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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Progression Pathways: Level 2 Pre-Access Qualifications

Level 2 pre-access qualifications are an excellent progression pathway in supporting adults back into education and for those wanting to move onto the Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma route into Higher Education or apprenticeships.

Pre-Access has a success rate in helping those who, amongst other things, have struggled with the initial Maths and English screening tests for their desired Access to HE Diploma choices.

These qualifications also suit Learners who want to develop generic study and employment skills leading to Level 3 learning or those who may want to explore a vocational area or areas as they are still undecided on a career route.

Additionally, the qualifications are suited to adults who haven’t completed traditional Level 2 qualifications such as five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above and can be delivered alongside maths and English qualifications.

Flexible delivery options

The course is delivered both Part-time and Full-time and provides options for flexible delivery for fast track or summer school provision, the courses are very popular and successful among those of our providers who offer them and feel that there is an added bonus to them being fully funded, so no cost to the learner.

How are these qualifications assessed?

The assessment approach to NOCN qualifications offers flexibility but generally, Pre-Access entails the production of a portfolio of evidence to show learners newly developed skills. There are various methods of assessment such as presentations, essays, individual research and homework.


“Darlington College use the NOCN Level 2 Certificate in Skills for Employment and Study in Health Sciences as our Level 2 Pre-Access course, as we have found the content fully prepares our Learners for progression onto the Level 3 Access to Health or the Humanities and Social Science Diplomas. Learners fee confident that they have made the right choice for the course and go onto progress through their Access to HE Diploma and into Higher Education." 

Mick O'Reilly, Curriculum Manager, Darlington College

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