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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CPCS Update 186

The Government are doing everything they can to ease lockdowns by dates and data, CPCS will continue to support our centres during these challenging times. Please keep everyone safe by following local and national Covid-19 related restrictions.

CPCS EQA’s and Named Contacts will continue to support you by being flexible in our approach.

CPCS Blue Cards

CPCS are currently experiencing a supply chain issue regarding NFC enabled CPCS SMART Cards. Current stocks have been exhausted despite the all the efforts of seeking alternative supplies, the shortage is for “Blue Cards” and this issue due the world wide pandemic. In the short term we will be providing “non-smart” cards to all blue card holders, it is estimated that this will continue for approximately 6 weeks or less, once the new stock of smart cards is received we will send out replacement blue cards to those who have been affected, our card producer will send the replacement cards quickly and efficiently. We have changed the card carrier letter to explain this to card holders.

Notifications without Valid HS&E Tests

We continue to allow tests to be notified in TCMS for individuals who have an out of date HS&E test (2 years), you will be able to issue a 90 day letter of achievement, however, CPCS will not issue a card until the HS&E Test is complete.

For individuals who have never held a CITB HS&E Test, notifications will be held on the system, these individuals will not be allowed an Achievement Letter.

With guidance from industry we will continue to issue a 90 day “achievement letter”, please ensure that any candidates are told that they must prioritise booking of HS&E Tests within the 90 day period, we feel that this is a fair amount of time. From the testing undertaken there is sufficient availability to achieve a test within these time constraints.

Systems and TCMS

We are pleased to announce some system improvements have been released to TCMS.

Amending a Tester before the test time

Saturday & Sunday – Not being included as part of notification window.

These changes are “Live” in the TCMS.

CPCS are planning a upgrade to our systems (23 March 2021) which will include the TCMS. Once we know more we will communicate further regarding any potential downtime if applicable to the systems.

TCMS Document Update – Theory Question & Answer Bank – A73, Paper 4 Question 22

Just so you are aware we are about to update the question banks in the Theory Test Question and Answer Bank A73, Paper 4 Question 22. This is due to a error in the question not appearing correctly.

The questions and answer content has not changed, the documents will have the 01-12-2019 version date. The modified date on the TCMS will change to 26/02/2021 when we will upload the documents into the TCMS.

Product Update

A21 Wheeled Loading shovel

To aid clarification and reduce confusion in relation to the equipment type to be used in the delivery of the CPCS Technical Practical Test for the A21 Wheeled Loading Shovel, a working group was established to determine the characteristics and provide clarity for what would be acceptable types of equipment to be used in the CPCS Technical Practical Test.

Following a period of consultation it was discussed and agreed with the CPCS management Committee that the following characteristics would be added to the CPCS Technical Test Practical Test Specification, to aid clarification and confirm what types of equipment can be used in the delivery of the CPCS Technical Practical Test which is more reflective of the equipment used within the construction plant sector.

A Wheeled Loading Shovel with:

- A minimum unladen operating weight of 6500kg fitted with a general purpose bucket.

- Wheeled articulated chassis containing a centrally mounted operating position.

- Non telescopic arms, mounted on the front section of the machine.

- The bucket to be used in the test is to be of a size that meets the manufacturers specification.

The planned effective date of this change is planned for the 1st April 2021, at which point the published Technical Test Specification will be updated. Should you have any questions regarding this planned change, please use email address;