HNC/HND Supply Chain Management

Higher National qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The HNC in Supply Chain Management (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as logistics, procurement, operations management and quality management. It will provide learners with a solid knowledge base on which to commence a career in supply chain management and/or progress to higher qualifications.

The HND in Supply Chain Management (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC and involves a more strategic application of all aspects of the supply chain.

Both the HNC and HND are appropriate to supply chain management in the manufacturing and service sectors.

These qualifications are available through colleges. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

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 and/or employment.

The HNC and HND Supply Chain Management are 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:

  • two Higher Grade passes at C or above in English and in a relevant subject area such as Business Management together with three Standard Grade passes at 3 or above
  • appropriate groupings of National Units or a National Certificate including Communication at SCQF level 6 and a range of business-related Units including the NPA in Supply Chain Operations at SCQF level 5
  • an SVQ at Level 2 or 3 in a relevant area
  • relevant work experience in buying, supply chain, procurement, logistics or in general business

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

Progression and employment

Learners who achieve an HNC Supply Chain Management can progress to the HND in Supply Chain Management (GH00 16).

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HNC in Supply Chain Management may allow direct entry into the second year of relevant degree programmes, and the HND in Supply Chain Management may allow direct entry to third year programmes.

Higher National qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) ¿ for example, the SVQs in Supply Chain Management at levels 3, 4 and 5.

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

Centres require approval to offer some of the specialist Units within the optional section of the HND Supply Chain Management.

Centres without devolved authority will have 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 Guide to Approval.

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 (ASPs) are available for all the mandatory Units and a number of optional Units within these qualifications.

HNC Supply Chain Management

Group Award code: GG9Y 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

HNC Supply Chain Management at SCQF level 7 consists of eight mandatory Units (80 SCQF credit points) and two optional Units (16 SCQF credit points).

HND Supply Chain Management

Group Award code: GH00 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

HND Supply Chain Management at SCQF level 8 consists of 14 mandatory Units (144 SCQF credit points) and optional Units totalling 96 SCQF points. 

For further details of the units and structure of this qualification please see the Group Award Specification (597 KB) document.