A vocationally related national qualification, usually offered by colleges of further education as a part‐time programme of study for those already in employment who wish to gain further qualifications. It is available in a wide range of subjects, from business and finance to engineering. Applicants are usually required to have five General Certificate of Secondary Education passes at grade C or above, including English and mathematics, and at least one pass at General Certificate of Education Advanced Level. Assessment is by assignment, and the award is accredited in England and Wales at National Qualifications Framework level 4. In Scotland an HNC is equivalent to level 7 on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework.