National Occupational Standards (NOS)

What are NOS?

National Occupational Standards (NOS) describe the competencies required by an individual to carry out a particular job function relating to their job role to a specified industry benchmark.

NOS can be used for a variety of purposes including the development of competence based qualifications such as National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). They provide proof that an individual has both the knowledge and technical ability to carry out a job role in the work place to a recognised industry standard or benchmark.

How are they developed?

CIC is responsible for the development of Professional, Managerial and Technical National Occupational Standards (NOS) in partnership with employers, professional bodies, training organisations and awarding bodies. By working with employers we are able to identify current industry benchmarks and incorporate any changing work practices into the NOS.

In consultation with employers we have developed a functional Map for the Professional, Managerial and Technical National Occupational Standards which provides a progressive ‘family tree’ view of the functions and skills found in the sector.

The Occupational Standards are developed by a process of functional analysis (using the generic NOS) that identifies ‘outcomes’ – what people need to achieve. The analysis describes the whole sector – and starts with a description of the overall ‘purpose’ of the industry within the economy – called the Key Purpose.

If you have any feedback on our NOS in relation to your discipline please contact

What else can NOS be used for?

Both our generic NOS and our Occupational suites of NOS provide benchmarks of industry best practice and can be used for a variety of purposes including:

  • Identifying training needs and skills gaps
  • Developing job descriptions
  • Developing syllabus for training and education courses
  • Providing a route to professional body membership
  • NVQ Diploma/SVQs provide proof that you are competent in order to gain a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card
  • Form part of apprenticeship frameworks

Explore our current generic NOS applicable to all higher level disciplines in the built environment.

Explore our occupational suites of NOS