From education to employment

V&A and EDI spent 3 years Developing the V&A Cultural Heritage Technical Award

One of London’s top museums is today launching a “work-based” Collections Management training qualification in the sector.

The V&A’s technical services team have spent three years developing the programme in conjunction with Education Development International (EDI), which leads to the V&A Cultural Heritage Technical award.

While the qualification still retains some units of the NVQ for these skills, the V&A’s technical team wrote an additional 16 units to cover specific aspects of the V&A’s operation.

“The cultural heritage NVQ is curatorial based, for conservators and educators, but there was never anything specifically for the technicians or a professional qualification that met the work they do,” said Veronika Harris, Head of Training and Development at the V&A. “This qualification is based on good practise and high standards of caring for objects.”

The award, which takes between 6-18 months to complete, is aimed at students or staff already in the sector. “You do your real work while you do an award, gathering different types of evidence to support the different units and standards,” she added.

EDI has accredited the programme at levels 3 & 4, and has also approved the museum’s cultural heritage assessment centre.

“EDI offer the ability for online assessment, something that appealed to us as it will enable candidates to be assessed both nationally and internationally,” said Veronika Harris. “EDI’s international status also offers us the ability to support any V&A partnerships abroad who may wish to take up the award.”

The V&A’s own technical team are completing the qualification, and technicians from the British Museum and Birmingham Museums have signed up. The award supports the Government’s agenda for developing regional hubs and the cultural sector skills council.

Gareth Phillips, Business Development Director of EDI said: “EDI’s involvement in the accreditation of this award will enable those that work in technical services to achieve a professional qualification, something that up until now has not been possible. EDI will continue to work across all sectors, working to provide professional qualifications that are accessible to all.”

Annabel Hardy

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