Assessment for BTEC Higher Nationals

One of the key features of the RQF Higher Nationals is the use of holistic assessment.

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Holistic assessment is based on the principle that the student’s work is evaluated as a whole, rather than as a set of individual tasks. It encourages them to see their learning as a set of relationships. Whether this is in assessment of a single learning outcome or multiple learning outcomes, by considering their work as whole, students may see the relations that exist between different aspects of their learning.

For each unit in a HN qualification, we define learning outcomes which define the skills and knowledge that students should be able to evidence on completion of the programme. Because we are designing assessments against the learning outcome, students will see the potential to achieve at different levels. In holistic assessment, we are evaluating the work to see if they have achieved Pass, Merit or Distinction. 

For BTEC Higher Nationals we are interested in the body of work, bringing together learning that encompasses theories, concepts, and skills. Holistic assessment encourages the student to see how theories, concepts and skills work together.

You can learn more about holistic assessment for BTEC Higher Nationals in our Introduction to teaching and learning for RQF Higher Nationals self-guided training.

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Assessment support videos

You can now access extra support when developing your assignments for the new BTEC Higher National programmes with our selection of helpful, informative videos.

These informative videos provide assignment development guidance for four different types of assignments and will be useful when devising assessments for the new BTEC Higher National programmes. They cover research, investigation, problem solving and portfolio-based assessment.

Assessment resources

We have created appealing and stimulating new assessment resources in response to student feedback. These following resources will be both useful to support and supplement your assessment and study skills sessions. They focus on student frequently-asked questions (FAQs) for assessment and feedback, critical thinking and effective writing for a Higher National assignment.

A comprehensive FAQ guide to assessment and feedback (PDF, 0.85 MB) responding to student questions that we have received and that tutors frequently get asked.

A critical thinking checklist (PDF, 0.3 MB) that students can easily apply to their reading and writing process.

An engaging and informative video to support students through the key steps of successful writing for a Higher National assignment.

This video shows a tutor, new to holistic assessment, discussing the assignment with an experienced tutor.

Training from Pearson

We regularly offer training focusing on assessment planning and assignment writing, both generic and subject-specific. 

Explore upcoming training