How To become Qualified ?
13th Jun 2022
If you’re wondering whether it’s really worth it to gain a qualification, this guide will show you why it is. It talks about the different ways you can be qualified, why employers value qualifications and some of the benefits of hiring qualified team members.
Qualifications and skills are two of the most important attributes when it comes to employment. They are a way for employers to assess the capabilities and aptitude of candidates and they set a benchmark in certain industries that confirm applicants have reached a certain standard to practice professionally. When searching for employment you will notice that many employers require specific qualifications.
Why recruiters are looking for qualified employees
There are many reasons why employers look for qualified employees. Firstly, it allows them to identify whether individuals have the necessary skills and attributes to do a particular job. Secondly, qualifications provide a way of benchmarking individuals against others in the same field; this helps organisations to ensure they are recruiting the best possible candidates. Thirdly, holding relevant qualifications often indicates that an individual is passionate and committed to their chosen profession, which is something that employers value.
Qualified by Experience
There are certain careers where qualifications are judged in terms of experience. This is usually the case for senior roles, or those which require a high level of expertise. In these instances, employers are looking for candidates who can demonstrate that they have the required skills and knowledge through their previous work experience. That said, for senior roles, qualifications and experience are assessed collectively.
Qualified by Education
There are many ways in which an individual may be qualified by education. The higher the level of qualification, the more specialised the skills and knowledge that an individual will have acquired. Some of the most common qualifications include:
Degrees - A degree is an academic award that is earned following the successful completion of a course of study at university. The duration of a degree course varies depending on the country in which it is studied, but typically lasts for three to four years.
Foundation degrees - A foundation degree is a level 5 qualification, which is equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor's degree. These courses are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge that they need to progress onto the second year of a degree programme, or enter employment in a specific sector.
HNCs and HNDs - A Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) are both level 4 qualifications, which are equivalent to the first year of a bachelor's degree. These qualifications are typically studied over one or two years, and are designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge that they need to progress onto the second year of a degree programme, or enter employment in a specific sector.
Apprenticeships - Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that allow individuals to gain the skills and knowledge that they need to enter a specific profession. These programmes typically last for one to two years, and require individuals to work alongside experienced professionals in their chosen field.
NVQs - NVQs are competence-based qualifications that assess an individual's ability to do a specific job. There are two types of NVQs: work-based NVQs, which assess an individual's ability to do a specific job; and learning-based NVQs, which assess an individual's ability to learn new skills.
A Levels - A Levels are academic qualifications that are typically studied over two years. These qualifications are generally required in order to progress onto higher education, such as a university degree.
GCSEs - GCSEs are academic qualifications that are typically studied over two years. These qualifications are generally required in order to progress onto further education, such as A levels or a vocational qualification.
Qualifications from professional bodies - There are many professional bodies that offer qualifications to individuals who wish to enter specific professions. These qualifications are typically required in order to progress onto higher education, such as a university degree.
Benefits of Hiring Qualified Staff
Hiring the best people for the job is something that all employers want to do. However, finding the right staff can be a challenge. With so many candidates to choose from, it can be difficult to know who to hire. This is where qualifications can help. By hiring qualified staff, employers can be sure that they are getting the best possible candidates for the job. Qualified staff will have the skills and knowledge that are necessary to do the job, and will be able to hit the ground running from day one.
Some of the benefits associated with hiring qualified staff include:
Improved reputation of the company - When customers see that a company is staffed by qualified professionals, they are more likely to have confidence in the company's products and services. This can lead to increased sales and improved profitability.
Increased productivity - Qualified staff are more likely to be productive than those who are not qualified. This is because they have the skills and knowledge that are necessary to do the job effectively. When employees are properly trained, it makes their job easier and more efficient.
Improved retention rates – This one is particularly relevant if the employer has sponsored a qualification or allowed an employee to pursue a qualification through work. As a result, employees will be more content with their place of work and more likely to stay.
Greater levels of trust - When an employee joins an organisation with a certain qualification, they bring with them a certain level of trust in that they have the necessary skills and competencies to carry out their work to the required standard.
Higher levels of efficiency – Proficient and skilled staff are more likely to be efficient in their work, as they will have the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their tasks effectively. This can lead to increased productivity and profitability for a company.
Increased knowledge - As well as having the skills and knowledge that are necessary to do their job, qualified staff will also have a wealth of theoretical knowledge that they can apply to their work. This can be used to improve processes and procedures, and make a company more efficient.
Improved customer service – Customer service standards increase because qualifications often result in higher levels of knowledge. As a result, employees can provide better quality customer service as they have the necessary skills and knowledge to deal with customer queries effectively. This can lead to increased sales and improved profitability.
Qualifications can be beneficial for both employers and employees. Employers can hire the best possible candidates for the job, and employees know they have the knowledge, expertise and skills to work to the best of their abilities. When staff are qualified, it can make a big difference to a company and can help to improve its reputation, productivity, and profitability.
Qualifications are more important in certain industries than others. For example, in the medical profession, it is essential that all staff are qualified to a high standard. This is because the work that they do is vital to the health and wellbeing of patients. In other industries, such as retail, qualifications may not be as important. However, in any industry, hiring qualified staff can be beneficial for both employers and employees.
Continuing Professional Development
Learning and development doesn’t stop once a qualification has been obtained. Employers should promote and actively encourage members of the workforce to pursue Continuing Professional Development (CPD). CPD is the process of keeping your skills and knowledge up to date, and can be achieved through attending training courses, workshops, and conferences. It is important for staff to keep their CPD up to date, as it can help them to maintain their skills and knowledge at a high level, and make sure that they are able to provide the best possible service to their employer.
CPD is not only important for qualified staff, but it is also important for those who are not yet qualified. If you are working towards a qualification, it is important to still participate in professional development which can complement the qualification you are working towards. This ensures that your knowledge and skills are always current and it will make you more employable if you decide to move to a new employer.
There are many ways in which you can fulfil your professional development goals. You can attend training courses, workshops, and conferences, or if you want something that’s a little less formal, you can read books and journals or listen to podcasts. Whatever method you choose, it is important that you are committed to CPD, and that you make the time to do it.
What does it mean to be qualified?
Being qualified means having the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to do a job. It also means that you can apply these to everyday tasks to get the most from your work and deliver the best you can for employers and clients. Qualifications are often formal, structured training programmes that lead to a certificate, diploma, degree or membership of a professional body. Sometimes recognition by a professional body will require you to commit to continuing professional development throughout your career to retain your qualification.
Qualifications can be obtained in a number of ways, including attending school, college, or university; completing an apprenticeship; or taking part in on-the-job training. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to consider the benefits of qualifications. They can make a big difference to a company, both from the employers and employees perspective.
In this article, you have learned why qualifications are important and the different types of qualification that are available in the UK. You should now have an understanding of which qualifications may be of benefit to you and how you can start on your educational journey.
Further Reading and Resources
If you want to learn more about qualifications available in the UK or understand the qualification process, here are some additional resources: