NCASS Training Accreditation Policy

NCASS is a nationwide trade association representing over 7000 independent hospitality business members. NCASS has been providing quality online training courses as a core part of its membership packages since 1987.

Whilst other training providers deliver generic training courses that are targeted at a wide range of business sectors, the NCASS online courses are specifically relevant to independent hospitality businesses. They cover topics applicable to this sector e.g., Safe use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), allergen management and HACCP for small catering businesses.

NCASS members regularly indicate that the training resources are a key reason for them joining or retaining membership. Given their relevance, accessibility and reliability, NCASS training courses are also frequently undertaken by non-member businesses.

NCASS training courses have been created, developed, and accredited by industry experts – people who have a genuine passion and relevant expertise.

The NCASS Accreditation Standards are applied to all the training courses that result in a certificate being issued at the completion of the programme to recognise the trainee’s achievement.

NCASS have made a commitment to evaluate their training materials and other quality assurance processes to ensure that they meet the Accreditation Standards as outlined in this policy.

Where you see the NCASS Accredited logo you can be assured that the training course meets this quality stamp of approval.

NCASS Accreditation Standards

The NCASS Assured Training Standards set out the quality assurance requirements for the accreditation of NCASS training courses.

Standard 1: Planning, Resource & Management

The provision of relevant training courses for the independent hospitality sector is a key priority for NCASS and is at the core of its membership offering. Therefore, NCASS ensures that it has a dedicated organisational management and staffing structure to support the delivery of accredited training courses.

NCASS has the appropriate resources for the delivery of accredited training courses. This includes:

  • An organisational structure, with key roles and accountabilities.
  • Appropriately skilled or qualified staff.
  • Technology and equipment.
  • Financial resources.
  • Administrative systems and processes.
  • Documented policies and procedures to support delivery & assessment.

For example, all the NCASS training systems are delivered online via a digital learning management system. This system was renewed in 2023 and is supported in-house by technical experts who maintain these systems, so they are reliable and easy for trainees to use.

NCASS has systems in place to collect and retain accurate, up-to-date data. The data systems are reliable and auditable and are subject to quality assurance.  NCASS can provide this data to external accreditors as and when required.

NCASS have secure systems in place for the safe storage and transfer of:

  • NCASS Trainee registration details.
  • Data used to measure trainee progression.
  • Trainee assessment results.
  • Version control and change history for training content and assessment materials.

Standard 2: Clear Content, Aims and Objectives

All NCASS training courses have clear objectives, structure and duration. The aims and objectives provide a clear indication of the course content and are reflected in the course materials.

This information is clearly outlined on the NCASS training website, enabling trainees to make informed decisions about the training course that they select. It is also reiterated to the trainee in the introduction section of the training course within the learning management system. The length of time indicated to complete the training course is sufficient to enable trainees to meet the objectives of the course.

Thorough testing and feedback allow NCASS to accurately indicate the expected learning hours so trainees can plan their learning accordingly.

NCASS designs training courses with simple, easy to follow language, so courses can support different learning styles and ensure accessibility. The courses are designed with intuitive features to support progress.  

Standard 3: Design, Expertise, and Implementation

NCASS training courses are created by people who have a genuine passion and the right expertise. They are supported by the correct technical competence to ensure that the contents are expertly designed and can be facilitated by the NCASS technical systems.

Independent experts review our training materials and assessment materials to ensure that they are valid, fit for purpose and robust. Once completed, compliance related training materials are assessed by regulatory experts in food safety, health and safety and fire safety from our Primary Authority Partners, The Royal Borough of Greenwich, Monmouthshire Council and East Sussex Fire Service.

NCASS has policies that demonstrate best practice in training development, design, and delivery. This includes:

  • A complaints and grievance process.
  • Data protection policies.
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion policies.
  • The automatic creation of course handouts that reflect the content of the course.
  • The automatic issuing of certificates.
  • A process to replace lost or incorrect certificates.

As well as internal quality assurance, NCASS training courses are subject to external accreditation. For example, CPD Certification services. If NCASS training courses have been accredited by an external service provider, then this will be indicated on the course webpage before purchase and will also be recorded on the trainee certificate. Using external accreditation services alongside its own enables NCASS to check its structured and recognised approach to learning. NCASS accepts its responsibility to protect its trainees and has in place robust complaints procedures which are communicated to trainees. Where complaints are upheld, then NCASS will ensure that appropriate follow-up corrective actions are taken.

Standard 4 Participation, Assessment and Certification

The NCASS Learning Management System enables trainees to complete their learning at a pace to suit them. The system saves their progress and allows them to return to the same place they left off, allowing learning to be completed in stages. This allows for convenient and flexible learning.

All NCASS training courses include an appropriate end of course assessment in the form of a multiple-choice question exam. The purpose of this assessment is to test learning and ensure authentic participation in the course.

The end of course assessments are thoroughly checked and tested before they are implemented by trainees to ensure they are accurate, fairly reflect the content of the training and are of reasonable difficulty. NCASS ensures that the assessment strategy has clear links to the training aims and objectives.

Clear instructions are given to trainees on how to participate in the assessment.  This includes:

  • The number of questions to be completed.
  • How answers are to be provided.
  • The measurable pass rate that is required.

Trainees who complete an NCASS Accredited Training course will be issued with a certificate featuring the NCASS accreditation logo.

Trainees can only claim certificates upon full completion of the training course. NCASS training certificates include:

  • The title of the training course.
  • Date of completion.
  • The trainee’s name.
  • The NCASS accreditation logo.
  • Reference to other relevant accreditation services e.g. CPD.

There is also a facility in place to issue replacement certificates and to amend those certificates that have been accidently filled with incorrect details by the trainee e.g., misspelt names.

NCASS training certificates have the option to include the trainee’s photograph.

Standard: 5 Review, Renewal & Continuous Development

Accreditation will last for a specified period of time. Once this expires, we will review the training and assessment materials, check to ensure that there are no quality issues and make the necessary updates etc. Once happy we will reissue the accreditation. As part of this review NCASS will consider course content, structure, and duration as well as the method of assessment, to ensure that it all remains up to date and accurate. A version control and change history is implemented to reflect and accurately record the actions taken.

NCASS uses a range of monitoring and evaluation methods to ensure that their training course remains valid and reliable. This includes remaining up to date on emerging trends, new regulatory matters, and current guidance. NCASS uses its wide range of contacts across central and local government authorities and business communities to understand the needs of the sector to stay ahead of the curve.   NCASS also routinely interviews and gathers feedback from trainees, to learn from their experiences with NCASS training courses. NCASS is committed to continuous improvement and development, therefore is always looking for ways to improve and expand its training offering.