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National Occupational Standards(NOS) are developed by Standard Setting Organisations (SSO)
who consult with employers and other stakeholders across each of the UK
nations, (Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England). This consultation
process allows any specific requirements to be considered by each nation and
the result is a set of NOS that are suitable for use across the UK. The NOS,
which are set out in a common format, are approved on a four-nation basis and
content is scrutinised by SQA Accreditation. Each NOS has a published date stating
when it was approved, and the most current NOS are listed in this database.
There is also an anticipated review date and this will be used as a guide to
when they require reviewing and feedback from stakeholders is taken to
influence when this is commissioned.
Although NOS are developed as individual measures of
competence, they are grouped in Suites which identify the sector they relate to
and there are approx. 900 suites at present, with almost 23,000 separate NOS.
They cover a wide range of sectors.
Where there has been a need identified for the NOS to be
translated into the Welsh Language this will be carried out and there are
around 1,900 NOS on the database which have been translated into the Welsh
NOS can be used for developing skills and knowledge and
these include; direct transfer into vocational and other qualifications,
framework for training programmes, measures of workplace competence and
influencing job descriptions.
As an example, 1 NOS correlates directly to 1 unit of a Scottish/National
Vocational Qualification, and these are used to develop Qualifications which in
turn can be offered through awarding bodies.
Details on which awarding bodies operate in each nation can
be found here:
Northern Ireland: Council for the Curriculum, Examinations
and Assessment (CCEA) http://ccea.org.uk
CCEA is a unique educational body in the UK, bringing together the three areas of curriculum, examinations and assessment. Ensuring that the qualifications and examinations offered by awarding bodies in Northern Ireland are of an appropriate quality and standard. As Northern Ireland's leading awarding body we offer a diverse range of qualifications, such as GCSEs, GCE A and AS levels, Entry Level Qualifications and Vocational Qualifications.
Scotland: Scottish Qualifications Authority Accreditation
(SQA Accreditation) https://accreditation.sqa.org.uk/accreditation/home
Under Scottish Government
legislation, SQA Accreditation quality assures qualifications offered in
Scotland by approving awarding bodies and accrediting their qualifications.
They do this by regulating awarding bodies and their qualifications against
published regulatory requirements.
Wales: Qualifications Wales https://www.qualificationswales.org/english
Qualifications Wales regulates
qualifications, other than degrees, in Wales.
England: Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) https://www.gov.uk/find-a-regulated-qualification
RQF helps people understand all
the qualifications we regulate, general and vocational in England, and how they
relate to each other.
Below are some links which give background to the use of
Introduction to National Occupational Standards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN-vbu22PxI
Scott Waddington SA Brains -
Introduction to National Occupational Standards.
Using National Occupational Standards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWq1ex6KNaM
Rob Jones - using National
NOS Employer Case Study 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSPPiBNFkS0
Neath Dental Centre - employer
NOS Employer Case Study 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdQPyHwNi6Y
Trefnant Garage - employer case
NOS Employer Case Study 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfHL39-EYHY
BBC - employer case study.