Higher National Vocational Qualifications Assessments in 2021-22 – Learner guide

Information on how your HNVQs will be assessed in 2021-22.

6 October 2021 - SQA - Categories: Awarding 2022 Programme, HNVQ, Learners

National Qualifications

Earlier this year we confirmed the alternative assessment approaches for Higher National Vocational Qualifications (HNVQs) put in place in 2020-21 to take account of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would continue in 2021-22.

These modifications were made by SQA in consultation with the Higher National and Vocational Qualifications Group*, on which colleges and learners are represented.

Many of you will have started HNC and HND courses in the last few weeks, as well as SVQs and Foundation Apprenticeships, so we expect you will have questions about how you will be assessed this year.

How will HNVQs be assessed this year?

To take account of challenges to learning posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in June SQA published guidance on alternative assessment approaches for HNVQs.

The guidance provides your lecturers with flexibility about how you will be assessed. Where it is not possible for you to be assessed as you would be in a ‘normal’ year, your college will be able to make alternative arrangements.

What these alternative arrangements look like will vary between subjects, but may involve:

  • Alternatives to face-to-face assessment; or
  • Combining assessments within and across the various Units that make up your course

This is an evolving situation, but your lecturers will keep you informed on the assessment arrangements in place for your course.

What is happening with the assessment of graded units?

As was the case in 2020-21, your college will decide whether you will complete the unit assessment within the graded unit element of your HNC or HND.

If your college decides that you will not complete the assessment, they can instead base your grade on evidence of your learning that you will generate as you progress through the HNC or HND.

You can be assured that you will be certified for the full award and there will be no change to the number of SCQF credit points you achieve.

Will my HNVQ be recognised by employers as it would in any other year?

Yes. Decisions around alternative approaches to assessment were based on maintaining the integrity of qualifications and ensuring fairness for learners.

Where can I find more information on what’s happening with HNVQs this year?

You can find more information on our website and by following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

How will Foundation Apprenticeship and Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) be assessed this year?

SQA and Skills Development Scotland have confirmed that changes to the assessment of Foundation Apprenticeships put in place in 2020-21 in response to COVID-19, will remain in place in 2021-22.

You can also find information on our Foundation Apprenticeships webpage.

For SVQs and other qualifications regulated by SQA Accreditation or Ofqual, the confirmed positions from session 2020-21 will continue. Your employer, training provider, school or college, will be able to provide more information about how specific qualifications will be assessed.

Higher National and Vocational Qualifications Group

*The Higher National and Vocational Qualifications 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)

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