Debt Collections

National Occupational Standards for Debt Collections

National Occupational Standards for Debt Collections have been developed to cover the competences required for the process of recovering monies owed to the creditor by establishing and maintaining a repayment agreement with the debtor, in an effective and timely manner, within legal and ethical parameters

Background information

These National Occupational Standards are designed to cover the occupational competences required within the following Debt Collections environments: direct / third party; consumer / commercial, secured / unsecured.

The diagram below illustrates the ‘key areas' of Debt Collections (shaded grey) that are covered within these National Occupational Standards.

 Diagram illustrates the key areas of Debt Collections


In some organisations, Missed Payments will automatically be passed to Debt Collections once arrears are detected. In other organisations, following Missed Payments, actions will be taken as part of Credit Control prior to escalating a case to a bespoke Debt Collections department / organisation. In all situations, there is a legal requirement to give debtors every opportunity to pay before escalation to Debt Recoveries / Litigation.

There is no universally accepted demarcation of Credit Control, Debt Collections and Debt Recoveries, and individuals involved within any of these functions may find some or all of these Standards to be relevant.

The National Occupational Standards

The project to develop National Occupational Standards for Debt Collections was launched in July 2008, and a Working Group - which included representation from the Credit Services Association, HBOS and Skipton Building Society - helped inform a first draft of the National Occupational Standards.

These were prepared and consulted on across the four countries of the UK between January and March 2009. The feedback received was reviewed by the project Working Group and incorporated into the final version of the Standards - which was approved by the qualification regulators in September 2009. This can be downloaded below.

The units can also be downloaded individually from the NOS Directory, at

Further information

For further information about these NOS, please contact the NOS team by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0845 618 2379.

Your feedback

We welcome feedback on the National Occupational Standards which we have produced. If you would like to comment on the NOS for Debt Collections, please complete and return the feedback form (which can be downloaded below) to [email protected].




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