National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards (NOS) provide benchmarks for competent performance. The content is led by demand and based on evidence from industry. The NOS underpin vocational training, apprenticeships, frameworks and qualifications across the UK, in all sectors and occupations. CITB develops and maintains these standards for the construction industry.

See a list of the occupational areas that CITB works on

You can use these National Occupational Standards to:

  • describe good practice in particular areas of work
  • set out a statement of competence
  • provide resource for a variety of workforce management and quality control tools
  • offer a framework for training and development.

The standards are compiled in 'suites' under occupational areas and can be viewed individually on the National Occupational Standards database.

Off-the-job training

To pass an NVQ or unit for qualification successfully, learners have to provide work-based evidence of their ability. For a limited number of additional items in a unit, it is possible to show their skills in a simulated environment (off-the-job) - although this must be conducted according to assessment regulations.

See the current list of units it's possible to complete in an off-the-job environment (PDF 187KB)

Standards under review

The suites under review in 2020-2021 are:

  • Construction Contracting Operations Management
  • Construction Contracting Operations.

The suites in the final stages of development are:

  • Construction and Civil Engineering Operations (awaiting regulatory approval)
  • Controlling Lifting Operations.

We are also looking at the following suites for development in 2021/22:

  • Heritage Skills
  • Chimney Engineering and Sweeping
  • Winter services
  • Stonemasonry
  • Engineering Surveying Operations
  • Super Structure Work Occupations.

However, to do so we need your input and commentary. Are they in need of review or are they still up to date and fit for purpose? If they are no longer fit for purpose, we need your support to update them.

Please forward any comments/suggestions to