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National Occupational Standards (NOS)

What are NOS?

National Occupational Standards (NOS) describe the competencies required by an individual to carry out a particular job function relating to their job role to a specified industry benchmark.

NOS can be used for a variety of purposes including the development of competence based qualifications such as National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). They provide proof that an individual has both the knowledge and technical ability to carry out a job role in the work place to a recognised industry standard or benchmark.

What else can NOS be used for?

The CIC Functional Map (generic NOS) and Occupational Suites of NOS provide benchmarks of industry best practice and can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Identifying training needs and skills gaps
  • Developing job descriptions
  • Developing syllabus for training and education courses
  • Providing a route to professional body membership
  • NVQ /SVQs Diplomas provide proof of competency for gaining a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card
  • Form part of apprenticeship frameworks

How are they developed?

CIC is responsible for the development of Professional, Managerial and Technical NOS in partnership with employers, professional bodies, training organisations and awarding bodies. By working with employers we are able to identify current industry benchmarks and incorporate any changing work practices into the NOS.

The NOS are developed by a process of functional analysis that identifies ‘outcomes’ – what people need to achieve. The analysis describes the whole sector – and starts with a description of the overall ‘purpose’ of the industry within the economy – called the Key Purpose.

The CIC Functional Map (generic standards) provides a progressive ‘family tree’ view of the functions and skills found in the sector.

Explore our Functional Map (generic NOS)

Explore our occupational specific suites of NOS


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