HNC Human Resource Management

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.

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).

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.

Progression and employment

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.

What you'll learn?

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.

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.

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.

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.