Cambridge Nationals

Cambridge Nationals: Teaching, Resources and Support

Posted by Rebecca Wood on 12-Nov-2018 10:47:08
Rebecca Wood

In this blog, I provide an overview of the free support and comprehensive range of resources available for those of you planning or currently teaching Cambridge Nationals vocational qualifications.

Cambridge Nationals give your students a wide range of optional units in most subjects designed to meet their interests and support their routes into jobs or further education. To make your time teaching our subjects as effective and inspiring as possible we’ve also created a comprehensive range of planning and teaching resources and, to guide you through delivery and assessment, we offer a whole host of free training.

From online tutorials to face to face CPD: Schemes of Work to Candidate Exemplars – we’ve got the training and resources to support you from initial planning to final assessment. Our support has been described as flexible, consistent, relative, so read on to find out more about what we have to offer.

What support is available?

All of our training and courses are free and easy to access.

Online - online support consists of webinars, live online training and pre-recorded films. These may cover specific units, teaching and delivery, assessment or ‘Ask the Moderator’ Q&A sessions.

Face to face - our expert trainers deliver a range of subject specific free CPD events in various locations across the country including Manchester, Bristol, London and Newcastle. Take a look at the CPD Hub for courses or sign up for our email newsletters to stay up to date with upcoming events near you.

On the telephone - you can request a subject advisory support call to take place at a time convenient to you. One of our Subject Experts will call you and answer your questions about the course. You can also call our contact centre to ask general questions or ask to speak to one of our specialist Subject Advisors for more specific subject based queries.

What resources are available?


Progress Tracker - all of our Cambridge National qualifications have a progress tracker that ensures that you choose the correct mandatory and optional units for the qualification. You can generate a clear table of the selected units that can be included in your learners’ portfolio or other records.

Some of our subjects also have Schemes of Work to give even more guidance on helping to plan your courses.


OCR set assignments are provided by OCR for every unit; the OCR Set assignments are used in their entirety - so you do not need to spend time creating your own, although some assignments can be altered to suit local contexts.

For Cambridge Nationals Information Technologies, a new assignment is released for every exam series, for all other Cambridge Nationals, the assignments are not specific to any particular series and where multiple assignments are provided for a unit, it is up to you which assignment you give to your students. We may refresh assignments from time to time but will give you plenty of warning before retiring an assignment.

Each Cambridge National also has a range of Delivery Guides, Teacher Guides and teaching activities that are linked to specific units. With activities linked to the learning objectives of the units, these are particularly useful if you are new to the qualification and want to quickly get up and running teaching your students.


Candidate Exemplars consist of sample learner work and commentaries written by our lead examiners. These can help inform your assessment decisions when applying the mark scheme and give you a clear understanding of national standards.

Sample Assessment Materials are available to support you in preparing your students for their external assessments.

Examiners reports

Our examiner reports are published after our June series and contain valuable advice, guidance and feedback on each of our Nationals. These are really useful in supporting teaching and assessment as well as helping you plan for the year ahead. The most recent examiner reports are stored on OCR Interchange so take a look at our previous blog about how to access these.

…And lastly, what do our Subject Advisors say about the Cambridge Nationals?

Raj – IT and Creative iMedia Cambridge Nationals
‘Our Cambridge Nationals have a great variety of engaging units so you can choose those that interest your students and engage them in a topic they’re passionate about.

Schools also have the opportunity to choose units that fits in with their staff expertise. In Creative iMedia you can choose to take different approaches through the qualification. But whichever pathway you choose we offer the same level of support and resources.’

Sarah – Health and Social Care; Child Development Cambridge Nationals
‘The core units offer core skills that students need to go into employment and these units relate to everyday life. Our wide range of optional units means that students can choose the units that relate to the jobs they want to do when they leave education.’

Want to find out more?

If you are interested in any of our free training courses, you can sign up for webinars and face to face events at our CPD Hub.

You can find the resources we mentioned and lots more useful teaching support by visiting our Cambridge Nationals qualification pages.

Get in touch

If you have any suggestions for good practice please share them in the comments below. If you have any questions email in at or follow us on Twitter @OCR_Vocational.

It takes less than two minutes to sign-up for our email updates to keep up to date with news and events.

About the author

Rebecca Wood - Subject Advisor

Before joining OCR, Rebecca taught in post 16 education for 17 years. She also worked as an examiner and moderator across a range of creative subjects. Rebecca has also run workshops for young people as far afield as Brazil and Russia. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, spending time with her two sons and walking her dog.

Topics: Cambridge Nationals

Sign up to OCR Updates

Tell us what updates you want to hear about, have only relevant updates to your inbox.

Subscribe to updates