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The oil and gas industry is supremely important

— not just in Scotland but worldwide. However, it is not without its hazards, so it is vital that the workforce is fully competent, and can provide evidence of that competence.

SQA has an established track record in providing qualifications for the oil and gas industry that certify competence, are backed by rigorous quality assurance, and meet workforce development needs. Our qualifications are based on competence standards established by OPITO, the body with responsibility for standards setting in the oil and gas industry.

SQA’s oil and gas qualifications are designed in conjunction with the industry to promote capability, knowledge and understanding of the sector. We offer qualifications at all levels, giving people the opportunity to progress from basic to full competence.

Many SQA qualifications have a vocational focus, but all provide opportunities for the development of Core Skills (also known as ‘key skills’). These are signposted in all SQA qualifications and, wherever possible, can be separately certificated.

All SQA qualifications are covered by the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF). This provides a way to compare and benchmark qualifications on an international scale. There are 12 levels in the SCQF, from level 1 for Access qualifications, to level 12 for post-graduate qualifications.

This diagram shows how people can progress through SQA oil and gas qualifications from school to senior professional level. Applicants need a minimum of four Standard Grades at level 3 from school (or the equivalent).

Phase 1
Off-the-job full-time training
(18 months)
SVQ 2 (SCQF Level 5)
Performing Engineering
National Certificate
Engineering Operations


Phase 2
On-the-job, full-time
competence-based training
— including offshore experience
SVQ 3 (SCQF Levels 6-7)
Process Operations, or Instrument and Control Maintenance, or Electrical Maintenance, or Mechanical Maintenance
Engineering Systems, or Petroleum Engineering, or Chemical Process Technology


Job opportunities would then include:

SQA has a specialist team working exclusively on oil and gas qualifications to help meet workforce development needs — including assuring capability and building sustainable capacity. This enables us to offer the option of tailoring our qualifications to meet the demands of the oil and gas sector anywhere in the world.

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