09.04.08

PLASA gains official status

AUTHOR: Inavate

UK - The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has announced that PLASA is the first trade association to become an awarding body in the entertainment, conference, and communications industries.

PLASA's accreditation is part of an initiative designed to allow the national qualifications system to recognise the specific needs of SMEs and larger organisations across the industry. It means that PLASA now shares the same status as other awarding bodies such as City & Guilds and Edexcel, and all future qualifications developed by the organisation can be submitted for National Accreditation in the same way as A-Levels or NVQs.

Part of the second wave of employers to achieve Awarding Body status, PLASA has been working with the QCA to conform to the rigorous standards required to become a QCA accredited awarding body.

The current reform of the vocational qualifications system includes QCA's development of a new Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF). The QCF creates a more flexible system that enables learners to build qualifications up from units, which allow them to control their own pace of learning by gaining qualifications over time. The framework is currently being trialled in many different businesses and sectors and various options are now available for employers to provide nationally recognised training for their staff. Employers may choose to become awarding bodies in their own right, as the Ministry of Defence, McDonald's, Flybe and Network Rail have done. Employers may also work with further education providers or representative organisations, such as PLASA.

More than 30 other employers have also already had their training nationally accredited by working in partnership with existing awarding bodies. This wide range of new opportunities for employers to have bespoke training accredited greatly expands the ways in which skills gaps can be addressed and learners can gain credit and recognition for their hard work and achievements.

Nicky Greet, Professional Development Manager at PLASA comments: "The real benefit of us becoming an awarding body is that we can offer industry-led qualifications developed for those who work in a specific sector by the employers and specialists in that sector. This level of input into the qualification and the fact that it sits in the QCF will guarantee that those who achieve their assessment will attain a credible qualification that demonstrates what they actually do, whilst also ensuring that it is delivered in such a way to fit in with the flexible nature of work in the industry sectors PLASA represents."

Praising the efforts of those who had worked to achieve this status, PLASA CEO Matthew Griffiths added: "I am very pleased by PLASA's achievement of Awarding Body status, and that we are continuing to take the lead in developing qualifications that are absolutely relevant to our sector. The fact that our industry can influence the make-up of its own nationally recognised vocational qualifications is an important step forward for all of us."