Using SVQs

Using SVQs

You may already know how easy SVQs are to administer, and how little disruption to the normal work-schedule they cause. You probably know that SVQs are work-based qualifications which are based on national standards of competence drawn up by representatives from each industry. You will probably also know already that this means that when someone has an SVQ, there is a guarantee that they have the skills and knowledge they need to do the job.

Units and Elements

SVQs are made up of units, usually between six and ten of them. These units break down your job into separate functions, reflecting all the different kinds of thing you do in your work.

The Five SVQ Levels

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.


To achieve an SVQ, a person has to gather evidence which proves that they can do what the SVQ standards say they have to be able to do. People do this in three stages:

  • generate evidence
  • the assessor looks at the evidence and makes a judgement about their competence
  • this judgement is recorded