The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) was introduced in 2010 as an updated framework encompassing all vocational qualifications, including the previous National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) system. The newly developed Units and Qualifications provide recognition of the skills, competence and knowledge of individuals who work in meteorological observing, forecasting and broadcasting.
The QCF awards provide EU-recognised qualifications aimed at employees who can meet national occupational standards of competence in the specific field for which the qualification is awarded.
National occupational standards define what someone is required to know and do in order to be able to carry out a particular piece of work. A process known as functional analysis is used to determine the activities that are undertaken to achieve the key purposes of a job. Standards for each of the activities are then designed to cover all aspects of performance and are always presented in terms of outcomes. National occupational standards for forecasters and observers have been developed through wide consultation with practising forecasters and observers in the field and are now approved for use.
Achievement of the qualifications is a nationally recognised statement about an individual's competence as a professional forecaster or observer. It is only available to experienced practitioners who can demonstrate that they have and can apply the skills and knowledge, which are set out in the national occupational standards. It is expected that all employers of forecasters and observers in the UK will move to using the QCF as an indication of proficiency. The qualifications will increase an individual's employment opportunities, within and outside the meteorological profession because every QCF is approved and moderated against criteria that meet nationally recognised standards. Experience from other employment sectors suggests that the system of assessment will help practitioners to learn more efficient ways of completing work activities.
The qualifications do more than assess what someone knows. They confirm that the owner of the qualification can apply their knowledge and skills in the workplace. QCF vocational awards are assessed differently to academic qualifications. There are no exams to sit. Candidates have to produce evidence to show how work activities were completed. This evidence is used to prove that the national occupational standards have been met.
In July 2012 some 6 QCF vocational awards have been approved. These are:
Level 3 Diploma in Meteorological Observing – 66 Credits
Level 4 Certificate for a Meteorological Forecasting Technician (QCF) – 28 Credits
Level 5 Diploma in Meteorological Forecasting – 85 Credits
Level 5 Certificate in Meteorological Broadcasting – 13 Credits
Level 5 Award in Meteorological Briefing – 9 Credits
Level 6 Diploma in Flood Forecasting – 50 Credits
Further details about these awards can be found at: Qualification Details