Certificate: The Department of Occupational Standards (DoS) awarded National Certificates to 43 skilled dozops (masons) and shingzops (traditional carpenters) involved in the Trashigang Dzong conservation project on March 10.

Labour and human resource minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo presented the certificates based on a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) assessment, which was carried out in January.

RPL is a positive aspect of the National Assessment and Certification System. It allows for assessment and recognition of the vocational competence gained by workers through hands-on experience in contrast to trainees who acquire their vocational skills and competencies through institution-based training.

It is the recognition of skills, knowledge and competence currently held by an individual regardless of how, when and where the learning or training had occurred.

“The learning or training may have been acquired through any combination of formal or informal training and education, work experience, community engagement and general life experience,” Assessment and Certification Division Deputy Chief Programme Officer, Tsheten said.

DoS will assess and certify 1,500 skilled workers through RPL System in the 11th Plan. To achieve this, the department has coordinated with many organizations in conducting similar assessment and certification.

With active support and cooperation from the employers, Tsheten said that DoS is confident that quality of the national workforce can be improved over time through the system.

“Complaints and dissatisfaction related to quality of workmanship should be a thing of the past with the overall improvement in the quality of the formal TVET system and recognition of skill competency of those already in the labour market,” he said.

However, he added that positive human resource actions from the employers and improvements in the overall working conditions were crucial in paving way for self-reliance in skilled workforce.

DoS conducted the first phase for Dozop and Shingzop RPL Assessment in May 2013 at Wangduephodrang Dzong reconstruction project. On March 9, the department also awarded National Certificates to 53 Dozops and Shingzops of Pemagatshel Dzong construction project.

Tshering Wangdi, Trashigang