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 frameworks withdrawal (Update May 2020)

The Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) announced on 5 October 2018 that the ESFA will withdraw all apprenticeship frameworks at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.

View the statement from ESFA

 All new learners will need to be on apprenticeship standards from 1 August 2020


We would like to remind Employers and Training Providers that all remaining apprenticeship frameworks will be withdrawn to new starts on 31 July 2020.

This follows the Government’s announcement in October 2018, which confirmed that from 1 August 2020, all new apprenticeship starts must be on new, employer-designed standards.

If you are an Employer or Training Provider who currently employs or trains apprentices and use apprenticeship frameworks, please be aware they will no longer be available for new starts from 31 July 2020.

It is important that you factor this into your business planning particularly once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

Currently those apprenticeship frameworks which are still open for registration are only accepting new starts until 31 July 2020.

Urgent key steps for Training Providers to take in the coming weeks;

  • Secure registrations on NOCN Group qualifications, which are used within frameworks  before the 31 July Deadline. Further extensions/consultations on frameworks will not take place. Do not delay in registering any potential learners before 31 July 2020.
  • Contract NOCN as your End Point Assessment Organisation before the R12 period of an apprentice’s programme. Given the likelihood of increased demand for End Point Assessment in subsequent years, as the switch over from frameworks to standards happens on 1 August 2020. 

Support for training providers to manage the transition from frameworks to standards is available on the Education and Training Foundation website.

If you cannot find a standard to meet your business need, please consult the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education website or email them at enquiries.ifa@education.gov.uk.