PDA Youth Work

PDA Youth Work

The award has been designed for those who provide support, advice and guidance for young people in a Community Learning and Development (CLD) context, and who, through this work, help develop the knowledge and skills of young people.

It is the first national introductory level Youth Work qualification in Scotland to be accredited and available to volunteers and paid staff and will form part of a framework of SQA qualifications for the sector.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Youth Work offers a range of benefits:

  • skills, knowledge and capabilities needed for employment
  • practical experience
  • progression to higher education
  • enhanced career prospects
  • achievement is certified and nationally recognised

Who does this qualification suit

The PDA in Youth Work is aimed primarily at new participants — mainly part-time paid employees or volunteers. Staff currently working within the CLD sector who have no formal qualifications, but are looking to improve on their professional practice, and develop best practice within their own working environment may also be interested.

The award could also be utilised for the continuing professional development of staff and volunteers from other professions:

  • voluntary sector staff and carers, including foster carers
  • education staff — teaching staff, guidance staff, classroom assistants, family
  • support liaison workers, etc
  • careers advisors
  • advice and guidance staff
  • emergency services staff
  • counsellors
  • social work staff — including through care and aftercare workers

Candidate Information


There are various Higher National Qualifications; HNCs, PDAs and SVQs, in related areas which could provide progression for successful candidates.

Progression will be determined by the individual candidate and their employer.

Progression opportunities include:

  • SVQs in Youth Work at levels 2 and 3
  • SVQs in Community Development Work at levels 2, 3 and 4
  • HNC Working with Communities
  • PDA Volunteering Management


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process. Centres without devolved approval status should complete and submit a Qualifications Approval Application Form (formerly called SA1) to request approval to deliver the Group Awards.

Centres who wish to become a SQA Approved Centre should contact the Business Development Team for guidance on completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence

How to assess

A support pack and assessment exemplars have been developed and are published on the SQA website, although centres may wish to develop their own assessments.

Methods of assessment may include:

  • Assignments
  • Reflective accounts of practice
  • Case studies
  • Structured questions
  • Observation with appropriate checklists
  • Witness statements

The third Unit, Youth Work: Delivering Youth Work, has a practical element. Most candidates will be able to undertake this through naturally occurring work in a youth work setting. However, where candidates are not in paid or volunteer work, an appropriate work experience opportunity should be provided for them. This should be of suitable duration to allow candidates to meet the Evidence Requirements of the Units.

SQA does not stipulate what the duration of workplace experience should be but would suggest a minimum of 10 hours as an appropriate guideline.

Where can you take this course?

Group Award Specification

Assessment Exemplars

HN Assessment Exemplars

Title: Youth Work: Delivering Youth Work
Unit Code: F7FB 33
Publication: F7FB 33/AEX001
Edition: 1st Edition, June 2010

Title: Youth Work: Engaging with Young People
Unit Code: F7FC 33
Publication: F7FC 33/AEX001
Edition: 1st Edition, June 2010

Title: Youth Work: Understanding and Exploring Youth Work
Unit Code: F7FA 33
Publication: F7FA 33/AEX001
Edition: 1st Edition, June 2010

If you have any questions relating to these packs, please contact:

Business Development & Customer Support Team
Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DQ

Telephone: 0303 333 0330
Fax: 0345 213 5000
E-mail: mycentre@sqa.org.uk

Subject Specific Information