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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Apprenticeship Funding

Funding for apprenticeships is available for employers, the amount of funding available is dependent if the employer pays levy or not.

The information on this page is for England only, if you have questions about apprenticeship funding in Scotland Wales or Northern Ireland please contact our Business Development Team.  For End Point Assessment fees please see our EPA Tariff.

Levy-paying employers

Employers with a pay bill of £3 million or more will pay an apprenticeship levy.  Using the Apprenticeship Service the can access these funds for apprenticeship training and development in their own organisation.  If they do not use the levy funds within two years then it goes back to the Government.  However, if they use all their levy and want to train more apprentices, they'll pay for them using the same model as an SME.

The levy is collected by HMRC via the PAYE process.  There is a £15,000 allowance and the Government will top-up monthly funds for apprenticeship training by 10%.  No employer is exempt.

Employers control where they spend their apprenticeship funding.  The providers will get that money through their monthly Individualised Learner Record (ILR) return.

Non-levy paying employers

SMEs with a pay bill under £3 million contribute 10% of the total apprenticeship cost and the Government pays the remaining 90%.  The same model is used for levy-paying employers who have exhausted their levy funds.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, training 16-18 year-old apprentices will receive 100% of the funding from the Government.

More information regarding the levy and employer contributions can be found on the gov.uk website.

What is the Apprenticeship Service?

The Apprenticeship Service is a government portal for employers to:

  • Access apprenticeship levy funds and account balance
  • Find and manage training providers
  • Manage their apprenticeships
  • Manage apprentice recruitment

Login or sign up to the Apprenticeship Service.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

There are 30 funding bands available from £1,500 - £27,000.  Each band is the maximum funding amount the Government believes is required for training and assessment of apprentices.  However, the funding band maximum is not the funding rate.  Employers should negotiate with training providers and EPAOs and agree on a suitable price. If the costs of training and assessment go over the funding band maximum, employers will need to pay the difference with other funds.

Math & English Funding

Depending on prior achievements and the requirement of the standard apprentices must be given Maths & English support. 

This is not funding via the levy, but funding by the Government directly to training providers.  Find out more about 16-19 Learning & Skills Funding, and the Adult Education Budget which can be utilised for Maths & English.