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SQA News 10 February 2022

Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021-22

We recently resumed the HNVQ 2022 Working Group and Steering Group to ensure that the alternative assessment approaches which remain in place for Higher National and Vocational Qualifications for 2021–22 are continuing to meet the needs of colleges and training providers.

These approaches aim to assist centres with the impact of COVID-19, enabling staff and learners to focus on learning and teaching while safeguarding the integrity of assessment and qualifications.

Due to the positive feedback regarding the flexibility provided by the alternative assessment approaches, we would like to remind centres that general and subject-specific guidance, including the Decision Tree, is available on our website:

Assessing Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021–22

In the first instance, we encourage centres to deliver courses using the traditional unitised approach but acknowledge that disruption has continued to impact centres and learners.

Where it is not possible to conduct assessment as specified in unit specifications, the Decision Tree outlines alternative approaches that remain as a support to both learners and centres for 2021–22.

Which qualifications do these arrangements apply to?

These apply to:

These arrangements do not apply to regulated units and group awards, such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications and VQ units. For qualifications regulated by SQA Accreditation or Ofqual, the positions from session 2020–21 will continue. Centres may wish to consult directly with the regulators’ websites for specific qualifications.

Please note that the alternative assessment approaches for Higher National and Vocational Qualifications are separate to the arrangements in place for National Qualifications.

More information and support

We will carry out regular pulse surveys with centre staff involved in HNVQ delivery and will be running monthly webinars for SQA co-ordinators to provide further support.

The HNVQ 2022 Working Group will meet fortnightly to review the situation and will provide further updates when required.

You can find more details on the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications guidance area of our website.