National Council on Technical and Vocational Education
and Training (NCTVET), is advising the public of the
need and importance of certification, including certification
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,”
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
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
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
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
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
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.