National Occupational Standards
National occupational standards (NOSs) have become an increasingly important topic of interest related to work analysis. NOSs specify what is required of an individual to perform in an occupation, as the occupation appears across various workplace settings, at a regional or a national level. NOSs also specify the background knowledge and skills individuals should possess to meet that standard. Each NOS defines one occupation or an area of competence across occupations. NOSs are used for the following reasons: to forecast employment priorities and trends by government agencies and educational institutions; to provide a benchmark for companies so they can compare their job expectations with the occupational standard; to provide the basis for the design of training and education programs; to construct job descriptions by human resources staff members for use with recruitment and selection; and to identify occupational options and their respective educational requirements by individual job seekers. Many HRD professionals in the United States are not familiar with NOSs. But these are commonly understood throughout Europe, most of Asia, and many developing countries.
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