National Occupational Standards (NOS) specify the standard of performance an individual must achieve when carrying out a function in the workplace, together with the knowledge and understanding they need to meet that standard consistently. Essentially NOS are benchmarks of good practice.
Each NOS defines one key function in a job role. Each NOS must be a concise and readable document, usually consisting of no more than five or six pages (some are only one or two). In their essential form, NOS describe functions, standards of performance and knowledge/understanding.
The NOS are laid down by employers (through their SSCs). A set of NOS, aligned to a job role, called Qualification Pack, would be available for every job role in each industry sector. These drive both the creation of curriculum, and assessments. Thus NSQF will theoretically make it possible to drive competency based training for every job role in industry. It would be possible for all current vocational courses, like MES, ITI Courses, or similar vocational courses in schools, colleges and polytechnics to be aligned to job roles at specific NSQF Levels. An ITI Course in Plumbing would say they are training for plumbers at NSQF Level 3. Similarly a polytechnic, training in fashion design, may say it is training for NSQF Level 5 for Garment Cutters