Report on effective training and development

Effective Training and Development

Effective training and development is an imperative aspect in human personnel management as it ensures that employees are equipped with suitable qualifications (both academic and professional skills). This means that employees can perform their duties effectively and be evaluated through performance appraisal to determine their weaknesses and strengths. The UK government has put in place various training programs that place an emphasis on lifelong learning and continuous development (Barrow, 2003, p. 97). A focus will be placed on Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA) and National Vocational Qualifications in this document by highlighting their effectiveness in personnel training and development. The significance of involving the modern apprenticeship schemes in vocational training of employees in the UK will be stated as well as their role in imparting skills in employees so as to attain varied business and organizational goals. The scope of this project report is to ascertain the significance of QCA and NVQs introduced in the UK market and then make recommendations on the best strategies to be used so as to attain long term visions.

The Qualification & Curriculum Authority (QCA)

A wide range of schemes have been sponsored in the UK by the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA) so as to facilitate educational training. These programs are aimed at helping redundant and unemployed people to develop vocational skills so as to find work (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011, p132). This means these programs increase knowledge and skills base of the UK employees and thus, enhance increased employee performance and economic growth. These competence-based training programmes support the career and development aspirations of learners and have no formal pre-entry qualifications. These programs enhance flexible and job-relevant learning through on-going training and evaluation in the workplace without a predestined period for completion. This means that they support employers’ objectives for personnel development by emphasizing on relevant job skills.

The Qualification and Curriculum Authority developed the UK national quantification framework that creates coherent classification for national vocational qualification programmes. This body sets and regulates the standards and qualifications in education and training of the personnel so as to enhance their professional performance (Mankin, 2009, p. 49). The QCA promotes research in employment skills as well as training employees based on the predetermined human resource development benchmarks. They also stimulate demand for learning as well as offer funding for special initiatives so as to support human resource development. This means that employees will develop practical skills needed in performing tasks effectively within organizations so as to enhance economic growth and development for at the national level.

The National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)

The National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) are also part of the UK national qualifications framework with regards to work-related and competence –based qualifications. They help in imparting skills and knowledge that is required to perform different tasks effectively and attain organizational goals. National vocational qualifications have suitable competence-based training that ensures that employees are equipped with skills needed to perform a range of varied work activities, in different contexts that could be complex and unpredictable. Irrespective of the multi-faceted benefits of these programs, NVQs have had difficulties relating to standards as employers are concerned about attaining their skill requirements and not necessarily those stated in the national employment framework.

Analysis of QCA and NVQs

The national qualifications programmes that are encompassed in QCA and NVQs are also side-lined with problems relating to assessment processes and educational issues. This is attributed to the fact that assessment processes developed by the UK national framework are time consuming due to the bureaucratic processes and specialist technology involved (Torrinton, Hall & Taylor, 2008, p. 107). The educational issues embraced by these programs are mainly focused on demonstration of job performance and thus, lacks training and development of employees’ cognitive and critical thinking skills. The development of these programmes by the UK government was underpinned by the fact that they were an investment in the labour market aimed at facilitating increased employee performance and economic development.

The levels of human resource development under the NVQs include the individual level, the organizational level and the national level. Under the individual level there is a close linkage between learning and job prospects, especially in issues relating minimization of unemployment and enhancement of overall output and learning. At the organizational level, personnel development facilitates corporate governance, increased return on investment and employee engagement and retention. At the national level, NVQs ensure that there is national competitiveness and growth of the nation’s GDP and improved social welfare.

The Kirk-Patrick’s model of four levels can be used so as to measure the reaction of employees in level one, learning in level two, behaviour in level three and then results in level four. Level one assesses employee satisfaction, level two measures the extent to which learning objectives were met, level three measures the transfer of learnt skills to the organization while level four measures the impact of the skills on the organizational performance in terms of productivity and efficiency.

UK Government’s Learning and Skilling Initiatives

The UK labour market faced challenges related to inadequacy of labour and reduced economic output. This meant that its competitiveness in the world economy was trivial as it had a smaller GDP compared to countries such as the US. Employee engagement and satisfaction was low due to inadequate skills that could have been attained through non-vocational training.

Launch of Learning and Skilling Initiatives

This was primarily promoted by the emergence of Human Capital Theory that viewed human resource development as an investment with regards to the state’s strategic vision (Kraiger, 2002, p. 72). The learning and skills council was set up in 2001 so as fund and plan all education and training for people over 16 years in UK. This was meant to raise participation in training by young people so as to have a large number of skilled and trained personnel that could be employed in industries and promote attainment of economic growth and development in the UK. The launch of the learning and skilling agencies in the UK was also aimed at helping the employers to identify skilling needs in response to their respective strategic plans and business goals.

Learning and skilling skills launched by the UK government enable businesses to identify required training needs of their employees. This means that different vocational training programmes are integrated so as to impart skills relating to literacy, communications, critical and problem-solving in their employees (Mankin, 2009, p. 68). The Management Charter Initiative (MCI) that was set up in 1998 also defines generic standards of assessment for management competence. This has an insinuation that best practices can be promoted in management education, training and development. This leads to another reason as to why the learning and skilling programs were set up; to develop ethical and qualification benchmarks so as to facilitate improved performance.

The various schemes that were established by the UK government on training and assessment of employees and potential employees had managerial and cost-effective impacts in human resource development. For instance, an assessment of the Return on Investment (ROI), systematic planning of personnel and enhanced vocational training were aimed at responding to the changing world economic conditions and technological developments (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011, p. 109). The vision was attained through the established programmes since the policies improved the productivity and competitiveness compared with other countries around the world. The two most effective training programmes that ought to be implemented in the UK are the voluntary new deal programs and the ambition program. These programs promote job search and retraining employees as well as improve job placement and retention that leads to attainment of long term business goals. The modern apprenticeship programmes have immense benefits since the training and development schemes that were initiated have benefits to individuals, organizations and the nation at large, especially with regards to national competitiveness and improved social welfare.


The QCA and NVQs mandate should be executed to endorse appropriate planning, development and evaluation of outcomes of training individuals towards the attainment of organizational goals (Kraiger, 2002, p. 83).

The best programs that ought to be implemented in the UK are the voluntary new deal programs and the ambition program. These programs promote job search and retraining employees as well as improve job placement and retention that leads to attainment of long term business goals.

The UK should also set up policies to make it mandatory for organizations to train and assess employees through the NVQs and QCA programs so as to enhance employee performance and increased GDP.


It is noticeable that different training programs were developed in the UK so as to impart different skills for effective performance among the personnel. For instance on-the-job training and development; and off-the-job training that ensure that employees are trained and assessed through performance appraisal. The advancement in technology makes it easier for trainees to be effectively informed on vital aspects on management, performance and attaining results in their respective work places (Torrinton, Hall & Taylor, 2008, p. 114). E-learning and open distance learning centres can be used in off-the-job learning programs and this means that employees can learn at their own convenience. Adherence to the QCA and NVQs was a pivotal step in human resource development for UK firms as it ensured that employees performed better, firms attained higher ROI and the economy of the state improved.

The modern apprenticeship schemes also take centre stage in the enhancement of improved performance by the employees in their places of work. This is attributed to skills relating to communication, literacy, problem-solving and effective critical thinking that are imparted in employees. Foundation Modern Apprenticeships (FMA) and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (AMA) help in off-the-job training of employees.


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