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Co-ordinator Update 19 June 2024

NQ Approval 2024-25 - National Courses, Units, Skills for Work, Awards and Baccalaureates

Qualification approval is an important process for both centres and SQA. 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. However, a small number are not which means that centres intending to deliver them for the first time must apply for approval. You can apply for approval for 2025 certification up to the deadline of 30 September 2024

It’s important that the approval process is complete before delivery starts. This is in the best interest of candidates, centres and SQA.

You can view a list of the qualifications your centre is approved to deliver on (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), you must not deliver this qualification if you are unable to provide the same level of staffing, resources, equipment, or accommodation as at the time of approval being granted.

Partnership working

For partnership working, you must act within the initial approval agreement and ensure that you’re aware of your responsibilities. Each partner must understand their role. The presenting centre must ensure that learners are prepared for their assessment and that all quality assurance processes (including external verification) are met.

Centres are responsible for:

National Qualifications courses/units which are not auto-approved

* 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 levels. 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 cannot deliver this qualification.

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 ‘Approval for National Qualifications’ section. There’s also a specific application form for the Baccalaureate Inter-disciplinary Project. Please ensure that you’re using the current approval form from SQA Connect as this helps us to process applications efficiently.

Details of the approval status (auto-approved or not) of all national provision are available in the ‘Catalogue of National Qualifications’, which can be found on our National Qualifications web page under ‘Related Information’.

Please remember that we can only guarantee certification in 2025 if applications are received by 30 September 2024 at the latest. If you don’t seek approval, or are unsuccessful in your approval application, you’ll not be able to enter and result candidates for the qualification, even if delivery is underway.

If you’ve 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.