Twelve public officers are currently undergoing level 3 training of the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Public Sector Administration, while another 12 will begin level 2 training next week.
The training for levels 2 and 3 of the NVQ is expected to end on February 24, 2022.
Director of the Learning Development Directorate (LDD), of the Ministry of the Public Service, Fay-Marie Browne, explained that since the introduction of the NVQ in Public Sector Administration in 2020, 24 public officers have already been trained at both levels.
“The response from the public officers to this training has been overwhelming. We wish we had more resources to increase the number of offerings per year just to be able to meet the demand,” Mrs. Browne stated.
In underscoring the importance of this training, she said: “For the first time, there is an occupational standard that is relevant to the work of the Public Service of Barbados and it provides a standard for the execution of work, thereby helping public officers to become more competent in their work and the discharge of service.
“In addition, the NVQ presents public officers with a route for appointment, promotion and career planning that is based on their ability to draw on their experience and proven suitability for a job based on evidence, and it will empower public officers to take charge of their careers.”
Mrs. Browne noted that persons enrolled in an NVQ programme were required to compile, demonstrate and submit evidence of their competence in the given occupation, in alignment with the requirements of the Occupational Standard.
Additionally, she stated, they were guided by trained assessors who provided the necessary guidance and motivation to complete assessments; submit evidence in a timely manner and assess the adequacy of work identified for submission.
“This is an entirely structured process with a high level of monitoring and quality assurance requirements,” she stressed.
The Director said certification in occupational standard provides public officers with the knowledge and skills required for working in the service, and places them on par with officers who hold academic degrees.
At the same time, she continued, certification in Occupational Standard also provides officers with an advantage of being better able to understand the public service environment, its systems and processes.
The Level 2 training targets officers in non-supervisory positions, such as clerical officers and administrative assistants, while Level Three is for those at first-level supervisory to middle management positions, including executive and administrative officers and related grades.
Some of the topics being examined include Managing Yourself in the Public Service; Planning, Implementing and Managing Change; Utilising Resources to Achieve Value for Money; Complying with Legal Regulatory Operational and Ethical Requirements; and Applying Knowledge Management Procedures.
Mrs. Browne explained that preparatory work started in 2017/2018 and disclosed that levels 4 and 5 would be introduced in the next financial year.
“Levels 4 and 5 will target senior and executive managers, such as deputy permanent secretaries, heads of department, senior and chief technical officers, permanent secretaries and officers of related grades.
Each level carries approximately five to six units, which is delivered over 40 teaching hours, and then they are followed by assessments,” she stated.
LDD has gained centre approval status for delivery of NVQ in Public Administration/Public Sector Management, and the Director said it would continue development of the Occupational Standard.