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 nocn@nocn.org.uk 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 nocn@nocn.org.uk 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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Adult Education Budget (AEB)

The AEB funds education and training for adult learners +19. Access to the AEB is through local training providers or colleges.

The AEB enables adults the access the skills and learning needed to provide opportunities for career progression or equip them for an apprenticeship.

Employers can utilise the AEB to reskill and upskill their current workforce to solve skills shortages, improve employee's knowledge, performance and productivity.

Learners can make use of the AEB to gain new skills to support their career progression in their current role or support a career change. It can also be used to help prepare learners for an apprenticeship.

AEB can be utilised in the following ways:

  • Fund learners aged 19-23 to gain a full level 2 or 3 qualification, if they do not already hold one.  Learners aged +24 may need to contribute to some costs.
  • Fund low-waged learners aged +24 to gain their first full level 2 or 3 qualification.
  • Fund learners who are unemployed for any qualification or course up to level 2.
  • Fund any low waged learner whose first language is not English, up to level 2.
  • Fund English and maths, up to and including level 2, for individuals aged +19, who have not previously achieved a GCSE grade A* - C or grade 4, or higher.
  • Fund traineeships for unemployed learners aged 19 - 24 years.  Additional units, awards and certificates traineeships can be funded to support trainees with specific occupation knowledge and skills.
Training providers need a contract with the Government via the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to deliver qualifications to learners aged +19 in order to access the AEB.  There are two main funding streams:
  1. Local flexibility - Is the tailored provision for adults. It includes regulated qualifications and their units, and/or non-regulated learning, from entry level to level.
  2. Legal entitlement - The entitlements allow learners aged: 19 to 23 to be fully-funded if they study for a first qualification at level 2 and/or level 3. 19 and over, who have not previously attained a GCSE grade C/grade 4 or higher, to be fully-funded if they study for a qualification in English or maths, up to and including level 2.

Funding Rules and Eligibility

The government website offers useful advice, guidance and a full breakdown of the rules for the use of the Adult Education Budget.

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