What are National Occupational Standards?

National Occupational Standards are manuals that describe the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to be considered competent in an occupation. The Standards are set by seasoned industry professionals from across the country and are validated by the industry.

National Occupational Standards represent what real employers look for in new hires and they define the level of competence required for the full range of skills in an occupation. They reflect actual workplace conditions and current issues affecting the occupation. When we say ‘competent’ we mean a person who meets the standards; competent employees are superior job performers.

Educators across the country use National Occupational Standards to inform and update their Tourism and Hospitality programs with the most current practices, including changes in the use of technology, sustainability and evolving service practices.

Just a few of the colleges and universities who have used emerit:
• Algonquin College • Assiniboine Community College • Cambrian College • Cape Breton University • Cegep de Saint Felicien • Centennial College • Confederation College • Douglas College • Fleming College • Heritage College • Holland College • Humber College • New Brunswick Community College • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology • Nova Scotia Community College • Ryerson University • Saskatchewan Institute of Science and Technology • Vancouver Community College • Winnipeg Technical College

Which Occupations?

While post-secondary programs typically cover a broad range of knowledge and skills within a field of study, along with general education courses and essentials skills, National Occupational Standards include only those competencies that are relevant to a specific occupation. Therefore, a typical post-secondary hospitality or tourism program will include competencies from a number of related occupations.

List of emerit National Occupational Standards that are commonly used to inform and benchmark different post-secondary tourism and hospitality programs:

Hospitality Management Programs: Food and Beverage Server, Food and Beverage Manager, Food and Beverage Management – International, Bartender, Banquet Server, Supervisor, Hotel General Manager, Front Desk Agent, Reservation Sales Agent, Housekeeping Room Attendant, Director of Housekeeping 
Travel and Tourism Programs: Travel Counsellor, Travel Manager, Tourism Visitor Information Counsellor, Tour Guide, Tour Director
Event Management Programs:  Event Coordinator, Event Management - International 
Culinary Programs: Line Cook, Professional Cooking
Outdoor Adventure and Leadership Programs: Heritage Interpreter, Freshwater Fishing Guide, Hunting Guide, Outdoor Adventure Guide, Tour Guide, Small Business Owner/Operator

Using Standards in Curriculum

As an educator, you want your students to succeed, and part of achieving that is ensuring that you are teaching what your students need for successful careers in the industry. You want to teach the knowledge, skills and attitudes that accurately reflect the current and future needs of industry so that your students will be prepared for the job on day one, whether it’s in a frontline or management level position.

Based on the expertise of tourism professionals in collaboration with leading tourism organizations across Canada, National Occupational Standards can help you to:

  • • Benchmark your course and program learning outcomes against the standards for a wide range of occupations;
  • • Develop progressive curriculum that reflects the level responsibility students can expect on the job;
  • • Develop learning and assessment activities that reflect the level of competency required in the workplace;
  • • Identify relevant and current content for programs and courses;
  • • Identify common core curriculum to facilitate learner mobility.

emerit National Occupational Standards are developed using taxonomic frameworks and contain a high level of detail about each competency, including the frequency, importance, and ‘time to master’ of each skill. They are a key resource to ensure your course or program is aligned with current and future industry needs.

Using Standards as a Learning Resource with Students

Another important way that you can work with standards is to use them as a learning resource with your students. National Occupational Standards are widely used by employers, managers, and HR professionals in the tourism and hospitality industry to inform their HR practices. Since your students are the future employers and managers of the tourism industry, they will benefit not only from knowing what competencies are expected of them at various stages of their career, but also by being familiar with important resources they can use as they become the employers and managers of tomorrow.

Here are some examples of how you can use National Occupational Standards as a learning resource with your students:

  • •Have students explore the standards so that they can make informed decisions about their chosen career;
  • •Ask students to assess their own performance against levels of competence described in the standards;
  • •Use the standards in your HR classes to inform activities and projects, such as developing job descriptions and job ads, selecting and recruiting staff, conducting performance reviews, and developing training plans.

And we can help you take it one step further. You can also provide your students with emerit Certification.

Thousands of hours of research, development and testing have gone into emerit training programs. Leverage it.