Resources for Employers - New National Qualifications

Young man sitting facing a female employer

New National Qualifications have been introduced in Scotland to support Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), the national curriculum for young people aged 3 to 18. Our National 1 to National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications are designed to help young people develop the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to succeed - whether they plan on progressing to further education, higher education, training or employment. 

What has changed?

This table shows how the current National Qualifications have replaced the previous National Qualifications you may already be familiar with:

SCQF Level Previous National Qualifications Grades Replaced by Current National Qualifications Grades
7 Advanced Higher A to D > Advanced Higher A to D
6 Higher A to D > Higher A to D
5 Intermediate 2 A to D > National 5 A to D
Standard Grade (Credit level) 1 or 2 >
4 Intermediate 1 A to D > National 4 Not graded
Standard Grade (General level) 3 or 4 >
3 Standard Grade (Foundation level) 5 or 6 > National 3 Not graded
Access 3 Not graded >
2 Access 2 Not graded > National 2 Not graded
1 Access 1 Not graded > National 1 Not graded

View our interactive ready reckoner to see how the National Qualifications compare with other SQA qualifications.

Which skills will learners develop?

Learners will develop practical skills like data collection, literacy, numeracy and team working, Core Skills like communication, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and problem solving, and Skills for Learning Life and Work (SfLLW) like independent thinking, employability, and enterprise and citizenship.

Are there any National Qualifications with a vocational focus?

Yes. These include Skills for Work Courses and National Progression Awards and National Certificates.

Information guide

Employers leaflet cover

Download this handy guide for employers (285 KB) to the new National Qualifications.

You can also view our guides for schoolsparentslearnersuniversities and colleges or contact the CfE Support Team to find out more information on the new National Qualifications.