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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Traditional apprenticeship frameworks are the established type of apprenticeship which most people are familiar with.

We would like to remind Employers and Training Providers that all remaining apprenticeship frameworks were withdrawn to new starts on 31 July 2020. 

View further guidance on Apprenticeship Frameworks withdrawal

Common Framework Components

Apprenticeship frameworks can comprise the following components:

1. Competency-based qualification*
This is a vocational qualification focusing on the skills required to do the job and is usually achieved through on-the-job training.

2. Knowledge-based qualification*
This is sometimes known as a ‘technical certificate’ and contains the knowledge required relating to the job role. This is sometimes achieved through on-the-job training at the same time as the competency-based qualification or may involve training sessions at a college or training provider.

3. Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS)
This may be completed as part of the competency or knowledge-based qualifications. The skills covered are:

  • Independent enquiry
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective learning
  • Team working
  • Self-management
  • Effective participation

4. Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR)
This may be completed as part of the competency or knowledge-based qualification or through the completion of a separate workbook. It focusses on the rights and responsibilities of both the apprentice as an employee and their employer.

5. Functional Skills
These are qualifications in English, Maths and ICT (information and communication technology). ICT is not always required as it depends on the job role the apprentice holds. Refer to the individual apprenticeship framework to see if this applies.

All components of the apprenticeship framework must be completed in order for the apprentice to receive their certificate.

*Some apprenticeship frameworks will include a combined qualification covering both knowledge and skills. The framework document will list the appropriate qualifications an apprentice needs to complete.