HNC/HND Financial Services

Higher National Qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The HNC in Financial Services (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and vocational skills specific to the financial services industry in relation to product and service knowledge, and an understanding of the role of its providers. The HND in Financial Services (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC. It covers financial services-related subjects specific to a learner’s career choice, and prepares them for entry to the industry at management trainee level.

This qualification covers areas such as the financial sector, investment, pension provision, insurance, financial services regulatory framework, income tax, customer care, communication, and information technology.

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 enable centres to offer courses that are tailored to meet local needs.

This HN provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC and HND in Financial Services are suitable for a wide range of learners 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

Access 

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 qualifications
  • an SVQ at Level 2 or 3 in a relevant area
  • relevant work experience

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

Candidate Information

Career and Employment Information

Candidates completing the Certificate would normally expect to begin employment within an administrative, clerical, sales or technical support role in the industry. Candidates completing the Diploma may expect the same but it is likely that they would be considered suitable for Management Trainee programmes.

The industry offers employment opportunities in a wide range of areas:

  • Banking
  • Building societies
  • Pension funds
  • Investment companies
  • Insurance Unit trusts
  • Stock market operations

Within each area of the industry there are wide variations in the type of specialisations that candidates may aspire to. In the banking industry this may include:


  • Branch operations
  • Personal or commercial lending
  • Investment advice
  • Product sales
  • Treasury management
  • Mortgage lending


It is anticipated that candidates will be able to progress smoothly to professional qualifications such as the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland Associateship; Financial Planning Certificates and Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice; and occupational Scottish Vocational Qualifications.

Related Links (subject specific)

LOGO: Scottish Further Education Unit logo. LOGO: JISC mail logo.

Progression

Learners who achieve an HNC in Financial Services can progress to the HND in Financial Services.

HNCs and HNDs can provide progression to degree-level study.

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

 

Approval

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

Centres without devolved authority are required 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 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 are available for this qualification.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Current

Qualification Structure

HNC Financial Services

Group Award code: GP09 15 (96 SCQF credit points)

The HNC in Financial Services at SCQF level 7 consists of seven mandatory units (72 SCQF credit points) and three optional units (24 SCQF credit points).

HND Financial Services

Group Award code: GP0A 16 (240 SCQF credit points)

The HND in Financial Services at SCQF level 8 consists of 14 mandatory units (152 SCQF credit points) and a number of optional units (88 SCQF points).

Group Award Specification

Assessment Support Packs

Lapsing

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

HNC/HND Financial Services            GE9T 15/GE9V 16

  • The finishing date for this qualification is 31/07/2020
  • 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 the SQA website and archived
  • no new centres may be approved to offer the group award
  • centres should only enter learners whom they expect to complete the group award during the defined lapsing period of two years

Arrangements Documents

Title Code Date Download
HNC and HND Financial Services GE9T 15 and GE9V 16 Version 07 (July 2017) HNC and HND Financial Services Arrangements Document

Assessment Exemplars

Internal Assessment Reports

Guidance on updating Units with Tax Content

Error Tolerance Guidance for HN Accounting Units

Qualifications Support Team (QST) – Action Grids

Related links