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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The standards that define the scheme

Categories within CPCS are derived through employer consultation and relevant national occupational standards, and are subject to continual review to ensure the Scheme meets employers’ needs.

Subject-specific Technical Advisory Groups meet to review current learning and assessment criteria, and develop learning and assessment standards when new categories are being introduced.

CPCS works closely with many federations, organisations, plant users, other plant certification schemes, CPCS Testers as well as the Health and Safety Executive to ensure that the standards for plant categories are relevant, up-to-date and realistic.

The Scheme adheres to Codes of Practice, British Standards and other sector-led guidance documents for many items of plant. CPCS works closely with Sector Skills Councils and specialist plant certification schemes and continually contributes to industry-led and produced codes of practice and guidance documents. CPCS follows the principles and requirements of BS EN 17024 – General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification of Persons.

CPCS has been recognised as an exemplary scheme by a Health and Safety commissioned report on routes to competence in the construction sector. This report was independently researched by PYE Tait, an established research organisation, who reviewed competence processes, certificating bodies and card schemes in order to gauge their effectiveness in both delivering and ensuring competence for occupations within the construction sector. The research looked at the effect over the previous ten years where the sector had implemented many health and safety initiatives based on the Revitalising Health and Safety strategy of 2001; which further led to the origins of CPCS. The report noted that there needs to be further emphasis on situational awareness and the sustaining of appropriate behaviours and CPCS is working with bodies such as the Health and Safety Executive to incorporate these findings into the assessment.

Delivery Standards are continually monitored by dedicated staff employed by NOCN Job Cards to ensure national standards are applied. The Scheme acknowledges that flexibility is needed in some instances; however, deviations from test and assessment standards can only be approved by the monitoring and technical teams, and in many cases through prior consultation with the relevant technical advisory group and/or consultation with the employer organisation.

CPCS Category Information Trained Operator Card Competent Operator Card Tester Card