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The Waid Academy

What are National Qualifications?

National Qualifications are the range of courses offered by the SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority). More information about National Qualifications can be found at this address: https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/68409.8952.html

The majority of learners will be studying courses from National 3 up to Advanced Higher.  The table below illustrates how the qualifications relate to previous qualification frameworks. 

SCQF Level New National Qualifications Replaces Previous National Qualifications
1 and 2 National 1 and National 2 > Access 1 and Access 2
3 National 3 > Access 3
Standard Grade (Foundation level)
4 National 4 > Standard Grade (General level)
Intermediate 1
5 National 5 > Standard Grade (Credit level)
Intermediate 2
6 Higher (new) > Higher
7 Advanced Higher (new) > Advanced Higher

National 1- 4 have no formal external examination. These courses are awarded a Pass or Fail. In order to pass these qualifications all unit assessments and for National 4 must also include in some cases the completion of an Added Value Unit. 

National 5 - Advanced Higher courses have an external exam and are graded A to D or No Award. In some subjects there are also coursework components that need to be completed. These include English portfolios and Music practical performances. These pieces of coursework are marked by SQA external examiners and the grade contributes to the overall course award.