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Using National Occupational Standards (NOS)

In this Issue

Are you making the most of National Occupational Standards?
Improve your performance
Develop your knowledge and skills
Human Resource Management and Development
Find National Occupational Standards easily
Online Toolkits
Sector Specific Standards
Need help using National Occupational Standards?

Are you making the most of National Occupational Standards?

National Occupational Standards (or "NOS") describe the standard of performance expected of a competent person as they go about their work. They also specify the knowledge and skills required.

The checklists on are linked to a wide range of NOS.

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Improve your performance

The simplest way of using National Occupational Standards is as a checklist for improving your performance in important areas of your work.

Say, for example, that you have to chair an important meeting. You can use the relevant standard to prepare effectively and increase your chances of success...

D11 from the Management and Leadership Standards is all about Leading Meetings. Use it as a checklist to prepare for the meeting, as a guideline for running the meeting and as a set of criteria for evaluating whether the meeting was a success.

Feedback is always useful to help you improve your performance. Ask colleagues who attended the meeting to give you feedback - did you meet these "outcomes of effective performance" or not? Consider what you could do better next time.

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Develop your knowledge and skills

National Occupational Standards also specify the knowledge and skills you need to be successful.

You can use the standards to identify your strengths and where you need to develop. provides links to free learning resources on the web, relevant books at discount prices and courses offered by accredited providers.

Above is the list of knowledge and understanding required for Volunteer Management Standard F9 "Lead and participate in meetings involving volunteers". Check any gaps in your understanding and plan to develop your knowledge in these areas.

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Human Resource Management and Development

National Occupational Standards can be used throughout the cycle of Human Resource Management and Development, from workforce planning, job design and recruitment, through induction, performance management, training and development to recognition, reward, career planning, succession planning and promotion. They can also be used in commissioning, partnership working and assuring quality.

The Local Land Charges website (above), provided by Asset Skills, shows how National Occupational Standards can be used in local government.

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Find National Occupational Standards easily

It's easy to find relevant National Occupational Standards on

Just type in a keyword (such as "meetings") and click the search button. A number of options will appear. Click "Lead meetings" and you will see the checklist. You can find all the relevant National Occupational Standards by clicking the coloured "occupational standards" button on the right-hand side.

You will be offered a selection of National Occupational Standards appropriate for different contexts. Choose the one most relevant to you.

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Online Toolkits

There are a number of online toolkits available to help you use National Occupational Standards most effectively...

The example above from Skills for Justice helps people to use the National Occupational Standards for Legal Advice.

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Sector Specific Standards focuses on the National Occupational Standards needed by those in management and supervisory positions.

However, it also provides links to all the Sector Skills Councils, responsible for developing and maintaining National Occupational Standards covering the functions which are specific to their sectors.

Click on the "sector resources" button on the right-hand side of the home page to see the full range of sectors available and visit the website of your Sector Skills Council.

All accredited National Occupational Standards can be accessed via the NOS Directory.

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Need help using National Occupational Standards?

If you need help in using National Occupational Standards - or just finding standards relevant to you - contact The Management Standards Consultancy which has nearly 20 years' experience helping individuals and organisations improve their performance using the standards.

Go to The Management Standards Consultancy's website to find out more about National Occupational Standards and how you can get the most out of them.

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Past Newsletters

Autumn 2009
Spring 2009
December 2008
November 2008
September 2008
July/August 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008


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