It is vital that employers are encouraged to use the NOS within their organisations if the full benefits of high quality professional standards are to be realised. The CDI has published Resource Guide for Employers (April 2015) which provides suggestions, examples and templates of how you can use the NOS: CD in the key areas of workforce development and performance management.
Benefits associated with the use of National Occupational Standards include:
Flexibility: standards can make a valuable contribution to almost any human resource development purpose. Based on specific functions they can be used independently or in combination to meet a wide variety of needs and to support a number of activities e.g. recruitment (job descriptions/ person specs), performance management, talent management/succession planning.
Dependability: developed through national consultation, standards have widespread acceptability. They represent a nationally agreed benchmark, expressing competent performance throughout a sector. Use of standards also encourages a consistent, high quality approach to staff recruitment and development across the sector.
Cost effective: standards are free to obtain, and, being crown copyright, they can be adapted to meet organisational needs without implication. Using standards can make it easier to support human resource activity, as well as saving resource in terms of time, money and effort.
Convenience: approved NOS are stored on a national NOS database http://nos.ukces.org and can be downloaded as and when required.
The nature of standards means that they can be used to recognise individual performance by indicating when a member of staff has reached the required level of competence.
The definition of knowledge and competence within standards can help to identify development needs and provides guidance for improving performance where there may be any shortfall. Standards can also be used to identify organisational training needs and support change management.
Using standards as a framework to support career development can raise individual aspiration, by demonstrating related or new areas where there is the potential to develop and improve skills. They can also be used to grow the business by linking training and development policy to business objectives.
It is commonly considered that the use of standards has a positive impact on productivity. Although this is difficult to measure, the use of the standards, by individuals and managers as well as at an organisational level, has significant potential to improve service delivery and can contribute to professionalisation throughout the workforce.