Coronavirus update/alternative arrangements for 2020/21

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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:

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 or 0300 999 1177.

Update 29th March 2021

On 24th March, Ofqual published the VTQ Contingency Regulatory Framework (VCRF) which allows NOCN to provide centres with awarding arrangements for learners who have had their training and assessment disrupted in 2021. To view more information on the arrangements in place by NOCN, please click here.

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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Qualification Categories for Alternative Arrangements

Information regarding the category each qualification has been placed in for the 2020/1 alternative arrangements

Update From 13th April 2021

There have been some amendments to the categorisation of qualifications. Please refer to the Qualification Categories for Alternative Arrangements for the latest list below, where the amendments are detailed in orange for ease of reference.

Although this list is required to be kept under review and NOCN encourages centres to keep referring to the latest version, NOCN is confident that conversations across sectors are now firmed up and does not expect there to be any major amendments to the categorisation of qualifications moving forward.

Centres and learners are also encouraged to check the Ofqual Summer 2021 Qualification Explainer Tool which provides the arrangements for all in scope qualifications across all Awarding Organisations. 

Update From 29th March 2021

NOCN has reviewed the content and purpose of each of its qualifications to determine whether it is a Category A, Category B1 or Category B2 qualification.

Category A qualifications are used to demonstrate occupational or professional competence, or to enter directly into employment. For these qualifications, the completion of assessments is critical for the qualification to be awarded reliably and safely and therefore assessment should continue as normal, ensuring Public Health England measures are adhered to. Where assessment cannot take place, it will need to be delayed.

Category B1 qualifications are those most similar to GCSEs, AS and A levels, that are used for progression to further or higher education. These qualifications are taken alongside or instead of GCSEs, AS and A-Levels. NOCN expects that learners studying this style of qualification will have experienced disruption to their education as a result of the limited access to centres by learners. The assessments for these qualifications should be cancelled and awarded through the use of a Teacher Assessed Grade, where appropriate.

Category B2 qualifications are those which are taken for mixed purposes and do not necessarily have to follow an academic cycle, such as Functional Skills and ESOL qualifications. For these qualifications, assessments should continue where it is possible and/or where these can be delivered remotely or through adaptations. Where this is not possible, alternative arrangements can be considered.

Please download the latest list of qualifications, alongside their assigned category, below.