National Occupational Standards

Sector Profile

Did you know that there are over 3.25 million people in the UK currently working in Business & Administration roles? Millions more are working in positions that require administration skills in some respect. It’s the oil in the machine.

Many sectors are now entering a critical period: the ageing ‘baby boomers’ are approaching retirement and beginning to reduce their hours or leave altogether. The prosperity of individuals, businesses and the nation depends, in part, on the acquisition of professional administration skills. For some organisations this means a large amount of capability and experience will leave their roles over a relatively short period of time with current administration replacement demand running at 600,000 people over the next five years.


Three suites of National Occupational Standards (NOS) are available within Business & Administration as outlined below.

Business & Administration

This latest revised version of the NOS for Business & Administration focuses strongly on those aspects of work which have increased in importance in recent years, such as communication and negotiation, working with others, dealing with change, solving business problems, supporting sustainability and managing risk.

Business & Administration: Specialist

We have developed specialist Business & Administration NOS for administrators that work in the following sectors. These standards cover specialist administration functions which are not included in the main Business & Administration suite.


Recent trends in business have tended towards more horizontal management structures with fewer hierarchical levels. This has meant that less administrative support is now available within teams and subsequently there’s an expectation that employees will be able to carry out their own administration. They need to know what they’re doing and the self-administration standards will help. The standards are applicable to people who are not employed as administrators, do not have access to administrative support or who are expected to carry out their own administration as part of their jobs.


A range of both vocational and academic Business & Administration qualifications are available within the UK and internationally. We have developed a number of specific Business & Administration vocational qualifications including NVQs/SVQs at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Please find below the latest assessment strategy and guidance for Business & Administration NVQs/SVQs.

QCF Units

QCF units have been developed to cover the knowledge and skills needed by those in Business & Administration roles.

Define the Standards for Your Sector

Our NOS and frameworks have been developed to best represent the skills that you need in your sector. If you would like to join one of our sector-focused steering groups and ensure that training continues to work for your business, please contact us on

We are proud to work with

Instructus Skills is a pan-sector body that represents the training needs of over 11 million employees across the UK. From consultations to certification, we ensure that apprenticeships deliver the skilled workers that employers need.

In other words, we make apprenticeships work.