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 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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Coronavirus Update for Customers 25th March

Many of the construction projects and essential maintenance works have been asked by the government to continue.


Guidance for CPCS Test Centres

Many of the construction projects and essential maintenance works have been asked by the government to continue. The current climate is unprecedented, and changes will continue to be fast-moving, CPCS
will do our utmost to continue to support industry whilst complying with government guidelines.

Whilst the government continue to support construction projects CPCS will remain open and support industry during these times.  NOCN/CPCS want to continue to support test centres and the industry during these difficult times.  However, any centres that remain open must follow all the following guidance:
Centres must risk assess all activities and ensure that they can follow the government’s guidance on social distancing, this applies to any activity that is undertaken at any test centre (or off centre testing), if you cannot meet government guidelines you must not continue.

All machine controls and access points where people touch must be wiped down using an approved COID-19 disinfectant, cleaning agent, wipes. Where dexterity is not affected gloves must also be worn. Please ensure that this activity is also risk assessed so that no persons are put at risk.

All practical tests must be video recorded and kept for Quality Assurance, this will be enforced from Monday 30th March.

The Quality Assurance team will continue to support centres and monitor notifications and activities, Quality Assurance staff will also contact centres to ask them to provide, Risk Assessments, Audio
Recordings and Video Recordings.

I realise that some centres will find measures difficult to follow.  However, as the leading card scheme for the construction plant industry we have liaised with industry and asked them what they
would like from the services the CPCS offer. Having taken their advice, we will continue to support all stakeholders as far as is reasonably practicable, providing this guidance can be met.

Theory Test Dates

The current rule is that a theory test lasts 6 months, we understand that this will affect candidates and potentially disadvantage them, therefore we will relax this rule, please contact the sector EQA team for guidance.

We will keep the Test Centre management System Open.  Please continue to notify in the normal way any deviations from existing rules must be approved by the sector Quality Assurance team.

Pearson Vue centres have closed and we are hearing the call centre has also closed. We are investigating. If employers want to insure individuals have current HS&E knowledge, they can use
the NOCN SiteRight - Health and Safety Awareness in Construction Course which has an online learning option or the CITB emergency LITE App versions of the HS&E test

We will also be looking to see what we can do to provide an HS&E test if there are ongoing issues with Pearson Vue.

We have launched an Emergency COVID-19 CPCS Card

Please see this link for more information:

Test Centre Management System notifications without HS&E tests

During this period we will allow tests to be notified in the system for individuals who have an out of date HS&E test (2 years), you will be able to issue them a 90 day letter of achievement however CPCS will not issue a card until the HS&E test is complete. Please see the Emergency card above for an alternative.

For individuals who have never held a HS&E test, notifications will be held on the system but cannot progress and these individuals will currently not be allowed a notification letter or an Emergency card.  We will review how quickly CITB and Pearson Vue can catch up after these events and what we can do to better support the sector.


CPCS will not be issuing refunds for cancelled tests due to the time and complexity of doing this, however, we have previously communicated that the tests can be rescheduled free of charge, we urge all centres to apply this policy to their candidates. Please see the cancelled/missed test paragraph on the last update. We would urge Centres to not retain any fees they have taken from a candidate who cancels their tests, but instead, to reschedule to a later time, we can be flexible on this.

Card Printing

CPCS will continue to work with our printers to get as many cards out as we can, our printers have assured us that for now they have sufficient measures in place and will continue to print cards, however, as you will appreciate there may be delays in this process at some point which may slow down card production and delivery. If card verification is needed, then please ask people to use card checker which is updated within an hour of card processing and so will continue even if card production slows.

For further information contact NOCN’s CPCS team on 0300 999 1177 (Option 2), or email: