Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

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.

As you will be aware the government imposed a third national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January 2021. You will find out more operational detail on the implications for each of these services through the following links:

Business Development
Regulated Qualifications
EPA for Apprenticeships
Job Cards in construction (CPCS)
One Awards

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA Regulation, 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 nocn@nocn.org.uk or 0300 999 1177.

Further information:

Letter from Gavin Williamson CBE MP to Simon Lebus

Letter from Simon Lebus to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

DfE and Ofqual have launched two consultations (15th January):

GCSE, AS and A Level awarding in summer 2021

Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other generals in 2021

Using Xbox to Access Online Learning

It is possible for learners to access their online work from home using a gaming console. For guidance on how to do this please download the document here.

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Security Qualifications Update - December

Ref : B20-84

Type : Amendment

Date : 9 December 2020

Following ongoing consultations between all SIA Awarding Organisations and the SIA, all of the security licence-linked qualifications can continue to be delivered, subject to sufficient health and safety measures being in place. The NOCN requirements for face to face delivery and assessment are outlined in this bulletin.

Whilst face to face delivery can continue, the SIA has also approved adaptions for some qualifications in light of Covid-19. These adaptation allow for delivery in an interactive virtual classroom and online invigilated exams. Please see below for more detail on SIA approved adaptations and how to be approved by NOCN to be able to offer these.

C-19 SIA Approved Adaptations - Remote Delivery (Virtual Classroom) and Remote Invigilated Assessment

Following the pilot, the SIA has approved remote delivery in a Virtual Classroom and remote online invigilated assessment for the following qualifications in full:

• Security Officer (SO)
• Cash and Valuables in Transit (CViT)
• Public Space Surveillance CCTV (CCTV)

The SIA has also agreed to adaptations to the current requirements, to make it possible to deliver and assess remotely (virtually) three of the four units in the DS qualification:

• Door Supervision (DS) – all units other than physical intervention (PI)

NOCN must approve Centres that wish to undertake virtual classroom delivery and/or remote invigilated assessment of the above qualifications before Centres can use this model. This is to ensure Centres meet the SIA requirements for C-19 adaptation for current licence-linked qualifications. The following adaptations are approved by the SIA until 31st March 2021.

• Virtual classroom + online NOCN invigilated assessment.

• Virtual classroom + Face to Face assessment

• Face to Face delivery + online NOCN invigilated assessment.

For more detail or to express your interest in being approved for one or all of the above adaptations, please complete the expression of interest form below. 

Expression of interest

Face to Face Delivery and Assessment of Licence to Practice Security Qualifications

For Centres that continue to offer face to face delivery and assessment, delivery is subject to the following requirements:

  1. That approved centres must continue to refer to the most up-to-date Coronavirus guidance and support provided by HM Government that can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus. It is a matter for each centre to follow this guidance and make their own assessment as to what they are able to do.
  2. Centres must continue to Covid-19 risk assess all activities and ensure that they meet the government’s guidance on necessary travel and social distancing, plus the use of appropriate PPE to ensure learner/tutor safety. This applies to any activity that is undertaken at your centre. If you cannot meet government guidelines you must not continue.
  3. In addition to following the latest UK government guidance, NOCN centres intending to deliver licence linked training during the Covid-19 pandemic must still have a documented Covid-19 risk assessment as part of their quality management system, describing the risks identified, and the measures and adaptations in place to ensure the safety of all centre staff and learners at all times during both training delivery and assessment. Part of this risk assessment should include a review of insurance, and Health and Safety policies, to ensure the Centre has appropriate insurance cover for all relevant activities and that policies are fit for purpose in light of Covid-19.
  4. To ensure the safety of learners, Centres must be able to evidence that learners attending face to face courses and assessments (including Physical Intervention and Close Protection) are able to do so. Centres are required to check that learners can and are comfortable to attend face to face training/assessment and learners must sign a disclaimer to confirm they are able to undertake face to face delivery and assessments. This declaration must sit alongside the ongoing checks applied in points 2 and 3 to ensure learners presenting symptoms do not attend as per current government guidelines.
  5. For learners not able to attend a face to face course due to Covid-19, the documented risk assessment in points 2 and 3 must indicate the Centre’s arrangements for learners that are not able to attend. Centres can apply to NOCN to deliver training in a virtual classroom with NOCN’s online proctored examinations. For more information on applying for delivery in a virtual classroom and online proctored assessment see page 1.
  6. Remote delivery and online proctored assessment is not available for the Physical Intervention unit or the NOCN Level 3 Certificate for Working as a Close Protection Operative qualification – these must be delivered and assessed face to face.)
  7. The NOCN security examination order form was been updated in July 2020, please ensure that you use this version. The new version is downloadable from Quartzweb or available on request from the NOCN Customer Service team. It includes a declaration that a Covid-19 risk assessment is in place. Examination orders will not be processed if this declaration is not completed. Centres must retain evidence of all Covid-19 risk assessments and learner declarations for review by the quality assurance team.
  8. It continues to be mandatory for centres to capture digital/video evidence showing, as a minimum, the first ten minutes of each face to face examination session (which includes the opening of exam papers and the invigilation script just before the commencement of the examination). Video evidence should include a time/date stamp; capture all learners taking the examination and how current government Covid-19 guidelines are met. Recordings should be retained at the centre and NOCN may request this evidence as part of quality assurance monitoring activity.
  9. For the unit, Physical Intervention Skills within the Private Security Industry, centres are required to retain digital/video evidence of each learner’s physical intervention practical assessment. Please ensure all learners give an introduction to who they are, and the date of assessment. The video recordings should be clearly labelled with learner’s full name and date of assessment and retained at the centre and NOCN may request this evidence as part of EQA sampling activities.
  10. NOCN will provide Quality Assurance visits during this period. When a visit is required, centres will be required to complete a NOCN Covid-19 Centre/provider checklist. A link to this form will be e-mailed to the centre as part of the visit planning process.