Assessing the business and employee benefits resulting from the implementation of NVQs
National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) have been introduced and developed within a competency framework by successive UK governments. Potential benefits are listed as improved skills, less skills shortages and more appropriate job-employee fit. However, there has been considerable and sustained criticism of NVQs from employers, employees and academics. Criticisms include excessive bureaucracy, overly complex terminology and a lack of credibility of the competence concept. This case-based study examines the implementation of NVQs in an organisation based on 60 semi-structured interviews with those involved. The findings reveal that NVQ is seen as a training regime within the organisation and that there are no clear links to improved business performance or employee morale. Moreover, there were contextual problems in applying the standard.