Thanks to SQA for being a Virtual College Expo21 headline sponsor. In this guest-blog, they discuss alternative assessment arrangements…

SQA recognise that the Covid pandemic has brought huge challenges to everyone working in the further education sector and we thank you for your ongoing support.

Alongside our partners on the National Qualifications (NQ) 2021 Group* and Higher National and Vocational Qualifications (HNVQ) 2021 Group** – which includes representation from Colleges Scotland and other key NQ and HNVQ stakeholders – we put in place alternative assessment arrangements to allow learners to progress with their courses and awards.

The intention behind these changes to assessment arrangements – both for National Qualifications and HNVQs – is to create a system which is fair, and which allows learners to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and understanding. The new arrangements provide flexibility around the delivery of assessments, helping centres to meet the needs of learners in these challenging times.

Robust quality assurance procedures for HNVQs are in place to ensure that, as in another year, learners can have confidence and take pride in their results. We recognise that these procedures rely on the efforts of centres and with this in mind, we recently launched the SQA Centre Hub. The Hub provides an easy way for centres to upload Quality Assurance evidence and access useful guides, templates and updates.

The HNVQ2021 Group appreciates the ongoing support of everyone involved in delivering HNVQs. The group is engaging with college staff, and learners, about their experience of the alternative assessment approach, to help inform decision-making around arrangements for the next session. More information on this project will be communicated to colleges.

Alongside the successful certification of HNVQs, SQA has also been working closely with the sector on adapting HN qualifications, to ensure they give learners the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workplace.

SQA consulted with colleges, sector skills bodies, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council and other stakeholders, on how HNs should be reshaped to take account of significant changes in the education, skills and employment landscape in recent years.

The following new HN qualifications will be piloted in a limited number of colleges 2021-22:
• HNC Computing
• HNC Engineering (with Engineering Systems options)
• HNC Television Production
• HND Data Science

For more information on the HN Next Generation project, please visit our website.

Thanks to your efforts, together we continue to deliver for Scotland’s learners, in 2021 and beyond.

You can keep up to date with the latest developments for this session on the Qualification’s guidance 2020-21 section of our website.

*The National Qualifications 2021 Group includes representatives from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland (ADES), Colleges Scotland, Education Scotland, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), School Leaders Scotland (SLS), the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS), Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the Scottish Government, National Parent Forum of Scotland, and the Scottish Youth Parliament

**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).

Hear from SQA’s Graeme Clark at his Virtual College Expo21 session on Thursday 10 June at 2.15pm.

Book your place for College Expo today!

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