Technology has revolutionised the way we work, but more than half of UK employees (53%) do not have the digital skills needed for work.  These skills can be anything from being able to avoid suspicious links and pop-ups to sharing documents by attaching to an email.

Digital skills can increase business productivity and employees can use digital technology to become more productive at work.  For example, digital documents can be created, stored and accessed more efficiently than printed versions.

According to Microsoft, in the next two decades 90% of jobs will require some form of digital skills.  By investing in the right digital skills training for employees now, they are more likely to outperform their peers – developing organisations’ competitive edge.

A digitally competent workforce can find new ways of working and embracing these changes will help build a highly satisfied workforce, keen to collaborate, communicate and be more efficient.

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Our end-to-end Digital Productivity Skills qualifications are designed to provide individuals with key digital skills they need to improve productivity in the workplace using common software such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

Full online learning solution: We have developed a unique full online solution for these qualifications as the primary route for learning, which includes lessons, resources and practice tests through the Moodle online platform.

Classroom and blended learning: Available for college and training providers to design a classroom delivery or blended learning.  Guided Learning Hours (GLH) are specified to support this route.

Nationwide test centres: The final qualifications are assessed by independent examination at test centres located nationwide.


  • Learners benefit by receiving recognised qualifications and Microsoft Certification badges
  • Employers gain digitally productive employees with MS Office and key digital skills
  • Local economies grow their digital skilled workforce
  • Improves skills levels and can generate social mobility for the workforce
  • Enables SMEs to grow and increase competitive advantages
  • Supports capital investment priorities in the local economy
  • Supports learners into new employment


Alternatively, contact our Business Development Team to find out more.  

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NOCN’s latest generation of Digital Skills qualifications will be available to new starts from 24th August 2020:

Entry Level Award in Digital Basics (Entry 2)

Ideal for learners with no experience of using digital technology. This qualification has a single unit designed to cover fundamental activities, including:

  • Turn on a device (including entering and updating any account information safely, such as a password);
  • Use the available controls on a device (such as a mouse and keyboard for a computer, or touchscreen on a smartphone or tablet);
  • Make use of accessibility tools (including assistive technology) to make devices easier to use (such as changing display settings to make content easier to read);
  • Interact with the home screen on a device;
  • Connect to the internet (including Wi-Fi) safely and securely;
  • Open and access applications on a device;
  • Use a device to communicate.

This qualification replaces the NOCN Entry Level Award in Online Basics (E3).

Level 1 and Level 2 Digital Skills qualifications

The Digital Skills qualifications at L1/L2 will allow learners and centres to tailor the learning experience. Each qualification has optional units which can be combined to form a specific learning programme.

These qualifications replace the existing suite of IT User Skills qualifications at Level 1 & Level 2.


Gaining approval for the new Digital Skills qualifications

If you are currently delivering the IT User Skills or Online Basics qualifications, we’ll automatically transfer your approved status to the new Digital Skills qualifications.

Essential Digital Skills Qualifications

We’d like to hear from centres who plan to offer the Essential Digital Skills Qualifications under the new Digital Entitlement. Please contact Andrew Costello, Senior Product Developer with you plans -

Withdrawal of legacy qualifications

The following qualifications will be withdrawn to new starts from 31st December 2020:

501/1248/X NOCN Entry Level Award in Online Basics (ITQ) (Entry 3)
500/7810/0 NOCN Level 1 Award in IT User Skills (ITQ)
500/7811/2 NOCN Level 1 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ)
500/7812/4 NOCN Level 1 Diploma in IT User Skills (ITQ)
500/7814/8 NOCN Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills (ITQ)

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The QAA Access to HE Diploma through One Awards is an exciting route to Higher Education and into a new career. It is one of the main routes into Higher Education for adults and is part of the UCAS Tariff Point system.  It is a highly flexible Level 3 Qualification with a wide range of subject options and modes of study.  The qualification also enables progression to a whole range of Level 4 programmes including Higher Apprenticeships. Students can apply for a place at a Higher Education institution using the usual UCAS application process with the majority successfully gaining a place at their chosen institution. 

We offer Access to Higher Education Diplomas for Digital skills in the following areas:

      • Business & ICT, Computing
      • Computing
      • Creative & Digital Industries
      • Emerging Technologies
      • Games Design

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NOCN Group is an educational charity that helps learners reach their potential and organisations to thrive.  The Group includes business units specialising in regulated UK and international qualifications, End Point Assessment, Access to Higher Education, assured short courses, SMART job cards, assessment services, consultancy, and research. 

Benefits of working with NOCN Group:

  • By using a single organisation for education and skills, NOCN Approved Centres gain significant cost savings and increase efficiency, including joint External Quality Assurance visits.  
  • Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from the NOCN Group’s high standards of quality assurance, NOCN Group never cuts corners.
  • NOCN qualifications are designed to meet funding criteria, including regional devolved budgets.
  • FE College curriculum support for over 1,000 NOCN qualifications including pathways.
  • Added value solutions, we offer a range of service solutions to support Centres in delivering an exceptional experience to candidates.  Including regular events and workshops across the UK to help keep customer knowledge, skills and experience up to date on products, services, systems and procedures.

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