Higher Nationals Enhanced quality assurance
With our quality assurance process for all BTEC higher-level programmes on the QCF and RQF, we can be sure our centres are meeting national standards.
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.
Further detail regarding the QA process for Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals can be found below:
Any provider wishing to deliver Higher National qualifications will need to become a Pearson approved centre. The process for approval can be accessed here and further advice and guidance regarding the process for UK providers can be provided by our customer account specialists who can be contact via:
Tel: 0845 373 0114 *
*Calls cost 3p per minute plus your phone company's access charge. Our telephone lines are open between 8.30 and 5pm Monday to Friday.
If your provider is based outside the UK, please contact your nearest Pearson International Office.
Approval to deliver Higher National qualifications
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.
With the move of our qualifications from the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF), each Pearson approved centre who wishes to continue to deliver our BTEC Higher National qualifications will need to go through the re-approval process. We have contacted 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.
As a centre eligible for RQF re-approval you are able to submit your approval request at any point. However, due to available resources we can only process these applications during three distinct periods during the year. These periods are outlined below. 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.
|Period 1||Period 2||Period 3|
Opens: 2nd week in January
Opens: 2nd week in May
Opens: 1st week in August
The Quality Management Review (QMR) or Academic Management Review (AMR) are our annual visit processes and they enable us to work in partnership with you to ensure high standards of quality management for BTEC Higher National programmes at your centre through the implementation of policies and processes. The process for both reviews are the same, however the AMR has slightly different criteria that are applied as the AMR is focused on centres who are privately owned and run.
The QMR and AMR processes are for centres based in the UK only. International centres will instead have regular reviews undertaken by their Standard Verifier (External Examiner).
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.
> Find out more about the process
For international centres more information can be found in this document:
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 the dedicated HN Global page here.
As part of our commitment to gather feedback and continually improve the Higher National qualifications, we have an annual student survey for all 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 Pearson 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 the dedicated HN Global page here.
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.
Higher National qualifications are subject to our enhanced quality assurance processes, therefore we have created a quality assurance handbook which provides more detailed guidance about the processes. Our Centre Guide to our enhanced QA processes can be found below.
As Higher Nationals should be delivered to meet the levels 4 and 5 of the UK’s framework for higher education qualifications it’s important that our centres meet the expectations of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) quality code.
To help our approved centres meet the expectations of the quality code we have developed a mapping document which can be downloaded from the link below.
As part of our commitment to providing guidance that enhances quality assurance and assessment, we have developed an Additional Guide to using Time-Constrained Assessment or Examinations in Higher National programmes.
You can find this guidance from the link below.
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:
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:
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:
Tel: +44 (0)2070 105 144
The QIP was designed to identify and track key strategic developments to the products and services we offer to our customers. Each year we collect feedback from various sources, e.g. via the Annual Programme Monitoring Review, which then forms part of our QIP. You can view our latest QIP by donwloading this document.