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The NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Guidance notes for application form

This year, applicants are invited to complete a bespoke application form for each Beacon Award. This form will give applicants the opportunity to address all the criteria that will be assessed: the Beacon Award criteria, and the bespoke sponsor’s criteria that is tailored for each award.

AoC Beacon Awards Criteria:

The Beacon Awards celebrate exemplary practice. In all applications you should evidence innovation, sustainability and impact, ensuring that you clearly show there are features which promote exemplary teaching and learning, and that the initiative has wider relevance and applicability. The application should demonstrate:

  • Bespoke evaluation/quality assurance to influence continuing development of the initiative
  • Regard to the promotion of equality and diversity in the delivery of the programme.
  • That there is clear evidence of impact and sustainability.
  • That it has features which actively promote exemplary teaching and learning
  • That it is of benefit for one or more groups of students, recipients or trainees
  • That it has wider relevance and applicability which makes it of significant value to other colleges as an example of outstanding practice or innovation.

NOCN Group Sponsor’s Criteria:

NOCN Group is a market-leading international Awarding Organisation (AO) and Government-approved End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) that has been creating opportunities for 30 years.

We are trusted and recognised by employers, training providers and learners in the UK and internationally, to provide a high quality, flexible service and we believe passionately in the power of education and its impact on communities and individuals.

As a progressive educational charity with a social rather than commercial focus, we are at the forefront of vocational skills development and apprenticeships and are the only awarding body in the UK which specialises in productivity and focussed on increasing the UK's competitiveness globally.

NOCN is proud to be the very first awarding organisation to be given the 'Leader in Diversity' award by the National Centre for Diversity, a leader in promoting equality for all in the UK and also recognised by Ofqual, CCEA and the Welsh Government, working with a number of strategic partners in the UK and internationally.

We want to recognise, celebrate and promote the important work colleges are doing to support the mental health and wellbeing of their learners and staff. The rise in ill health amongst learners and the greater public is of great concern and is attracting heightened attention nationally. Applications from colleges which show how they have successfully supported people in their local communities, existing learners or teaching and support staff will be welcome.

Your application should:

  • Demonstrate a coherent mental health strategy that impacts on improving teaching and learning and effective support. Support might include effective referral pathways and good strategic relationships with, for example, the mental health service providers for adults or adolescents, and clinical commissioning groups. Such a strategy will involve strong and effective leadership and management and governance support.
  • Support highly effective continuing professional development on mental health for staff and/or learners, and resources to support learners with mental health issues, with the impact being evident through;
  • sound strategies for quality improvement
  • the number of learners and/or staff being identified
  • the provision of highly effective on-course support and/or in-work support
  • increased learner success and positive progression and/or increased staff satisfaction and retention
  • Demonstrate a strategy which supports the mental health and well-being of staff, students or an identified group, resulting in tangible, positive impacts.
  • Create an environment where equality and diversity is promoted, and making healthy choices is encouraged, e.g. a range of affordable, healthy options available in the dining areas; involvement in sport; cycle to college scheme etc., resulting in improved attendance, concentration and retention
  • Foster a positive and supportive environment where groups of learners or individuals can benefit through discussion and information about mental health matters, drug and alcohol awareness, internet and social media safety, and sexual and social relationships - resulting in them feeling secure and able to learn
  • Evidence impact of the provision on the local and college community, which is applicable to the wider sector and is sustainable over time

The NOCN Group Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing application form