SQA customer on the phone

Our qualifications are recognised world wide. We make a great effort to make sure they are always relevant, supported by industry and driven by demand. Our qualifications are delivered within a framework of rigorous quality assurance.

What's new in National Qualifications?

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.

Learners' skills

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.

National Qualifications with a vocational focus

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 National Qualifications.

You can also view our guides for schools, parents, learners, universities and colleges or contact the Liaison Team to find out more information on National Qualifications.