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NOCN Wins Third AAO

I am pleased to say that NOCN has been approved by the SFA for the Public Service Operational Delivery Officer standard.

This is now the third new standard for which NOCN has been approved as an Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO), the previous two being Property Maintenance Operative and Financial Services Customer Adviser.

The Public Service Operational Delivery Officer standard is applicable for people working on the front line in public services in central, NHS and local government and so this will be an important apprenticeship to help improve service standards across the public sector.

Becoming an AAO in a third sector is significant for NOCN. The sectors for which NOCN has been approved (construction, finance, public sector) shows our expanding range of expertise and competence and as the FE sector moves more towards reformed apprenticeships and away from traditional vocational qualifications, we are demonstrating our flexibility and responsiveness, staying competitive in a dynamic market.

Reformed apprenticeships represent a BIG challenge for all Awarding Organisations because they do not necessarily include a qualification. Instead the focus is on end point assessments to indicate if an apprentice is able to do a job and to what level. We have been on quite a journey over the last year to repurpose NOCN as an Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO) as well as an Awarding Organisation (AO), both for the UK and internationally. It has been challenging but worth it and now we are ahead of the curve.

Our offering now includes:

  • End-Point Assessments for three standards and we plan to increase these
  • 49 Trailblazer standards
  • 35 SASE apprenticeship frameworks
  • 350+ funded qualifications


The overarching trend is towards more apprenticeships, with colleges and training providers on board with this new initiative. NOCN, as one of just a few AAOs approved by the SFA, is now well placed to support colleges and training providers by awarding their existing SASE apprenticeships and providing the support to transition these into the new reformed apprenticeships.

Watch this pace for more AAO announcements.

Graham