Certifications don’t always have a good name. It’s not totally clear if someone who holds a certification has practical skills and a deep understanding of a role when they start a new job, or just sound book knowledge. Employers are looking for more help to understand whether people can put knowledge into practice. The traditional process of certifications don’t ensure that the investment in training and education has a material impact on performance. Much of that is due to the nature of examinations and testing – they’re typically optimized for ease of marking and scaling rather than on the validation of skills.
All VFQ courses are designed to help you put theory into practice. Our material is based on the concept of Learning by Doing, and we believe that this is the best way to help people develop the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in this digital economy. Given our approach to learning, we’ve taken the same approach to our validation process.
We have built exams for standards bodies like the BCS (British Computer Society – The Chartered Institute for IT) and education material that meets the standards of post-graduate education. We’re well practised in the process of creating learning objectives, syllabuses, marking schemes and standardized approaches to the validation of learning. We know how they scale. We’re happy with the exams we’ve written and know that they’re a challenge to pass without practice and deep knowledge. They’re worth doing if you want to demonstrate knowledge. However, we wanted to go further in assessing practical application and making them more ‘work-based’ to support professionals. We want them to be truly valuable to the learner and to employers.
A VFQ certification is a mark based on real evidence of practice, action and reflection. It’s a certificate to be proud of. We’ve built them for practitioners and people who want to develop deeper expertise in actually doing what they learn. We offer more marks and weight for evidence of practical application over book knowledge. Every submission is reviewed and marked by a practitioner and expert in the field, doing the work similar to your field of study – not just someone trained to mark papers. They have been through the same process, and have studied and applied skills in the domain in both their own companies and other world-class companies.
One thing that needs to change with the traditional certification process is the lack of feedback that learners get at the end of the journey. Whether someone has passed or failed, we believe a learner deserves feedback. Our validation processes is a key part of the learning journey, and every VFQ submission will involve feedback loops that helps a learner improve.