Next generation HN — e-learning module

Every year, learners across Scotland enhance their prospects by undertaking a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND).

Available in subjects ranging from Engineering to Health and Social Care, these qualifications equip learners with the skills and knowledge they’ll need to thrive in the workplace.

Why are we rolling out these Next Generation qualifications?

The skills required by employers have changed considerably since HNCs and HNDs were introduced nearly 100 years ago. So, to ensure these valuable qualifications evolve, and successfully meet the needs of learners and industry, SQA has launched its next generation of Higher National qualifications programme (NextGen: HN).

An overview of how and why we established the programme, its current progress, and a timeline of future work is provided in this new SQA Academy module.

The module describes how SQA sought the views of employers and industry specialists as well as colleges, on how best to reshape HN qualifications for the future. Scottish Government strategies, including Developing the Young Workforce, as well as the #SQAFutures project with Young Scot, also fed into the discussion.

The module outlines the features and benefits of the new HN qualifications. These include the embedding of meta-skills – such as self-management, and social intelligence that help us to adapt to any situation the future brings – into courses from the beginning.

How will we know if these new qualifications are an improvement?

To evaluate how well the new qualifications support and increase opportunities for learners, we will pilot them in subjects including HND Data Science and HNC Childhood Practice.

We will share our progress of the pilot through several key channels, including on our NextGen: HN webpage

The NextGen: HN module is accessible to everyone through the SQA Academy.