Frameworks and National Occupational Standards (NOS)

We develop and review national occupational standards for a wide range of sectors, working closely with governments to deliver and support apprenticeships. This involves working directly with employers to identify their changing needs and making sure apprenticeships in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the right standards in place to deliver the skills and knowledge needed to boost productivity and profitability.

What is a national occupational standard?

National occupational standards outline the knowledge, skills and competencies needed for a specific job role. They’re used to develop job descriptions, as frameworks for training programmes and by awarding bodies to develop qualifications, particularly standards for apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship frameworks and qualifications

Apprenticeships mix on and off-job training, providing quality hands-on experience at the same time as achieving a nationally recognised qualification, all while earning a wage.


Apprenticeship frameworks and qualifications vary across Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. We work closely with governments and industries to make sure apprenticeships meet their diverse and changing needs.

Find the information you'll need

Given the variations in how employers take on apprenticeships across all the home nations, the following signposting is designed to help get you to the information you need quickly and easily.

Apprenticeships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Modern apprenticeships in Scotland