HND Social Services

HND Social Services

The HND Social Services at SCQF level 8 will develop the knowledge and skills of social service practitioners so that they can better contribute to the delivery and development of integrated social services. The qualification contains elements of leadership in line with the government’s policy of promoting leadership at all levels within the sector.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and partnership arrangements.

Why deliver this qualification

The HND Social Services at SCQF level 8 can be customised to suit candidate and employer needs - see the pathways under the Structure section.

The qualification can be delivered on a full-time, full-time (fast track), day release, part-time evening, and open learning basis. A combination of delivery modes is recommended.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is aimed at individuals who have achieved a practitioner qualification at SCQF level 7 or equivalent and who wish to advance their practice or improve their employment prospects.


If candidates access this award at SCQF level 7 it is recommended that they select a route that will allow them to register at practitioner level with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). For example by following either Route 1, Route 2 or Route 3 the candidates will also be awarded with either the HNC Social Care or the SVQ level 3 Health and Social Care (Adults or Children and Young People) and the HNC Social Care mandatory Units, depending on route selected, in addition to the HND Social Services.

It is recommended that candidates accessing the SCQF level 8 component of this HND should hold a practitioner qualification as prescribed by the SSSC, for example the HNC Social Care, SVQ level 3 Health and Social Care (Adults or Children and Young People) or other recognised predecessor awards.


Some higher education institutions (HEIs) will accept applicants with an HNC in Social Care and SVQ 3 Health and Social Care for the second year of a Social Work Honours Degree programme. Candidates interested in entering at year three of a degree programme should contact individual HEIs directly as entrance criteria may vary.

Successful candidates may wish to progress onto the SVQ Leadership and Management for Care Services Level 4 if they are employed in a suitable job role. Alternatively, some successful candidates may wish to complete the SVQ 4 in Health and Social Care.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. The approach to delivery and assessment in this new qualification is holistic and integrative preferring to follow logical learning and assessment themes rather than Unit by Unit.

Candidates will be assessed in relation to a Graded Unit and two SVQ Level 4 Children’s Care, Learning and Development (CCLD) or Playwork Units as identified in the Group Award framework.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Accredited Qualification Unit Search.

Group Award Specification

Title: HND Social Services
Code: G97D 16
Date: Version 03 (May 2015)
Download: HND Social Services Arrangements Document (2 MB)

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio

Unit Downloads


Group Award code: G97D 16 (240 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 8

There are five pathways within this framework to choose from. Candidates should follow the route most appropriate to them, depending on their starting point and existing qualifications, if any.

HND Social Services — Overview of main pathways

  • Route 1 - for candidates undertaking HNC and HND consecutively
  • Route 2 - for candidates in possession of a relevant HNC
  • Route 3 - for candidates in possession of a relevant SVQ
  • Route 4 - for candidates in possession of a relevant HNC and PDA
  • Route 5 - for candidates in possession of a relevant SVQ and PDA

The routes - and options available within each - can be found in the Arrangements document: //

Unit downloads