Coronavirus update for customers

Read more

Coronavirus update for customers

Operational Update on NOCN Group Qualifications and Services

NOCN Group offers a wide range of services including regulated qualifications, EPA for apprenticeships, Job Cards in construction, Access to HE Diplomas, bespoke accreditation and educational and skills support training.

You will find out more operational detail on the implications of COVID19 for each of these services, including advice for students and centres preparing for external assessments, through the following links:

Please note that NOCN will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA, QAA and Qualifications Wales, and will update our customers as things change.

If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre, apprentices or learners please contact us on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Working to support our valued customers

You will be aware of the various Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) announcements and official advice over COVID19.
The situation is unprecedented and has been continually changing. With colleges and schools now closed and the country in effect ‘locked down’, other than essential services, we will endeavour to continue to support you, your apprentices, learners and card applicants through this difficult period.

We support Ofqual’s statement that the most important principle is fairness to all learners and apprentices, not only for those being assessed now, but also for those assessed before COVID-19.

Centre Support

All our staff are working from home, so we are still offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.
Certificates for regulated qualifications and cards are being issued to centres in the normal way.
We aim to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and we can use remote or recorded assessment methods, whilst maintaining the integrity of the assessment.
All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments have been suspended until training centres reopen and normal business resumes.
We are providing digital on-line support, including offering WebEx interviews, developing online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and digital content support.

Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 5).

Best wishes from all at NOCN to you our valued customers. We hope you all remain safe and well.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director

Skip navigation


From a small collective of like-minded open colleges and access centres that were determined to promote career-based learning and ramp up quality in education, NOCN is now a powerful, national force in the skills development and apprenticeships sector.

This modest alliance of a handful of local organisations, grew quickly from its humble beginnings into a powerful national force comprising the regional Open College Networks (OCNs) that became the national NOCN family. By 2000, there were 31 of these.

In 2006, they merged into 11 larger OCNs, with NOCN increasingly taking an important advocacy role as they began to work more seamlessly with civil servants, politicians and policy-makers. By the late 1990s, NOCN was established as an indispensable partner of FE colleges up and down the UK, with the vast majority of them members of an OCN. Learners had jumped from 20,000 in 1994-95 to more than 70,000 at this time.

The appointment of dynamic managing director, Graham Hasting-Evans, steered us to becoming the number one apprentice End Point Assessment provider - and the acquisition of Cskills from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) in the summer of 2017.

This move made NOCN one of the largest UK construction Awarding Organisations (AO) and took place just as the industry was highly vulnerable to potential skills gaps. These loomed large with the onset of major capital infrastructure projects nationwide just as access to skilled EU workers shrank, following the Brexit vote. With the transfer of some 4,000 apprentices, NOCN’s position in the construction sector was strengthened hugely as our credibility and capability were dramatically enhanced.

As a result, we have become a potent driver towards achieving the government’s targeted three million apprenticeship starts by 2020. The acquisition hallmarks the bold, imaginative steps that have fuelled our strategic growth since 1987. Our ongoing expansion programme has also recently seen us scoop new contracts and add further revenue schemes. We are determined to continue to make the big decisions that will help learners reach their full potential and employers thrive – and more key developments are on the way.