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What are National Qualifications?

​Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) takes a fresh approach to what, how and where young people learn. It aims to raise standards, improve knowledge and develop skills.

The fresh approach to learning requires new assessment methods and qualifications.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has developed the new qualifications. They have equal status and credibility to those previously available and will support the new curriculum. SQA has been working with parents, teachers, colleges, universities, employers and the Scottish Government to make sure national standards are maintained.

The SQA has provided information for parents and carers on the new National Qualifications to tell you:

  • which qualifications are changing
  • when the new qualifications are being introduced
  • how they will be assessed and graded.

You can also download SQA parent and learner guides to the new qualifications.

PDF file: The new National Qualifications – A guide for parents and carers (445 KB)

PDF file: The new National Qualifications – A guide for learners (523 KB)

How will the new National Qualifications affect learners?

  • Young people will have access to a wider range of qualifications and learning experiences that reflect their abilities and aspirations.
  • Pupils who entered S1 in 2010/11 have been studying towards new National Qualifications.
  • The new qualifications are helping learners demonstrate and recognise the skills, knowledge and understanding they have acquired.
  • There is more flexibility and personalisation of choice to meet the needs of young people.
  • There are more partnership arrangements between schools, colleges, training providers and local employers.

National Parent Forum of Scotland guides

The National Parent Forum of Scotland has also published parent guides to the new National Qualifications, including:

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