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National Occupational Standards (NOS)

What are Occupational Standards?

Occupational standards describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to undertake a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence. In 2002-03 IfA worked with the then Cultural Heritage National Training Organisation (CHNTO) on behalf of the Archaeology Training Forum, to map a career structure for archaeology. This project involved the establishment of National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Archaeological Practice and marks a change of attitude towards education and vocational training in archaeology. The project was undertaken by consultants from Q-West and Headland Archaeology.

How they are used

NOS are agreed statements of competence which describe the work outcomes required for an individual to achieve the standard expected of them in work. They are the building blocks of S/NVQs but can be used in a number of other ways. They describe good practice in particular areas of work, provide managers with a tool for workforce management and quality control and can be used to write job descriptions or to identify skills needs and plan training. Three case studies below illustrate how NOS can be used.

The full suite of Occupational Standards is hosted at the TORC website. For examples of training plans linked to NOS please visit the workplace learning programme section of this website.

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