Qualification credit value: a minimum of 120 credits. This is made up of eight units, each with a value of 15 credits.
The awarding body is Pearson Education Limited which is one of the UK's largest awarding organizations, offering academic and vocational qualifications and testing to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning, both in the UK and internationally.
The Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Business offers students a broad introduction to the subject area via a mandatory core of learning, while allowing for the acquisition of skills and experience through the selection of optional units across a range of occupational sectors at Level 4. This effectively builds underpinning core skills while preparing the student for subject specialization at Level 5. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in research, self-study, directed study and workplace scenarios.
At Level 4 students develop a broad knowledge and awareness of key aspects of the business sector through six core units, which include one unit assessed by a Pearson-set assignment.
Graduates successfully completing the Higher National Certificate will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of business. They will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately and they will have the qualities needed for employment that requires some degree of personal responsibility. They will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organizational competence and problem-solving strategies.
They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to business, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.
How is it assessed?
BTEC Higher Nationals in Business are assessed using a combination of internally assessed center-devised internal assignments (which are set and marked by centers) and internally assessed Pearson-set assignments (which are set by Pearson and marked by centers):
- One core unit for the HNC will be assessed by a mandatory Pearson-set assignment targeted at particular skills;
- All other units are assessed by center-devised internal assignments.
Assessment decisions for BTEC Higher Nationals are based on the specific criteria given in each unit and set at each grade level. The criteria for each unit have been defined according to a framework to ensure that standards are consistent in the qualification and across the suite as a whole. The way in which individual units are written provides a balance of assessment of understanding, practical skills and vocational attributes appropriate to the purpose of the qualifications.
When a student has completed all the assessments for a unit then the assessment team will give a grade for the unit. This is given simply according to the highest level for which the student is judged to have met all the criteria. Therefore:
- To achieve a Pass, a student must have satisfied all the Pass criteria for the learning outcomes, showing coverage of the unit content and therefore attainment at Level 4 of the national framework.
- To achieve a Merit, a student must have satisfied all the Merit criteria (and therefore the Pass criteria) through high performance in each learning outcome.
- To achieve a Distinction, a student must have satisfied all the Distinction criteria (and therefore the Pass and Merit criteria), and these define outstanding performance across the unit as a whole.
How does Higher Nationals in Business provide both transferable employability skills and academic study skills
Students need both relevant qualifications and employability skills to enhance their career prospects and contribute to their personal development. Pearson Higher National business qualifications embed throughout the programme the development of key skills, attributes, and strengths required by 21st-century employers.
Employability skills generally refer to skills in five main categories:
- Cognitive and problem-solving skills: critical thinking, approaching non-routine problems by applying expert and creative solutions, use of systems and digital technology, generating and communicating ideas creatively.
- Intra-personal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and self-development, self-analysis and reflection, planning and prioritizing.
- Interpersonal skills: effective communication and articulation of information, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation.
- Commercial skills: sector awareness; sales; marketing/promotion; budget management/monitoring.
- Business skills: awareness of types of companies, company formation, invoicing, calculating fees, business management.
The Level 4 Higher National Certificate provides a solid grounding in business, which students can build on should they decide to continue their studies beyond the Certificate stage. They will also be able to use the skills built for
- Entering employment
- Continuing existing employment
- Linking with the appropriate Professional Body
- Committing to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)