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FAQs > NVQ > How Do They Work?

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When you enrol on the PPtutor- OnLine course, you will be sent an introduction pack which includes, among other things, a list of ‘competences’ that the great and good of photography have formulated, breaking down the process of conceiving, producing, presenting and selling photography into its smallest component parts. These competences are grouped in to units and their content is described as ‘performance criteria’.

To give an example, recently I had a meeting with a regular client of mine, to discuss photography for three new brochures he plans to produce. I know this client well; we’ve worked together many times before and I know his preferences. But it took us over three hours of discussion to nail down precisely the images he wanted, the various locations we should use, the models we should feature, which shots should be on 5x4, which on medium format, his deadline and (very important to both of us) the approximate cost. During that time we also looked at previous brochures we had worked on together, analysing which images worked best. We leafed through library picture catalogues and discussed the merits of photographic styles that we found there, and we looked at his competitors’ publicity, assuring ourselves that ours would not only be different, but better. At the end of that meeting, we were both confident about the process and the result.

In NVQ terms, I had answered the requirements of the Unit: ‘Establishing and Agreeing the Photographic Brief’. Then it was down to me to continue to ‘maintain positive working relations’ by the discussing the job with colleagues back at the studio before I ‘prepare for and manage the photographic assignment’, 'take the photographs', 'have the images processed' and 'present the work to the client'.

Although I have simplified the sequence here you might be able to see that, by doing well what you do, day in, day out, you can collect the evidence that demonstrates your competence, which is exactly what the NVQ series requires you to do. The example I have given here refers to the competence at Level 4; if you are an assistant to a photographer (or perhaps working in a government or scientific establishment producing the photographs - conventionally or digitally - under the direction of a senior photographer or manager - you can collect and present your evidence at Level 3, gaining the NVQ qualifications at that level.

Last updated on March 28, 2010 by PPTutor-Online