Role Profile

Sales is a vitally important skill for both the public and private sectors. Sales of public sector products form an important part of the sector’s overall makeup, despite the common perception that sales are an exclusively private sector activity.

The size of the sector is difficult to measure accurately, but it is estimated that sales and customer service occupations account for eight percent of all employment in the UK – although a number of these individuals will be in predominantly customer service-related positions.

Skills & Competencies for Sales

Two suites of Sales NOS (National Occupational Standards) are available. These are listed below.


The NOS are for those working in sales roles or performing sales functions. They cover a full range of functions including developing sales strategies, managing sales territories and teams, and telephone selling.

Sales NOS

Marketing & Sales for Non-Specialists

The NOS are aimed at those who are not marketing specialists but whose job involves marketing and selling. The standards cover best practices across marketing and selling activities.

Marketing & Sales for Non-Specialists NOS

Sales Qualifications

A range of both vocational and academic sales qualifications are available within the UK and internationally. We have developed a number of specific Sales vocational qualifications including NVQs at levels 2 and 3.

Please find below the latest assessment strategy for Sales NVQs/SVQs.

Assessment Strategy

Sales QCF Units

QCF units have been developed to cover the knowledge and skills needed by those in Sales roles.

Sales QCF Units – Level 2
Sales QCF Units – Level 3
Sales QCF Units – Level 4

Define the skills your industry needs.

For work-based learning to truly match the range of challenges that you face it’s essential that apprenticeships and training are continuously developed. This is where we come in.

We work with employers, employer groups, and training providers to maintain and update a range of apprenticeship frameworks and standards. Through staged consultations, we ensure that qualifications work for learners, employers, and skills bodies alike.

To have your say on the future of skills in your sector, register for consultation updates today.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

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.