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 5).

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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Coronavirus Update for Customers 18th March

The growing concerns surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) are likely to impact CPCS Test Centres and Cardholders, please see the latest updates below:

View the full NOCN Group updates

1. Cancelled / Missed tests

We know that many tests are being cancelled or are not able to be delivered. For this reason we are content for Centres to postpone tests until a time when it is safe to do so. Please email your named contact and they will do this for you. They require the Batch Number of the test being postponed and the date you want to postpone it until. If you don’t know a date, please use 1st September. Once you know the date you want to move the test to please email your named contact with the Batch Number and the correct date. This will not result in you being invoiced twice. If you completely cancel a test you will end up being charged for any replacement/new registration by our automated system.

2. CPCS plan to relax notification rules and be flexible during the Covid 19 period

We will allow late notifications, change of address, potentially allow testing to be done on other sites if a particular area is affected by Covid 19, providing all CPCS test criteria can be met. Although we will allow flexibility, all changes to notifications must still be approved by the sector EQA team. This will allow the use of unused facilities and equipment during any periods of partial shut down.

3. CPCS Advice on accepting recently out of date cards on site

We have been asked by industry to relax the rules over expired cards onsite. Please see this poster that has been sent to industry suggesting this.

4. Pearson VUE Test Centres

Pearson VUE are currently working to 50% capacity to allow safe distances between people whilst they are undertaking tests. Pearson VUE are keeping us updated daily with any change to their services, as soon as we hear anything different we will re-communicated any new information. We are hearing that Pearson VUE centres are actually closed, but we have not been told this officially.

5. Our resilience for the situation

Currently we are all coming into the office, but the NOCN team have tested contingency plans to work from home if necessary; taking calls, replying to emails and processing applications. Our printers are also planning on providing a skeleton crew to continue printing cards through out the period, although we must all follow Government guidelines. Card delivery times could also be affected by how Royal Mail's ability to adhere to their current operating levels. We therefore feel that we will be able to provide some level of continuous service to the sector, however, there will inevitably be some disruption.

Kind regards,

Mark Buckton

Executive Director of Job Cards and Services