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SQA News UK 16 February 2021

Transition to SQA Advanced Qualifications

We are currently in the process of transitioning from SQA Higher National Qualifications (HNs) to SQA Advanced Qualifications outside of Scotland – a change which we announced in March 2018.

This means that HNs have been replaced by SQA Advanced Qualifications.

In terms of content, level and assessment demand:

The qualification aims, design principles, content, assessment standards and criteria remain the same.


Your SQA Regional Manager will be able to advise you on the process of gaining subject approval for the equivalent SQA Advanced Qualifications if you wish to offer these.

You may also wish to consider any impact this change may have on funding you receive to deliver our qualifications.


For any HNs your centre is currently approved to offer within the UK:

For any delivery outside the UK (eg at international alternative assessment sites):

References to HNs during transition phase

You can continue to use course materials which refer to HNs to teach HNs (started prior to 28 February 2021) until 28 February 2026.

You must not use course materials which refer to HNs when delivering SQA Advanced Qualifications.

From March 2021, you must refer to SQA Advanced Qualifications rather than HNs in any marketing or promotional materials. This includes website copy, URLs, printed materials, banner stands, social media and video content.


Details of the full range of SQA Advanced Qualifications that you may wish to consider delivering are available on our website.

Your SQA Regional Manager will be happy to provide any more information to support you in the transition to SQA Advanced Qualifications.