about

Service Statements

We design, quality assure and certificate qualifications which develop the skills, knowledge and competence of individuals, contributing to their personal development and the economic growth and development of Scotland.

There are two ways we achieve our aims: we act in partnership with others to develop and deliver our qualifications and services, and we are driven by the needs of our customers in all that we do.

We recognise that we have a clear responsibility to our customers to carry out our duties efficiently and effectively, and to apologise if we get things wrong.

We are committed to continually improving the quality and responsiveness of our service, and we constantly work to tailor our service as closely as we can to the needs of our customers.

What does SQA do?

We work in partnership to provide high quality, recognised and relevant qualifications and assessment.

We were set up in 1997 and are responsible to the Scottish Government for the development, assessment and certification of most qualifications in Scotland (except university degrees).

As well as our 'awarding' function, we also have an 'accrediting' function to approve the introduction of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs).

We work in partnership with schools, colleges, education and training organisations, the Scottish Government and other national stakeholders representing aspects of Scotland's education, business and cultural interests. We work with other stakeholders to promote our products and services across the UK and internationally.

Our commitment to customer service

We are committed to consultation with customers

To offer services that are as relevant as they can be, we have to keep in touch with those who use them. That is why we are committed to a dialogue with our customers.

We carry out regular satisfaction surveys of our customers to assess their needs and measure the quality of our performance. We also use other methods - such as feedback from our teams of Customer Support Managers and sectoral focus groups - to build the fullest possible picture of how customers see us and our performance.

We are committed to being accessible to our customers

Our Business Development & Customer Support Team is open between 8.30am and 5pm on weekdays, with the exception of public holidays. Telephone: 0303 333 0330 or e-mail: mycentre@sqa.org.uk

All our staff have personal e-mail addresses and direct-dial telephone numbers that you can use to access them direct (and outwith opening hours).

We cater for visitors with special needs, and wheelchair access is available at our main offices. A guide to the facilities available at all our offices is sent to customers in advance of pre-arranged visits.

We deal with personal callers promptly and courteously.

We are committed to responding to enquiries promptly

We respond to written correspondence - letters, faxes and e-mails within 10 working days, or within timescales previously agreed with the customer. Where a full response is not possible within 10 working days, we send an interim response within seven working days and a fuller response within a further 15 days or within timescales previously agreed with the customer.

We handle telephone calls - whether received at our Business Development & Customer Support Team or by staff using direct-dial lines or mobile phones - promptly and courteously. The Business Development & Customer Support Team staff aim to answer incoming telephone calls within 15 seconds.

All our staff identify themselves by name when answering calls. If the staff member you have called is unavailable, you will be invited to leave a message. Telephone messages and voicemail messages will receive a response when the staff member returns to the office.

We are committed to the following service targets for our awarding and accrediting functions

Assessment and Quality Assurance

Validation

We will:

Approval

We will:

Verification and Systems Monitoring

Validation

We will:

Centres outwith Scotland will be subject to individual contract arrangements.

External Assessment

For our National Courses we will:

Contract Services

For our Contract Services contracts we will:

E-assessment

We will:

Candidate Data Processing and Certification

For candidate registration and entry for qualifications, we will:

Certification

We will:

Replacement Certificates

We will:

Finance and Charges

Notification of charges

We will:

Communication

We take a pro-active approach to customer enquiries by providing:

Qualifications

Our qualifications must be fit for purpose and are reviewed periodically as part of our five-year review schedule. Regular updates are posted on our website.

Accreditation

For further information on SQA Accreditation please refer to the Accreditation section of our website: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42159.html