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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Meet the Team

Our Expert Apprenticeship team will be on hand to offer practical advice and guidance throughout the process.

Thomas Burton – Director of Apprenticeships NOCN

Thomas’ career began in Hospitality and Catering in 1997 and was the Senior Sous Chef at Doncaster Racecourse for six years, during this time he completed his teacher training at Doncaster College. Thomas continued in Hospitality and Catering and became the culinary project manager at the London 2012 Olympics, where he delivered part of the largest catering operation since World War Two.

Thomas has also been the Executive Head Chef at Forest Pines Resort in North Lincolnshire and has taught Hospitality and Catering at both Dearne Valley College and Rotherham College of Arts & Technology. Thomas spent three years as the Quality and Curriculum manager for an independent training provider, overseeing apprenticeship delivery in Management, Hair, Healthcare, and Hospitality.

Since 2017, Thomas has established the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment Organisation at NOCN Group, as well as delivering Apprenticeship projects in India on behalf of the UK Government. He is also the Governor of Apprenticeships and Further Education, for DN Colleges Group.

Michaela Bellis – EPA Deployment Manager

Michaela is an accomplished Assessor and IQA who has worked in further education for the last 17 years. Her drive for high-quality technical education has earned her the opportunities to work for various outstanding training providers and colleges, specialising in senior quality assurance and mentoring of assessment professionals. Ofsted and Matrix have previously graded Michaela as an outstanding FE practitioner during several full inspections.

As EPA Deployment Manager for NOCN, Michaela leads an enthusiastic team who together strive to deliver a first-class service to all of their clients, scheduling End Point Assessments across a variety of different standards.

Nicola Scarfe – EPA Contracting Manager

Nicola’s career started in Beauty Therapy and Holistic Therapies in 1997. Nicola went on to work in the beauty industry before starting her teacher training at Huddersfield University.

Nicola has taught beauty therapy to international students in Dubai as well as owning and operating her own hair and beauty academy. Nicola has experience as an International Examiner working in Ireland, Russia, and South Africa.

Since 2019, Nicola has utilised her educational and quality assurance skills to develop robust and reliable End Point Assessment Services and she now manages the EPA Contracting provision at NOCN.

Leonie Thompson – EPA Development and Regulatory Compliance Manager

Leonie has vast experience in assessment, quality assurance and curriculum development. Having delivered training, assessments and apprenticeship frameworks in Management, Team Leading, Customer Service, Business Administration, Learning and Development and Retail before working at NOCN.

Leonie has been a regional manager of assessment and quality for an international training provider and has managed both Ofsted and ESFA compliance. Leonie has worked for NOCN since 2016 developing, along with her team the End Point Assessment processes, compliance checks and EPA readiness.

Lisa Hibbard - EPA Business Development Manager

Lisa has worked within the education and training sector for over 16 years in a variety of different roles, particularly within awarding organisations, supporting and advising training providers and employers on suitable vocational qualifications that meet the needs of their learners.

Lisa experienced and knowledgeable about Apprenticeship Standards having worked with them since their inception, supporting both training providers and employers to ensure they understand the requirements of the apprenticeship and end point assessment (EPA).

Lisa joined NOCN in June 2019 and is the first point of contact for new providers and employers seeking support and guidance with EPA.

Karen Dewis-Thompson – Senior Apprenticeship Assessment Executive

Karen’s career began as an Insurance Clerk in 1993. After achieving the qualifications required for the Youth Training Scheme, Karen’s career progressed to working at a local training provider in 1996. Karen further developed her education achieving NVQ’s in Administration, and Management, teachers certificate, assessor award and internal quality assurance qualification.

In April 2001 Karen was promoted to the Centre Manager running a small Training Provider Centre in Nottingham City Centre. In 2007 Karen spent two years working as a manager in the NHS, before returning to work for a training provider.

Karen was involved in developing resources for learning and delivering on the new Customer Service Practitioner and Business Administration standards. In August 2019 Karen began working at NOCN Group as the Senior Apprenticeship Assessment Executive.

Sharon Street– EPA Technical Lead, Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing.

Sharon originally directed her career to property and entered back into education in 2008 where she qualified as a Building Surveyor, specialising in Energy and Sustainability, including Standard Assessment Procedure and Thermal Modelling including U Values and Non-Domestic properties. During this time Sharon completed her Assessor, Lead IQA and PLTTS training to pass her knowledge and experiences to others.

Sharon entered into training, assessing and teaching courses and apprenticeships in 2012 on a self-. employed basis whilst still working out in the field of construction and existing buildings.

Sharon joined NOCN in July 2019 as the EPA developer of Construction and Engineering within the End Point Assessment Organisation at the NOCN Group.

Richard Dukes – EPA Technical Lead, Banking, Financial Services and Insurance

Before joining NOCN, Richard worked 20 years for first direct and then HSBC as a Senior Premier Relationship Manager, before moving on to the assessment of Financial frameworks and latterly Standards for 5 years with Knowledgepool. He has an in-depth hands-on knowledge of all aspects of the finance sector and is part of the team focussed on developing the assessment material for the finance standards. He has been part of the development and writing of the degree programme in partnership with DfID and the Indian Govt. to produce a new standard now being delivered to apprentices based in the finance sector in India.

Sarah Whitham – Senior EPA Recruitment Executive.

Sarah’s career started in 1992 working for several major household retailers such as Saxone (part of BSC – British Shoe Corporation), River Island and Focus DIY. Sarah has now worked with NOCN for 15 years and has held various positions such as Operations Officer and HR and Finance Officer. Whilst working full time in her HR and Finance role, Sarah achieved the Level 5 Diploma in Human Resource Management qualification. She is now the Senior EPA Recruitment Executive within the EPA Team and the main recruiter for End Point Assessors across all the Apprenticeship Standards that NOCN deliver.

Nichol Shirley – Apprenticeship Assessment Executive

Nichol began her career in Health and Social Care in 2000 studying at Sheffield College. Nichol then went on to work within a care setting for 2 years. Nichol soon discovered that her strengths were in the management and administration element of her role.

In 2002 Nichol took a career change and started to work in more Customer Service focussed roles and worked at Virgin Media for over 10 years.

Since 2018 Nichol has worked at NOCN and manages the End Point Assessment scheduling of the Business, Sales, Retail and Hospitality sectors.

Fakhar Javed - Apprenticeship Assessment Executive

Fakhar started his career as a Quality Support Coordinator at a major international awarding body in 2016. He was responsible for coordinating internal quality assurance processes, in line with government regulatory requirements. He also facilitated in the training of Moderation platforms which included; processing claims, payments and applications for End Point Assessment (EPA). During this time Fakhar completed his Master’s in Business Project Management from Huddersfield University.

Fakhar joined NOCN in 2019 as an Apprenticeship assessment executive. He provides specialist assessment support in the scheduling, booking and deployment of End Point Assessors for Health and Science apprenticeship standards.

Ana Daniel – EPA Technical Lead Health, Care and Science.

Ana has worked in social and health care since 1982. Ana’s experience includes being a lecturer at Doncaster Deaf College and a Health and Social care lecturer at Chesterfield College. She worked as an apprenticeship assessor in South Wales before joining NOCN in 2019.

Emma Finch - Apprenticeship Assessment Executive

In 2008, Emma graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a Bsc Hons in Sports and Exercise Science. Emma began her career at NOCN in our finance and customer service teams, liaising with FE Colleges, training providers and suppliers.

Emma transferred to the Apprenticeships team, in 2019, to manage our growing number of building services and engineering standards. Emma has applied the skills she learned in coaching, communications, administration and planning to manage over 50 assessors and moderators across a range of construction and engineering standards.

Gina Gatty – EPA Technical Lead Business, Hospitality and Management Services

Involved in hospitality since 2002, assessing since 2009 and internally quality assuring since 2012, Gina was originally a catering and hospitality apprentice herself and working her way up through the professional cookery levels to eventually achieving a Business Management (Hospitality) Degree with Teesside University followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with Sunderland University.

Gina has a strong understanding of Further Education, quality assurance and curriculum management. Having worked for Kendal, Leeds and Selby Colleges, as well as North Yorkshire County Council and several private training providers in South Yorkshire.

Christine Brown – EPA Technical Advisor

Christine started her career in education and training in 2013 as an assessor in the business and commerce sector and in 2016 achieved a BA Hons degree in e-communication.

Since finishing her degree, Christine has been delivering social and digital marketing qualifications alongside her business and commerce qualifications. Christine joined NOCN in February 2020 bringing her previous knowledge and skill in the FE sector, working closely with, and supporting the End Point Assessment development team and the End Point Assessment scheduling team.

Jonathan Green- Apprenticeship Assessment Executive

Jonathan started his career within a Health and Social care setting working as part of the management team within the Psychologist and Behavioural team. Jonathan has experience in payroll and customer services as well as the Expense and Freight Coordinator for Optimas a leading global industrial distributor and service provider.

Jonathan joined NOCN in September 2020 as an Apprenticeship Assessment Executive, providing specialist assessment support in the scheduling, booking and deployment of End Point Assessors for the financial apprenticeship standards.