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 5).

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 5).

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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Centres FAQs

Centres FAQs

Q.What training or guidance does NOCN provide to invigilators?

NOCN provide an invigilation guide which is available to download from the Useful Information and Resources page within the Help and Support section of the website.

Q.How do we become an NOCN centre?

To become an NOCN centre, you can either apply via the NOCN website here or call NOCN directly at 0300 999 1177.

Q.Who do I need to contact if I need to get certificates reprinted?

Further information about requesting a replacement certificate can be found here.

Q.What Access and Inclusion arrangements are available?

There are a range of access adjustments that can be accessed from extra time, reader, scribe, ICT use and colour paper. Access arrangements available are stipulated in the Centre Reasonable Adjustment and Special Considerations Guidance document which is available to download on this page.

Please contact if you have any queries.

Q.Can NOCN recommend an Initial Assessment for English Language ability?

NOCN do have sample assessment material for Functional Skills in English on the website, in the section which refers specifically to Functional Skills. Centres may choose to use these. Alternatively, centres may source their own initial assessment resources.

Q.If we have a learner who achieves low results in their initial assessment for English Language, but this is because they have dyslexia, what do we do?

Initial assessment should be carried out before the learners are enrolled on a course. If you identify any additional learning needs/support requirements during this process, you may apply for reasonable adjustments. Adjustments that may be permitted include additional time, different coloured paper etc. This application must be submitted to NOCN 5 days before the examination date. NOCN will review the application and inform of the outcome. Please refer to the Reasonable Adjustments guidance.

Q.We have some learners who can only attend training on one day a week, due to their work commitments. In such cases, can they attend Monday one week, Tuesday the following week, Wednesday the week after etc? How would I register these learners for their exam?

Yes, the course timetable can accommodate learners’ work commitments and can be arranged over a series of different days or weekends to suit. All you need to do is put the course dates and exam dates on the examination order form in the usual way. If course dates, or exam dates, need to change from what has been specified on the order form, we must be notified in advance (

Q.If a learner cannot do an exam on the date that was agreed, what arrangements do we need to make with NOCN and can they take the same exam paper as the others in the group?

The exam for that learner would need to be rearranged, and an exam order form submitted quoting the original run number. The learner would sit a different paper to the others in the group.

Q.Can we have more than 12 people sitting an exam?

Yes, although for training purposes, particularly Physical Intervention Skills, the maximum ratio of trainer to learners is 1:12. This ratio is also considered best practice for the theory based units. General invigilation rules are that there should be one invigilator for up to 30 learners. The centre must also ensure that the invigilator has clear visibility of all learners taking an exam.

Q.Does the Trainer need to be present for the Physical Intervention test/re-sit?

Yes, so that the learner can receive the 1:1 immediate re-test (if required) and that learner responses can be recorded and signed by both parties on the exam paper.

Q.Can learners leave the exam room when they have finished the exam?

At the start of the exam the invigilator should have advised learners the earliest time at which they can leave the exam room (they are not permitted to leave the exam room until at least 20 minutes examination time has lapsed), and display this at the front of the exam room, with the start and finish times. Learners should be briefed that when they have finished, they should raise their hand, the invigilator will then check that the “number of changes” box has been completed on their response sheet and both invigilation and learner will sign (where the exam paper requires this). The learner can then quietly leave the room. They will not be allowed back in.

Q.If a learner arrives late for an exam, can they still come in if we knew they were going to be late?

If the learner arrives more than 10 minutes after the exam has started, they will not be allowed to sit the exam. They will have to sit their exam on another date. The centre will need to notify NOCN of the original run number in order for a different exam paper to be issued. The centre must ensure that other learners are not disrupted due to another person’s late arrival. They need to consider the fact that instructions will need to be given to the individual, ID will need to be checked etc. Where a learner does arrive less than 10 minutes late, and is allowed into the exam at the centre’s discretion, then they must also be allowed the full time permitted for the exam.

Q.Do all the exams have to be sat at the end of the training course, or can they be scheduled for during the week?

The centre can schedule the exams to take place either at the end of the training course, or at the end of the delivery of each unit. The exam dates need to be advised to NOCN in advance on the exam order form, and we must be notified ( if for any reason the dates change.

Q.What happens if all learners finish a 70 minute exam after just 40 minutes?

Learners are not permitted to leave the examination room in the last 10 minutes of the exam. So in this case the learners could leave the room, but they would not be allowed back in.

Q.Do we need to do a practice test with learners first?

No, it is not mandatory, but is good practice. Centres can devise their own. This could be part of a group activity, e.g. task learners to create questions and split into groups and test each other.

Q.What is credit transfer and when/how may it be used for security qualifications?

If a learner has achieved one of the current licence linked units previously (perhaps with another training provider), then they are exempt from having to re-do the unit again, but details of achievement need to be notified to NOCN. The centre must confirm they have seen the original certificate or letter from the relevant awarding body, showing the qualification/award. NOCN require a copy of the evidence of the achievement. This is detailed in Section 6 of the Candidate Information Sheet.

Q.Do NOCN have any sample tests for the security qualifications so that the learners are familiar with the format of the exams they will be taking?

NOCN do not currently offer sample tests, however, in response to feedback from our centres, these are now in development.

Q.Is there a facility for the exams to be sat on line rather than having to complete a paper based version?

Yes, the multiple choice exams are also available in an online format which provides instant results.

Q.Do we need to check that the learners have their identity documents and photograph before they sit the exam?

Yes, the invigilator is responsible for ensuring that the required identity documents and photograph are produced and recorded on the candidate information sheet before the examination takes place. It is good practice to write the learners name and the run number on the back of the photograph.

Q.Can we have more than 12 people sitting an exam?

Yes, although for training purposes, particularly Physical Intervention Skills, the maximum ratio of trainer to learners is 1:12. This ratio is also considered best practice for the theory based units. General invigilation rules are that there should be one invigilator for up to 30 learners. The centre must also ensure that the invigilator has clear visibility of all learners taking an exam.

Q.If a candidate fails an examination, how soon after can they resit?

The assessor decides when a candidate is ready to re-sit their Functional Skills examination. It is suggested that a two week teaching period takes place before the candidate is registered to re-sit.

Q.If we have people doing a range of different re-sit exams, can they all be sat together to do them?

No, all learners should be sitting an exam for the same unit.

Q.If a learner has done the training at another centre, but failed the exam and asks to do the resit at our centre, is this possible?

This would not be classed as a resit. They would in fact be a new learner to your centre. You would be responsible for ensuring they are fully trained and prepared for the exam. There will be usual registration fee.

Q.If a candidate fails an examination, how can a centre request feedback on the candidate’s performance?

Feedback can be requested from NOCN, there is a cost for this element.