GQA Qualifications Blog

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Print professionals help develop new GQA print qualifications

Developed for the print industry by print professionals

GQA Qualifications have launched a range of work based QCF NVQs for the print industry, which are the result of numerous meetings between a group of experienced print professionals who have helped to create the most relevant qualifications for today's print industry.

Getting the right people together

GQA's Technical Officer, Sean Hayes led the project which began with compiling a team of key print professionals to provide technical expertise. Hayes said “When GQA was asked to write the QCF qualifications for the Print Industry we formed a working group of Training Providers, Colleges and the Print Qualifications Reform Group to provide insight and expertise into the development process. Our main aim was to develop relevant, work based qualifications for the UK print industry and who better to contribute than print professionals who know the industry.”

Once the working group was compiled they attended a number of meetings to discuss the content of the new print qualifications, each contributing to discussions in order to build relevant and effective print qualifications for today's print industry.

Building ‘Better Qualifications’

The group gave GQA an insight into the areas of the industry that needed updating in terms of qualification content. Hayes said “The commitment shown by the working group to get the content of the qualifications right was obvious, and often what was intended to be a relatively short meeting developed into much more to ensure the quality of the qualification content was kept high”.

The valuable input of the working group meant that the qualifications are appropriate for all sizes of print companies. Jonathan Bray, Managing Director of Learn2Print was a member of the working group. Bray said, “A great deal of time and thought has gone into the development of these qualifications, they have been designed to take into account the impact of digital technology across all the processes and to give employers the flexibility to tailor a programme for individual needs. The qualifications present a pathway to enable a learner to progress from Level 2 to Level 4 suiting the needs of all within print regardless of age and experience.”

After numerous meetings the initial draft was agreed on by the group members and sent to other key parts of the industry for wider consultation. Appropriate amendments were made and the final qualifications were signed off.

The end result

After a year-long process of meetings and discussions the GQA print qualifications became available for delivery in May 2011. There are now ten GQA qualifications for the Print industry, with a further 2 being prepared for submission to the Regulatory Authorities at the time of writing:

  • GQA Level 2 Certificate in Understanding the Print Working Environment (QCF) – 600/2755/1
  • GQA Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pre-Press for Print (QCF) - 600/0608/0
  • GQA Level 2 NVQ Certificate In Machine Printing (QCF) - 600/0600/6
  • GQA Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Print Finishing (QCF) - 600/0599/3
  • GQA Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Print Administration (QCF) - 600/1743/0
  • GQA Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Digital Pre Press for Print (QCF) - 600/0609/2
  • GQA Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Machine Printing (QCF) - 600/0607/9
  • GQA Level 3 NVQ Certificate in Print Finishing (QCF) - 600/0523/3
  • GQA Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Print Administration (QCF) 600/2808/7
  • GQA Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Print Leadership (QCF) 600/2820/8

To find out more about these qualifications you can visit and search for 'GQA Print Qualifications' or contact GQA Qualifications.

Each qualification gives clearer guidance on what is required to prove knowledge and competence than any other print qualification before. The new qualifications will provide print workers with the opportunity to achieve a qualification suited to their role, regardless of the size of their Employer. Bray went on to say “The group worked hard to ensure the qualifications meet the national requirements ensuring a standardised approach for all training providers involved, it’s been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to it being rolled out to the industry.” Training providers throughout the UK are now starting to introduce the GQA print qualifications. More Training in Stoke-on-Trent are one of the training providers who contributed to the development of the qualifications and are now proud to offer them to their customers. Shane Eldershaw, the Print Programme Manager at More Training said, “The credibility of a new industry qualification is extremely important to us and the organisations we work with. GQA have developed the new suite of printing qualifications by listening to the changing needs of the industry. The qualifications are the result of collaboration with deliverers of print training and education and organisations of all shapes and sizes and are achievable yet challenging to the individual working in the sector.”

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