Ministry of Education, Guyana

Caribbean Vocational Qualification Requirements and Guidelines for School Administrators and Principals

Our Vision

To ensure the global intellectual competitiveness of the Caribbean through the provision of quality assurance in education and omprehensive certification.
To provide the region with:
syllabuses of the highest quality; valid and reliable examinations and certificates of international repute for students of all ages, abilities and interests;
services to educational institutions in the development of syllabuses, examinations and examinations’
administration, in the most cost-effective way.


Competency-Based Education Training and Assessment (CBETA) is built on the philosophy that “almost all learners can learn equally well if they receive the kind of instructions they need”.
To make this philosophy work, CBETA requires significant changes in the development and the administration of the modularized/unit-based programmes.
Although technical vocational education has always been concerned with the practical demonstration of the skill, CBETA places a new and systematic emphasis on this principle.
In this approach, the systematic development and delivery of the trainingis guided by five essential elements:


  1. The tasks to be taught are identified by the experts in the occupation and verified by employers in the marketplace.
  2. The programme allows each learner to have the opportunity to develop and to be evaluated on the competencies achieved.
  3. Assessment of competency is not only based on knowledge and attitude but primarily on the actual demonstration of the competency.
  4. Occupational standards or unit competency standards should be used as the basis for assessing achievement and students/trainees should be aware of them.
  5. Students progress through the programme by demonstrating the attainment of specified competencies.

CBETA also dictates a change in the role of the teacher which changes from the conventional information-giver to that of a resource person.
Hence, the students will have more responsibility for their own learning and progress.
Student involvement is critical to CBETA.
Therefore, at the start of the training programme, students should be made aware of the key elements of CBETA. These are:


  • How the programme operates
  • The role of the teacher
  • The responsibility of the trainee
  • The qualification and units within the programme
  • The standards that are to be attained
  • How and when competencies will be assessed

Important Elements of the CVQ in Schools

School administrators must be aware of the requirements for a successful competency based programme in schools. These requirements are the foundation of good practice in delivery of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification. These are listed below:


  1. A variety of teaching methods and aids are used.
  2. Adequate materials, space and equipment are available.
  3. An environment that simulates the work place and work experience opportunities is available to students.
  4. Students are informed about criteria and attitudes important to the occupation.
  5. As far as possible each student’s training programme should be individualized and self-paced.
  6. Learning activity is repeated and reinforced until competence is achieved.
  7. Programme completion is based on satisfactory achievement of all specified competencies.
  8. Individual student records are maintained and should reflect the student‘s progress.
  9. Continuous and detailed feedback is given to students/trainees on their progress.
  10. Students’ rating should reflect the level of competency achieved.

Before you start 

  1. Familiarize yourself with the CVQ Framework

 Become familiar with the regional qualifications framework, the 5-tiered certification levels, the occupational qualification standards and the curriculum guides (where they exist).

Regional occupational standards are in use and can be acquired from National Training Agencies (NTA Trinidad and Tobago and H.E.A.R.T Trust/National Training Agency Jamaica).

 2.  Evaluate your existing resources

The second step is to evaluate your existing training and learning resources against the facility standard.

The facility standards will outline what are necessary for the delivery of the training programme in terms of work areas, equipment needed,
and physical space.

These are the required standards for the development of skills and are derived from industry requirements for the particular occupation or job.
The school should have an adequate library or learning centre and information technology facilities with Internet connectivity.

Review your arrangements against the standards to ensure they comply

  1. Relevant questions to ask
  1. Do members of staff have access to all the instructional delivery material?
  2. Do teaching staff hold appropriate industry and teacher qualification?
  3. Are sufficient people familiar with internal quality assurance methodologies?
  4. Are teachers familiar with competency-based education and training assessment methodologies?
  5. Are teachers familiar with assessment methodologies for competency-based education?

2. Understanding competency-based occupational standards and assessment

Teachers need to be confident that they understand the structure, content and outcome of the qualifications they will be delivering.
Teaching staff should spend premium time familiarizing themselves with the occupational standard, and the curriculum guides.

3. Liaise with external bodies

There will be times when you may have to refer to external bodies. These include industry personnel, employees and professional bodies in your locality to expose students to the world of work and to gain competence with industry standards.

In any event, it is extremely important that careful selection of the skill area/occupationalarea is undertaken.
It is recommended that schools pursue only those areas where facilities are in place to undertake skills training, or there are facilities (e.g. Industries) in close proximity where students will have the opportunity to have ‘hands on’ exposure to industry standard.


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