National Occupational Standards (NOS)

Background on National Occupational Standards (NOS).



A National Occupational Standard (NOS) is a document that describes the knowledge, skills and understanding an individual needs to be competent at a job.

All of the completed and approved NOS are kept on a database – UK Standards. This is easily accessible and allows people to search for the different jobs they are interested in.

A NOS Strategy document is available that sets out the overall policy for NOS. To help develop the products there are two documents, the NOS Quality Criteria and a NOS Guide for Developers. The relevant documents are attached.

NOS can be used in many different ways for example:

  • awarding bodies can create qualifications to train individuals for a job. These qualifications can then be used in an Apprenticeship Framework.

  • employers can create a job description to recruit new staff or a training plan to develop their skills

  • individuals can research different types of jobs and match their skills/experience to those that are needed

The attached case studies give further detail on how NOS can benefit businesses and individuals:

  • NHS Services (Scotland): using National Occupational Standards (NOS) to assist in delivering high cost medical screening in Scotland

  • Improving the lives of young people through National Occupational Standards

  • Alfred Bagnall & Sons: using National Occupational Standards to survive a recession and keep on top of the markets

For more information please contact Sarah Black.

Published 24 April 2014