By Dr. Kipkirui Langat
One of the core mandates of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) is the accreditation of all persons involved in training in the TVET sector to ensure quality of training.
After three years of painstakingly setting up the legal framework, structures and recruitment of relevant personnel, TVETA has this year finally started the critical process of registration and accreditation of TVET trainers, assessors and verifiers in line with the TVET Act, 2013. The Authority has accredited the first batch of 905 trainers and assessors. Their names have been listed in our website www.tveta.go.ke.
Registration and accreditation of trainers, assessors and verifiers is an open and continuous exercise hence the list will be regularly updated after more applications have been reviewed and approved by the TVETA Board.
One of the things the Authority has developed to ensure that a crop of highly qualified trainers is licensed is the development of a Trainer Qualification Framework, which is a proposed set of guidelines designed to be used during training, recruitment and maintenance of quality trainers in both public and private TVET institutions.
A qualification framework provides quality assurance by ensuring that all qualifications on offer at educational institutions are authorized by accrediting agencies. This framework sets accreditation indicators for each qualification level and establishes equivalencies between qualifications at all levels.
The Competent Based Education and Training (CBET) we have embraced as a country aims at preparing learners more effectively for real workplaces, which means that the acquisition of competences takes into account the requirements of companies and industry. Furthermore, CBET enables employees not only to increase their knowledge and skills at the workplace but also to gain nationally accredited certificates for workplace-based learning.
Allow me to make a distinction between a trainer, assessor and verifier. A trainer facilitates, guides or instructs training to trainees and in the process can assess them. Therefore, a trainer is also an assessor. An Assessor’s main role is to assess candidates’ performance and related knowledge in a range of tasks. He/she also ensures that the competence or knowledge demonstrated meets the requirements of the qualification. An assessor can either be an instructor or trainer, a workplace trainer or a skilled worker. An assessor must demonstrate the necessary interpersonal and communication skills required in the assessment process.
Meanwhile a verifier monitors the work of assessors involved with a particular qualification to ensure the accuracy and consistency of assessment activities and decisions. The main role of a verifier is to monitor the work of all assessors involved with the qualification to ensure that they are applying the assessment criteria for the competence of skills consistently throughout all assessment activities and decisions.
According to TVET Regulations 2015, which operationalised the TVET Act, 2013, any person who intends to become a trainer in a TVET institution shall apply to the TVET Authority for a trainers’ licence where the trainer has the training qualifications required for competency-based education and training in various trainer’s levels.
It further clarifies that the trainer should have the following minimum competencies. The competence to planning of training session, competence to deliver competency-based training (CBET), competence to conduct competency assessment and finally the competence to maintain training facilities and ensure internal quality assurance.
Trainers shall be required to renew their training licence periodically with evidence of continuous professional development as required by the Authority.
Therefore, at the onset our basic consideration for the registration of a TVET trainer or assessor is that the applicant should possess a minimum of a craft certificate in the trade area he/she want to train from a recognised learning institution. This means that a trainer must possess a higher qualification than the level he/she seeks to offer instruction in. Those with craft certificate can only train artisan students while those diploma will train craft students and so forth.
Equally important, the applicant should also possess pedagogy (the art of teaching) skills from a recognized learning institution.
The knowledge required by trainers is divided into three types. First is the content knowledge which refers to the knowledge of the matter being taught. Then there is pedagogical knowledge, the knowledge of the teaching methods and finally the knowledge of teaching methods appropriate to the subject taught.
TVET Authority has put in place the legal framework and developed the required quality assurance mechanisms to ensure that the trainers licensed to offer training in our TVET institutions meet the highest standards. This is so because a skilled workforce is one of the basic requirements for achieving sustainable national development in any nation. The TVET sector is perceived as the key to building this type of skilled technical and entrepreneurial workforce.
The writer is the Director Genera/CEOl of TVET Authority