The FIA Qualification Scheme Directorate (QSD) is a sub-set of the FIA Council and comprises the Training Director, the Qualifications Directo and at least one other FIA Council Member.
The QSD is responsible for the administration of the FIA Qualification Scheme and its developmentto satisfy the requirements of the fibre optics industry.
The QSD objectives are to:
- make decisions in the best interests of the industry, the FIA and FIA members;
- promote the FIA Qualification Scheme;
- deal efficiently with any Qualification Scheme issues;
- refer any non-standard queries to the next QSD committee meeting;
- ensure information is available and is communicated efficiently;
- minimise FIA costs and fees consistent with the long-term viability of the scheme;
- keep costs to a reasonable level for both training providers and learners;
- ensure equal opportunities wherever possible, for example the FIA may make allowances for examinations where the trainee does not have English as a first language. Allowances could include a longer time allowance, but must not compromise the standard of the award.
The QSD is governed by the Qualification Scheme Charter which enables the FIA to monitor any problems with the operation of the QSD, and to ensure that a quality service is provided by the QSD to FIA members.
Any non-compliance with the Charter will be brought to the attention of the full FIA Council. Where such non-compliances are judged to be serious or of significant concern, the FIA will take action to improve the operation of the QSD. Such action as may also be required will also be taken should high levels of minor non-compliances be identified.
The actions available to the FIA are to:
- review the operation of the QSD;
- tighten or improve procedures;
- allocate greater resources;
- change QSD committee members.
The FIA cannot compensate any organisation for any alleged loss of business as a result of the QSD failing to comply with a charter objective. This should be clearly understood by any organisation basing a business case or commercial decision around the FIA Qualification Scheme.
The FIA Qualifications Scheme consists of five Levels, with Levels I, II and III being broadly equivalent to the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Levels 1, 2 and 3 respectively. The FIA Levels IV and V have not been mapped to the new NQF levels, but the FIA regard these as high level awards.
The scheme is designed to be flexible, such that an FIA Approved Training Provider can submit new units or even propose a completely new route to a High Level Award. This flexibility is essential to ensure that the scheme meets the needs of a diverse industry. Without such a flexible approach, high level qualifications would either be absent, due to the relatively small student numbers, or inappropriate to many learners.
A key feature of the FIA award system is the flexibility to adapt to the relevant skills required for a job function within the fibre optics and cabling industries. In other words your job should not prevent you from achieving a FIA Award at any level, and you should not have to undertake any irrelevant training in order to achieve such an award. The qualification adapts and maps to your job.
The table below provides an indication of the guided learning time requirements for an FIA Award. A training-day is typically regarded as providing 7 hours of guided learning, but the FIA understands that some courses will have shorter days and some may be more intensive with longer days. The minimum guided learning hours is the shortest training programme that can be accredited under the FIA QS, whilst the typical guided learning hours indicates the normal expected duration of the training programme. There is no maximum duration.
|GLH = Guided Learning Hours
|II (> 30% GLH at NQF Level 3).||50||+20||70|
|III (> 50% GLH at NQF Level 3).||70||+20||100|
An Approved Training Provider can submit an application for an FIA accredited award based on FIA approved ‘units’ providing adequate learning hours as indicated above.
It is important that both learners and training providers recognise the inherent flexibility of the Scheme. The qualifications listed below are a selection of what are expected to be the more popular FIA awards.