NC Business at SCQF levels 4 and 5

Sales reportWelcome to the subject homepage for National Certificate (NC) in Business.

The NCs in Business at SCQF levels 4 and 5 have been designed as flexible business-oriented programmes covering a range of business skills. These courses have been designed to provide candidates with an understanding of the key business drivers such as finance, marketing and customer care along with the underlying skills of communication and ICT that are relevant to business. 

The NCs are intended for candidates who want to develop their knowledge and skills in a range of business areas.

These NCs are widely available in colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

The NCs in Business at SCQF levels 4 and 5 are flexible and will enable candidates to follow a range of routes depending on their interests and objectives.

It is envisaged that the NCs will be offered as full-time courses over the full academic year (each incorporating a total of 17-20 Units). They may also be offered on a part-time basis and as January start classes — the SCQF level 4 NC as an ‘Access to NC’ and the SCQF level 5 NC as an ‘Access to HN’. The Units could also be offered on an evening class and infill basis.

Who does this qualification suit

These qualifications suit a wide range of candidates. It is ideally suited for:

  • 16-18 year olds
  • school leavers
  • adult returners
  • potential candidates looking for access to Higher National qualifications
  • candidates whose first language is not English.

Candidates will be in a better position for a career in the sector.

Progression opportunities to further study exist.

Achievement is nationally recognised and certificated.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates would normally be expected to be at a developmental stage in improving their skills, knowledge and understanding. A relevant Standard Grade at General level would be beneficial.

In some cases, however, candidates should demonstrate some prior knowledge and understanding. For example, the PC Passport Units at SCQF level 5 indicate that candidates should have appropriate PC Passport Units at SCQF level 4.


The NCs in Business provide candidates with multiple exit routes and offer progression both into the employment market or further study.

The NC in Business at SCQF level 4 would enable candidates to progress to the NC in Business or NC Administration at SCQF level 5. This NC could open up employment opportunities in customer facing jobs in call centres or in retail.

The NC in Business at SCQF level 5 would enable candidates to progress to HNC/HNDs in Business, Accounting, Marketing, Financial Services or other related areas. Employment opportunities would be in customer facing jobs in areas such as retail, distribution, logistics or call centres.


Centres with devolved authority would be 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.

How to assess

Assessment for the NCs is through a series of theoretical and practical assessments or tasks. Some assessments will be carried out under supervised open-book conditions, others under supervised closed-book conditions.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Course Overview and Skills Development Summary

Arrangements Documents

Assessment Support Packs

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) and National Assessment Bank (NAB) packs are available to download from SQA’s secure website for all the mandatory Units and the majority of the optional Units.


Group Award Code: G973 44 (72 SCQF credit points), G8WT 45 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 4 and 5

SCQF level 4 NC

Nine Mandatory Units

  • PC Passport: Introduction to the Internet and On-line Communications (F1F9 10)
  • Financial and Cost Accounting: An Introduction (F5G1 10)
  • Marketing: An Introduction (F5G2 10)
  • Economics: Basic Principles (F5G3 10)
  • Developing Skills for  Employment (F5G4 10)
  • Skills for Customer Care (F38W 10)
  • Business Enterprise (DV4G 10)
  • Enterprise Activity (D36N 10)
  • Communication (F3GB 10)
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages: Everyday Communication (DV34 10)

Three Optional Units from the following areas:

  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Work Experience
  • Business Decision Areas
  • Business Management
  • PC Passport/IT
  • Administration/Reception
  • Numeracy
  • Language

SCQF level 5 NC

Eight Mandatory Units

  • Recording of Cash Data (D0W0 11)
  • PC Passport: IT Software — Spreadsheet and Database (F1FB 11)
  • PC Passport: IT Software — Word Processing and Presenting Information (F1FC 11)
  • Enterprise Activity (D36N 11)
  • Marketing: Basic Principles (F390 11)
  • Skills for Customer Care (F38X 11)
  • Market Operations and the Scottish Economy (F391 11)
  • Communication (F3GB 11)

Four Optional Units from the following areas:

  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Work Experience/Working with Others
  • Business Decision Areas
  • Business Management
  • PC Passport/IT
  • Marketing
  • Numeracy
  • ESOL

Core Skills

NC Business Level 4 — G973 44 — Embedded Core Skills (Components)

  • Communication — F3GB 10 (Oral Communication/Written Communication)
  • Numeracy — F3GF 10 (Using Graphical Information/Using Number)

NC Business Level 5 — G8WT 45 — Embedded Core Skills (Components)

  • Communication — F3GB 11 (Oral Communication/Written Communication)
  • Numeracy — F3GF 11 (Using Graphical Information/Using Number)
  • Problem Solving — F3GD 11 (Critical Thinking/Planning and Organising/Reviewing and Evaluating)
  • Working with Others — F3GE 11 (Working Co-operatively with Others/Reviewing Co-operative Contribution)