National Occupational Standards (NOS) are benchmark statements of competence you can expect an individual to demonstrate at a given level and for a specific activity.

Sector skills councils relevant to the sector and occupations they represent develop, maintain and update NOS. The SSSC is the sector skills council for social services in Scotland. We are partners in the UK wide sector skills council – Skills for Care and Development.

When developing NOS, the SSSC and Skills for Care and Development work with employers and other stakeholders to make sure the standards reflect the needs of the sector and changes to practice, legislation, policy and technology.

In Scotland NOS are used by 80% of the social service workforce in the form of qualifications.

  • NOS underpin Higher National Certificates, Professional Development Awards and more.
  • NOS are used as SVQs by the social service sector.
  • One of the qualification criteria for individuals wishing to register with the SSSC is that the qualification is based on the NOS.
  • Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks in Scotland are based on NOS as SVQs.

The SSSC work with a number of groups of NOS including adults and children and young people as well as social work, leadership and management for care services and commissioning, procurement and contracting in care services. Find more details of the social service NOS in Scotland by using our NOS Navigator on the Learning Zone.