Why NVQs are not enough

I have just started working with a national charity to improve performance management through an investment in management skills. The HR manager who I am working with said

“All of our managers have been through the NVQ level 3 in Management – but they are still unable or unwilling to recognise and manage under-performers”.

This shows the dangers of pursuing qualifications – rather than pursuing performance. We seem to be trapped in a public policy for vocational education and training that puts qualifications above practice.

We are getting a more qualified workforce – but not necessarily a more able one.

Or am I wrong?


  1. No, you are absolutely right :0)

  2. I’d be interested in sharing & comparing the interventions you are designing with the development plans we are putting in place here. The theory appears to be there but developing an appetite to tackle performance issues is more tricky

  3. Hi Margaret

    I think you are so right. This is not about skills and techniques, but about courage and commitment. In my experience development plans can help only if the right leadership is in place to provide a real sense of urgency and expectation about performance improvement in pursuit of a worthwhile mission. And I don’t mean a ‘bullying’ performance management culture but one that is about developing potential and creative problem solving.

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