Customer Service

As an occupational group, it is difficult to determine the exact size of the workforce involved in delivering customer service, however in 2010 it was estimated that just over 2.5 million people were employed in sales and customer service occupations across the UK1. This does not include those individuals who also use customer service skills as a part of their job roles . Employers across all sectors are giving increasing attention to the quality of service they provide to customers. This focus is being driven by the demands of customers who have increasingly higher expectations alongside a more individualised service.


A suite of National Occupational Standards (NOS) has been developed to identify current cover customer service-related job functions that are generic and cross all sector boundaries and job roles.

Customer Service

Our suite of Customer Service NOS is designed for use across all sectors and for any job role within those sectors. They can be used for people whose role is entirely customer service-focussed, as well as those for whom customer service is only part of their role. The standards are organised into five themes:

  • Customer service foundations
  • Impression and image
  • Delivery
  • Handling problems
  • Development and improvement


A wide range of vocational and knowledge based Customer Service qualifications are available within the UK and internationally. We have developed a number of specific Customer Service vocational and knowledge based qualifications including NVQs/ SVQs and Technical (knowledge based) Certificates at levels 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Full details of all available qualifications in England, NI and Wales can be found at the Register of Regulated Qualifications. For qualifications in Scotland please visit the SQA.

Please find below the latest assessment strategy for Customer Service NVQs/SVQs.

QCF units

QCF units have been developed to cover the knowledge and skills needed by those in Customer Service roles.

Customer Service QCF Units


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