JIS News

The National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), is advising the public of the need and importance of certification, including certification in agriculture.
Principally, certified skilled labour is a basic requirement for free movement in CARICOM, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), the Commonwealth and the rest of the global marketplace.
Speaking with JIS News, NCTVET Information Promotions Manager, Natalie Reid, informed that agriculture was one of the industries that required certification. “NCTVET conducts the assessment of agricultural courses done at Ebony Park Academy and also assesses individuals already in the agricultural workforce,” she said.
The NCTVET is the authorized body empowered to accredit organizations and award certification to individuals who have completed all units or mastered specific units of competency to qualify for the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J).Certified workers prepared by way of training and assessment are key in seizing opportunities in the global marketplace.
Those who are targeted for receiving the NVQ-J Certificate of Competence in agriculture are employees, self-employed individuals, displaced workers seeking new skills to re-enter the agricultural workforce, high school graduates, persons seeking new skills in agriculture and school leavers without certification.
“Assessment is competency based, meaning that the agricultural student and individuals already in the agricultural workforce are assessed against the standards set by the industry,” explained Miss Reid, and people are not competing against each other, but against the standard criteria or benchmarks.
This competency approach allows students to properly learn in a timely manner and facilitates flexibility for working individuals to expeditiously complete training and certification in various agricultural occupations.
Students are assessed at every stage of the agricultural programme and working individuals are assessed for evidence of the skills, knowledge and understanding required to perform in accordance with the global work environment.
Upon successful completion of the assessment, the agricultural candidate is awarded a Certificate of Competence from the NVQ-J. The certificates are awarded from levels 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, at a managerial, professional worker level.
The National Vocational Qualification is flexible. There are no time restrictions and no ‘A’Level requirements. The student can be assessed and certified at Ebony Park and the working individual is assessed on-the-job. The worker is assessed through observation of work, oral questioning and interviews, written assessment, role plays/simulations, recognition of prior learning, and peer and management feedback on performance.
For the candidates who are neither at Ebony Park nor working, they can still be assessed, as long as they register at an Accredited Training Organization (ATO).
Miss Reid noted that competency standards in agriculture are set for Crop Production, Livestock Production, Pig Rearing, Cattle Rearing, Ornamental Horticulture, Plant Propagation, Agro Processing, Poultry/Broiler, Poultry/Egg Production, Good Manufacturing Practices, Solar Drying, Tractor Operation and Maintenance, and Farm Maintenance.One of the areas, Crop Production, carries 22 units or courses, which must be passed in order to achieve qualification for Level 1 in crop production.
Of note is the compulsory unit in crop production, known as ‘Following Emergency Procedures”. In order to be certified in this area, the worker must show the knowledge and skill needed, as the unit demands that the worker be able to follow emergency procedures in emergency situations such as earthquake, quarantine breakdown, floods, storms, fire, power failure, heart failure, and serious personal injury.
The legislation and codes relevant to the agricultural workplace and specific Acts and Regulations relating to emergency situations are required knowledge for this unit, for they form a part of the structure underpinning the skills and ability needed to compete for and maintain agricultural jobs in the CSME.
The skills that the worker must demonstrate to pass the unit, include the ability to minimize emergency situations; planning for emergencies; how to act, as instructed, in emergencies; implementing fire prevention and control measures; rendering first aid for chemical burns or as required; applying fire safety measures; and writing incident reports.

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