National Occupational Standards (NOS)


National Occupational Standards (NOS) are an essential tool that contribute to the delivery of high quality services for social care, early years and childcare.

What are NOS?

NOS are documents that set out how different aspects of a person's work needs to be carried out. They illustrate effective performance within a job role, describing the skills, knowledge and understanding that may be needed to perform particular tasks.

They define the key functions someone should be able to carry out in an occupation, e.g. nursery practitioner, residential child care worker, domiciliary care manager etc. NOS apply to, and are used, across the four nations; they are developed using a UK approach and approved by agencies working on behalf of the relevant UK government departments. NOS therefore have an official status within the UK.

NOS are developed through consultation with employers and key stakeholders; they are reviewed on a regular basis and are incrementally changed over time.

NOS standards for social care, early years and childcare

The Care Council is the sector skills council for social care, early years and childcare, and is responsible for working with employers, people who use services and other key stakeholders, to develop, maintain and update the NOS that sit within its footprint.

These currently include the standards for:

> Health and Social Care

> Children's Care Learning and Development

> Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services

> Leadership and Management of Care Services

> Inspectors of Services

> Sensory Services

> Social Work

NOS guide for social care, early years and childcare

NOS have numerous uses in the workplace, these include: Qualifications and training; career development; and continuing professional development; recruitment; performance management of the workforce and performance management of organisations.

The Care Council has developed a NOS guide for social care, early years and childcare that provides detailed advice and guidance on their use.

> NOS guide for social care, early years and childcare

NOS case studies

In order to demonstrate the different ways the NOS can be used in the workplace, the Care Council has developed a range of case studies.

> NOS case studies