NQ Approval 2023-24 - National Courses, Units, Skills for Work, Awards and Baccalaureates
Qualification approval is an important process for both centres and SQA as it ensures that a centre has the staff, reference materials, learning materials, assessment materials, equipment and accommodation needed to deliver, assess and internally verify a qualification. We also need to ensure that conditions of assessment for external assessments are understood and will be met.
The majority of national courses are auto-approved, but there are a small number that are not which means that centres intending to deliver them for the first time must apply for approval. We can accept approval applications for 2024 certification at any point up to the deadline of 30 September 2023.
It is important that the approval process is complete before delivery has started. This is in the best interest of candidates, centres and SQA. Schools have auto-approval for many qualifications but must apply for approval for qualifications that are not auto-approved. Training providers must submit approval applications for all qualifications they intend to deliver for the first time. Colleges can use their devolved authority for approval. You can view a list of the qualifications your centre is approved to deliver on SQA.net (under Qualifications – Approved Groupings or Approved Units) and in Navigator on SQA Connect.
When approval is given to deliver certain units and courses, the qualifications of both the staff member delivering/assessing and the centre internal verifier are a key factor. Centres must ensure that they have suitably qualified and experienced staff and the required resources in place to deliver qualifications. You must therefore establish a process to review your resources regularly to ensure they remain relevant, current and available in quantities appropriate to the qualification requirements and candidate numbers.
For non-auto approved courses (listed below), if there has been a change to staffing, resources, equipment, or accommodation since approval was granted then you must not deliver this qualification unless the previously-approved requirements are still being met.
For partnership working, you must act within the initial approval agreement and ensure you are aware of your responsibilities. Each partner must understand their role. The presenting centre must ensure that learners are prepared for their assessment and all quality assurance processes (including external verification) are met.
Centres are responsible for:
- ensuring sufficient resources and staffing are available to enable all candidates to achieve the competences defined in the qualifications they offer
- the authentication of candidate identity
- the implementation of agreed assessment arrangements
- the implementation of assessment conditions as specified by SQA
- the arrangements for ensuring security of assessments and or/exam papers and scripts
National Qualifications courses/units which are not auto-approved
- Skills for Work Automotive Skills
- Skills for Work Building Services Engineering
- Skills for Work Construction Crafts
- Skills for Work Early Education and Childcare
- Skills for Work Energy
- Skills for Work Engineering Skills
- Skills for Work Health and Social Care
- Skills for Work Maritime Skills
- Skills for Work Practical Experiences: Construction and Engineering
- Skills for Work Uniformed and Emergency Services
- Care *
- Dance – National 5 *
- Dance – Higher *
- Sociology *
- Psychology *
- Philosophy *
- Practical Electronics – National 5 *
- Childcare and Development*
- Music Technology - Advanced Higher
* Please note that freestanding units which were formerly part of the National Courses marked with an asterisk are also not auto-approved. The requirements for approval to deliver these units are the same as those for the courses (as shown on the subject pages on the website).
Also, please remember that gaining approval for one level does not automatically grant it for all. Details of the requirements for approval are available on our subject specific webpages.
As stated above, if there has been a change to staffing, resources, equipment, or accommodation since approval was granted for non-auto approved courses then you can only deliver this qualification if the previously-approved requirements are still being met.
Applying for approval
NQ approval forms, covering all types of National Qualifications and including a section on external assessment, are available on SQA Connect under the section ‘Approval for National Qualifications’. There is also a specific application form for the Baccalaureate Inter-disciplinary Project.
Details of the approval status (auto-approved or not) of all national provision is available in the National Qualification Catalogue.
Please remember that we can only guarantee certification in 2024 if applications are received by 30 September 2023 at the latest. If you do not seek approval, or are unsuccessful in your approval application, you will not be able to enter and result candidates for the qualification, even if delivery is underway.
If you have any questions or need advice on completing your approval application, please contact your SQA Business Development Account Manager.
Thank you for your co-operation in this important matter.