GQA Qualifications Blog

Thursday 10 November 2011

GQA Qualifications for the Coatings Industry

The first Centre to offer the new GQA Coatings Industry Qualifications was launched, at Hull College on 22nd September, the result of a collaborative project involving the GQA, Proskills, the British Coatings Federation and Hull College. The event, held at the College’s Process Annex, known as the ‘CATCH’, was hosted, jointly, by the College and the BCF. Those attending included members of the BCF Board, along with representatives from several Coatings Manufacturers, the National Apprenticeship Service and the Oil and Colour Chemists Association. It goes almost without saying that, for the GQA, this event was a genuine milestone, marking the intention to expand its remit to cover a wider range of industries, alongside Glass. The Hull Centre has provisional approval to offer the new GQA, Ofqual accredited, QCF Coatings Qualifications from levels 2 to 4 and, for the future, level 5.

Additionally, via Proskills, Coatings Apprenticeship Frameworks, have been developed, at levels 2 and 3, both of which attract age dependent Government funding. These are based upon the level 2 and 3 competence and technical certificates and will also be offered by Hull College.
The new QCF Qualifications are:

• level 2 Certificate in Production of Coatings
• level 2 Diploma in Production of Coatings
• level 3 Certificate in Production of Coatings*
• level 2 Certificate in Coatings Technology
• level 3 Certificate in Coatings Technology
• level 4 Certificate in Coatings Technology
• level 5 Diploma in Coatings Technology

*The level 3 Production Certificate includes both Process and Laboratory pathways, depending on the learner’s job role.

The apprenticeship frameworks also include Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS), Functional Skills (Maths, English, ICT), Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR).
In practice, the production competence certificates and diplomas will be delivered by industry and assessed in the workplace by qualified Industry Assessors. At Hull, technical certificate learning material will be provided and delivered by British Coatings Federation tutors, albeit assessed by the College Assessment Team. Other proposed centres however, may choose to develop, deliver and assess their own learning material.

PLTS and Functional Skills within the apprenticeships can be delivered by Colleges or other approved providers. ERR is delivered as part of the GQA Technical Certificate or assessed via a standard workbook, issued by Proskills.

Industry response, to date, has been encouraging, enquiries having been received for all the qualifications, currently on offer, also the apprenticeship frameworks. Discussions are also in progress towards a second Coatings Centre, within a major coatings manufacturer in the North East, hopefully to commence operation early 2012.
For further information, the qualification structures can be viewed in the GQA web-site: or the Ofqual Register of Qualifications