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 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 1).

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. With colleges and schools now closed and the country in effect ‘locked down’, other than essential services, 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 1).

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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The EPA Journey

From the day the apprentice first starts their programme through to the apprentice receiving their results, NOCN works in partnership with employer’s and training providers to ensure a high quality, robust End Point Assessment.

STEP 1: Contracting

When: When first apprentice starts their programme

  • Employer makes decision to use NOCN for End Point Assessment services
  • Training provider/employer engage with NOCN and agree pricing for
  • End Point Assessment services
  • Contract created between NOCN and the organisation on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)
  • RoATP provider completes and submits required documentation;
    • contract terms and conditions signed
    • schedule of End Point Assessment document
    • customer credit account application and purchase order form

STEP 2: Customer onboarding

When: Once customer documentation has been submitted to NOCN

  • End Point Assessment Contracts Manager checks documentation has been completed accurately and the finance team complete credit scoring
  • A copy of the contract is signed by NOCN and returned to the training provider
  • Invoice raised for initial registration fees as per details provided on Schedule of End Point Assessment document (usually 10% of EPA fee)
  • On-boarding meeting arranged to discuss processes, guidance and training requirements

STEP 3: End Point Assessment Preparation and Support

When: After initial registration invoice has been paid, while apprentices are on programme

  • Free bespoke training workshops for your delivery staff and employers covering End Point Assessment requirements, process and how to prepare apprentices for End Point Assessment
  • Regular relationship management meetings with your EPA Contracts Manager to discuss any queries or issues and updates to the Schedule of End Point Assessment
  • Access to guidance for assessment elements completed on-programme where applicable, such as portfolios, work based assignments and research activities

STEP 4: Gateway Tri-Party Review

When: Apprentices must have been on-programme for the minimum duration in line with ESFA Funding Rules and the duration of the apprenticeship standard.

  • NOCN checks that on-programme requirements have been completed
  • Apprentices, employer and training provider meet to review progress and on-programme achievement against the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the apprenticeship standard and check gateway pre-requisites. All parties must agree that apprentice is ready for assessment
  • NOCN Gateway Declaration and Booking Form completed and signed by all parties
  • Declaration and Booking Form submitted to NOCN together with supporting evidence of achievement
  • On-programme requisites and any pre-gateway assessment preparation if required
  • Submission of English and maths achievement (Functional Skills or recognised prior achievement)

STEP 5: End Point Assessment Booking Process

When: Once declaration form has been received by NOCN

  • An individual Assessment Executive will be allocated to support the scheduling process
  • Pre-requisite evidence and declaration form checked
  • Conflicts of interest and independent assessor availability checked
  • Invoice raised for remaining End Point Assessment fee which must be paid before first assessment takes place
  • End Point Assessment activity booked and confirmed with training provider
  • Invigilation/software guidance provided as required
  • Pre-testing of any software is arranged if needed
  • Online mock assessments made available for knowledge tests

STEP 6: End Point Assessment Activity

When: The first assessment takes place a minimum of one month from when the booking form is received (or within timescale stated within assessment plan where stipulated)

  • Knowledge tests must be invigilated. Training providers and employers can organise invigilation in line with NOCN policies or can request an invigilator from NOCN, except where the assessment plan stipulates the End Point Assessment Organisation must invigilate (additional charges apply for NOCN to invigilate)
  • The training provider and employer are responsible for ensuring assessment takes place within a suitable environment and that assessments start at the scheduled time
  • Independent End Point Assessor will not give any indication of results or feedback during or after the assessment

STEP 7: Results and Certification

When: After assessment

  • Independent End Point Assessor completes report indicating coverage against apprenticeship standard and confirms result to NOCN
  • NOCN's Internal moderator confirms and verifies the End Point Assessment result
  • NOCN Assessment Executive confirms result with training provider in a password protected document within 5 working days of the final element taking place
  • Feedback is provided if a Fail result is given. Further learning may be needed. Resits can be scheduled in line with guidance in the assessment plan
  • Once all components have been completed the training provider will be sent a Final
  • Confirmation of Results Form which will include the overall grade awarded
  • NOCN submit the achievement to ESFA for the Apprenticeship Certificate to be issued
  • The Apprenticeship Certificate is sent directly to the named employer representative