With our quality assurance process for all BTEC higher-level programmes we can be sure our centres are meeting national standards.  

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Our enhanced quality assurance (QA) processes are in place for all Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications. The enhanced processes embed specific higher education expectations alongside Pearson’s QA expectations for its other BTEC qualifications. This enables us to work with approved centres to ensure that our qualifications are delivered to the required, UK Higher Education, national standards.

Pearson’s QA expectations

Any provider wishing to deliver BTEC Higher National qualifications will need to become a Pearson approved centre. Download the onboarding map to find out more about this process.

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Approval to deliver BTEC Higher National qualifications

Having received centre approval, providers wishing to deliver BTEC Higher National qualifications will be subject to a qualification approval process, more aligned with that used in UK higher education. 

You'll find more information in our approval guidance document below. 

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Pearson approved centres may need to apply for re-approval to continue to deliver our BTEC Higher National qualifications due to re-validation of the qualifications, undertaken approximately every five years.  

We will contact centres individually about this process, which will involve the head of each centre signing the declaration form below. If you need any further advice and guidance about this process please contact us via email at hnqa@pearson.com

Due to available resources we can only process these applications during three distinct periods during the year:

Period 1 Period 2 Period 3

January

Opens: 2nd week in January
Closes: 3rd week in March

May

Opens: 2nd week in May
Closes: 4th week in June

August

Opens: 1st week in August
Closes: 2nd week in October

If you submit an approval declaration outside one of these windows your application will be accepted, but the date when it can be processed will most likely be within the next approval widow. 

If you submit an approval declaration outside one of these windows your application will be accepted, but the date when it can be processed will most likely be within the next approval widow. 
If you submit an approval declaration outside one of these windows your application will be accepted, but the date when it can be processed will most likely be within the next approval widow. 

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Once your centre has been approved to deliver BTEC programmes, we’ll work with you to ensure the approval criteria continue to be applied consistently and that your internal verification of assignments and assessments meets the expectations of a UK higher education programme. 

We will appoint External Examiners (EEs) and give all centres the opportunity to present evidence that their internal processes to verify their standards continue to be suitable and are being used to ensure that the right standards in assessment are being applied. 

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As part of our commitment to work closely with Pearson approved centres, we have dedicated QA webpages detailing the quality assurance procedures for all BTEC programmes. 

BTEC Higher National qualifications are subject to our enhanced quality assurance processes, and we have created a quality assurance handbook which provides more detailed guidance about the processes. 

Guide to BTEC Quality Assurance

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As BTEC Higher Nationals should be delivered to meet the levels 4 and 5 of the UK’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications it is important that our centres meet the expectations of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) quality code.  

The mapping document, found below, aims to help our approved centres meet the expectations of the quality code.

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The Annual Programme Monitoring Review is a written annual review form that provides an opportunity for providers to analyse and reflect on the previous teaching year. Providers who are Pearson approved centres are required to engage with the APMR on an annual basis by completing the online form and submitting it to us. 

By working in collaboration with providers, the information can be used by Pearson to further enhance the quality assurance of the Pearson BTEC Higher National programmes, by sharing good practice, identifying problems and supporting providers. 

Further guidance, information and access to the online APMR form can be found on HN Global.

As part of our commitment to gather feedback and continually improve the BTEC Higher National qualifications, we have an annual student survey for all BTEC Higher National students. 

The survey has been designed to provide valuable and quantifiable feedback on Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals to: 

  • Inform the future design of the qualifications.
  • Triangulate other aspects of the quality assurance mechanisms.
  • Support the development of resources for BTEC Higher National students globally. 

As part of our responsibilities as the awarding organisation for the suite and in response to the requirements of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) regarding student experience, the results from the survey will provide us with data to better inform the future of our BTEC Higher National qualifications and their efficacy. 

Pearson has a responsibility to consider and act on information received. We will seek to address what may be common issues, and where necessary we'll provide appropriate support to both students and our providers. 

Further guidance, information and access to the online survey can be found on HN Global.

Further guidance and support

In the UK we have a dedicated Vocational Quality Assurance team who can help with quality questions and provide dedicated support for Quality Nominees. 

Centres based outside of the UK can get in touch with their Pearson international office, or any questions relating to approval, registration and certification can be answered by our International Centre Management team who can be contacted via: 

Email: internationaleo@pearson.com 

We also have a dedicated team who can help answer questions about assessment and progression of students and who are responsible for the External Examiners. They can be contacted via: 

Email: hnqa@pearson.com

For all other queries, and support with the HN Student Survey, APMR or re-approval of your qualifications, please get in touch with our Higher National Quality Assurance team: 

Email: hnqa@pearson.com

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