Expanding Access to TVET in the Caribbean

The Caribbean region is unique in Commonwealth in that it has a regionally recognised competency-based certification system known as the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ). Throughout the 12 Commonwealth Caribbean countries, CVQ is offered in schools (Level 1 & 2) and TVET Institute (Level 1-4). The objective is to improve quality of skills training and enhance labour mobility.

One of the limitations to uptake of the CVQ is the accreditation of Assessors (teachers & instructors) which is carried out by Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) and approved National Training Authorities (NTAs). These are currently only in 6 countries – Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago. The current workshop model of training is expensive, involves transport and accommodation and limits the number of people who can be assessed and accredited.

Working through CANTA, COL has supported the NTAs of Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago to develop and deliver online CVQ assessor training aimed at standardising training across the region and increasing the number of qualified assessors. The programme is now on the second cohort with 58 candidates from eight Caribbean countries. 26 candidates successfully completed the pilot delivery in 2017. An important dimension is support from the University of the West Indies St Augustine School of Education and IT Services, which hosts the programme for free on their Moodle.

To further strengthen the CVQ assessor system, and at the request of CANTA, COL is now supporting the development of online verifier training in order to provide affordable capacity-building for industry stakeholders involved in quality assurance against the CVQ competency standards.