NextGen: HN - Meta-skills

Meta-skills are transferable behaviours and abilities that help you adapt and succeed in life, study and work.

There are three broad categories of meta-skills:

NextGen: HN courses will include the development of meta-skills as part of their core content, complementing vocational, academic and technical aspects of the learning. Of course, employers, lecturers and training providers have always supported learners to develop their meta-skills in one way or another, even if they haven’t used this term. However, by formally including meta-skills now, we can make this support much more visible, and learners will be better able to actively develop and articulate their career-ready skills, whatever their future pathways.

We propose a refreshed purpose for colleges that is unambiguously focused on helping businesses to grow by making sure they have access to people with the technological, vocational, and 'meta' skills needed in the decade ahead - and beyond.

Paul Little, Principal and Chief Exec, City of Glasgow College

We look for the ability to get on with other people, be able to work in a team, empathy, well presented, being on time for interview, demonstrate a good work ethic, all backed up by good references. Experience is helpful, but if they don't have these other qualities then they generally don't work out.

Michael Kyle, Kyle Farms



SQA Academy – Meta-skills modules for learners

This suite of online resources is designed specifically for NextGen: HN learners to help them better understand and work with meta-skills. The courses can complement teaching and learning activities or be used on a stand-alone basis, for independent working. They ask learners to consider the relevance and benefits of meta-skill development to their own life, study and work, and guide learners through the process of meta-skills development.

NextGen: HN – Meta-skills for learners

Profiler for Learners

These tools can be used to carry out a baseline self-assessment, set personal development goals and outline intended actions.

This is a downloadable and interactive PDF version of the profiler.

Meta-skills Profiler (923 KB)

This is an SQA Academy version of the profiler for learners to use and record their work. For access, you first need to create an account.

Meta-skills Profiler: SQA Academy

As a centre, if you are interested in using the SQA Academy profiler as a class resource, please contact us by completing this form. We can set us a version with practitioner permissions, allowing you to view learner work.


Skills 4.0: a skills model to drive Scotland’s future

The meta-skills model used in Next Gen HN, developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Centre for Work-based Learning Scotland.

Skills 4.0: A skills model to drive Scotland’s future

Practitioner module

This course offers information and guidance for practitioners about the inclusion, delivery, and assessment of meta-skills in NextGen: HN qualifications. It also functions as a companion guide for the learner modules – briefly outlining content and opportunities for extension activities – suggesting possible approaches for self-assessment activities, how to manage goal setting and action plans, and ways to undertake reflective activities.

NextGen: HN – Meta-skills for practitioners

UShare Resources

UShare offers a collection of resources which relate to the three key processes of meta-skills development: self-awareness, goal setting and reflective practice. We would encourage centres to suggest and contribute resources that they have found useful.

Meta-skills resources on Ushare

Employers in every sector of our economy are increasingly prioritising the behavioural or “meta” skills of their employees. Technical know-how, job specific content and business operating environments change quickly. Meta skills offer organisations greater adaptability and responsiveness to change...

Universities Scotland