Coronavirus update for customers

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Coronavirus update for 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.

All our staff are working from home, so we will still be offering front line support, through telephony, email and web chat as usual.

At this time, NOCN aims to provide as full a range of our services as possible, where these can be delivered remotely, and where possible we will use remote or recorded assessment methods. We will do this in a way to maintain 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 will be providing digital on-line support to you, this may include the ability to offer WebEx interviews, develop online invigilated exams in place of physical papers, and certain digital content support. Please contact us to discuss how best we can support you.

As you will know, 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:

Business Development
Regulated Qualifications
Quality Assurance
EPA for Apprenticeships
Job Cards in construction (CPCS)
Access to HE Diplomas
Bespoke Accreditation
International

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).

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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CPCS New Card Design

Following the transfer of CPCS from CITB to NOCN Group, we have implemented the first of several improvements planned for the scheme – smart cards. The new smart cards will gradually replace the old CITB issued cards, as these come up for renewal.

The smart cards feature Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling multiple benefits for cardholders and employers. NFC works by tapping the card on any NFC enabled device – most modern mobile phones and tablets – the cardholder’s name, photo, categories/courses and endorsements will automatically appear. NOCN Job Cards are currently working on the next stage of smart cards, where qualifications and NOCN Site Right training will also appear on the card as well as renewal notifications.

The new system provides high security and authentication for employers, it is far more difficult for criminals to interfere with the system, preventing duplication and fraud. NOCN Job Cards can also ‘switch off’ a card remotely if it has been compromised, alerting employers to potential fraud.

In many cases, employers will not need to download an app, as the NFC automatically works on most android devices and iPhone XS, XR, 11 and newer devices. If an app is required it is free to download, reducing expense and improving efficiencies for cardholders and employers.

To help distinguish the difference between the CITB cards, which are still valid until they expire, and the new smart cards, CPCS has updated the card design too, making it clear to employers which cards feature NFC technology. This also brings us in line with the CSCS colour scheme and design.

In summary, the benefits of the new Secure ID Cards are:

  • Increased security - Individuals who have cloned/altered cards cannot pass the digital test of the card being swiped on a reader or smartphone.
  • Compliance/ health and safety - Ensuring the correct person with appropriate competence is carrying out the work.
  • Additional data is available - All the training/qualification data is held in the cloud, making it easier and quicker to prove levels of expertise.
  • Easy to update - New qualifications/ certifications are held in the MyTAG system and displayed when the card is tapped. These can be updated without having to renew the card itself.

You can display and share the poster below (click to view the full PDF)