March 5th, 2013

Recognising quality engineering education

For Linwood College in Christchurch, providing quality teaching of the National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 2 has been a priority for as long as Murray Hobbs, the head of technology at the school, can remember. The school has further cemented its status as one of New Zealand’s foremost NCME Level 2 educators by becoming the country’s first Competenz Accredited School.

“It’s a great honor to become the first Competenz Accredited School, it is a fantastic initiative and we are really proud,” says Murray Hobbs. The NCME Level 2 course offered by schools is equivalent to the first year of an on-the-job apprenticeship.

However, not all tuition of Level 2 mechanical engineering is created equal, and Linwood College needed proof of superior standard that would be recognised across industry. Likewise, in order for the course to be useful to prospective employers they need assurance that the course is taught to the standard they require.

The engineering industry has become frustrated by the inconstant quality it has received from students who have completed Level 2 as a pre-trade. Enter the ‘Competenz Accredited’ stamp of quality. Here, schools that gain the ‘Competenz Accredited’ stamp have met strict engineering training standards that satisfy industry needs.

For Linwood College this means tangible proof that their NCME Level 2 qualification is of the highest quality, attracting students, who want to know that the course they undertake will be taken seriously by industry. Employers too can rest easy knowing that Linwood College students upon completion of the newly accredited course have the skills they need, up to the standards they require.

Linwood College and its students will have the added benefit of a strong on-going relationship with Competenz.  Because Competenz is the Industry Training Organisation for engineering it has expert, relevant knowledge that keeps pace with the changes in the industry.

“We’ll support Competenz Accredited schools by providing resources, advice, help with moderation, and professional development,” says Bill Sole of Competenz. But the good news doesn’t end there. It isn’t just the technology department that is benefiting from this initiative. Murray Hobbs says the resources and support provided by Competenz have infiltrated through to other departments at the school.

The mathematics department for example incorporates the resources provided by Competenz to make their mathematics teaching more practical. Students at Linwood College no doubt will have bright futures in the trades and we look forward to seeing them succeed. So, for employers who require assurance that potential future employees are up to scratch, look out for the new ‘Competenz Accredited’ stamp.