No HEART certificates printed since MarchSunday, October 24, 2021
BY KELSEY THOMAS
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Thousands of HEART NSTA Trust trainees who have completed their programmes since last November are yet to receive certification due to disorder at the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET).
According to a staff member who spoke on condition of anonymity, the NCTVET — which certifies over 2,000 skill areas — has been without a council since March 2021. With no chairman to sign off on certificates, the body was forced to stop printing.
“The NCTVET has been unable to print any National Vocational Qualifications of Jamaica (NVQJ) or Caribbean Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (CVQJ) certifications for HEART trainees which means that anybody that does any HEART certification courses, whether NVQJ or CVQJ, would not be receiving any certification,” she shared.
She noted that the council's serving period had expired but a new council has not been appointed.
NCTVET's chairman and members of the council are appointed by the Minister of Education and serve for a period of three years. Members of the council are drawn from public and private sector companies and organisations.
Noting that the NCTVET has three assessment periods — February, June and November — the member of staff said trainees as far as November 2020 are impacted.
“After assessment is completed, in this case November, it takes about a month for results to be ready and then after results have been disseminated, roughly a month and a half after, we start printing certificates so we would have been in the middle of printing November certificates when we went without a council and the printing stopped,” she explained.
She said each assessment period sees at least 3,000 students being registered.
“On a basic exam period, we would have roughly 3,000 students. I know for this exam period, the exams coming up next month, we have roughly 3,000 candidates registered. June is a bigger batch, we normally have over 5,000,” she added.
June results are just now being released but printing will not begin.
“People are still registering for the programmes but we are not told to tell them that we are not printing any certificates, we just register as is. We are told if they ask to tell them that we are having internal issues and we cannot print any certificates,” she said.
With no official documents, neither physical nor digital, students are left without proof of their certification.
“It's like going to UWI, finishing your programme and getting no degree at the end of the programme.
“What they do say is that they can request transcripts or status letters which will show that they have completed the programme and are certified but they have to pay $600 for each. So even though we are at fault and we are the ones that can't produce the person's documents, they still have to pay to get something that proves they are certified,” the HEART employee explained.
On a daily basis at work, she said more than 100 people call about certificates.
“Customers are upset because they are saying they have been waiting for certification and they are being told that they are going to be getting certificates two months after completion of the programme and they are not getting the certificates,” she added.
The HEART NSTA Trust did not respond to OBSERVER ONLINE queries up to publication time.
The NCTVET was formed in 1994 and mandated to accredit training programmes, develop certification standards and assessments, and award certificates and diplomas to individuals for competence in vocational areas.