NOCN becomes first End Point Assessment Organisation for new Debt Adviser Apprenticeship
Posted 24 March 2021
Leading educational charity NOCN Group is pleased to announce during ‘Debt Awareness Week 2021’ that it has formally agreed to become the first approved End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for the Debt Adviser Apprenticeship Standard.
The Level 3 Debt Adviser Apprenticeship, a first-of-its-kind cross-sector qualification, was approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education in early 2020, but its launch was delayed due to the pandemic. The Credit Services Association, the UK trade for the collections and debt purchase sector and Approved Apprenticeship Training Provider, highlighted the need to secure a suitable EPAO for the urgent roll out of the programme given the increased demand for quality debt advice as a result of the economic impact of Covid-19. NOCN Group responded to this plea and is working with CSA and employer Financial Wellness Group to enable the launch of a pilot of the programme in April 2021.
Graham Hasting-Evans, Chief Executive, NOCN Group:
“We have been at the forefront of the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment market from the outset and are delivering assessments for organisations across a whole range of sectors from retail to financial services. When we were approached by CSA, a quality training provider we have worked with previously, about becoming the EPAO for the Debt Adviser Apprenticeship Standard, it was immediately of interest. Not only is it an area that we have existing cross-sector experience in, but it is also aligned with our agenda around social mobility and social impact.”
Fiona Macaskill, Director of Learning & Development, CSA, said:
“The Debt Adviser Apprenticeship Standard is designed to increase the quality and capacity of debt advice by using the Apprenticeship Levy to upskill existing advisers and attract new talent into the sector via a robust and accessible entry-level qualification.
“As a trade association in a sector with close links to money and debt advice organisations and an experienced Approved Apprenticeship Training Provider in related areas including credit, collections, compliance, and counter fraud, we are well placed to deliver it. NOCN Group shares our values as a not-for-profit organisation and we are confident that together we can offer advice sector employers an effective way of upskilling existing and new debt advisers, providing them with a successful career pathway in the profession.”
Sebrina McCullough, Head of External Relations at Financial Wellness Group and Chair of the Debt Adviser Apprenticeship Trailblazer Group, added:
“With demand for debt advice expected to soar over the coming months, never has it been more important to have a clear route into the sector that helps to increase the quality and consistency of advice and recognise advisers as professionals providing an essential service.
“As Chair of the Trailblazer Group and a representative of one of the first employers to implement it, I am therefore delighted to see the Apprenticeship being rolled out, thanks in part to the efforts of the CSA and NOCN Group."