National Occupational Standards (NOS)

NOS are a free, public resource.

NOS define how a skilled and competent worker would carry out each function of their role.

NOS describe the skills, knowledge and understanding, attributes and behaviours that are required to undertake / perform a particular task or job to a nationally recognised level of competence.

They describe effective performance within a job role, including any statutory or legal responsibilities.

For example, what you must be able to do and what you need to know and understand for:

  • Management and leadership functions such as recruiting, selecting and retaining people within your business, managing staff inductions and developing / implementing marketing plans.
  • Financial functions such as managing payroll, calculating and submitting VAT returns and administering pension schemes. 
  • Business and administrative functions such as providing reception services, handling mail, planning and organising meetings and monitoring information systems.

How can I use NOS?

Simply - NOS:

  • State what an individual needs to do, know and understand in order to carry out a job or function competently.
  • Describe what effective performance at work looks like.
  • Enable businesses to improve the skills of their workforce, increase productivity, develop training plans and recruit and keep their best people.

Search the NOS Finder for more information

National Occupational Standards are developed for employers by employers.

If you would like to get involved in any future consultation events and have your say on the occupation or area of industry you are familiar with, or would like more information on NOS please contact

Scott Waddington SA Brains

Introduction to National Occupational Standards

Wales and British Lions former coach

Rob Jones - using National Occupational Standards

BBC cymru wales

NOS employer case study