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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New manual published today to support flexible apprenticeships in construction

A new manual, co-authored by Industry and Government, has today been published to set out how flexibilities in apprenticeships can be used and delivered in construction – to meet the needs of employers and apprentices.

Apprenticeships have been on a transformational journey since 2012, with reforms such as the introduction of employer-led standards leading the way in ensuring apprenticeships are relevant, high quality, and meet the skills needs of employers.

In 2020, the Prime Minister committed to building on this success and making apprenticeships more flexible, to better meet the needs of employers and apprentices.

The ‘Flexible Apprenticeships in Construction’ manual, published today, sets out:
• how the delivery of apprenticeship training can be flexed to meet employer needs; and
• how the length of an apprenticeship can be reduced where an individual has existing relevant knowledge or skills.

Some employers are already making use of apprenticeship flexibilities and are seeing the benefits of this, in workforce satisfaction, productivity, and improved value for money. This includes employers who co-authored the manual alongside Government and Industry bodies.

NOCN Group wants all employers to think creatively about how they can tailor apprenticeship training to meet their needs. Be it through a flexible delivery model, such as front-loading which can support apprentices new to the sector to hit the ground running, to delivering accelerated apprenticeships for more experienced individuals who are able to build on their existing skills and complete more quickly.
If you are interested in finding out more about front-loading, accelerated apprenticeships, or the wider range of delivery models, the manual can be found here or you can visit for more information.

You may also be interested in contributing to the consultation launched on 20 April to deliver new flexi-job apprenticeships in industries where employment is often project-based and short-term, such as the creative industries.

Employer incentives payments, in place until September 2021, mean there is £3000 available for every apprentice hired.