National Occupational Standards (NOS)

National Occupational Standards for Finance, Accountancy and Financial Services

"National Occupational Standards (NOS) describe what a person needs to do, know and understand in their job to carry out their role in a consistent and
competent way.

UK Commission for Employment and Skills


National Occupational Standards have been developed to cover most occupational areas in the UK, including jobs in business, customer service and marketing, as well as the healthcare, construction and transport industries. All may be viewed in the centralised NOS Directory at

At the Financial Skills Partnership we have developed NOS in a number of areas including Accountancy & Payroll Administration, Compliance and Anti-money Laundering, Countering Financial Crime, Pensions, Risk Management for the Financial Sector and Training & Competence Schemes.

All NOS are based on a framework of units (known as a ‘suite') with each unit representing a function or activity in the workplace. Within each unit the required standards of performance and related knowledge and skills for that activity are described in the form of outcomes of effective performance and statements of required knowledge and understanding. Some units also feature a range of typical behaviours underpinning effective performance.


Developed by the industry for the industry

The content of the NOS units is informed by industry practitioners and a flow-chart detailing the development process can be seen here.


Incremental review

All NOS undergo a major, incremental review, approximately every three years to ensure that their content remains topical and relevant, and to address any gaps in coverage. We also maintain a log for feedback for potential minor reviews, such as an amendment to a phrase or statement in a NOS unit which has become invalid or out of date. Please use the feedback form which can be found on the relevant NOS page to let us know your suggestions for change.


Our strategy for National Occupational Standards

We have developed a Strategy document which outlines how we will be raising awareness about our NOS, working with industry stakeholders and producing guidance documentation. Our NOS Strategy can be downloaded here.


Frequently Asked Questions on National Occupational Standards

Further information on National Occupational Standards, in the form of Frequently Asked Questions, may be found here. If you have any additional questions, please contact the NOS team by email or call 0845 618 2379.


YOUR help is needed

For further information about our current NOS projects and how YOU can get involved, please visit our Latest News page here.



Tel : 020 7367 9542

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