What are NOS (National Occupational Standards)?

A NOS (National Occupational Standard) is a document that describes the knowledge, skills, and understanding that an individual should demonstrate to complete their job role to a nationally recognised level of competence.

The NOS focuses on what the individual should be able to do as well as what they must know and understand to work effectively. Each NOS contains agreed definitions of knowledge, understanding, and performance criteria that an individual needs to meet in order to be deemed competent.

NOS can be used for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Awarding bodies can use NOS as the basis for vocational qualifications such as apprenticeships
  • Employers can use NOS to create job descriptions and training plans
  • Individuals can use NOS to match their skills and experience to different job roles

Pan-Sector NOS Library

NOS Development

NOS development starts with research into how the role works in the workplace. To do this, we reach out to employers, professionals, and stakeholders from multiple sectors to get first-hand accounts of the role in practice. This input allows us to define the core competencies and responsibilities for the role, as well as to identify any key trends, developments, and opportunities for progression.

When the initial round of consultations is complete, we create a new (or update the existing) NOS document based on our findings. We then go back to all stakeholders and respondents to consult on the new NOS version. This feedback ensures that the updated NOS document is relevant and fit for its purpose. Once approved, the new document becomes the working NOS for that job role.

Our work in the development and maintenance of NOS ensures that the skills and competencies of employees across multiple sectors are relevant and defined. We work with employers, employer groups, and training providers to maintain a wide range of NOS.

Your voice is vital to this process. By contributing to our NOS development consultations, you will help to shape the future of skills in your industry.

Case Study: How Your Feedback Shaped Digital Marketing NOS

Developing People, Transforming Lives

As the UK’s largest apprenticeship certification authority, we’ve played an integral role in apprenticeships since our formation in 1996. Whether you know us for certification or skills consultations, our work helps you to manage your apprenticeships and vocational training.

Yet this isn’t all that we do.

We are proud to be part of the Instructus Group, a family of organisations that exist to help people progress in education, in work, and in life. Through a range of funded and part-funded support programmes we help people to fulfill their potential.