GQA Qualifications Blog

Wednesday 5 March 2014

MTCs-more to it than I thought

I have spent some considerable time working with my GQA colleagues Andy Carrington and Phil Douglas to plan and deliver the first 2 of 5 planned MTC Standardisation sessions.  28 members of Assessment teams from 14 different GQA Approved Centres attended to hear more about the FENSA MTC scheme that GQA is involved in and I have to say they were some of the most interesting events I have been involved in since joining GQA in 2009.

The chance to get a number of our Centres together to discuss what is a significant step for upskilling and recognising competence in fenestration, was something we looked forward to and we were not disappointed with the amount of discussion and debate that took place. The meetings were roughly speaking split into 2 linked, but different sessions; the morning focussed on the MTC scheme itself, from the origins of the MTCs, the administration side of the process with GGF Training, through to the knowledge tests, site visits, evidence requirements and issue of MTC cards.
The afternoon started with all of the assessment team undertaking a version of the MTC knowledge tests followed by Andy delivering a session on best practice in assessment and a Building Regulations refresher.

Centres have been waiting patiently for the MTC scheme launch and although much has been discussed over a number of meetings over the last 2 to 4 months this was the real thing. The first, big message we wanted to get across was to stress that a robust, initial assessment of the candidate lays the foundations for the rest of the process.
Although Centres are used to doing this for qualification routes to competence we felt the MTC scheme required a different, much more specific, approach with the emphasis being with the candidate to give an honest self-assessment of their skills and knowledge directly related to the requirements of the MTC criteria. 
The document we used to demonstrate this proved so popular that it is likely several Centres will adopt this exactly as it is.

The most common thought from the people present was “this is much more involved than we thought”. Naturally, when a new scheme is introduced that is potentially able to be completed in a single day, many people could assume this would be a short cut route that is not as robust as the assessments for a qualification. Although there is no denying that as a qualification is normally completed over a number of site visits and the assessor sees evidence of consistency and performance over a period of time, the FENSA MTC card is something that has to be earned so we have set clear guidelines on what we expect from Centres.
It was good to see the positive way the Centres took the information, advice and guidance provided and as all Centres who attended completed the Service Level Agreement issued by GGF Training  we did not scare anyone off!

A number of other MTC Standardisation sessions are already in the diary and as there is a requirement for all involved in MTC assessment to attend a Standardisation meeting we expect these to quickly get booked up and we are fully prepared to put more sessions on as needed.
If your Centre is involved in the scheme, you need to contact Emma at GQA, e-mail to or 01142 720033 to book your place on one of the Standardisation meetings; if your Centre is not currently involved in the scheme but want to know more speak to Mick, Sean, Andy or Phil at GQA or contact Rebecca or Sarah at GGF Training on 020 7397 7206.