Higher National Diplomas (HND) don’t have to come directly from Pearson; as part of the awarding body’s HND directive, higher education (HE) providers and employers can work alongside Pearson to create new qualifications that tackle the industry and profession needs. HE providers can work alongside Pearson to design, develop and validate the custom HE qualification.
Bespoke HND: How It Works
The first stage for an HE provider would be to decide whether they want to develop the course independently or commision Pearson to “source the subject specialists” who will create the course. Both routes involve developing a course that adheres to the level requirements outlined by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and the design principles of UK Higher Education (UKHE).
If a preexisting higher national qualification fulfills most of the professional needs of students and businesses in the sector, HE providers can also opt to create a selection of modules instead of a full course. These so-called Locally Devised Units, once fully accredited, will then be available to all providers offering the same Higher National qualification.
Meeting Local Needs
Another potential avenue for creating bespoke elements of an HND is via Pearson’s Meeting Local Needs directive. Meeting local needs allows HE providers of Pearson qualifications the ability to import units from other BTEC qualifications to complement the, you guessed it, local professional needs of businesses.
I’m a Student Who Wants to Gain a Bespoke Qualification – What Can I Do?
If you recognise there is a skill gap in the industry in which you want to work after studying, you can begin by noting down what areas of the industry, and specific professions, are not being addressed in current HE courses. Use this as an opportunity to approach employers and find out what skills they would like to see in graduates and drum up support for your proposal. This is also an opportunity to tell employers, who may be unaware, that they can use the apprenticeship levy to work with a local HE provider to create a bespoke Pearson BTEC higher national qualification.
After gaining support from employers, it’s worth finding other students and professionals in the industry that support your idea; showing there is a market for the proposed course will give HE providers a tangible idea of the kind of resources they would need to deliver such a course (and the number of students interested in such a course).
Looking for an HE provider that supports bespoke qualifications? Get in touch with HND Insider today for local provider information.