standards based qualifications reflect the skill needs of the fire and rescue workforce e.g. NZ Certificate in Fire and Rescue Services (Level 2)? Why/why not?
- Are there any other skills, values or attributes which should be included in the graduate profile?
- Are there any other skills, values or attributes which should be removed from the graduate profile?
- Which of the four options listed above do you support? Why?
- Who should lead the qualification development process?
- Any other comments or ideas which would improve training and skill development.
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