OCR manages the National Centre Number (NCN) Register on behalf of the JCQ.
The NCN Register is used by the unitary awarding bodies to maintain centre data held in their internal systems.
The information from the NCN is also supplied to the LEAP/SERAP Office (based at the University of Bath), which is responsible for collating information on exam centres and results for the Department for Education (DfE). Therefore, it is essential the data we hold for your centre is correct.
To ensure your records on the NCN Register are up to date, please complete the Annual Update, which will be emailed to your centre at the beginning of October, by 31 October.
Each of the fields within the Update are described below:
Even if no amendments are required, you must still complete the Update.
Amendments which need to be made at a later date may be included on the Update, with the date when effective clearly specified.
If any of your centre’s details change after you have completed the Update, please send your amendments to firstname.lastname@example.org as an attachment on centre-headed paper.
You don’t need to inform the awarding bodies individually; however, you will need to inform the awarding bodies of any name changes for your Exams Officer or Head of Centre contacts or if your certificate name is different to that given in ‘Centre name’.
In addition, if your centre has moved to a new address or changed your secure storage, you must also return the JCQ Are you ready checklist (taken from the JCQ General Regulations for Approved Centres) to email@example.com.
This is a formal declaration which must be approved by your Head of Centre.
Your Head of Centre must confirm they are aware of (and adhering to) the latest versions of the JCQ regulations and the relevant exam board specifications and guidelines.
This also avoids the need for individual awarding bodies to have separate declarations for the GCSE and A Level Science practical activities and the GCSE English Language Spoken Language endorsements.
Ensure you have the Head of Centre's approval before submitting the Update.
A signed copy of this declaration must be retained within your centre and may be requested as part of the JCQ inspection process:
A 5-digit number allocated to a centre on centre approval to offer qualifications.
If your centre has a Department for Education (DfE) registration number, please ensure it is correct. If your centre does not have a DfE registration number, please leave this field blank or insert your Local Authority’s (LA) three-digit code. For example, 936 would indicate a centre based in Surrey. If you are unsure of your LA code, your LA will be able to advise you.
The category code is a three-digit code indicating type of centre, nature of control or government, and age range. Please check each digit in your code. If any digit is incorrect, please show all three digits of the amended code. If your school does not fit into a category, please use the most appropriate category type.
If the majority of students are of school age, use codes 0 to 6 or 8, not 9. If an adult education centre uses the associated school’s National Centre Number, please only enter the school’s age range.
Please note these are only examples.
The exam type indicator contains up to four letters which show which type of exams your centre offers. The codes are as follows:
The ‘Centre name’ field shows the name by which the centre is officially known. If the name is longer than 35 characters, please use the ‘Centre name cont.’ field as well (maximum 30 characters).
If the centre name is longer than both ‘Centre name’ and ‘Centre name cont.’, please abbreviate the centre name as you would like it to appear.
‘Centre name’ (and ‘Centre name cont.’ if required) may be used as the centre name on certificates. If this is inappropriate, please contact the relevant awarding body directly.
Some awarding bodies use a ‘short name’ for administrative documents which gives the town name first. This should not be used or confused as the official title of your school/college.
Queries regarding this should be addressed to the relevant awarding body.
It is essential to ensure your centre’s postal address is correct. You can verify your centre’s details using the Royal Mail Postcode Finder service. Incorrect address details may result in important examination despatches being lost or delayed.
Please note ‘1st line of address’ and ‘2nd line of address’ are 30 characters each. If your address is longer than this please advise how you wish the address to be abbreviated.
If your centre has more than one postcode, please give the one relating to the member of staff responsible for examination materials, e.g. the Exams Officer.
Two telephone numbers can be provided but they must be landline telephone numbers and not mobile numbers. Please ensure that the number of the main office/switchboard is entered first, followed by the number for the Exams Office. Only one fax number may be provided.
Please take care to enter telephone/fax numbers on the correct lines to avoid confusion.
Please provide the email address of the person responsible for the administration of exams, such as the Exams Officer, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org. As stated in the JCQ General Regulations for Approved Centres, point 5.3, personal email addresses such as ‘yahoo’, ‘hotmail’ and ‘gmail’ are not acceptable.
Email is now frequently used as the main communication method between awarding bodies and centres, so it is vital this email address is valid, checked regularly and kept up to date.
Only one email address can be held on the NCN.
This identifies the title of the person to whom correspondence should be addressed, e.g. Headteacher, Principal or Exams Officer. Up to 20 characters are available. Personal names must not be used.