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Spotlight: NHBC Principal Assessor

"Gaining an NHBC NVQ unlocks so many opportunities"

NHBC has now welcomed more than 5,000 candidates through its NVQ training programmes, 20 years since they were first introduced.

A construction NVQ, NHBC explains, is a benchmark qualification that proves occupational competence to employers. Some NVQs, which can also be the equivalent of a Bachelor’s degree, lead to membership of professional organisations including the Chartered Institute of Builders (CIOB) and the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE).

In recent years, NHBC’s NVQ offer has been specifically tailored to provide a greater focus on key housebuilding areas at Levels 3 to 7, mainly around construction site management.

We spoke with NHBC Principal Assessor Paul Carter to get his thoughts on this unique training offering.

  • How long have you been with NHBC’s training team? I started at NHBC in July 2016 and progressed to principal assessor in April 2018. I have always been involved in construction in some form; from working within the family business as a youngster, to gaining my brickwork qualifications and working for local employers and also as self-employed.
  • How has it evolved over this time? So much has changed since starting, not only the expansion of our NVQ team but training in general; it keeps going from strength to strength. As the business expands we have expanded our team, both internally and with external consultants.
  • What is the most rewarding aspect of guiding people through the NVQ programme? I would say that ultimately knowing that through your job, you have helped shape somebody’s future for the better, as gaining an NVQ unlocks so many opportunities in a career.
  • Any standout / highlights over this time? We send a feedback form to all candidates to complete and usually receive great comments of gratitude and thanks for the team’s help and support, guiding them through the NVQ. The biggest change for me was being promoted to Principal Assessor – when it comes to training and overall across the wider organisation, NHBC has so many opportunities for people to develop and progress.
  • Challenges during the pandemic – how have these been managed Primarily part of the NVQ delivery was us attending an actual site in development, this clearly stopped when the pandemic originally hit us all. However, we never stood still and looked at how we could adapt to continue delivering our offerings. We had already trialled the concept of remote delivery with some success, so we had the tools and means to adapt to the situation. We have continued at full strength in delivering NVQ’s and as lockdown restrictions ease we can now incorporate site visits alongside the remote assessments.
  • Anything else you’d like to add Paul? Since the pandemic hit and furlough introduced, we managed to keep all our NVQ team busy, employing the strategies outlined above. Candidates on furlough were encouraged by both NHBC and their employer to utilises this time and continue with their studies. I would say well over 90% of candidates took the opportunity to progress, some even preferring remote assessment. I think we have shown particularly over the last 18 months the type of team we are, always looking to adapt, be flexible and overcome without compromising quality.

Nigel Kildunne Learning and Development Manager at Avant said:

“We have been using NHBC’s training team for the last two years and we are about to sign up for another round. NHBC have the track record and history, so the people we work with know that we are using the best option.

“The Trainee Assistant Site Manager NVQ training scheme through virtual lessons and uploading of evidence via the portal has gone seamlessly.” 

CALA Homes apprentice Nicole Botnarenco who undertook his NVQ course in 2021 added:

"It was great to learn new technical skills and work closely with NHBC. My NHBC assessor was really helpful and could always be reached by phone or email."

As a leading organisation within the industry, with the core purpose of raising the standards and quality of construction, you can be confident that our assessors have the experience, knowledge and skills to support you in your development.

three people on scaffolding wearing site safety clothing and hard hats


Take the next step in building your career with an NVQ from NHBC