NVQ Care Level 3

NVQ - National Vocational Qualification

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The Units          Evidence         Portfolio          Books

The NVQ awards are based on competence standards which reflect the daily work of the candidate.  The candidate will be assessed in the workplace by trained NVQ Assessors, and supported by Underpinning Knowledge sessions

The NVQ in Care, levels 2 and 3 are carried out at the candidate's own pace, although it is possible to achieve Level 2 in 9 months, and Level 3 in 12 months.

I will here concentrate on NVQ Level 3.

NVQ Level 3 is considered to be the equivalent of one 'A' Level.  It is now accepted as an entry requirement for Registered Nurse training.  Having achieved Level 3, the successful candidate may then apply for Health Care Assistant posts   (Grade C)

Guernsey's Institute of Health Studies provide NVQ training in Care levels 2 and 3, for (Board of Health employed) Nursing Auxiliaries and Care Assistants.  The IHS also offer the A1 (previously NVQ D32/D33) training for prospective NVQ Assessors.


Types of Evidence

Direct Observation

The Candidate is observed in their normal working practice, completing a task relevant to the appropriate unit.  There should be some prior planning and discussion, and should be followed by discussion, oral questioning and feedback (including a Feedback Report sheet).   You need at least 2 for each unit.  Sometimes it is not possible to provide evidence of competencies during your normal work.  It may be necessary to perform a Direct Observation as a Simulation - when a colleague may act as a patient for instance.

Witness Testimonies

A colleague who is present when you achieve a competency relevant to the appropriate unit - may write a witness testimony.  You need at least 2 for each unit

Candidate Statement

You may write your own statement regarding something you did in the course of your work (eg)

Witness Status List

All those who have written witness statements, and your Assessor, should sign the Witness Status List for each unit

Action Plan

The form that your assessor completes when you discuss and agree what needs to be done - perhaps weekly.  You need at least 2 for each unit

Feedback Report

The form you and your assessor complete when you discuss and agree how things have been going, and after Direct Observations etc.  You need at least 2 for each unit


Written or Oral Questions

Work Products

For example:  Care Plans, Accident Reports, Written Records (but ALWAYS maintain confidentiality by deleting any identifying factors)


Such as Case Studies, Written Accounts, Projects, Reflective Accounts



The Candidate is required to create a Portfolio for each Unit

This should contain the following:

Contents Page - with item numbers
Witness Status List
National Standards (Copies of Units, Elements - Performance Criteria etc)
Assessment Plan
Action Plans (at least 2)
Feedback Reports  (at least 2)
Direct Observations  (at least 2)
Witness Testimonies  (at least 2)
Pre-Set Written Questions and Answers
Other Evidence
All Items of Evidence must include the Candidate's Name, Candidate Number and Date



On completion of each unit, the candidate will enter the evidence numbers on the Assessment Plan, and then enter the Portfolio for Internal Verification. 

The Internal Verifier will check these items in particular:   (where a number is specified - that is the least number required)

Is there an Assessment Plan?
Does it match the Performance Criteria, Knowledge and Range?
Are there 2 Direct Observations?
Are there 2 Feedback Reports?
Are there 2 Action Plans?
Are there 2 Witness Statements?
Is there sufficient Evidence?
Is the Evidence reliable?
Is the Evidence valid?
Is the Evidence authentic?
If competent, is the appropriate documentation completed?
Is there any indication of a training need for the Assessor arising from the IV process?


The Units

There are 5 mandatory units, and 7 others.  Guernsey's Board of Health have agreed a further 5 'mandatory' units (to be able to apply for Health Care Assistant) and a choice of a further 2 units. 

The Mandatory Units for Level 3

O2       CL1        CU1     CU7     Z1

Guernsey's Board of Health (Mental Health Services) further 'mandatory' units

CU2      CU9       NC7      Z7     X19

A choice of 2 further units.  The present candidates on the Acute Mental Health Unit have opted for

SC8     Z8


Each of the 12 units are subdivided into 2, 3 or 4 Elements, which are usually expressed as in the following example O2.1,  O2.2, and O2.3 meaning Unit Number O2, subdivided into first element O2.1, second element O2.2 etc  Each Element contains several (usually between 6 and 12) Performance Criteria in which the Candidate has to provide evidence of competency.  Evidence is produce by means of Direct Observations; Witness Testimonies; Candidate Statements; Work Products such as Care Plans; Assignments such as Case Studies, Projects, Reflective Accounts (of your work); Simulations; Written and Oral Questioning etc


O2  Promote People's Equality, Diversity and Rights

O2.1  Promote People's Rights and Responsibilities

O2.2  Promote Equality and Diversity of People

O2.3  Promote People's Right to the Confidentiality of Information


CL1  Promote Effective Communication and Relationships

CL1.1  Develop Relationships with People which value them as individuals

CL1.2  Establish and maintain Effective Communication with People


CU1  Promote, Monitor and Maintain Health, Safety and Security in the Workplace

CU1.1  Monitor and maintain the Safety and Security of the Work Environment

CU1.2  Promote Standards of Health and Safety in Working Practice

CU1.3  Minimise the Risks arising from Health Emergencies


CU7  Develop one's own Knowledge and Practice

CU7.1  Reflect on and Evaluate one's own Values, Priorities, Interests and Effectiveness

CU7.2  Synthesise new Knowledge into the Development of one's own Practice


Z1  Contribute to the Protection of Individuals from Abuse

Z1.1  Contribute to Minimising the Level of Abuse in Care Environments

Z1.2  Minimise the Effects of Abusive Behaviour

Z1.3  Contribute to Monitoring Individuals who are at Risk from Abuse


CU2  Prepare and Maintain Environments for Clinical Procedures

CU2.1  Prepare Environments for Clinical Procedures

CU2.2  Maintain Environments following Clinical Procedures


CU9  Contribute to the Development and Effectiveness of Work Teams

CU9.1  Contribute to Effective Team Practice

CU9.2  Contribute to the Development of Others in the Work Team

CU9.3  Develop Oneself in own Work Role


NC7  Contribute to Raising Awareness of Health Issues

NC7.1  Assist in assessing the Need for raising Awareness of Health Issues

NC7.2  Assist in Planning Activities to raise Awareness of Health Issues

NC7.3  Raise People's Awareness about specific Health Issues

NC7.4  Contribute to the Evaluation and Improvement of Awareness Raising


X19  Prepare and Undertake agreed Clinical Activities with Clients in Acute Care Settings

X19.1  Prepare Clients for Clinical Activities

X19.2  Undertake Clinical Procedures, Treatments and Dressings

X19.3  Obtain and Test Specimens from Clients

X19.4  Measure and Monitor the Physical Characteristics and Condition of Clients


Z7  Contribute to the Movement and Handling of Individuals to maximise their Physical comfort

Z7.1  Prepare Individuals and Environments for Moving and Handling

Z7.2  Assist Individuals to move from one Position to another

Z7.3  Assist Individuals to prevent and minimise the adverse Effects of Pressure


Z8 Support Individuals when they are Distressed

Z8.1  Contribute to the Prevention of Individuals Distress

Z8.2  Support Individuals in Times of Distress


SC8  Contribute to the Development, Provision and Review of Care Programmes

SC8.1  Obtain Information about Clients and their Needs of the Service

SC8.2  Contribute to Planning how Client's Needs can best be met

SC8.3  Agree Services to be Provided to meet Clients' Needs

SC8.4  Contribute to Reviewing the Effectiveness of Care Programmes


Assessors Award   D32/D33

(the D32/D33 has now been replaced with the new A1 award)

D32 Assess Candidate Performance

D321  Agree and Review a Plan for Assessing Performance

D322  Collect and Judge Performance Evidence against Criteria

D323  Collect and Judge Knowledge Evidence

D324  Make Assessment Decision and provide Feedback


D33  Assess Candidate using differing Sources of Evidence

D331  Agree and Review an Assessment Plan

D332  Judge Evidence and provide Feedback

D333  Make Assessment Decisions using differing Sources of Evidence and provide Feedback


Internal Verifier's Award  D34

(the D34 has now been replaced by the V1 award)

D34  Internally Verify the Assessment Process

D341  Advise and Support Assessors

D342  Maintain and Monitor Arrangements for processing Assessment Information

D343  Verify Assessment Practice



NVQ Level 3 Care 
Study Guide - NVQ Care Level 3
Mental Health Care - A workbook for care workers
NVQ Level 2 in Care  Student Handbook
NVQs in Nursing and Residential Homes
Preparing Your NVQ Portfolio -  a step by step guide for candidates
A Pathway to NVQs in Practice - an Underpinning Knowledge
Knowledge to Care - a handbook for care assistants
The NVQ and GNVQ Assessors Handbook


NVQ Assessment Centre
NVQ Assessors Qualifications


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17 November 2002