Construction - Higher Nationals and Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs) from September 2023

Fri Jun 02 13:35:00 UTC 2023

From September 2023, the Higher Nationals in Construction are changing. This update is to help UK and International centres understand what options they have available from the new academic year ahead. 

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Revisions to this page:

Higher Nationals and HTQs in Construction (2023)

Higher Technical Qualifications, or HTQs , which are technical qualifications in England at higher education level will be launched for Constructions first delivery in September 2023, replacing the current HN Construction qualifications.

In addition to this, the HN suite of Construction qualifications have been aligned with the IfATE requirements for Higher Technical Qualifications in England, specifically ensuring appropriate coverage of the Occupational Standard that the pathway or qualification aligns to.

Find out more about IfATE approved HTQs

It is important to note that the HTQs offered by Pearson are no different to the BTEC Higher Nationals you know and love.

Below, you can access each title within the HTQs and HNs in Construction, available from September 2023. 

Higher Nationals (2023)


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HTQs for England only (2023)


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Looking for Civil Engineering (2023) for England and Building Services (2023) for England qualifications?

‘Building Service Engineering for England’ and ‘Civil Engineering for England’ are part of the current IfATE approval cycle 4 - for first teach September 2025! These specifications are currently in development.In the meantime, centres in England will have to register learners on the new HN programmes for these titles. 

All 'Unit descriptors' in one document

The new HN Construction suite of qualifications, including the HTQs, use the same bank of units across both models. You can access the unit specification from the link below, which would cover all units in these qualifications. 

Unit descriptors for HTQs and HNs from September 2023

Authorised Assignment Briefs (AABs)

The 2023 HN qualifications, including the HTQs are accompanied by Authorised Assignment Briefs (AABs) rather than Example Assignment Briefs (EABs)

Pearson Authorised Assignment Briefs (AABs):

  • give tutors a diverse range of engaging assessment methods to use for the assessment of particular units.  
  • are intended to provide a model of an assessment that is valid, sufficient, authentic, appropriate and relevant. 
  • cover 9 units in total. Core units and three additional units

AABs should still be adapted and customised to meet localisation.These AABs are not developed with a context specific to a set of students or a location; both of which are critical to the development of good assessments, and therefore need to be adapted and customised as appropriate.AABs can also be used by centres if they meet centre-specific requirements following internal verification.

AABs have been written to assess knowledge, understanding and skills that are specifically relevant to the unit Learning Outcomes, but they have not been contextualised to meet local need and international diversity.

For example, centres will need to select an organisation to focus on in the AAB that is relevant to their local area.

All assignments must be verified in line with Pearson’s requirements for internal verification of assignments and assessment results.

AABs - 2023 specifications – not mandatory AABs - 2023 specifications – not mandatory
Cover a range of different assessment approaches. Provide exemplars that are Pearson authorised. Written as suggested approaches to assessment and recommended assessment methods.
Provide a variety of different types of assessment methods that are appropriate for the delivery of a specific assessment approach. Not authorised exemplars and often written only to support pass criteria
‘real-life’ job roles, responsibilities, and organisations. Providing clear employability links to skills and responsibilities of specific roles A general vocational context and scenario is provided
Mapped to developing QAA Subject Sector Benchmark skills and Occupational Standard competencies. 

No visible mapping of skills and competencies

Only designed for the 2017/8 unit descriptors 

Frequently Asked Questions

The current HN Construction suite of qualifications will expire on 31 August 2023 for new registrations. Any new registrations from 1 September 2023 will need to be on the new specifications.

What about the learners currently registered on a HN Construction programme?
Learners already registered on the programme will be able to carry on to complete their studies on the current specifications. 

For existing HNC in Construction students registered (full or part-time) on a programme completing this academic year (2022/2023), and who are looking to top up to the HND, we advise you to register them onto the current HND in Construction by 31 August 2023.

Those HNC in Construction students completing (full or part-time) after 31 August 2023 can still be registered as top-ups, but any HNC in Construction transfers will have to be registered by contacting us at

‘Building Service Engineering for England’ and ‘Civil Engineering for England’ are part of the current IfATE approval cycle 4 - for first teach September 2025! These specifications are currently in development.

In the meantime, centres in England will have to register learners on the new HN programmes for these titles. 

Although there are 2023 versions of the Quantity surveying qualification (both as HN and HTQ), the 2020 Quantity Surveying specification is still open for registrations. The current review/retirement date for this qualification is 31 Augst 2025. 

Centres need to be careful if running this qualification alongside the new 2023 qualifications, because of similar unit titles/numbers, but different outcomes/content!

We recommend centres to adopt the new Quantity Surveying 2023, unless they run this qualification as a standalone.

Yes, the new HTQs and HNs link to the apprenticeship standards and therefore can be used in the related apprenticeship programmes. 

Yes, HTQs and the new HNs can be delivered as standalone qualifications. 

Only the qualifications titled 'for England' - (HTQs) should be delivered in England, with the exception of Building Services Engineering and Civil Engineering, which currently do not have HTQ versions. 

All HN suite of qualifications, except the HNs titled as 'for England'(HTQs) can be delivered in rest of the UK  and at international centres. 

Currently in Wales the only Apprenticeship linked to Pearson Higher Nationals in Construction is the "Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Construction Management"

Existing (prior to 31st August 2023) registered students can continue to complete their Apprenticeship without any changes.

For new Apprentices (1st September 2023 onwards) the following 2023 HN qualifications can be used as part of this framework.

In addition! The revised framework specifically mandates successful completion of 'Unit 20: Site Supervision & Operations' which you will need to include as an optional unit for the chosen HN qualification.

This page will be kept up-to-date and FAQs revised, so please bookmark and keep an eye for the latest. 


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