Vocational qualifications in 2020-21 – update for school learners

This year, more than any other, is a real challenge for you as a learner.

You are probably finding it more difficult to learn, and finding assessment more of a challenge, given the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

If you are a school pupil, you might be studying for vocational qualifications – such as National Progression Awards or Skills for Work courses which are often part of Foundation Apprenticeships – through a School-College partnership (or similar).

If so, you may be assessed through an alternative process developed specifically for these qualifications in 2020-21.

This is separate to the Alternative Certification Model being used to result National Qualifications this year.

Unlike National Qualifications such as National 5, Highers and Advanced Highers, which are Graded Courses, vocational qualifications are typically awarded on a Pass/Fail basis.

The process for assessing vocational qualifications this year may be based on a broader judgement made by teachers and lecturers.

Your school will be able to give you further details on how any specific vocational qualifications you are studying for will be assessed this year.

The education system across Scotland is committed to working together to support you and your teachers to help you complete these awards in 2020-21. We will keep you up to date about what we are doing at a national level to support this, and to ensure consistency across Scotland.

You can stay up to date on 2021 Higher National and Vocational Qualifications on the SQA website and on Twitter, using #HNVQ2021.

Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021 Group

*The Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 2021 Group is represented by the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Colleges Scotland, the College Vice Principal Forum, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), Educational Institute of Scotland – Further Education Lecturers’ Association (EIS-FELA), the National Union of Students (NUS), the Scottish Funding Council, the Scottish Government, the Scottish Training Federation, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and Student Partnerships in Quality Scotland (SPARQs).