NC in Animal Care: An Introduction at SCQF level 4

NC in Animal Care: An Introduction at SCQF level 4

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 Animal Care: An Introduction at SCQF level 4 introduces learners to techniques that are important in the animal care sector. It covers areas such as anatomy, basic first aid, husbandry, handling, feeding and accommodation of a range of animals.

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 Animal Care: An Introduction 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 more advanced National Certificate or to employment. Once in employment, many continue to study SVQ Animal Care.

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
  • migrants to the UK
  • candidates whose first language is not English
  • candidates in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • employers who wish their employees to take part in short, continuing professional development courses
  • individuals who wish to start their own business
  • candidates who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

No prior qualifications or knowledge are required to undertake this qualification.


The NC in Animal Care: An Introduction may provide progression opportunities to:

  • an NC in Animal Care at SCQF level 5
  • an SVQ in the Animal Care sector


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.

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.

Assessment support packs (ASPs) are available for selected units and can be found on SQA’s secure website.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group award code: GM0X44 (72 SCQF credit points)

SCQF level: 4

NC in Animal Care: An Introduction Group Awards Specification (458 KB)

The National Certificate in Animal Care at SCQF level 4 consists of seven mandatory unit(s) (42 SCQF credit points) and five optional units (30 SCQF credit points).