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NextGen: HN news


NextGen: HN qualifications have a new approach to grading, designed to better reflect a learner’s standard in their HNC/HND qualification. Rather than the single graded unit used in current Higher National qualifications, NextGen: NH qualifications will have whole qualification grades. 

To achieve a grade in a NextGen: HN qualification, a learner will have to demonstrate achievement across the breadth of the qualification content.  

This will ensure they are recognised for the full range of their achievement, and motivated to perform across the qualification content, rather than being led to focus effort on a single assessment towards the end of teaching. 

Along with this, NextGen: HN qualifications are being designed with fewer, larger units, to encourage a holistic approach to delivery and assessment. The qualifications will have a consistent size and level by design: NextGen: HNCs will be level 7 and 120 SCQF credit points, with at least 80 of those points at level 7; NextGen: HNDs will be level 8 and 120 SCQF credit points, with at least 80 of those points at level 8. 

Centres will therefore be freed to focus on teaching the depth of the qualification, drawing out the connections between different elements of the content. 

Learners who pass NextGen: HN qualifications will receive one of the following grade outcomes:  

  • Achieved 

  • Achieved with Merit  

  • Achieved with Distinction 

‘Achieved’ represents a learner who has passed all the required units, and also shown a consistent standard across the breadth of their qualification, having demonstrated thorough knowledge, understanding and application of skills. ‘Achieved with Merit’ and ‘Achieved with Distinction’ represent standards above this. 

The new grade outcomes will not directly correlate to the current qualifications graded unit outcomes of ABC, as these are based solely on the graded unit. 

The NextGen: HN team are currently piloting three different approaches to applying whole qualification grading. This is to test and validate how the grading is applied and ensure that the live versions of the qualifications are fit for purpose and meet the needs of learners, employers and HEIs, across the full range of subject areas. 

You can see more information about these approaches on our dedicated webpage: NextGen: HN Grading.