National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards (NOS) accurately describe what you need to do, know and understand in your job to carry out your role in a consistent and competent way. NOS has lot of different uses which helps make sure your industry has the skills it needs.

How they are developed

We develop NOS by looking at a job to see what activities are carried out, including:

  • technical functions specific to the occupation
  • transferable functions such as communication and managing your workload.

We then put this information into an Occupational and Functional Map.

These maps list the jobs and skills for each industry. We then identify 'what you must be able to do' and 'what you must know and understand' for each skill. We then pull these together to make a complete NOS. To make sure NOS are correct, we review them every few years.

To make sure NOS are the highest quality they can be, we follow quality control procedures.

Find out exactly how we write and develop NOS.

What are they used for

You can use NOS in a number of ways. They are particularly useful for managing your workforce and they are also used by awarding organisations to form the basis of qualifications in your industry.

You can use NOS to:

  • define the job roles of your staff
  • write and review job descriptions
  • measure your staff skills
  • identify training and development needs
  • design and develop training programmes and training materials
  • measure how effective your training is
  • develop your industry’s qualifications
  • Plus much more

Mapping NOS to in-house training, materails and job roles

Lantra’s National Occupational Standards (NOS) team have over 14 years of experience in developing National Occupational Standards and related products.  The team have experience of working closely with industry to identify and develop Standards to address any gaps which have been identified, as well as mapping the NOS to in-house provision.  Recently they have worked with the Institute of Bee Keepers to turn their training programmes into National Occupational Standards.  They have also worked with Associations such as Scottish National Heritage to map the National Occupational Standards to their training materials.

The support available ranges from; mapping the National Occupational Standards to your job descriptions, training programmes or qualification, to workshops on using National Occupational Standards in your organisation.


Lantra can offer employers/HR managers practical workshop sessions, run by experts, that explain how National Occupational Standards can be used in your business to:

  • Improve people management, recruitment and development
  • Embed NOS across your business (skills manager)
  • Map your in-house training to NOS and Professional Standards Frameworks.

These workshops can be tailored to suit your organisation and run for a specific group within the organisation, or run more generally for a number of organisations in a particular region. Find out more about what’s running in your area click here to submit a request


We can also provide a mapping service of NOS to in-house training, materials or qualifications. This would require you to identify and provide the materials/training that you require the NOS mapping to.  For further details please contact us with details: phone 02476 696996 or email us

What are the benefits to business

NOS are important for businesses large and small. Using them can help:

  • describe the skills you need in your workforce
  • discover the skills of your current employees
  • identify skills gaps and shortages
  • develop training and recruitment plans
  • recruit staff with the skills you need
  • improve your business processes.

This will not only help enhance your business but will make sure we have a professional and competitive industry.

What’s more, by getting involved with developing and reviewing NOS, you can help make sure they best describe the skills, knowledge and understanding needed by your industry.

What NOS Are Being Reviewed This Year ? 

Review of National Occupational Standards

During 2016 and 2017 Lantra will be reviewing the Equine, Treework and Gamekeeping and Wildlife Management National Occupational Standards.

If you would like more information please contact the Standards Team.

Previous projects 2015 -2016 

Aquaculture review of the Level 2, 3 and development of the Level 4 Scottish Modern Apprenticeship - approved 2016

Environmental Conservation review of the Level 2 and 3 SVQ - approved November 2015.

Rural Skills development of the Level 2 and 3 Scottish Modern Apprenticeship, which will include the updated Environmental Conservation Level 2 and 3 SVQ, the new Estate Maintenance Level 2 SVQ and the new Estate Management Level 3 SVQ - approved 2016

Animal Care review of the Level 2 and 3 SVQ - approved in November 2015

If you would like to know more please e-mail the Apprenticeship Team.