Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for customers

Operational Update on NOCN Group Qualifications and Services

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.

You will find out more operational detail on the implications of COVID19 for each of these services, including advice for students and centres preparing for external assessments, through the following links:

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA, 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 (Option 2).

Working to support our valued customers

You will be aware of the various Government and World Health Organisation (WHO) announcements and official advice over COVID19.
The situation is unprecedented and has been continually changing but we will endeavour to continue to support you, your apprentices, learners and card applicants through this difficult period.

We support Ofqual’s statement that the most important principle is fairness to all learners and apprentices, not only for those being assessed now, but also for those assessed before COVID-19.

Centre Support

All our staff are working from home, so we are still offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.
Certificates for regulated qualifications and cards are being issued to centres in the normal way.
We aim to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and we can use remote or recorded assessment methods, whilst maintaining the integrity of the assessment.
All face-to-face appointments for approval visits, External Quality Assurers, and external assessments have been suspended until training centres reopen and normal business resumes.
We are providing digital on-line support, including offering WebEx interviews, developing online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and digital content support.

Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you on or 0300 999 1177 (Option 2).

Best wishes from all at NOCN to you our valued customers. We hope you all remain safe and well.

Graham Hasting-Evans, Group Managing Director

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One Awards ‘Access to HE Fair’ goes virtual at vital time for Adult and Lifelong Learning

9-13th November 2020

The annual One Awards, Access to Higher Education Fair is set to take place virtually from the 9th-13th November to promote adult learning and routes to either University or Higher/Degree Apprenticeships and the event could not come at a more vital time, with adult and lifelong learning set to play a vital role in the UK’s journey to recovery from the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Turning to Learning post Covid-19

This week as part of the Festival of Learning’s Lifelong Learning Week that celebrates the success of adult learners and the importance of topping up skills throughout life, the Adult Participation Survey results were published. The survey highlighted that two in five adults took part in a form of lockdown learning, demonstrating a strong appetite for learning and upskilling during a turbulent and uncertain time for both employment and education.

The survey also found that one in five of adults who left school at the first opportunity took part in lockdown learning, compared to three in five adults who stayed in education until the age of 21. Adults in lower socioeconomic groups (29 per cent) were half as likely to take part in lockdown learning compared with adults in higher socioeconomic groups (57 per cent).

Fiona Aldridge, director of policy and research at the Learning and Work Institute, called on the government to close the “stark and long-standing inequalities in access to learning”: “We will see more jobs created as the economy recovers, but we will need to ensure people have the opportunity to develop the skills they need to access the work that is available.”

Supporting Lifelong Learning through Access to HE

Whilst the pandemic has undoubtedly created many barriers, this recent survey suggests that one positive to emerge is that adults are open to the idea of learning, retraining, reskilling or changing career path altogether. This also reflects a change in attitude and acceptance that in a more dynamic and changing working environment qualifications and skills need to be continually developed. No longer in the modern workplace can people rely predominantly on skills and qualifications acquired in their early years and the Access to HE Diploma is one route to supporting adults through this journey.
The Access to HE Diploma from One Awards has created pathways to Higher Education for 30 years and has remained relevant during this time with new subject areas developed to meet changes in industry skills or indeed the emergence of new industries.

Fabienne Bailey, MD at One Awards explains: “When the PM announced the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee recently the focus was firmly on the importance of upskilling the nation’s work forces through adult education to increase productivity and social mobility in the UK. Access to HE students go on to succeed at Higher Education in degrees and degree apprenticeships and beyond, pursuing new careers and seeing changes in their lives in ways they never thought possible and now more than ever we need to ensure that everyone has this opportunity to change path, pursue a new career and gain new skills.”

One Awards HE Admissions Fair 9-13th November 2020

The One Awards virtual HE Admissions Fair for 2020 will take place from 9-13th November 2020. This important event offers HE Institutions the opportunity to promote their courses, advice and support services to Access to HE students.

A range of HEI’s will host one-hour workshops and Q&A sessions along with representatives from Student Finance England who will be hosting 2 workshops throughout the 5 days. The main aim of the event is to ensure the Access to HE students receive as much information as possible to make informed choices for their progression to Higher Education.

Please find a timetable for the workshops available HERE