SQA New Qualifications - November Update

SQA New Qualifications - November Update - 28 November 2011

Course Assessment Specifications

More detail about how each new National 5 Course will be assessed is now available.

Draft Course Assessment Specifications for National 5 have been published on our website and define the mandatory assessment requirements for Courses at National 5.

The purpose of the Course Assessment Specification is to ensure consistent and transparent assessment year on year. It describes the structure of the Course assessment and the mandatory skills, knowledge and understanding that will be assessed.

The Course Assessment Specifications follow on from the Course Specifications which provided the mandatory information relating to the Course and the Unit Specifications which provided mandatory information on the Units.

These documents will be followed by the draft Course Support Notes and Unit Support Notes (in January 2012) and Exemplification (April 2013). These will give more information and examples to help to teach and assess the new National 5 qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications development stages.

Use the subject drop-down menu on the Curriculum for Excellence homepage to view the latest information for each subject.

Draft Unit Specifications are also now available for new Higher Courses.

Feedback on these documents can be given via Have Your Say until 31 January 2012.

Draft Unit Specifications for Access 2 and Access 3 will be published by 31 December 2011.

The final versions of all of our draft documents will be published in April 2012.

Controlled Assessment

The draft Course Assessment Specifications contain information about controlled assessment.

SQA is introducing controlled assessment for non-question paper components of the National 4 Added Value Unit and new National Courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.

This will ensure that there are consistent approaches to developing assessments (setting), the conditions of assessment (conducting), and marking assessments (marking). Find out more on our website.


We have a jargon buster and a definitions page to help explain the terms we are using in our draft documents.

Our new mythbuster videos are now available and give more information about the new qualifications

and answer some of the most common questions. Sign up for MyAlerts to receive e-mail updates.

Curriculum Area Events

SQA, in partnership with Education Scotland, are holding a series of curriculum area events to discuss the new national qualifications and give practical support on their implementation. The events are also an opportunity for practitioners to give their views on the new qualifications. Places have been allocated to local authorities and their schools, independent schools and colleges. The events are part of a range of support to help local authorities and individual centres prepare for implementing the new qualifications.

The events will take place on 29 November, and 1, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13 December. Each event will be streamed live on Glow via the SQA Glow Group.

A number of resources will be available following each event, including opportunities to hear some of the discussions from the day.

NAR Update

The National Assessment Resource (NAR) has been enhanced and many new features added. Support materials

are available including a user guide and demonstration videos showing step-by-step guides to many of the new features.

Jillian Shields

Communications Officer (Curriculum for Excellence)

Scottish Qualifications Authority

The Optima

58 Robertson Street


G2 8DQ