The Barbados Accreditation Council is pleased to be playing a major role in the establishment of a National Qualifications Framework in Barbados, as it is anticipated that there are numerous benefits to be gained from its formation.
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC), Maria Phillips, acknowledged the above, as she spoke at the start of a two-day NQF Implementation Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, for representatives of key organisations involved in the development, implementation and maintenance of the NQF. The workshop got under way at Almond Bay Caterers in Hastings, Christ Church.
“The Barbados Accreditation Council is committed to the establishment of a National Qualifications Framework (NQF), which will value all learning attained by Barbadians, regardless of whether the learning was attained through formal means, that is, through education and training institutions leading to qualifications, or non-formal means, that is, through for example, service organisations, workplaces and activities, that complement formal systems of education and may not lead to qualifications/certification,” Phillips remarked.
“It is anticipated that the National Qualifications Framework will bring benefits that include, a. making it easier for learners to enter the educational system and to progress within it; b. promoting access, transfer and progression into, within and between programmes of learning, as the NQF will provide for credits at each qualification level; c. improving the overall quality of the educational system; d. promoting life-long and life-wide learning and; e. enabling employers to understand qualifications which prospective employees may present and where these qualifications fit into the overall educational system,” Phillips indicated.
Recognising its critical role as the host agency responsible for facilitating the design, development and implementation of the NQF, the BAC commenced preparation for this major national initiative Phillips said, by sending staff members on study attachments at competent quality assurance agencies in England, Scotland and Mauritius, so they could observe best practices in the design, development and implementation of NQFs.
Having entered into a partnership arrangement with the Mauritius Qualifications Authority (MQA) to share knowledge, experience and expertise for the implementation of the NQF, the two-day NQF Implementation Workshops now form part of a Scoping Mission being conducted from April 11 to 15 this year between the MQA and the BAC.
One of the objectives of this key partnership is to implement an integrated, internationally-comparable, credit and standards-based NQF in Barbados and this will involve building capacity within the tertiary educational training institutions and the BAC; assisting with the populating of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) qualifications into the NQF; and formulating a work plan to inform the implementation of the NQF. (RSM)