HNC/D Business Review

The first meeting of the Qualification Review Team was held on 20th September.

The main aim of the meeting was to familiarise the team with the aims of the review aligned with the feedback received from centres, employers and students in the consultation exercise concluded earlier this year – and then agree the first steps in the development.

The focus of the first meeting was on actual and possible amendments to units in the HNC (HND year 1) and to look at the possibility of reducing mandatory content.

The following initial actions were identified:

Business Fundamentals Unit (2 credits)
The QRT felt the initial draft contained too much duplication with other units within the Group Award, in particular an Outcome on Finance (which makes sense in the context of a stand-alone unit), much of which would be covered in Business Accounting

Digital Technologies in Business (1 credit)
The QRT felt that the content was too high, “Digital” should be replaced by “Emergent” to avoid dating prematurely and the aims of the unit were not well defined. The unit is in essence about change, and how businesses evolve (or fail to evolve) to adapt to change to ensure they survive and/or grow. Technology happens to be the dominant driver of change at present and for the foreseeable future. The unit is not inherently about technology in of itself

Action: As adapting to change is a fundamental aspect of managing a business, it was felt these two draft units could be combined as one under the title Business Fundamentals. The Outcome regarding Finance and another Outcome will be removed, and replaced with content concerning the changes driven by technology to result in a four Outcome, 2 credit unit.

Managing People and Organisations
Content to be reviewed, however it was felt that most changes will relate to Guidance and the ASP

Business Accounting
The possibility of removing or reducing the emphasis on closed-book (with pro-forma) conditions to be considered in light of the unit being aimed at non-Accounting specialists. This will need to be reviewed in partnership with HN Accounting subject area.

Statistics for Business
SEV working in partnership with counterpart from HN Maths area to review this unit. Considering removal of some content and inclusion of inferential statistics (i.e. more analysis regarding meaning of results than computation). Software has perhaps overtaken certain parts of this unit in terms of calculations.

IT Applications Software 1
To be removed from mandatory section

Economic Issues: An Introduction
To be reviewed to embed assessment approaches used in Enhancements Pilot (i.e. sampling, cut-off scores) but allow a flexible range of assessment models.


Various ways of reducing the mandatory content from the existing 10 from 12 credits were explored. One proposal was to remove Business Communication as a mandatory unit, however the QRT felt the ability to communicate appropriately in writing and verbally is vital both for progression to University and also in the real world of business employment. Marketing: An Introduction was also considered but felt to be critical. It is proposed IT in Business: Spreadsheets will be removed to make way for the new Business Fundamentals unit. This will result in an HNC framework that still contains 10 mandatory credits. However the QRT agreed that all mandatory content is vital to the integrity of the qualification.

Proposed HNC Structure
MPO (reviewed) – 2 credits
Marketing: An introduction – 1 credit
Economic Issues: An Introduction (reviewed) – 1 credit
Business Communication – 1 credit
Business Fundamentals (new) – 2 credits
Business Accounting (reviewed) – 2 credits
Business: Graded Unit 1 (reviewed) – 1 credit
Total Mandatory Credits = 10

The QRT are currently working on the actions outlined above. The next meeting of the QRT will take place in late January or early February 2020.

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