What Are the National Occupational Standards (Nos)? What Purpose Do They Serve?

2. What are the National Occupational Standards (NOS)? What purpose do they serve?

The National Occupational Standards (NOS) are a set of professional standards describing what an individual needs to do, know and understand in order to undertake an appropriate role or responsibility. They provide a framework describing how the performance required of an individual should be managed in a proficient and accomplished manner to suit their post or occupational role.

The NOS for supporting teaching and learning in schools (STL NOS) contain 69 units in total, 33 of which apply to the role of an HLTA, and individuals within that role are expected to conform to those requirements in a competent manner. The standards provide direction to support staff in their daily activities and an HLTA is expected to exhibit acceptable and requisite ability and capacity to enable pupils to develop and advance in all of their learning.

The (STL NOS) evolved from deliberation between professional bodies, school professionals and employers in order to develop and raise standards within schools and their workforce. The TDA states that “Using the standards will help school leaders develop the capacity and capability of their whole school team.” (National Occupational Standards for Supporting Teaching Learning 2010). The (STL NOS) also contribute to schools by reinforcing the standards required in the establishment of role descriptions and responsibilities, furthermore, ratifying the training and development of staff.

The 33 standards are broken down into three main headings; Professional values and practice (or attributes), Professional knowledge and understanding, and, Professional skills. Within these standards are the requirements that, individuals that have achieved the status of HLTA, must demonstrate throughout their practice. These include; high expectations of pupils, building and maintaining successful relationships, promoting positive values, collaborative learning,...