It is increasingly often the case that Polish employers, as they become aware of the value of human capital, seek qualified personnel. A well trained employee, i.e. one with expert knowledge, experience (practical skills) motivation and soft competences is significantly more efficient and, by the same token, more valuable for the company. Such personnel translate into increased income generated by the company. That is exactly why it pays off to invest in human capital. If you want to improve the qualifications of your employees or you are seeing experienced candidates with a particular occupational qualification, it may be worth you while to become familiar with the certificates issued by the Integrated Qualifications System (IQS).
What is a certificate?
A certificate is a document, which makes it possible to reliably assess the knowledge, skills and social competences of potential employees. To put is shortly: it proves that a given employee has the desired qualification. Employers can trust the certificates issued under the IQS, as the quality behind the qualification awarding process is supervised by the ministry. Each qualification is consulted with a group of experts in a given field and thus the requirements applicable to awarding a particular qualification are determined based on objective standards. A candidate receives a certificate which is an acknowledgement of a particular qualification. The certificate features a symbol of the Polish Qualifications Framework (PQF) with an assigned level determining the degree of complexity of knowledge, skills and social competences required of individuals with qualifications on a given level. PQF levels correspond to the European Qualifications Framework, which means that Polish certificates are recognised in all European Union states.
Support your employees in their professional development
With the IQS, individuals with no formal education can confirm their competence with a document other than a school graduation diploma. Accessibility of clearly described qualifications and a system for their acknowledgement enables easier organisation of suitable training for employees, referring them to courses or identifying the qualification an employee must acquire in order to be promoted.
What a candidate has to do in order to attain a qualification?
Each person applying for a certificate is required to go through the validation process. Validation consists in the assessment of sets of learning outcomes, that is a given scope of knowledge and skills, which have been checked and confirmed by an authorised Awarding Body. The process is conducted by designated experts with suitable knowledge and experience in a given professional area. In the event a particular qualification is not found in the system, the employer may request its incorporation. The list of qualifications can be found in the Integrated Qualifications Register (IQS). It should be noted that a certificate confirms the knowledge of the holder as well as what the holder can do – even if the person lacks education in a given discipline. For example: let us assume, that you know how to fit air conditioning units and other sanitary appliances. Find a suitable organisation, where experts will evaluate your skills. In the event your skills are verified successfully, you will receive a relevant certificate. This way a candidate is awarded a document, which he can later produce before a potential employer.
How to gain knowledge and experience if you are an employee?
Knowledge and experience are both components of learning outcomes, which can be acquired in any manner. Usually, we learn individually at home, at work or from our more experienced co-workers but also through various courses and workshops. On-line courses have become a popular learning method. If you want to prepare yourself or your employee for the attainment of a given qualification, it might be advisable to take advantage of the above-mentioned non-formal education options.
How do I know what I need to learn in order to be awarded a given qualification?
Find a description of a given occupational qualification in the Integrated Qualifications Register (IQR). The register includes key information, such as qualification descriptions and initial validation requirements, a list of learning outcomes and the criteria for their assessment – i.e. what you need to know and be able to do in order to receive a given certificate.
Certain qualifications may require additional skills and licenses – these may include full qualifications with a particular level, e.g. a matriculation certificate, a BA degree or a license for the performance of particular tasks, e.g. a driving licence. In some cases, it may be also required to have certain additional skills acknowledged, such as first aid skills. Additionally, it may be required to produce various documents, e.g. an insurance policy, a health certificate or a document confirming one’s license to practice a given profession.
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- How to have one’s competences validated and is it worth doing so?