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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NOCN Group offers colleges Covid -19 lockdown curriculum planning support

NOCN Group has an extensive and growing portfolio of vocational qualifications in a range of sectors.

As we being the start of the UK’s third national Covid-19 lockdown it’s now more vital than ever that FE Colleges and Training Providers have access to curriculum planning support for study programmes that are agile and focused on improving short and long-term employability prospects for learners.

NOCN qualifications offer progression into both employment and higher-level studies and apprenticeships and are supported by a wide range of additional components that enable Colleges and Training Providers to develop future-facing study programmes for the 16-19 market through to adult learners.

Meeting 540 hours criteria with future fit study programmes

Most 16-19 study programmes are designed to be full-time with a minimum of 540 planned hours per academic year and there are a number of ways in which NOCN Group can support Colleges and Training Providers to deliver this requirement, including:

  • Functional Skills Qualifications

Where learners haven’t yet achieved GCSE Grade ‘C’ in English and maths at 16, we can support them with our ‘tried and tested’ Functional Skills qualifications, that can be added on where required with online assessment now available. Our Functional Skills qualifications have been designed to assist learners of all ages and levels to be able to confidently demonstrate the practical skills needed in real-life situations. They can also form part of an Apprenticeship.

  • Employability Skills

We encourage all our Centres to offer qualifications that add value to the learner’s experience and ultimately make them more employable. We have developed Employability Skills Qualifications ranging from entry-Level 1 through to Level 2 which are suitable for learners of all ages. These qualifications have been designed to provide different groups of learners with the skills, attributes, and behaviours that they need to enter and succeed in the world of work.

  • Supplementary units of accreditation from One Awards.

We recognise the importance of prioritising shorter units that allow learners to meet their 540-hour requirement and quickly upskill and get into employment. These bespoke additional units of accreditation from One Awards (part of NOCN Group) cover a whole range of areas including; Presentation Skills (10 hours), Understanding Business Essentials (30 hours), Skills for Living in a Community (30 hours), Setting Goals and Achieving Employment Ambitions (30 hours) and Understanding Equality and Diversity (10 hours).

Adult Learners and Access to HE #JanuaryStart

With adult and lifelong learning set to play a vital role in the UK’s journey to recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of One Awards Centres will be offering January starts for Access to HE students, which is great news for those who may have taken the decision to re-train and or change career path over lockdown and are keen to begin this process early in the New Year.

Access to HE courses from One Awards provide routes to either University OR Higher/Degree Apprenticeships allowing learners to change path, pursue a new career, and gain new skills. Our Access to HE offer is constantly evolving and expanding and we are excited to now be able to offer a new diploma in Policing as well as Emerging Technologies and Creative Industries.

We recognise that the HE route is not right for every learner though and in a recent study from Save the Student, 70% of university students said they were worried about finding a job after graduating, which would no doubt be compounded for adult learners, keen to pursue a new career after a number of years working. Higher Degree Apprenticeships however provide a more vocational route, increased employability as well as social mobility, and can be more affordable for the learner. We are keen to ensure that our Colleges and Training Providers are aware that this is an option.

Fabienne Bailey, MD at One Awards explains: “Our Colleges and Training Providers don’t always realise that our Access courses provide both the University and the Higher Degree Apprenticeship route and both are viable pathways with the loan written off in exactly the same way*. We are excited to work with Centres to offer January starts as we know that the current uncertain climate has led many to ‘turn to learning’ and re-evaluate their future and being able to adapt and support this is an important feature of our Access to HE offer.”

Future-facing learning experiences

Now more than ever we understand the importance of being able to provide ‘hybrid’ learning experiences that can continue at home or in-person and that’s why we are developing our blended learning/digital offer. Our new virtual learning environment will provide online content and support for your study programme delivery.

If you want to learn more about the ways in which NOCN Group/One Awards can support your curriculum planning for 2021 please call us on 0191 5186550.