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NOS Definition

What are National Occupational Standards (NOS)?

National Occupational Standards (NOS) are UK wide standards that describe the different functions that should be carried out for a particular job role. NOS show the outcomes of competent performance and include the essential knowledge and understanding that an individual in a particular job role needs to function effectively. All in all NOS describe best practice.

NOS are developed by industry, for industry. Each major industry in the UK has an organisation like Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) that researches and writes NOS using the expertise of employers, associations and industry experts. The IMI is responsible for setting the NOS for all aspects of the Automotive Retail Industry.

What are National Occupational Standards (NOS) used for?

Traditionally, the most common use of NOS is for developing Vocational Qualifications for the UK. However there are a number of other important uses for NOS such as:

•    a benchmark against which companies can compare their internal practices and procedures
•    a basis for developing training programmes
•    for employee recruitment and selection (i.e. developing job descriptions and person specifications)
•    developing or refining performance appraisal systems
•    self-assessment
•    setting staff grading and promotion criteria
•    as an organisational development tool
•    Assessed outcome training such as ATA in the Automotive Retail Industry