Update 06: OCN NI Business Contingency Arrangements - Coronavirus

Date: 24th March 2020 

At this time nothing matters more than the health and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers, and their families. 

For this reason, with immediate effect, we have made the decision to temporarily close our office until further notice in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Our priority is to protect the welfare of our employees and customers and with the latest guidance from the government, we must honour this and do everything we can to protect our community and reduce the further spread of the virus.

Although our office will be closed, customers will still be able to contact us using the normal landline telephone number 028 90463 990 and via email.  We are in daily discussions with the Qualifications Regulator and over the coming days we will be issuing further guidance to all our centres regarding the assessment arrangements for partially completed portfolios and Essential Skills examination arrangements.  

Thank you for your support.

Martin Flynn,
Chief Executive Officer

Additional Information and Key Contact Details
 
OCN NI’s priority is to ensure the safety of our learners, centre staff and our employees. OCN NI teams will do everything possible to ensure that teaching, learning and exam preparation can continue during this current difficult period of uncertainty.  We will follow guidance from the relevant Government Departments, Qualifications Regulators and the Public Health Agency. We understand the impact this situation is having and our thoughts are with all those affected. 

We will remain open for business as we have a robust contingency plan in place to minimise the disruption to our services. However, there may be instances when our usual Customer Service Standards are impacted.  Our teams have remote working capability and can communicate with you via Microsoft Teams/Skype as well as mobile phone calls. If you have any concerns or would like to discuss the impact on your centre or learners please contact us on info@ocnni.org.uk or tel: 028 90463 990. 

Learner Registration/Certification and Invoicing

At this time OCN NI has no plans to make any changes to the services and support provided by our Customer Services Team, and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. For all queries contact the office as usual on tel: 028 9046 3990. 

Business Development

The Business Development team is here to provide support and assistance as normal, however, no face to face meetings will take place. Instead, we are proactively offering video and telephone conferencing to all centres, via Microsoft teams and also Skype. Please do contact us on the numbers below:

New Business Enquiries

Loraine Robinson – mobile: 07395 951 556 email: l.robinson@ocnni.org.uk 

Account Managers

Jo Bailey – mobile: 07780 111 415 email: jbailey@ocnni.org.uk

Joanne Patterson – mobile: 07500 081 882 email: jpatterson@ocnni.org.uk

Sean McCormick - mobile: 07500 081 884 email: smccormick@ocnni.org.uk

Niamh McGoldrick - mobile: 07392 169 376 email: nmcgoldrick@ocnni.org.uk 

Compliance & Audit

The Compliance & Audit Team is here to provide support and assistance as normal, however no face to face meetings will take place.  Instead, we are proactively offering video and telephone conferencing to all centres, via Microsoft teams and also Skype. In preparation for external verification (which will be carried out remotely) centres should ensure that completed evidence has been assessed and internally verified and scanned if possible or prepared for posting. OCN NI will provide further guidance following advice from the regulator.  

OCN NI Training Calendar

All onsite training has been postponed. Online webinars are available and can be booked through www.ocnni.org.uk/events. For those people already booked onto one of our training events, you will receive an email link to the live webinar. 

General Vocational Qualifications

At this time OCN NI has no plans to make any changes to the services and support provided for our General Vocational Qualifications, and we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. For all queries contact the office on tel: 028 9046 3990

Essential Skills

OCN NI are liaising with other Awarding Bodies, Regulators and other key stakeholders to confirm any flexibilities we are able to extend to our Essential Skills qualifications.  We aim to have clear guidance before the end of the week.

Our Essential Skills team is contactable via tel: 028 90 463990, or directly through: 

Karen Reynolds – mobile: 07395 963 173 email: kreynolds@ocnni.org.uk   

Dawn Mason dmason@ocnni.org.uk   

General Information

Please find below some useful links containing further guidance regarding Coronavirus.

 What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus#what-is-covid-19-coronavirus

 Situation in Northern Ireland

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus#situation-in-northern-ireland

Guidance for educational settings

https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/news/education-minister-issues-covid-19-guidance-educational-settings

Guidance for employers and businesses

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/campaign/coronavirus-updates-support-your-business

 All businesses are going through a very challenging period due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The weeks ahead will no doubt bring significant disruption to all. At this time, OCN NI’s primary concern is that we play our part in the prevention of the spread of the virus and protect our learners, centre staff, our employees and their wider families and loved ones.