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So much to communicate

Communication for service gnvqs, By Joe Harkin. Pounds 5.95. 1995 Collins. - 0003200051.

Communication for service gnvqs is a guide to communication for students on vocational courses. However, it concentrates on communication as a core skill for intermediate and advanced general national vocation qualifications and aimed at the service GNVQs.

Despite its good intentions, this book does not live up to its potential because it is trying to be all things to all people, particularly in the section on practice activities.

Here, the author successfully attempts to cover all three service areas - health and social care, hospitality and catering, leisure and tourism - but the activities which do not relate to the particular specialism studied can become tedious.

The activities should be more focused to the disciplines. However, the guidelines are very useful.

The book is divided into five sections. The first section introduces the 1995 core skill specifications. The second is concerned with practice activities and examples are based on a continuing story concerning a holiday respite home for people with physical disabilities.

The third section deals with opportunities for gathering evidence. The last is a help section which gives more comprehensive information about different aspects of communication. This section also covers issues of discrimination concerned with communication.

The section on the opportunities for evidence and the help section are very useful - possibly more so for students than the practical activities, as they give constructive advice about gathering evidence and basic communication skills.

There are several references to NVQ which are misleading. NVQs are occupationally specific and so should not be compared directly to the broader GNVQ courses.

The book would have worked better if it had been divided up into sections based either on discipline or levels and concentrated more on the help and evidence sections than on practice activities.

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