Help & Resources

Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to find answers to queries you might have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to find answers to queries you might have. For more information or if you don’t see the FAQ you’re looking for, contact us directly at or call (246) 435-3096 or (246) 228-3383.


Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)


Employment and Training Fund

Occupational Standards



Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)


What is Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)?

TVET is the discipline that focuses on vocational training and certification. It provides organised educational programmes offering courses directly related to preparing you for employment in occupations requiring qualifications that prove competence.


Why should I pursue Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)?

TVET programmes and courses include competence-based applied learning which contributes to:

  • higher-order reasoning
  • problem solving skills
  • specific occupational skills needed for economic independence as a productive and contributing member of society
  • increased opportunities for promotion and advancement
  • increased marketability



Is TVET only for people who normally work ‘with their hands’?

No! TVET has diversified in recent years and is now offered in industries such as health care, retail, tourism, information technology, funeral services and cosmetics, as well as in the traditional crafts and cottage industries. For example, in Barbados TVET is available across a variety of professions including Customer Service, Nursery Care, and Hotel Reception.


Where can I get Technical and Vocational Education and Training?

Courses and programmes are available at several educational centres and institutions in Barbados including:

  • Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic                 
  • Barbados Community College                           
  • Barbados Vocational Training Board                   
  • National Initiative for Service Excellence             
  • Career Development Institute                                     
  • University of the West Indies Open Campus                                        





What are National/Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (N/CVQs)?

N/CVQsare work-based qualifications awarded by Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council that certify you’re competent to do your job. CVQs are the regional equivalent of NVQs.


Are N/CVQs for me?

If you’re interested in getting certification to prove your competence at work, then N/CVQs are definitely for you.


Where are they available?

You can enroll for N/CVQs through approved employers or public training providers such as the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic. Enrolment is also available through approved private training providers.


In what occupations are N/CVQs available?

N/CVQs are available for a number of occupational areas including:





Do I have to do an exam to get N/CVQs?

No, there are no exams. N/CVQs are proof that you have demonstrated your ability to perform a work role to the approved standards. Individuals are assessed in either their job setting or a simulated workplace by performing related tasks and job functions. For example, to gain the NVQ in Food and Drink Service Level 1, a waiter or waitress’ assessment may include taking customers’ orders and serving food and beverages to them.


Who conducts the N/CVQ Assessments?

Assessments are conducted by practitioners with expertise in the relevant occupational area who themselves have been trained, assessed and certified by the TVET Council.



Employment & Training Fund (ETF)

What is the Employment & Training Fund (ETF)?

The ETF is a Government-administered facility that provides grants to upgrade the training of persons at all levels: workers, supervisors, managers and owners.

How do I qualify?

Individual businesses, business associations, consortiums, training institutions and nonprofit organisations can apply to the fund. The ETF also serves unemployed persons and retrenched workers. However, individuals are not eligible to apply.

How is the ETF funded?

It is funded out of the Training Levy that is paid by all employers and employees.


How do I access ETF funds?

You can access ETF funds in two ways:

Training programmes in accordance with national priorities (Macro Programme)

ETF provides grants to training institutions, employer groups and nonprofit organisations for training projects that don’t currently exist but are linked to economic and social development. This programme includes training for self-employed, unemployed and retrenched persons.

Employer training subsidies programme (Micro Programme)

ETF provides grants to employers to do customised, in-house training or institutional training to upgrade their workers’ skills. Conditions apply.


What are the conditions of the ETF?

Conditions of the Fund are that:

  • the proposed training programme must prepare participants for occupations that need labour
  • applicants must provide at least 25% of the total programme cost
  • training must be done inBarbadosand be completed within 12-months
  • applicants must have paid all monies due to the Training Levy of the National Insurance scheme

What programmes are supported?

A diverse range of programmes are supported by the ETF including:

  • skills training in the construction industry for artisans
  • general management training for small farmers in agriculture
  • upgrading the mechanical maintenance skills of sugar factory workers
  • computer application courses for small business managers
  • Information Technology courses for unemployed persons
  • customer relations training for workers in the retail, petroleum products, restaurant, hotel, beer and soft drink industries
  • supervisory training for foremen and small contractors in construction
  • solar photovoltaic systems maintenance
  • Geographic/Land Information Systems management
  • training of workers for the Hotel Industry Programme (H2B) -U.S.A.
  • customer relations training for Public Service Vehicle operators

The ETF does not support professional training programmes involving the upgrading of skills of personnel such as doctors, accountants, lawyers and architects. The ETF also does not support programmes in higher education leading to advanced diplomas, degrees etc.


What are some of the priority areas?

Priorities are determined by labour market demands so training is targeted at high-demand occupations and industries where there are skill shortages:

  • Information Technology
  • Computer Assisted Design and Manufacturing
  • Solar Photovoltaic applications
  • Quality Management
  • Small Business Management
  • Customer Service
  • Food and Beverage Control
  • Property Maintenance
  • BoatBuilding
  • Nursery Care Services
  • Care of the Elderly
  • Agriculture

Occupational Standards

What are Occupational Standards?

Occupational Standards are detailed written descriptions of what an employee is expected to know and do in his/her work role. They are benchmarks against which the actual performance of people in occupational roles can be measured or assessed and form the basis of Caribbean/National Vocational Qualifications (C/NVQs).

What are the Occupational Standards for Barbados?

Occupational Standards have been developed for:

  • Amenity Horticulture Level 1
  • Amenity Horticulture Level 2
  • Bar Service Level 1
  • Bar Service Level 2
  • Business Administration Level 1
  • Care of the Older Adult Level 2
  • Customer Service Level 2 (Revision: Approved CVQ)
  • Developing a New or Existing BusinessEnterpriseLevel 3
  • Entertainment and Events Technology Level 1
  • Food and Drink Service Level 1
  • Food and Drink Service Level 2
  • Food Preparation and Cookery Level 1
  • Food Preparation and Cookery Level 2
  • Housekeeping Level 1
  • Housekeeping Level 2
  • Management Level 2
  • Management Level 3
  • Marketing Level 3
  • Occupational Safety and Health Level 3 (Approved CVQ)
  • Providing Security Services Level 2
  • Reception Level 1
  • Reception Level 2
  • Using Information and Communication Technology Level 1
  • Assessment Level 4
  • Barbering Level 2
  • Barbering Level 3
  • Brick Block Laying and Rendering Level 2
  • Carpentry Level 2
  • Cosmetology Level 2
  • Electrical Installation Level 2
  • Furniture Finishing Level 1
  • Furniture Making Level 1
  • Furniture Making Level 2
  • Interior Decorating Level 2
  • Interior Decorating Level 3
  • Masonry Level 1
  • Massage Therapy Level 3
  • Massage Therapy Level 4
  • Mechanical Maintenance Level 1
  • Musical Performance Level 2
  • Nursery Care Services Level 2
  • Plumbing Level 1
  • Plumbing Level 2
  • Stevedoring Foundation Skills Level 1
  • Training and Assessment Level 4
  • Training and Development Level 4
  • Wall and Floor Tiling Level 2
  • Welding Level 1
  • Welding Level 2


Why use Occupational Standards?

Companies can use Occupational Standards to attract and retain the best employees while clients can benefit from higher cost savings through reduced risks and mistakes. And when employees use the standards, they achieve recognition, progression and upward mobility.

In a nutshell, Occupational Standards are used for:

  • recruitment and promotion
  • job design, performance appraisal and work planning
  • assurance of output/service quality
  • identification of training and development needs
  • designing education and training programmes
  • assessing occupational or professional competence
  • forming the basis for developing vocational qualifications, including a framework of N/CVQs   

Who uses Occupational Standards?

Some of the companies inBarbadosthat are integrating Occupational Standards include: 

  • SandyLaneHotel
  • Nature CareBarbados
  • Harris Paints Barbados (2003) Ltd
  • Goddard Enterprises
  • CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers (B’dos) Ltd
  • G4S Secure Solutions
  • Caves of Barbados (i.e. Harrisons Cave)
  • Barbados Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd
  • Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd
  • Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation
  • Accra Beach Hotel & Spa
  • Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd.
  • Trowel Plastics (B’dos) Ltd