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The National Careers Service Course Directory is Changing

The course directory is changing to make it easier for providers to add their course information.

As part of the measures to make the course directory easier for providers to add their course information, providers will see: a new simple interface, fewer fields to complete and mandatory learning aim reference (LAR) codes.

An image of the National Careers Service at a conference.

The changes will also make information more relevant for potential learners so they can find out what is on offer in their area and contact providers.

ESFA has developed the new improved course directory by putting user research central to the changes that have been made. They have tailored the tools through rigorous testing by real users.

The Course Directory is a database comprising records of learning opportunities for people over the age of 16 delivered by all providers contracted with Department for Education.

Providers are responsible for maintaining their records in the Course Directory and the records are displayed through Find a Course, Find Apprenticeship Training and other public and private sector websites. This enables citizens and businesses to look for different types of learning in their area and generates referrals to providers across the country.

Providers will be contacted in the next couple of months to let them know when changes will be happening and to help them manage the changes to their information. In the meantime, the support team are on hand to help and to answer any questions on support@coursedirectoryproviderportal.org.ukor 0844 811 5073.

Changes to the course directory are part of a wider programme of improvement to digital services provided by the National Careers Service.

The National Careers Service is available to anyone over the age of 13 in England and provides careers advice and guidance to help people make decisions on learning, training and work.

The National Careers Service takes a digital first approach to allow users who are able, to self-serve and find the information they need. We work closely with teachers, careers advisers and citizens to ensure our tools can be used both independently and part of face to face careers sessions.

Exam Results Helpline

To chat live to an #ExamResultsHelpline adviser you can contact the National Careers Service online by following the link below


Or you can also call the on

0800 100 900 (option 7)

National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline
August 15, 2018

National Careers Service – New Contracts Awards
July 25, 2018

Below is a list of the new NCS areas and contractors (notice the subtle geographical changes – south central area has disappeared altogether and Cumbria is part of the service in the NE).

There will now be a period of transition activity to make sure there is a continued high-quality service for the remainder of current contracts, and to ensure that the new contractors are in place and ready to deliver the National Careers Service from 1 October 2018. 

  1. National Careers Service East of England and Buckinghamshire and National Careers Service East Midlands and Northamptonshire to be delivered by Futures Advice
  2. National Careers Service London and National Careers Service West Midlands to be delivered by Prospects
  3. National Careers Service North West to be delivered by Growth Company
  4. National Careers Service North East and Cumbria to be delivered by EDT
  5. National Careers Service South East to be delivered by CXK
  6. National Careers Service South West to be delivered by Adviza
  7. National Careers Service Yorkshire and Humber – further information will be provided in due course
Futures Celebrates National Careers Service Contract
July 24, 2018

Futures has re-secured the prestigious National Careers Service contracts for the East Midlands and East of England regions, supporting adults with their career options, worth a combined total of £23,509,698.00 over the next three years.

Having delivered the National Careers Service in the East Midlands since its inception in 2012 and more recently delivering the service in the east of England as well, Futures, the experts in supporting people with jobs, skills advice and training, is delighted to announce its retention of the two contracts. It has supported over a quarter of a million adults with careers advice and guidance in that time, with a further 191,970 now scheduled to receive support over the next three years.

JY NCS contractweb

The not-for-profit business will now continue to deliver the service across both regions for the next three years, following a Government-run competitive tender process.

The National Careers Service provides personalised careers information, advice, and guidance services to all adults, via individual and group face-to-face sessions, over the telephone, through digital and social media platforms, with particular emphasis on people who may need more help in developing their career management skills and progressing in work or learning.

Over the last five years the National Careers Service has demonstrated consistent improvement in quality across all aspects of the service. It has provided locally tailored information advice and guidance and supported customers to achieve positive outcomes particularly for those who are most disadvantaged in the labour market. Read more

National Careers Service Area-Based Contracts Funding Rules Updated

These documents set out the rules for funding and associated evidence needed for the National Careers Service area-based contracts which apply from 1 April 2018.

National Careers Service Satisfaction and Progression Surveys: 2015 to 2016 Report
February 9, 2018

This research looked at National Careers Service users’ satisfaction and progression after their telephone call, meeting with an adviser or visit to the website.

The survey took place between May 2015 and April 2016.

This report presents the findings from three strands of research. The first two, the National Careers Service customer satisfaction and progression surveys, are based on regular monthly surveys undertaken by telephone or online, among customers aged 18-plus (using the face-to-face or telephone service) or aged 16-plus (using the website). It is the fifth year of research on telephone and face-to-face customers (fieldwork years are referred to in this report at Year 5, Year 4, etc.), and the fourth year that research evidence has been collected of customers’ experience of using the National Careers Service website. This fieldwork was undertaken from May 2015 to April 2016 by monthly telephone interviews, a continuous online survey, and a quarterly email survey.


The overall quality of the service continued to be rated highly by telephone and face-to-face customers, with over nine in ten (93%) agreeing that it was good. Read more

National Careers Service Contact Details

National Careers Service advisers can provide you with information, advice and guidance on skills, learning and work. Explore the different ways to get in touch with an adviser.

Webchat: Chat with an adviser using webchat (8am to 10pm, 7days a week).

Phone: Call 0800 100 900 to speak to an adviser (8am to 10pm, 7 days a week). Calls are free from landlines and most mobile numbers. Find out more about call charges and freephone numbers

Email: Email your question or query and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Callback: Tell us your number and we’ll call you back. Read more

National Careers Service in Your Area
October 10, 2016

The following link takes you to the NCS website where you can find information for your area, such as local job market information, local events, case studies, regional economic aims, local careers offices, and work experience opportunities.

To access the web page Click Here

NCS – Information for holders and prime contractors
August 29, 2016

The Skills Funding Agency is responsible for the commissioning, contracting and performance management of the National Careers Service (https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/Pages/Home.aspx).

All contractors operate as one service using a single brand, tools and IT infrastructure which facilitates signposting and referral between the telephone, face to face and web channels in response to customer needs.

The telephone channel delivers information and advice over the telephone, web chat, email and web forums. There is a separate supplier for the young people’s careers helpline and the adult careers helpline. Bi-lingual advisers are also available in eight languages: Farsi, French, Gujarati, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Sylheti and Urdu.

Face-to-face advice is delivered through eleven prime contractors in twelve geographical areas. They are responsible for the engagement of sub-contractors, ensuring that they deliver the brand values and service.

  1. West Midlands – Prospects
  2. South West – Prospects
  3. London – Prospects
  4. Yorkshire and Humber – Careers Y&H
  5. Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Warrington & Staffs – Economic Solutions
  6. Liverpool City Region, Cumbria & Lancashire – Economic Solutions
  7. North East – CfBT
  8. South Central – CfBT
  9. South East – CXK
  10. Thames Valley – Adviza
  11. Central Eastern – Futures Advice
  12. East Midlands – Futures Advice

For more information Click Here