National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards

In 2012, BASE and the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) developed new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Supported Employment, which describe the skills and knowledge needed by the supported employment workforce. The NOS for Supported Employment do not equate directly to qualifications, but are used to inform the evidence needs of the Level 3 Certificate for Supported Employment Practitioners. The NOS were updated and revised in July 2017. You can download the complete set.

Supported employment offers high quality, personalised support for people with disabilities and/or disadvantages which enables them to find, access and stay in employment. The people who provide this support tend to have a variety of job titles such as job coaches, employment advisers, and employment consultants. It is not necessarily expected that job coaches will have all of the skills and knowledge described in the NOS. Some roles may be specialist and only draw on certain sections of the NOS. The NOS can be particularly useful in recruiting new job coaches, identifying training needs, and performance appraisal.

The standards are based on the internationally agreed 5-stage model of Supported Employment. Each National Occupational Standard has a number of performance criteria which an individual should be able to demonstrate, as well as the underpinning knowledge. The NOS are underpinned by a set of agreed values.


Underpinning values

For a supported employment practitioner to practice competently he or she must apply skills and knowledge that is informed by a set of underpinning values. Supported employment practitioners are expected to be aware of and to apply a value-based and ethical approach in their practice. 

1. People with disabilities and/or disadvantages can make a positive contribution in the workplace.

2. People with disabilities / disadvantage should have access to a real job where 

  • wages are paid at the going rate for the job, 
  • the employee enjoys the same terms and conditions as all other employees; 
  • the job helps the person to meet their life goals and aspirations; 
  • the role is valued by managers and colleagues; 
  • the job has similar hours and times at work as other employees, with safe working conditions. 

3. Practitioners uphold the "zero rejection" philosophy of supported employment so that, with the right job and the right support, everyone who wants to work, can work.

4. Supported employment does not adhere to a work readiness model and a 'place, train and maintain' approach is implemented. 

5. Job search should happen at the earliest opportunity. 

6. People are encouraged to exercise choice and control in achieving their career aspirations. Support is individualised and all options assume successful employability.

7. There is genuine partnership between the person, their family carers, employers, community supports and the provider of supported employment.

8. People are supported to be full and active members of their workforces and wider communities, both socially and economically.

9. Support services recognise the importance of the employer as a customer of supported employment in their own right with requirements that need to be satisfied. 

10. Supported employment draws on Social Role Valorisation (SRV) in recognising that employment is a valued social role and becoming employed can help reverse societal devaluation, with wider positive consequences for the person. 

11. Supported employment draws on the social model of disability recognising that disability is the product of the physical, organisational and attitudinal barriers present within society. The removal of discrimination requires a change of approach and thinking in the way in which society is organised, in this case removing barriers to employment. 

12. Supported employment should encourage the career development of individuals by promoting training opportunities and seeking options for increased responsibility. 


SKA SE01: Apply values and ethical practice as a practitioner within supported employment

This standard is about ensuring own practice adheres to the relevant ethical principles, values and codes of ethical practice that apply within supported employment.

SKA SE01: Gosod gwerthoedd a safon ymarfer moesegol ar gyfer rhai sy’n gweithio ym maes cyflogaeth gyda chefnogaeth


SKA SE02: Assist prospective job seekers who aspire to paid employment

This standard is about enabling those people who have disabilities and/or disadvantages to raise their aspirations and to make informed decisions about employment. It also identifies how the supported employment practitioner works with families, communities and other partners to address their concerns and to enable prospective job seekers to raise their aspirations for work. 

SKA SE02: Cynorthwyo ceiswyr gwaith sy'n deisyfu cael swydd gyflogedig


SKA SE03: Identify the needs of job seekers to enable a good job match

This standard is about the supported employment practitioner identifying the needs of the individual in terms of their skills, abilities and experiences to enable a good job match. It includes finding ways to address any difficulties in their personal circumstances that might create a barrier to paid employment.

SKA SE03: Deall anghenion ceiswyr gwaith er mwyn canfod swydd sy’n cyfateb


SKA SE04: Create and agree development plans for job seekers to gain and maintain employment

This standard is about working with job seekers to develop and agree development plans that meets their employment, personal and financial needs. 

SKA SE04: Creu a chytuno ar gynlluniau datblygu i geiswyr gwaith gael a chadw swydd


SKA SE05: Advise employers about the benefits processes and practices to recruit and retain a diverse workforce

This standard is about engaging with employers to enable them to understand the benefits of developing processes and practices to recruit and retain a diverse workforce. It includes providing support to the employer to review their employment practices, to facilitate workforce diversity, while at the same time meeting their business needs.

SKA SE05: Cynghori cyflogwyr ynglŷn â’r manteision, y prosesau a’r dulliau o recriwtio a chadw gweithlu amrywiol


SKA SE06: Work with job seekers and employers to match individuals to jobs

This standard is about working with job seekers and employers to match individuals to jobs based on the job seeker's needs, skills and abilities, and available employment opportunities. It includes carrying out job analyses and assessments to ensure that employment opportunities are suitable and reflect the aspirations of the job seeker, their health, safety and wellbeing is addressed and that there are support structures in place. 

SKA SE06: Gweithio gyda cheiswyr gwaith a chyflogwyr i baru unigolion gyda swyddi


SKA SE07: Enable individuals in supported employment to be productive and integrated in their workplace

This standard is about enabling individuals in paid employment and their employers to have the support and resources they require to be productive in work and do a job which meets the employer’s requirements. It enables the practitioner to explore and use proven techniques to support task training, problem solving and coaching in the workplace. It includes working with the employer and employee to identify and obtain any special resources or assistive technologies to enable the individual to do their job and become as independent as possible in the workplace. This also includes identification of funding sources that may be available to enable the job seeker to enter and perform productively within the workplace. The standard also identifies help to those employed to play a full role in the social life of the workplace.

SKA SE07: Galluogi unigolion sydd mewn cyflogaeth gyda chefnogaeth i fod yn gynhyrchiol ac wedi eu hintegreiddio o fewn eu gweithle


SKA SE08: Develop yourself as a reflective supported employment practitioner

This standard is about the way in which the supported employment practitioner develops their own competence and practice through supervised guidance, communities of practice, review and reflection.

SKA SE08: Datblygu fel ymarferydd cyflogaeth gyda chefnogaeth myfyriol