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SQA News 20 April 2023

HNVQ assessment from 2023 - 24

We announced last month that, from 2023-24 onwards, we will keep aspects of the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications alternative assessment arrangements which have benefitted learners and centres, while removing the Decision Tree, which was a pandemic measure.

For session 2023-24 onwards, we will:
• Remove the Decision Tree
• Re-instate the evidence requirements for Graded Units in Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, and SQA Advanced Qualifications
• Review the generic guidance document ‘Supporting the delivery, assessment and verification of vocational qualifications’
• Recommend that Qualification Support Teams (QSTs) revisit the subject guidance, to consider which modifications should be kept

This decision – which aligns with the approach taken in National Qualifications – was informed by extensive engagement with learners, practitioners from colleges and training providers, QSTs, appointees, SQA staff and other internal and external stakeholders, as well as reflecting on the approaches taken by other UK awarding bodies.

The engagement suggested that centres now have more capacity for delivering and assessing in the traditional manner but would benefit from the retention of the generic and subject guidance to support them with reducing assessment, where appropriate.

These arrangements apply to:
• Higher National Certificates and Diplomas
• SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas
• Professional Development Awards
• National Progression Awards
• National Certificates
• Skills for Work
• Awards
• internally assessed free-standing National Units and centre-devised courses comprising clusters of SQA units

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, please check the SQA Accreditation website.

Existing assessment materials will continue to be available until the end of session 2022-23.

We will continue to consult with our external advisory groups on this work and will provide more information to centres before the end of June. We will then publish the full updated guidance for 2023-24 onwards on the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications guidance area of our website before the end of August.