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«First edition: January 2003 Second edition: May 2008 Publication code: DB1772/2 Published by the Scottish Qualifications Authority The Optima ...»

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Assessor’s guidelines for the

SVQs in Amenity Horticulture at

levels 2 and 3 and Amenity

Horticulture Management at

level 4

First edition: January 2003

Second edition: May 2008

Publication code: DB1772/2

Published by the Scottish Qualifications Authority

The Optima Building, 58 Robertson Street, Glasgow, G2 7DQ, and Ironmills

Road, Dalkeith, Midlothian, EH22 1LE

The information in this publication may be reproduced in support of SQA qualifications. If it is

reproduced, SQA should be clearly acknowledged as the source. If it is to be used for any other purpose, then written permission must be obtained from the Support Materials Development Officer at SQA. It must not be reproduced for trade or commercial purposes.

© Scottish Qualifications Authority 2003, 2008 bContents About this guide 1 Introduction 2 About SVQs 2 How are standards defined in SVQs? 3 Who is involved in SVQs? 3 The steps involved in assessing a candidate for an SVQ 4 1 The SVQs in Amenity Horticulture 5 Structure of the SVQs 5 An assessment strategy for the SVQ 8 Why would people be interested in the SVQ? 9 How do candidates begin? 9 Choosing the SVQ 9 2 Preparing to assess the SVQ 11 Your role and your candidate’s role 11 Planning 12 Assessment plan (example 1) 13 Selecting methods of assessment 14 Methods of assessment 15 Other methods of assessment 16 Other sources of evidence 18 3 Generating evidence 19 Observation 20 Questions and candidate responses 22 Candidate’s personal statement 24 Witness testimony 26 Filling the gaps 28 Guidance and support to candidates 28 Judging candidate evidence and making an assessment decision 28 Insufficient evidence 29 Authenticati

–  –  –

Using assessments based on these examples does not guarantee successful verification — it is still your responsibility to ensure that internal quality assurance procedures are followed.

Introduction This introduction provides a brief overview of SVQs and how they are assessed in the workplace. If you are already familiar with the concept of SVQs, you may wish to go to the next section.

About SVQs Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are work-based qualifications which set the level of occupational competence for each sector of the economy. The qualifications have been designed by standards-setting bodies — in most cases these bodies are also National Training Organisations (NTOs) — made up of experienced practitioners who represent employers, professional bodies, trade unions, education and voluntary organisations.

Each standards-setting body is responsible for developing national standards which define what employees (or potential employees) must be able to do, how well, and in what circumstances, to show that they are competent in their work.

Each SVQ which a standards-setting body develops has to fit into a broad framework which allows qualifications in the UK and throughout Europe to be compared. SVQs are specified at five levels which reflect the various technical and supervisory skills knowledge and experience, which employees should have as they progress in their industry.

Explanation of levels Defines competent performance in a range of activities which are Level 1 largely routine and predictable.

Specifies that competent performance must be shown in a broader Level 2 range of work activities which are less routine and predictable. The employee will have more autonomy and responsibility, and may have to work as part of a team.

Specifies that competent performance must involve the employee in Level 3 carrying out a broad range of varied work activities, most of which are complex and non-routine. There is considerable autonomy and responsibility, including the possibility of controlling or guiding others.

Specifies competence as complex technical or professional work Level 4 activities which require a substantial degree of personal autonomy or responsibility. Managing staff and other resources is often involved.

Specifies competent performance as involving the employee in Level 5 carrying out a significant range of activities in a wide variety of situations which are often unpredictable. Substantial responsibility and autonomy is involved in the work, which requires decisionmaking in the allocation of resources and the work of others. This will require complex skills such as analysis, design and evaluation.

How are standards defined in SVQs?

All SVQs consist of standards which can be broken down into various parts.

Units define the broad functions carried out in the sector, and are made up of a number of Elements. These Elements describe the activities which employees have to perform, and will require candidates to demonstrate certain skills or knowledge and understanding.

The quality of performance in what people must be able to do — how well they have to perform — is described by Performance Criteria. These may also be called statements of competence or what candidates should do.

The section on knowledge and understanding says what candidates must know and understand, and how this knowledge applies to their jobs.

You may also come across standards containing statements on scope. These statements could, for example, list the equipment that candidates are expected to be familiar with and use in their occupational area.

Increasingly, you may see changes to this format as standards become more userfriendly and are written in plain English. For example, there may be some standards containing range statements or Evidence Requirements, but over time these should disappear. You may, however, find that information on the context, nature and amount of evidence which is required to prove competence (which used to be given in range statements and Evidence Requirements) is now defined in the assessment guidance for the qualification. Assessment guidance is drawn up by the awarding body and is packaged along with the standards to form the SVQ.

Who is involved in SVQs?

There are several roles:

–  –  –

* Assessors and verifiers in centres will be asked by SQA to prove they have the appropriate occupational competence to assess and verify the SVQ. Occupational competence has been defined by the standards-setting body in the assessment strategy for this SVQ(s) — see SQA’s website: www.sqa.org.uk Assessors and verifiers are also expected to obtain an appropriate qualification in assessment and verification — this can be the Assessor/Verifier Units (the national standards for assessment and verification), either in their current format or as ‘D-Units’ or an alternative qualification which SQA recognises.

The steps involved in assessing a candidate for an SVQ In deciding whether a candidate should get an SVQ, you will go through these


♦ planning for assessment ♦ generating and collecting evidence of the candidate’s competence in the Units ♦ judging the evidence of the candidate’s ability and making an assessment decision based on the evidence ♦ recording the assessment decision and the candidate’s achievement 1 The SVQs in Amenity Horticulture The SVQs in Amenity Horticulture have been developed by Lantra and are intended for people in amenity horticulture working for local authority or commercial companies and involved in nursery work, landscaping, interior landscaping and cemeteries and graveyards. These people may be working as propagators, nursery workers, landscape or maintenance staff. They will require skills and knowledge specific to the area of horticulture in which they are employed and this may include propagating, growing, planting and maintaining plants and plant collections.

The SVQs are designed to be assessed in the workplace, or in conditions of the workplace. Examples of the settings or centres in which the SVQs are likely to be delivered include: the workplace, practical facilities at a college, training organisation or other nursery not available at own place of employment.

Structure of the SVQs This section lists the Units which form the SVQ in Amenity Horticulture at levels 2 and 3 and Amenity Horticulture Management at level 4.

Level 2 Amenity Horticulture Candidates must achieve both mandatory Units plus five optional Units.

If all five optional Units are chosen from the same option group (eg A), the certificate will display the occupational route chosen, eg ‘Amenity Horticulture (Nursery)’. If optional Units are chosen from a variety of option groups, the certificate will display ‘Amenity Horticulture’.

–  –  –

Additional Unit (It is recommended that Unit L7 is an additional Unit for those candidates following the Sports Turf optional route) D9CD 04 Unit L7 Present, Maintain and Repair Artificial Playing Surfaces for Play Level 3 Amenity Horticulture Candidates must achieve all four mandatory Units plus five optional Units.

If all five optional Units are chosen from the same option group, the certificate will display the occupational route chosen, eg ‘Amenity Horticulture (Landscaping)’. If optional Units are chosen from a variety of option groups, the certificate will display ‘Amenity Horticulture’.

–  –  –

Optional Units Option Group A — Landscaping AT69 04 L16 Specify and Monitor Landscape Maintenance D9CF 04 L17 Produce Plants for Decorative Horticultural Displays D9C6 04 L18 Maintain and Develop Decorative Horticultural Displays AT63 04 L19 Create Grassed and Planted Areas AT6K 04 L22 Manage Planted Areas for their Amenity Value AT64 04 L23 Prepare Sites for Landscape Construction and Installation AT65 04 L24 Construct Hard Landscape Components AT66 04 L25 Restore Landscape Areas and Components B5RR 04 CU28 Prepare for and Maintain Equipment and Machines D9CH 04 CU75 Transplant Large Root-balled Trees D9CC 04 CU81 Prepare and Apply Pesticides D9C0 04 CU85 Design Landscape Areas and Specify Materials and Components B43B 04 CU91 Assess the Characteristics of Sites D3XL 04 3.2 Improve the Customer Relationship (ICS) D3XN 04 3.4 Monitor and Solve Customer Service Problems (ICS) B6G8 04 C12 Lead the Work of Teams and Individuals to Achieve their Objectives (Management Standards) Option Group C — Sports Turf The Sports Turf option is dealt with in a separate Assessor Guidelines publication.

Level 4 Amenity Horticulture Management

–  –  –

An assessment strategy for the SVQ As part of its review of the SVQ(s) in Amenity Horticulture levels 2 and 3 and Amenity Horticulture Management level 4, the standards-setting body Lantra has

developed an assessment strategy which defines a range of requirements:

♦ the occupational expertise of assessors and verifiers ♦ a definition of simulation ♦ definition of the workplace ♦ information on a model of independent assessment or external quality control The relevant parts of the assessment strategy can be found on SQA’s website (www.sqa.org.uk).

Why would people be interested in the SVQ?

People will take SVQs for a variety of reasons; to gain promotion, to prove their job competence, or for personal development. There will be other reasons too.

One of the first things to do is to find out why your candidates want to do the SVQ, and to advise them of the appropriateness of the qualification. If anyone is acting as a coach or mentor to your candidates, they might help you to do this.

How do candidates begin?

Choosing the SVQ You should make sure that candidates get guidance before starting out on an SVQ — they need advice to ensure that their existing job remit, skills, experience, and their plans for progression, are matched to the SVQ selected. It does not have to be you as the assessor, who carried out the matching process, but whoever has responsibility for this should ensure that the assessment opportunities available to the candidate are also considered.

An example John had worked as a charge hand on a local authority nursery for two years but did not possess any formal qualifications. He wanted to gain a nationally recognised qualification which would recognise the skills he already had. The nursery manager told John about SVQs and suggested that he meet with the training organiser for the local authority to find out more about what was involved.

During the course of discussions with the training officer, it became apparent that John’s experience and skills should be able to generate sufficient evidence to meet the requirements of several of the SVQ Units in Amenity Horticulture (Nursery)

at level 2. The Units for which evidence could be generated straight away were:

♦ CU 73 Propagate Plants from Seed ♦ CU 77 Monitor Environmental Conditions for Protected Crops ♦ CU 79 Identify, Collect and Prepare Plants for Dispatch ♦ CU 5 Develop Personal Performance and Maintain Working Relationships The training organiser arranged for an assessor within the local authority training unit to provide John with guidance on how to collect evidence and construct a portfolio to achieve the Units CU73, CU77, CU79 and CU5.

John also had some experience in relation to two further Units, however, some planning was required in order to provide him with the opportunity to demonstrate

competence in these areas. These Units were:

♦ CU 72 Propagate Plants by Vegetative Methods ♦ CU 2 Monitor and Maintain Health and Safety The training organiser arranged for an assessor from a local Further Education college to visit John on the nursery during the year to assess him for the Units CU72 and CU2. These were assessed through a combination of observation, questioning and assessment of work products.

John had very little knowledge of preparing growing media but it was decided that this would be a useful skill for him to take and so it was agreed that the final

optional Unit he would take would be:

–  –  –

It was agreed that training would be provided by the Further Education college for Unit CU74, the assessment being carried out when the standard had been reached.

All the arrangements were agreed by everyone involved and then written up in an assessment plan for John.

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