Personal Finance Award

Personal Finance person calculating figures

The Personal Finance Award at SCQF level 4 is jointly awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the ifs University College. It equips candidates with skills to understand and manage money throughout their lives.

Personal Finance Award – development of additional SOLAR question items

SOLAR are looking to recruit 4 experienced subject specialists to be involved in developing new formative and summative question items in support of the Personal Finance Award SOLAR assessments.  You must have been involved in delivering this qualification and have a minimum of 2 years relevant teaching experience. The work will be done mainly from home with at least 1 training and development day at SQA.  If you are interested in being involved please reply to with a max of 50 words of why you want to be involved in this activity and include your full name, email address, School and subjects taught.  Closing date:  22/04/16

Why deliver this qualification

The nature of the Award contributes to delivery of the four Curriculum for Excellence capacities.

The importance of financial education in schools is now widely recognised as an important and necessary life skill for young people. The Personal Finance award will equip candidates with the skills to cope confidently and effectively with basic financial encounters as well as managing money.

It allows a route to certification if your centre is already delivering personal finance education.

Who does the qualification suit

This qualification suits a wide range of candidates:

  • It is ideally suited for 14 to 16 year olds.
  • It suits centres focussed on developing basic life management skills
  • It adds extra breadth to those studying mathematics or business studies at SCQF levels 4, 5, or 6.
  • It provides progression in numeracy from SCQF Level 2 or 3.


Candidates could consider:

  • Intermediate 2 Skills for Work in Financial Services
  • The ifs University College Certificate in Personal Finance (CPF2)
  • The Level 6 NPA in Financial Services
  • SVQ Providing Financial Services (available at Level 2 and 3)


Centres without devolved authority require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in theSystems and Qualification Approval Guide (510 KB).


The Personal Finance Award has been designed for on-line testing via SOLAR, SQA's platform for formative and summative e-assessment. The assessments are automatically marked and results given to learners immediately. Centres are responsible for uploading candidates and also processing the result through the normal SQA channels.

Formative assessments are available for the Units:

The summative assessments are pre-verified and therefore do not require internal or external verification pre or post delivery. The assessments themselves are generated dynamically from an itembank which means in practice that every learner gets their own unique assessment every time it is attempted.

The Principles of Money Unit assessment consists of 22 questions covering all 5 tasks, candidates must achieve a minimum of 50% in each of the tasks to achieve the Unit. 

The Money Management Unit assessment consists of 20 questions covering all 4 tasks, candidates must achieve a minimum of 50% in each of the tasks to achieve the Unit.

Assessments consist of the following types of questions: Multiple Choice (MCQ), Multiple Response (MRQ), Matching, Gapfill, Drag and Drop, and Re-order.

For further information about the Personal Finance Award and SOLAR please view the presentation from the Personal Finance Award events held in 2010

The SOLAR team are happy to answer any questions, and provide support. You can contact the SOLAR team at

Units and delivery tools

The Personal Finance Award consists of the following Units:

SQA support packs are available for both Units.

Some additional learning and teaching materials are available on the secure area of SQA's website.

The content of the ifs University College learning and teaching material is both appropriate and applicable to the Personal Finance Award. It should be noted, however, that the topics do not directly correlate with the Personal Finance Award Unit tasks. Centre staff should ensure that material used relates to the tasks given in the SQA Unit specifications.

Formative and summative assessments are available on SOLAR.

Network Events

November 2014 Network Presentations

January 2013 Network Presentations

Useful Information

Young Scot Extra

Young Scot Extra provides useful information regarding personal finance on their website. Finance factsheets can be downloaded from the following web pages:

Related Websites

IFS University Collegeifs School of Finance

SQA is working in partnership with the ifs University College to offer the Personal Finance Award to Scottish centres and candidates. The ifs University College is an awarding body which specialises in financial education for a wide range of learners.

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