Webinar on Experience of Cambodia on the Development and Implementation of NVQS: Lessons and Recommendations

Initial vocational education and training
The Government of Nepal (GoN) with the support of the Government of Switzerland, has initiated National Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to be implemented with the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF), that works towards a goal that no youth will be left behind.

The NQF together with NVQF was approved by the GoN on 03 May 2020. 

As NVQS development and implementation is time intensive system, there is a need of further clarity among related stakeholders about how to take the implementation of NVQS forward and make it work in the most effective way. There can be a great learning for Nepal from the countries who have already implemented NVQS and benefitted from the system. Consultation with different international TVET experts can also be helpful.

To educate and increase further understanding of NVQS among key stakeholders, CTEVT/NSTB and Nepal Vocational Qualifications System Project (NVQS-P) organized a webinar to provide insights on how NVQS was developed and implemented in Cambodia. Prof. Dr. Sriram Bhagut Mathe who has an extensive experience of working in the TVET sector in Cambodia and other countries shared his experience, learnings, and recommendations for implementation of NVQS. 

The webinar was moderated by Ms. Swarnima Shrestha, Communication and Knowledge Management Specialist, NVQS-P. She started the event by welcoming everyone and handed over to the Director of NSTB, Mr. Tek Bahadur Malla, who provided a welcome speech and made a brief introduction to the event and shared its objectives. The session was chaired by the Vice Chairperson, CTEVT, Mr. Khagendra Prasad Adhikari. There was also valuable participation of the Member Secretary of CTEVT, Mr. Jeeb Narayan Kafle, along with all the Directors of CTEVT, TITI including from the provinces. Other participants of the event were Unit heads and key officials from NSTB and key officials from NVQS-P. There was a presence of 32 participants in the program.

Presentation by the Expert Speaker: 

The main highlight of the event was the presentation made by Prof. Dr. Sriram Bhagut Mathe, on the topic of webinar. Dr. Mathe is a retired Professor of Architecture and former Dean of Institute of Engineering (IOE), Tribhuvan University (TU), is currently the Chairperson of Xavier Academy and Kathmandu Don Bosco College. He has also been teaching and working as a national and international consultant for more than 46 years in and outside of Nepal. He is currently working in Cambodia as the International Team Leader of one education and two TVET projects financed by Asian Development Bank. In Cambodia, he has been instrumental in initiating several far-reaching reforms primarily in the TVET sector including qualifications system development and implementation, working very closely with Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training through Directorate General of TVET.

The main objective of Dr. Mathe’s presentation was to introduce and share the experiences and learnings of implementation of VQS in Cambodia so that the lessons can be helpful for the implementation of NVQS in Nepal. He also talked about the importance of TVET in the global context and highlighted the overall difference in the development context between Nepal and Cambodia. He then explained about Cambodia’s TVET journey and the development as well as implementation of Cambodia’s Qualifications Framework. He further went on to share the lessons that Nepal can learn from Cambodia’s TVET journey and at the end provided some recommendations for the implementation of NVQS in Nepal.

Questions and Answers Session:

After the presentation, the floor was made open for participants to ask their questions or for any comments. Participants asked relevant questions on the subject and Dr. Mathe addressed the questions after collecting all the queries. Summary of the questions asked, and corresponding responses from Dr. Mathe are captured below:

Questions from the audience

Response from the expert presenter

  • How can we ensure industry ready workforce and how it is addressed by the Qualifications System?
  • Is there an example of someone receiving PhD through RPL and RCC in Cambodia?
  • The courses should be responsive to the industries. There should be constant feedback and involvement of industry experts from the private sector and the competency standard should be developed as per the need of the industries. So far, no PhD equivalent is awarded as per NVQS. This is work in progress.
  • How is the acceptance of Cambodian Qualifications Framework (CQF) internationally?
  • How is the perspective of skilled labour migration and its relation to CQF in Cambodia?
  • How is the quality assurance managed regarding CQF in Cambodia?
  • Is there any specific duration of skills training required for assessment? What legal base is there utilizing sector skill committees?
  • As CQF is referenced and developed on the base of AQF (ASEAN Qualifications Framework) CQF recognition in ASEAN countries is not that difficult. Most of the labour migration from Cambodia happens to Thailand. Likewise, with regards to the quality assurance aspect of CQF, there are six indicators for an institution’s quality assessment on the basis of which they receive three different rankings. Only accredited assessment centres and accredited assessors can perform the assessment which help in quality assurance.
  • How is credit transfer done in CQF?
  • There is no provision of credit transfer in CQF level. It provides a certificate or report card of the competencies that the candidates have.
  • How is Quality Audit done in Cambodia?
  • How is the Skill bridging program being implemented? Is it being funded by a project?
  • Quality audit is as per the approved quality assurance manual. In the skill bridging program, 3 to 6 months long program provides theoretical knowledge to candidates who have practical knowledge and skills, who are mostly the dropouts of the formal education system. Having theoretical knowledge helps them to enroll in higher CQF level. The cost of the program is being compensated by the project currently and the cost is expected to be nominal after the project.
  • Is the legal base document for CQF passed by the parliament or which authority in Cambodia?
  • How is the voucher skill training program carried out and who are eligible?
  • What is the fundamental base for preparation of curriculum?
  • Who pays for the skills assessment?
  • How CQF is recognized inside the country? Are industries demanding people recognized by CQF?
  • CQF is passed by the Council of minister/Prime minister level which is a sub-decree in Cambodia. The legal documents of CQF are mostly in Cambodian language and can be shared with its translation in English. About the voucher skill training program, the cost is covered by the project, which is conducted at three different levels.
  • The curriculum is developed based on the needs of the industry at least for the next two years. Training needs assessment survey is also conducted, and competency standard is formulated in consultation with industry experts. Recognition of CQF certification is not a problem in Cambodia, however, for wider recognition the work is in progress.
  • What is it modality of Centre of Excellency (COE) and how is it implemented?
  • The COE is tied up with Sector Skills Committees and with CAMFEBA which is equivalent to Nepal’s FNCCI. This linkage is very important for TVET development in partnership with the private sector/industry.
  • Can there be movement along the Horizontal stream in CQF?
  • How to move from general stream to vocational stream?
  • The horizontal movement is not practiced, but there is a concept of lateral transfer. The importance of initiatives such as the skill bridging program to make people move from general to TVET stream is realized by the actors/implementers.

Closing session:

During the closing of the program, Mr. Jeeb Narayan Kafle, Member Secretary of CTEVT thanked the presenter for sharing his extensive practical experience on the subject that has provided excellent reference and learning for us to work further in NVQS implementation. 

At the end, the program was concluded with remarks from the Chair of the event Mr. K. P. Adhikari, Vice Chairperson of CTEVT. He expressed the importance of political commitment for the implementation of Vocational Qualifications System in any country. He acknowledged the responsibility of CTEVT as the apex TVET body in the country for the implementation of National Vocational Qualifications System in Nepal. He closed the event thanking the presenter and organizer of the event.



Initial vocational education and training
Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS)
Youths entering the labour market in Nepal are compelled to remain unemployed or underemployed and work in low-pay jobs due to a lack of skills, and lack of certification and recognition of the skills they have. To provide wider opportunities and to enable Nepali youth without formal vocational training and education, and those who have gained skills through work experience to enter the labour market with recognized certificates for better employability and career path, the Government of Nepal (GoN) has initiated a National Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to be implemented.