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 fpr Supported Employment Practitioners.

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 values. Supported employment practitioners are expected to be aware of and to apply a value based and ethical approach in their practice.

1. We must raise everyone's aspirations that everyone can work and contribute within the workplace.

2. We are looking for real jobs with the same terms and conditions - jobs that need doing.

3. We should support everyone who wants to work, regardless of their disability or disadvantage.

4. There is no evidence that work preparation helps people into employment.

5. We should have an early focus on looking for employment outcomes.

6. Jobseekers should have choice and control of the job finding process.

7. We need partnership action between jobseekers, employers, families and job coaches.

8. Social inclusion is vital within workplaces.

9. We must understand employers' needs and engage with them as customers of our services.

10. Employment leads to people being better valued and respected by their communities.

11. We should promote reasonable adjustments within the workplace.

12. A job is not for life and we should support career progression.


LSI SE01: Develop and apply values and ethical practice

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


LSI SE02: 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.


LSI SE03: Assist prospective job seekers to 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.


LSI SE04: Identify the needs of the job seeker

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.


LSI SE05: Create and agree development plans

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


LSI SE06: Ensure employment opportunities meet the needs of job seekers

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. 


LSI 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.


LSI SE08: Develop 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.


NOS glossary and external links

These pages explain some of the terms used within the NOS and provides links to a range of organisations.