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.

As you will be aware the government imposed a third national lockdown from Tuesday 5th January 2021. You will find out more operational detail on the implications for each of these services through the following links:

Business Development
Regulated Qualifications
EPA for Apprenticeships
Job Cards in construction (CPCS)
One Awards

Please note that NOCN Group will be following the guidance issued by the ESFA, IfATE, Ofqual, CCEA Regulation, 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.

Further information:

Letter from Gavin Williamson CBE MP to Simon Lebus

Letter from Simon Lebus to Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

DfE and Ofqual have launched two consultations (15th January):

GCSE, AS and A Level awarding in summer 2021

Alternative arrangements for the award of VTQs and other generals in 2021

Using Xbox to Access Online Learning

It is possible for learners to access their online work from home using a gaming console. For guidance on how to do this please download the document here.

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CPCS Update 183

CPCS would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during 2020. We realise that it has been a challenging and difficult year for you all.

Dear CPCS Test Centres,

CPCS would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during 2020. We realise that it has been a challenging and difficult year for you all. The team have been working as hard as possible to maintain our SLA’s along with continuing to deliver an exceptional customer service.

Christmas closure 2020

TCMS will be closed for Christmas from 6pm on Wednesday 23rd December through to 8:00am Monday 4th January 2021.

This covers:
• TCMS (the Test Centre Management System) will not be available (no progression past the log-in page)
• External Quality Assurers: will not be available to support 100% monitored tests
• Named Contacts: will not be available to answer your calls and emails.

Notification Submission

To reflect the extended closure period the notification submission deadlines have been adjusted.
• Monday 21st December is the last notification date for all Standard Technical Tests scheduled to be delivered between Thursday 24th December and Monday 4th January 2021.
• Wednesday 16th December is the last notification date for all Advanced Technical Tests scheduled to be delivered between Thursday 24th December and Monday 4th January 2021. A full notification timetable is shown below for your information.

Notification Fees

All Technical Tests notified to take place on an English Bank Holiday will incur the additional Out of Hours notification fee.
• Friday 25th December 2020
• Monday 28th December 2020
• Friday 1st January 2021

All Technical Tests notified to take place on a Working Day (this includes Saturdays 9-1pm) will not incur the additional Out of Hours notification fee, even though the administration systems and support will be on Christmas Closure.
• Thursday 24th December 2020
• Tuesday 29th December 2020
• Wednesday 30th December 2020
• Thursday 31st December 2020
• Saturday 2nd January 2021 (9-1pm)

Result Submission

For all Technical Tests notified as occurring over the Christmas period, results should be submitted by the end of the next TCMS working day, therefore for a test completed on Thursday 24th December 2020, the result should be entered by close of business on Monday 4th January 2021.

Message from Operations Director (construction) NOCN Job Cards

“Firstly, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

2020 has been a challenging year for all, CPCS/CITB have had some major issues transitioning to a new system whilst transferring a very significant amount of data against a set of complex scheme rules, which has caused many issues for all, I sincerely apologise for the inconveniences this has caused to you.

I would like to personally thank test centres, employers, card holders and all the staff for the support they have given to the CPCS Scheme throughout this very difficult year.

The current systems are working effectively, as is our supply chain. CPCS have been operating within Service Level Agreements since October and our services are showing continuous improvements.
We are looking forward to 2021 where you will continue to see further improvements, we plan on automating the Carding Without Application process, followed by online card renewal processes to further enhance the functionality of our services and therefore reduce card distribution times. We are also planning to move the Pearson VUE Renewal Test service from India to Belfast”.


Kind regards,
Carl Hassell, Operations Director

 

Message from Test Centre Support Team (Very 2020).

“We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and thank you for your continued support and understanding that you have shown us over the past year and for welcoming our new Test Centre Contacts, here is to a much improved 2021”.


Notifications without valid HS&E Tests

We continue to allow tests to be notified in TCMS for individuals who have an out of date HS&E test (2 years), you will be able to issue a 90 day letter of achievement, however, CPCS will not issue a card until the HS&E Test is complete.

For individuals who have never held a CITB HS&E Test, notifications will be held on the system, these individuals will not be allowed an Achievement Letter.

With guidance from industry we will continue to issue a 90 day “achievement letter”, please ensure that any candidates are told that they must prioritise booking of HS&E Tests within the 90 day period, we feel that this is a fair amount of time. From the testing undertaken there is sufficient availability to achieve a test within these time constraints.

When an individual has achieved the HS&E test you can log back in to the system and input the CITB******* Test ID into TCMS. Go to batch open batch click the actions tab, select Pearson Test ID’s and a new box will open up enter the CITB******* Test ID, finally, click Add Pearson Test ID. This will revalidate the data exchange and result in the card being generated.

COVID-19

The Government has recently announced different lockdown rules for different parts of the United Kingdom, CPCS will continue support our centres during these difficult times.
Please keep everyone safe by following local and national Covid-19 related restrictions.
CPCS EQA’s and Named Contacts will continue to support you by being flexible in our approach.
Pearson VUE Renewal Test are also have restrictions for availability in certain parts of the UK.
Many of ITC’s remain open but may also be affected by certain restrictions

Tests Not Resulted

We currently have many tests that have not been resulted in TCMS, you can now run a report from TCMS to see results against tests, Go to TCMS, click the resources tab, select “Centre Notification Summary”, enter the date range, select all batches, run the report. In column Q (grade) you will see the three different status, Achieved, Cancelled, Blank, where there are “blanks” TCMS has no result status against this test.

Please ensure you go to the batch and result the tests accordingly

Invoicing of A59 practical tests

As you may be aware since the final transfer in December 2019, CPCS have experienced a variety of issues. Whilst most of these have now been resolved, one of the outstanding complications that we have recently highlighted is that CPCS have not invoiced Test Centres for all “A59a practical tests”.

We are currently reconciling all A59 practical tests that have taken place and will be invoicing any missed activities. By way of apology for late invoicing, we will be applying a 20% discount specifically to these invoices for all Tests up to 31 October 2020.

Advanced On Site Assessments

A further update will be sent out later in December around the new rules for testers that are renewing their cards from 2021 onwards.

Pearson VUE Charges

Pearson VUE have recently had an issue with CPCS Renewal Test bookings between the 1st & 8th December 2020, whereby the Pearson VUE booking system mistakenly increased the charge of renewal test bookings from £28.00 to £33.60.

Rather than cancel confirmed and booked tests “Pearson VUE” will create an automated discount which will refund the difference of £5.60 to the candidate automatically upon delivery of the exam.
Please also note that from February 2021 the call centre will move from India to Belfast where the services will be much improved.

CITB changes to Additional Plant VQ Grant’s

The additional grant for specific “plant-related vocational qualification” (VQ) units has ended. £300 up to a maximum of 3 per person per lifetime can be claimed providing, achievement is on or before 30 September 2020, all claims must be received by 31st December 2020.
CPCS are aware that information captured through the CWA form, may have caused some confusion on whether the grants are paid through CWA form or claimed separately through the A14b Route.

Due to the confusion, CPCS have recently sent CITB the data captured from CWA’s, enabling CITB to support employers who may have potentially missed grant claims.

The safest way to guarantee payment is to claim grants VIA https://www.citb.co.uk/levy-grants-and-funding/grants-funding/qualification-grants/short-period-less-than-1yr-and-vq-grants/#who

From today we have changed the CWA form, the updated version has been uploaded to TCMS. If you have stored any old versions of the form please delete and replace with the new form. Any old forms received after the 4th of January 2021 will be returned, with a request that you re-submit using the latest new version of the form.