HND Childhood Practice

HND Childhood Practice

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

The Higher National Diploma in Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8 covers areas such as enhanced professional practice, leadership and team working, integrated and collaborative working, policy to practice, and pedagogical approaches. It builds on the knowledge and skills of the Higher National Certificate.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some universities. Typically, an HNC takes one year to complete and an HND takes two years.

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 HND Childhood Practice 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
  • people who wish to start their own business


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

  • appropriate groupings of National Units
  • any two National Qualifications at Higher together with three National 5 passes
  • an SVQ 2 Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF level 6 or level 7
  • 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

HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the HNC in Childhood Practice allows direct entry into the second year of most degree programmes, and the HND in Childhood Practice allows direct entry to most third year programmes.

Higher National Qualifications also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). 


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.

How to assess

Each unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools


Qualification Structure

HND Childhood Practice

Group award code: GN0R 16 (30 SQA credits giving 240 SCQF credit points)

Group Award Specification


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

HND Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8

The finishing date for this qualification is 31 July 2021.

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 arrangements document will remain until the qualification reaches its finish date at which point it will be removed from SQA's 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 three years (HNC) and four years (HND).

Arrangements Documents

Internal Assessment Reports

Unit(s) and delivery tools


Group Award code: G97E 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 Childhood Practice ¿ Overview of main pathways

Route 1 ¿ for candidates undertaking the 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. (7.57 MB)

Unit Search