SVQs are available at up to five levels so there is one to cover virtually any job in Scotland. The great majority of SVQs are available at levels 2 and 3, though more and more higher level qualifications are becoming available in many disciplines.

Level 1 Levels 1 SVQs cover jobs which involve a range of tasks, most of which fall into a set pattern and don't change.

Level 2 For a level 2 SVQ, candidates have to be able to show that they are competent in a range of varied activities, in a variety of contexts. Some of the activities will be complex, and they will be working in a job where they have individual responsibility or autonomy. The job may also involve collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team.

Level 3 At this level, candidates have to perform a broad range of activities in a variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine. Candidates will usually be working with considerable responsibility and autonomy, and may have control or guidance of others.

Level 4 Level 4 SVQs involve a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities. They will be performed in a wide variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. People doing these SVQs will often be responsible for the work of others and for allocating resources.

Level 5 This level requires candidates to demonstrate competence in applying fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts. Very substantial personal autonomy, and often significant responsibility for the work of others, and for the allocation of substantial resources, feature strongly, as do personal accountability for analysis and diagnosis, design, planning, execution and evaluation.