HNC Human Resource Management at SCQF level 7

HNC Human Resource Management at SCQF level 7

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Human Resource Management (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as recruitment and selection, learning and development, and interviewing skills, as well as the underpinning knowledge in areas such as employment law.

This qualification is available through colleges. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete.

Why deliver this qualification

Higher National qualifications have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The unit-based structure supports flexibility. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

This HN provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC Human Resource Management is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • any relevant Scottish Group Award at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • any two relevant National Courses at SCQF level 6 together with three at SCQF level 5 or above
  • an SVQ in a relevant area at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • relevant work experience

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.

Candidate Information

HNC Human Resource Management will prepare you for employment in human resource management and develop your knowledge and understanding of the roles, responsibilities and processes involved in managing human resources.   This includes an introduction to HRM; employment law; introduction to Continuing Professional Development (CPD); recruitment, selection and induction processes; interviewing; and HRM in the business context. You will also develop your planning, analysis, synthesis, study and research skills.


Learners who achieve an HNC Human Resource Management can progress to the HND in Human Resource Management (GP8L 16).

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HNC in Human Resource Management provides opportunities for direct entry into the second year of relevant degree programmes, and the HND in Human Resource Management provides opportunities for direct entry to the third year of relevant degree programmes.


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

Specific delivery requirements are set out in the Group Award Specification Document.

How to assess

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment support packs are available for most of the mandatory units of this qualification.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools


Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GP8K 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Human Resource Management at SCQF level 7 consists of 7 mandatory units, one of which is a double credit unit (making a total of 64 SCQF credit points) and a range of optional units. In addition to the mandatory units, optional units totalling 32 SCQF credit points are required to achieve the HNC.

Group Award Specification


This group award has been replaced and has entered into its lapsing period.

The finishing date for this qualification is 31 July 2022

Centres should note that when a group award is entered into its lapsing period, the following will apply:

  • The group award will be deleted from the relevant catalogue.
  • The group award arrangement document will remain until the qualification reaches its finish date at which point it will be removed from SQA website and archived.
  • No new centres may be approved to offer the group award.
  • Centres should only enter candidates whom they expect to complete the group award during the defined lapsing period of 3 years (HNC) and 4 years (HND).


Group Award Specification

Title: HNC/HND Human Resource Management
Code: GF9N 15 and GF9P 16
Date: Version 06 (February 2019)

HNC/HND Human Resource Management Arrangements Document (224 KB)

Assessment Exemplars

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HN Assessment Exemplars

Your centre's SQA Co-ordinator will have access to these HN assessment exemplars on SQA's website. Please approach them for copies.

Title: Applied Continuous Professional Development Research Methods in Human Resource Management
Unit Number: DN7F 35
Code: CB3662
Edition: February 2007

Title: Collective Employment Relations Law
Unit Number: DN7D 34
Code: CB3660
Edition: February 2007

Title: Continuing Professional Development: Introduction
Unit Number: DN74 34
Code: CB2875
Edition: January 2006

Title: Employee Resourcing
Unit Number: DN7G 35
Code: CB3664
Edition: February 2007

Title: Human Resource Management: An Introduction
Unit Number: DN78 34
Code: CB2876
Edition: December 2005

Title: Human Resource Management: An Introduction
Unit Number: H1KP 34
Code: H1KP 34/AEX001
Edition: August 2012

Title: Human Resource Management: An Introduction to Finance
Unit Number: DN79 34
Code: CB3005
Edition: January 2006

Title: Human Resource Management: Graded Unit 1
Unit Number: DN7N 34
Code: CB3006
Edition: January 2006

Title: Human Resource Management: Graded Unit 2
Unit Number: DN7P 35
Code: CB3663
Edition: February 2007

Title: Human Resource Management: The Business Context
Unit Number: DN71 34
Code: CB3007
Edition: January 2006

Title: Human Resource Management: The International Context
Unit Number: DN7L 35
Code: CB3661
Edition: February 2007

Title: Individual Employment Relations: Law
Unit Number: DN75 34
Code: CB2873
Edition: January 2006

Title: Individual Employment Relations: Practice
Unit Number: DN76 34
Code: CB2874
Edition: January 2006

Title: Interviewing
Unit Number: DN77 34
Code: CB2959
Edition: January 2006

Title: Recruitment, Selection and Induction
Unit Number: DN7A 34
Code: CB2958
Edition: January 2006

Internal Assessment Reports

Related links

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