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More on NVQ qualifications

23 February 2006

I was glad to read Matt Lewis's comments (Caterer, 16 February, page 26) that the Hospitality Awarding Body (HAB) will remain operating under the umbrella of City & Guilds. I myself will continue to use the HAB portfolios, maybe mixing and matching the questions.

The term "underpinning knowledge" that Matt Lewis refers to is not part of the new standards and has been replaced with "what you must know". For example, Unit 2FP1 - "Prepare fish for basic dishes" has 11 "K" (knowledge) statements, with K7 stating you must know how to carry out the following preparation methods correctly: filleting (removing pin bones, rib bones and spine), cutting (darne, tronchon, suprême, goujon, délice, paupiette), skinning, trimming, coating and marinating.

Surely this means that the candidate must know how to do these tasks and demonstrate them practically. There is no either-or part of the statement. HAB has questions that cover all of these, so it does away with the need for any supplementary questions. C&G has one K7 question about preparing paupiettes, and still requires supplementary questions.

The assessment strategy does state observation as the primary source of assessment, but does this not relate to assessing the candidate in what they are doing, rather than what they know?

The query over interpretation of the standards remains unanswered, and it seems that we will have to make up our own mind over how we assess and what route we take. It is, however, good to see that we can devise our own questions rather than use those the awarding bodies provide us.

Name and address withheld

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