Changes to assessment of National Courses

In September 2016 the Deputy First Minister announced that units and unit assessments would be removed from National 5 to Advanced Higher courses.

We removed units from these courses on a phased basis over three years:

What this means for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher

In National 5 and Higher courses, we strengthened the course assessments to ensure that candidates continue to be assessed on the full content of the course and to maintain the SCQF value of each course. We did this by making one or more of the following changes to each subject:

For Advanced Higher courses, there was less of a requirement to extend the course assessments following the removal of units, so the changes varied across subjects.

Changes to assessment (by subject)

The following tables give a high-level overview of these changes across all subjects:

Support for teachers and lecturers

We are committed to addressing workload concerns for teachers, lecturers and candidates. As part of our Understanding Standards programme, we are providing CPD webinars, face-to-face events and published materials to help teachers and lecturers prepare for the changes to assessment. 

If you need any further advice about the changes to National Courses, please contact your local Liaison Manager.

Engaging with teachers on the changes to assessment

We work closely with our National Qualifications Support Teams (NQSTs) to review the course assessments for each subject and carefully consider how the assessments should be strengthened. NQST members include teachers, lecturers, union representatives, professional associations and representatives from higher education. Through our NQ research, we also met with a sample of teachers to gauge their views on the proposed changes to Higher assessments and the implications of these.