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 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 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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Functional Skills Reform Update April 2020

Welcome to NOCN update on the reform of Functional Skills English and mathematics; which continues on from the communication posted in December 2018.

These updates are to inform you about the timeline for the withdrawal of the current suite of Functional Skills qualifications.

The main purpose of this update is to give NOCN reconfirmation to all centres reiterating the timeline for FSQ withdrawal planned dates (originally communicated in December 2018).

A reminder of the timeline is given below:

30 April 2020: The last date for assessments of the legacy (current) suite of qualifications. This date allows learners eight months to complete their qualification including resits (as the final date a learner could be registered is 31st August 2019).

30 June 2020: This is the date for the final submission of assessments for moderation.

31 July 2020: The certification end date is 31st July 2020. This date allows NOCN a minimum of three months to process assessments and to address any appeals.

*** We are awaiting guidance as to whether these dates will be extended and we will advise centres when we hear more ***

Functional Skills Covid-19 support for centres

NOCN is working with Ofqual to develop alternative arrangements for the awarding of Functional Skills Qualifications to enable learner progression in life and work within the current government guidance. For additional information please see government news for awarding-vocational-and-technical-qualifications.

Government guidelines set out in a Letter from Secretary of State for Education - VTQs that ‘assessments cannot proceed as planned this Spring and Summer’, and states the measures to be taken to reduce the impact of the pandemic. NOCN is implementing these measures and confirm that learners due to complete their Functional Skills assessments between March and July 2020, will not be expected to take their assessments. Instead NOCN will issue a calculated result.

This calculated result will be based on a range of evidence and data capture. NOCN will contact centres shortly to inform them about evidence requirements for impacted learners.

The above information applies to both legacy Functional Skills and reform Functional Skills Qualifications.