National Certificate in Furniture

National Certificate in Furniture

National Certificates (NCs) are practical qualifications designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills (including Core Skills) required for further study or to gain employment.

The NC in Furniture at SCQF level 5 develops basic skills in furniture design and manufacture. It focuses on practical activities such as carcase making, veneering, polishing, drawing and machine woodworking, carried out in a realistic work environment.

National Certificates (NCs) are designed for full-time delivery over one year (or part-time over two years) and are available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

NCs bridge the progression gap from school attainment to HN and other study. They are suitable for school leavers and those seeking a route back into study at non-advanced level. They are trusted qualifications having been developed by practitioners with the support of the sector skills councils.

The NC in Furniture at SCQF Level 5 is straightforward to deliver and slots readily into college timetables.

It can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision
  • January start, ‘Access to HN Course’

National Certificates have e-assessment and e-learning options — improving flexibility and enabling time and cost savings.

Successful completion of this NC would enable a candidate to progress to a HNC/HND Furniture Course or to employment. Once in employment, many continue to study SVQ Level 3 in Furniture Making (Contemporary/Traditional).

National Certificates include opportunities for learners to develop Core Skills.

Who does this qualification suit

This NC is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • learners looking to progress to an HNC/HND
  • candidates whose first language is not English


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


The NC in Furniture may provide progression opportunities to:

  • an HNC/HND in Furniture or related area
  • an SVQ in the furniture sector
  • employment in furniture manufacturing sector, perhaps as an apprentice or trainee cabinet maker, upholsterer or polisher/finisher


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

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.

How to assess

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Assessment of this NC 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.

There are opportunities to combine the delivery and assessment of various Units. For example, Furniture: Workshop Practice and Furniture: Machine Woodworking work well together.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code: GG57 45 (72 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 5

NC Furniture at SCQF Level 5 (464 KB)

The National Certificate in Furniture at SCQF level 5 consists of eight mandatory Unit(s) (48 SCQF credit points) and four optional Units (24 SCQF credit points).