Recognition of Prior Learning is a method of assessing whether a learner’s experience and achievements meet the evidence requirements (ie the standard) of a SQA Unit or Units and which may or may not have been developed through a course of learning. For further information visit: SQA RPL Policy
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most commonly asked questions.
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Whether you are a college, school, employer or training provider, our Centre FAQs can help answer most of your questions.
If you are studying or thinking about taking one of our qualifications, our FAQs can answer most of your questions, especially around exam time.
Our FAQs can help with questions you may have about the New National Qualifications that support Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence.
Results Services have replaced the appeals service. We have prepared a number of FAQs to help answer your questions about the new Results Services.
These FAQs should help to answer any questions you have about your Scottish Qualifications Certificate.
The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) is a way of comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications.
If you are interested in having your qualifications or learning programmes included in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) these FAQs are for you.
SQA’s Customised Awards allow you to develop qualifications that are tailored to your needs.
What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
Find out the dates of this year’s exams (timetable)?
Check the dates and times of this year's exams using the current examination timetable.
How do I make changes to a candidates' personal details?
You can make changes to your registered candidates' personal details as long as these details are accurate and the proper identification is provided to support this change. If you have any other queries relating to this process please e-mail:
How do I check key dates for submission of entries?
The calendar of key dates for submission of entries is available on our Operational Help Centre.
How do I update my centre’s details with SQA?
You can update your centre's details, including details for the SQA Co-ordinator, either by contacting our Business Development and Customer Support team, or by filling out our online Centre Update form.
How do I provide feedback, comments or make a complaint to SQA?
If you don't already have a named contact within SQA, contact our Business Development and Customer Support team. Our Customer Charter gives further details and information on how to make a formal complaint.
How do I make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request?
I would like to deliver a specific qualification, how would I go about this?
If you know the name of your Business Development Manager/Consultant then you can contact them directly.
Alternatively call 0303 3330330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch with the relevant contact.
For more information visit: How do I deliver SQA qualifications - http://www.sqa.org.uk/sandbox/63284.html
How can I access Support Materials?
All support materials are held on the SQA Secure website www.sqa.org.uk/secure
If you need access to the SQA Secure website you should speak to the SQA co-ordinator and they will arrange access.
I have a candidate who requires additional support during their exams, how can I arrange this?
Any requests for additional support needs must come directly from the centre and should be sent to email@example.com or call 0303 3330330
I would like find out how to become an Appointee?
For more information and to apply for Appointee positions please visit: Appluing to be an Appointee
Or contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 2791000
There are a number of communication methods, depending on the nature of your enquiry. Full details are available on our Contact SQA page.
How can I find Past Papers?
How do I order a replacement certificate?
Replacement certificates can be arranged for a fee of £38.00 and this service normally takes between 2-3 weeks.
You can order your replacement certificate online: www.sqa.org.uk/eshop
Or submit a written request by completing our Replacement Certificate Form
Once complete the form can be returned to:
Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
If you have completed the form electronically and are paying by credit/debit card, you can e-mail: email@example.com
The replacement certificate will also show Core skills, SQA Credits & SCQF credit points if these are applicable to your qualification/s.
How can I sign up to receive my results by e-mail or text on MySQA?
Learners studying National Qualifications can sign up to receive exam results by e-mail or text on MySQA.
You register using your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) and activate once you receive the activation letter – this letter will be sent to the address on our system. After you activate your account you will then have to select exam results by e-mail or text.
Please note: registration for MySQA closes a few weeks before the results are issued.
How do I make a general enquiry to SQA for advice and guidance?
For general candidate support and help, please complete our candidate enquiry form.
How can I get study guide advice and information?
Our Study Guides and videos will give you hints and tips to help you study.
How do I find my Scottish Candidate Number (SCN)?
Your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) is displayed directly under your name on your certificate.
If you do not have your certificate you should complete the Candidate Enquiry Form, this will allow us to locate your records and provide you with your SCN
Or call us on: 0345 279 1000 and we will confirm your details and then provide you with your SCN Number.
How do I compare my qualifications?
We cannot provide direct comparisons between our qualifications and that of other awarding bodies within the UK or Internationally.
How do I change the name on my record or certificate?
To enable us to process and update your candidate record we are required to obtain the necessary documentation. You must provide two items from the list below. The documents should be the originals, not photocopies.
- Drivers Licence
- Justice of Peace letter
- Birth certificate
- Decree Nisi
- Marriage/Civil Partnership Certificate
- Adoption Certificate
All documentation you send to support your request will be returned to you via secure delivery. If you wish your documents returned by special delivery please post a cheque of £4.50 addressed to the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Please post to the following address:
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
How do I change my address details?
If you are currently studying your school/college or training provider will have to change your address as this must be done by the centre who have registered you for the qualification you are studying.
If you are no longer studying, we will require more information to allow us to locate your Candidate record, please complete our Candidate Enquiry Form
We will then be able to complete your change of address.
Find out which centres offer courses I’m interested in?
To find out more about our courses contact your local school/college/training provider or visit: www.myworldofwork.co.uk
If you would like information on a specific course we offer then please complete the Candidate Enquiry Form.
What is Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?
Recognition of Prior Learning is a method of assessing whether your experience and achievements meet the evidence requirements (ie the standard) of a SQA Unit or Units and which may or may not have been developed through a course of learning. For further information visit: SQA RPL Policy
Beyond the Exam film - what is it about?
The film sets out in a clear and informative way, to explain to parents and learners, the journey of an exam paper from its creation to candidates getting their results – taking into account the changes to qualifications as a result of Curriculum for Excellence. The film also explains the SQA Results Services available to schools and colleges, to ensure fairness for all candidates.
Two copies of the film have been sent to every school and college, which can be used as a resource and to help teachers explain the process to parents and learners. The film has also been sent to parent groups – the National Parent Forum Scotland and the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, so they can share it among their members.
What are grade boundaries/how do they work?
Awarding is one of a number of quality assurance procedures SQA has in place to ensure candidates sitting SQA qualifications are given the grade they deserve. Awarding is the procedure where the mark required to attain a particular grade within a course are decided. These mark requirements are called grade boundaries.
For each SQA qualification, the assessment, whether question paper or coursework, will be set with an intended level of demand which reflects the grade descriptors for the Course and attainment at the relevant level on the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF). If the assessment of a Course functioned as intended and there were no other mitigating circumstances, there is no requirement to make any grade boundary adjustments.
However, if the assessment is found to be easier or harder than intended, adjustments will have to be made to ensure that the national standard of the Course is maintained.
SQA takes its responsibility to uphold the high standards of Scottish qualifications very seriously.
What are Results Services?
Find out further information about SQA's Results Services
What’s different about the new qualifications?
The new qualifications have been developed to support Curriculum for Excellence, which aims to help all young people in Scotland fulfil their potential and take their place in a modern society and economy. The qualifications recognise that there are different types of learners; they reward a wide range of achievement and reflect the work that learners have completed throughout the academic year.
There is more focus on skills development compared to the existing qualifications; the new qualifications are better suited to testing the skills required to succeed in the 21st century. There is also a greater emphasis on “deeper learning” by helping learners to think for themselves; to apply and interpret the knowledge and understanding they have developed and to demonstrate the skills they have learned.
Are the new qualifications a better test of skills?
The new qualifications have a greater focus on skills development, but will still retain the important elements of knowledge and understanding. The assessment methods that will be used reflect this new emphasis on the application of skills.
For most subjects at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, there will be an appropriate balance between exams and Coursework (assignments, portfolios, practical activities etc). This is to ensure a balance between the assessment of knowledge, understanding and skills; appropriate to the subject and level.
What are the long-term benefits for learners who study the new qualifications?
The new qualifications will equip learners with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to face the challenges of 21st century society. They have been designed to support the aims, values and purposes of Curriculum for Excellence, and learners will benefit from qualifications that support the curriculum and will experience a better planned, better connected and more progressive educational experience.
Assessment in the new qualifications will promote breadth and depth of understanding, will motivate and challenge learners, and will ensure a smooth progression from one qualification level to the next (eg when progressing from National 5 to Higher).
Will Intermediate and Access qualifications still be available?
Yes. During sessions 2013-14 and 2014-15, the current Access 2, Access 3, Intermediate and Higher qualifications will still be available alongside the new qualifications. This is to allow learners in S5 and S6 (who have previously sat Access 1/Access 2/Standard Grade/Intermediate 1/Intermediate 2 qualifications) to complete their education under the current qualifications system.
From 2015-16 onwards, Intermediate and Access qualifications will no longer be available.
How do National 4 and National 5 differ from Standard Grade General, Standard Grade Credit, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2?
Previously, learners in secondary schools started their Standard Grades in S3 and studied them over two years. Now, learners will begin studying for the new Nationals at the start of S4, and they will study them for the duration of one year. Learners in S1, S2 and S3 will now study a broad general education; which means they will study a broader range of subjects for a longer period, before commencing the Nationals in S4.
At National 4, there are no formal external exams; however, learners will be assessed throughout the year by their teacher/lecturer using SQA assessments. At National 5, exams remain an important part of the system, but for the majority of subjects there is now more emphasis on coursework and on-going assessment throughout the year.
The new qualifications have also been designed in hierarchies; which means they share a similar structure at each level. This means there will be a smoother progression between levels, eg when progressing from National 5 to Higher.
Is National 5 the same level as Standard Grade Credit?
Yes. The National 5 qualification is equivalent in level to Standard Grade Credit and Intermediate 2 qualifications (SCQF level 5).
Our online ready reckoner shows which qualifications the new National Qualifications will replace and what SQCF level they sit on.
Will the new National 5 be less challenging than Standard Grade Credit/Intermediate 2?
No. All new qualifications have been benchmarked against the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) to ensure that the current standards and levels in qualifications are maintained.
We will quality assure the new National Qualifications to ensure they are credible and continue to meet the national standard.
Will learners studying for the new qualifications still sit exams?
Most learners studying at National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher will still sit exams. To achieve a Course Award at National 5 and above, learners need to pass all Units of the Course plus a Course assessment, which consists of a question paper (exam) and/or coursework.
Further information is available on our Exams page.
National 1, National 2, National 3 and National 4 Courses do not include exams, and will be internally assessed by the school or college.
How will National 1 to National 4 be assessed?
National 1, National 2 and National 3 will be assessed through internally marked Unit assessments only.
At National 4, learners must pass all the Units in the Course, including an Added Value Unit. For the Added Value Unit, learners sit an Added Value Unit assessment that is marked internally by the school or college. It performs a similar function to the Course assessment at National 5 and above and provides the basis for assessing the Course.
National 1 to National 4 will not be graded but will be assessed as pass or fail. Find out more on our assessment page.
Why is National 4 assessed internally?
National 4 Courses have been designed to provide flexibility in timetabling and assessment. Internal assessment is more suitable for Courses at National 4 level and will help to build learners’ confidence in preparation for progression to National 5.
Does internally assessing National 4 mean the qualification will hold less weight?
No. All internally assessed qualifications will be subject to robust quality assurance by SQA, to ensure that the qualifications are being assessed at the national standard.
National 4 follows a similar model to other existing qualifications such as the Higher National Certificate (HNC) and the Higher National Diploma (HND), which are both internally-assessed but quality-assured by SQA. Many people use these qualifications to progress into employment or to get into higher education, often with advanced standing (where the university accepts the qualification as credit towards completing an undergraduate course, enabling the student to enter the course at a more advanced stage, eg entering at second year instead of first year).
Can learners still be presented for early assessment?
Yes. Schools still have the flexibility to present learners early, where it is in the interest of the individual.
Should learners still sit prelims?
It is for individual centres to decide whether or not to use prelims, as they do not form part of the formal assessment process and are not a requirement of SQA qualifications. Some centres use them to:
- help measure learners' progress with the Course
- provide feedback to learners and parents on their progress
- inform decisions on what level of qualification is appropriate for each learner
- prepare learners for the Course assessment
- provide a source of alternative evidence for the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service
What is added value?
The new qualifications place greater emphasis on deeper learning – in other words, trying to help learners to think for themselves and use what they have learned in practice. To aid this, the new qualifications will do more than test the skills, knowledge and understanding that learners have developed; they will also assess the following:
- breadth – the range of knowledge, skills and understanding that learners have developed throughout the Course
- challenge – how learners have deepened or extended their knowledge and/or skills
- application – how well learners can apply their knowledge and/or skills to different situations
This is known as the ‘added value’ of the Course, and it applies to all Courses at National 4 and above.
How is added value assessed?
At National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher, added value is assessed through the Course assessment.
National 4 Courses include an Added Value Unit that performs a similar function to the Course assessment at National 5 and above. Learners will sit an Added Value Unit assessment, which provides the basis for assessing the Course at National 4. Find out more about added value.
How are the new qualifications graded?
National 1 to National 4 are not graded, but will be assessed as pass or fail.
Courses at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher are graded A to D. Grading is based on the learner’s performance in the Course assessment.
What does Grade D mean?
Grade D, like grades C to A, is reported on the candidate's Qualifications Certificate as a Course award in its own right. Grade D indicates that the candidate has:
- achieved all the National Units for the Course at that level
- attained between 45% and 49% in the Course assessment.
Is the achievement of a Grade D in a National 5 Course of more value than achieving a pass at National 4?
National 5 Courses - which are graded A to D - carry 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5, reflecting the level of demand and challenge involved.
National 4 Courses - which are not graded - also carry 24 SCQF points, but these are at SCQF level 4, which has a lower level of demand and challenge.
Will grades at National 5 and above be banded?
When the candidate receives their Qualifications Certificate in August, it will simply state that they have achieved a grade A, B, C or D – or “No Award”. However, the school/college will be sent details of what band they have achieved their grade at.
So, for example, if the candidate has achieved a grade A for one of their Courses, the school/college will be notified as to whether they have achieved an A (upper) at Band 1 or an A (lower) at Band 2.
What is the fallback position for new National Qualifications?
There are no automatic compensatory arrangements at any level.
If a learner receives a ‘fail’ or ‘No Award’ result, they will still receive credit for the Units they have achieved at that level. This means that when they receive their qualifications certificate, the Units that they have passed within the Course will appear on the detailed Record of Attainment section of their qualifications certificate pack. Each Unit will be listed along with the SCQF credit points obtained.
Are there fallback arrangements for learners who receive a fail or 'No Award' result?
There are no automatic compensatory arrangements at any level. However, our Recognising Positive Achievement arrangements support learners who don’t achieve the Course Award at National 5 but may be eligible to achieve National 4 instead.
Any learners wishing to re-sit the following year will only be required to complete the parts of the Course that they have not already passed. It is at the discretion of the school to decide whether or not to re-enter candidates.
Will learners still choose subjects?
Yes. Learners will still choose which subjects they want to study at National 2, National 3, National 4 and National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels.
To find out when learners will make their subject choices and how many they will choose, please speak to the school or college.
Will learners who take 5, 6 or 7 subjects in S4 be disadvantaged compared to those in other schools who take 8?
No learner should be disadvantaged by the new qualifications. We have been working with universities, colleges and employers, to make sure that they are fully aware of the implications of the new qualifications, and how they will benefit as young people start to leave school with new qualifications.
Scottish Universities are currently reviewing policies on entry requirements to reflect Curriculum for Excellence and, nationally, university leaders have affirmed that they will continue to be committed to fair admissions policies and that these will allow equal consideration of candidates regardless of the number of subjects they have studied.
How can I keep up to date with the latest developments on a particular subject?
The easiest way to keep up to date is to visit our subject pages and select the relevant subject. From there, you can see what stage of the process each qualification is at and access the latest documents for the Course. Our subject pages are split into Course levels (National 4, National 5 etc) and contain important updates and announcements.
When we publish new documents and support materials, we put a news item on our CfE News pages. If you are signed up to MyAlerts you will receive a notification of this. We also inform all of our partners and key stakeholders (eg teaching unions, parent bodies and employers) so that they can share this information through their own communication channels.
What is SQA doing to address literacy and numeracy?
Literacy and/or numeracy skills will be developed within all National Courses. How this takes place will vary from Course to Course depending on the subject area.
There are also new Units in Literacy and Numeracy. Literacy Units are a mandatory part of English and Gàidhlig at National 3 and National 4. The Numeracy Unit is a mandatory part of Mathematics at National 4 and Lifeskills Maths at National 3, National 4 and National 5.
The development of literacy and numeracy among learners is the responsibility of everyone in Scotland’s education system.
Further information is available on our Literacy and Numeracy page.
What support is available in National Literacy Units for disabled learners and learners with additional support needs?
We have produced a quick and easy guide to supportive practices for National Literacy Units, which can be accessed from our literacy support page. This guide may be helpful to schools/colleges, learners, parents/carers and others interested in the support available in National Literacy Units.
With specialist help from colleagues in the Glasgow Dyslexia Support Service, we have also published assessment support materials for teachers and lecturers, to encourage and promote inclusive practice in the assessment of National Literacy Units at National 3 and National 4 – particularly where learners may have reading and writing difficulties. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these materials through their SQA Co-ordinator.
What are new Awards?
Alongside the new National Qualifications, SQA has developed a number of new Awards, which are now available for schools and colleges to deliver.
Wider Achievement Awards:
- Personal Achievement Awards
- Personal Development Awards
- Modern Languages for Life and Work Awards
- Wellbeing Awards
- Religion, Belief and Values Award
- Scottish Studies Award
- Cycling Awards
The new Awards cover work from different subject areas and are shorter than traditional Courses. They recognise success across different levels of difficulty, meaning they are suitable for young people of all abilities. They will be marked and assessed internally and do not have any external assessments or exams. Further information can be found on our Awards page.
What is a Subject Working Group?
Subject Working Groups (SWGs) carry out specific pieces of work as designated by the Qualifications Design Teams (QDTs). Teachers and lecturers have nominated themselves to join these groups. You can find out more about Subject Working Groups on our Quality Assurance page.
What is a Curriculum Area Review Group?
Curriculum Area Review Groups (CARGs) are groups that help us to develop the new qualifications by providing advice and guidance in each curriculum area. Each group is made up of nominated representatives from partner organisations, stakeholders, teaching associations and parent groups.
Find out more about the work of CARGs, and how members were nominated, on our Development Groups web page.
How is SQA supporting schools and colleges to implement the new qualifications?
Our Curriculum for Excellence Liaison team is continuing to visit every school and college across Scotland to meet with teachers and parents, to explain the changes, answer questions, and gather feedback to gauge what further support is needed to deliver the new National Qualifications.
We are continuing to run support and information events for teaching staff across Scotland, and we are providing tailored webinars as well. Find out more on our events page.
Throughout the development process, teachers/lecturers have been provided with assessment support materials to help them prepare for teaching and assessment. To date, we have published more than 1,000 assessment support documents.
We continue to keep schools and colleges updated every step of the way with regular monthly e-newsletters containing all the latest news and developments on the new qualifications. These are also posted on our CfE News page.
How will SQA ensure that national standards are met and maintained in the new qualifications?
We have introduced new quality assurance arrangements to support internal assessment of the new National Qualifications. A combination of approaches will be used to externally verify the assessments to ensure they continue to meet national standards. Further information is available on our Quality Assurance page.
We are also introducing controlled assessment to ensure consistent setting, conducting and marking of assessments. Further information is available on our assessment page.
Will SQA provide support to teachers/lecturers to help them understand the national standards?
Yes. Teachers/lecturers are already teaching and assessing to very high standards in schools and colleges, and continuing this good practice is an important part of implementing the new National Qualifications.
We are providing ongoing support to schools and colleges and are continuing to run support and information events for teaching staff across Scotland. Assessment support materials are also available on SQA's Secure website, which outline the Assessment Standards that need to be met, and show how the evidence gathered can be judged against the Outcomes and Assessment Standards. Teachers/lecturers can arrange access to these confidential documents through their SQA Co-ordinator.
I’ve read that schools/colleges can develop their own Unit assessments using the assessments that SQA has published. How will SQA ensure that these are fit for purpose?
For schools/colleges that devise their own Unit assessments, we will continue to offer a prior verification service, where the assessment is scrutinised by an SQA appointee. This gives the school or college additional confidence that their assessment is fit for purpose and meets national standards. More information on prior verification can be found on our delivery page.
What is a Nominee?
Each Quality Assurance panel requires a number of subject specialists to undertake quality assurance activities. The number of subject specialists on each panel will depend on the total number of centres who are delivering new National Qualifications in the relevant subject area.
Your local authority will be asked to nominate the required number of subject specialists to take part in these panels. If you are interested in being nominated as a subject specialist, you should contact your SQA Co-ordinator.
What are Skills for Learning, Life and Work?
Skills for Learning, Life and Work (SfLLW) is a framework of five broad, generic skills that has been used when developing the new National Qualifications. The five broad areas of generic skills are:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Employability, enterprise and citizenship
- Thinking Skills
The development of SfLLW occurs naturally in many of the new National Courses and Awards, where learners will develop these skills in addition to knowledge, understanding and subject-based skills. There are also some new National Courses that have a direct focus on developing SfLLW.
The aim of SfLLW is to improve the skill sets of learners to better prepare them for the world they live and work in. Find out more about Skills for Learning, Life and Work.
Are Skills for Work Courses changing?
No. Our Skills for Work Courses will continue to offer practical experience linked to particular careers, which encourage young people to become familiar with the world of work.
In light of the new qualifications, the titles of Skills for Work Courses have now changed from Access 3, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate 2 to National 3, National 4 and National 5 respectively. This is to ensure consistency, but it is important to note that there has been no change to the content of these Courses.
We are continuing to develop new Skills for Work Courses; such as the Creative Industries Skills for Work Course and the Travel and Tourism Course.
Are universities, colleges and employers aware of the changes to the National Qualifications?
Yes. We communicate with universities, colleges and employers on a regular basis to ensure that they are aware of the changes. Scotland’s Colleges (the organisation that represents further education colleges in Scotland) is also represented on the Curriculum for Excellence Management Board and plays an active role in shaping the new qualifications.
We have attended a number of Higher Education events to talk about the new National Qualifications, including the UCAS Conference in Glasgow.
Our CfE Liaison Team also continues to engage with employers across Scotland.
Will universities adapt their entry requirements to include the new qualifications?
Universities have been considering revisions to their entry requirements to include the new National Qualifications, and a number of universities have already published their updated admissions statements. Find out more.
SQA's appeals service has been replaced by two new ‘Results Services’. These are:
- Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service:
This service will run prior to results being published. If a school or college believes that a candidate has suffered as a result of exceptional circumstances (for example bereavement or illness during an exam) staff can inform us of the circumstances and submit alternative evidence of attainment demonstrated by the candidate, which we will consider. This ‘alternative evidence’ will be coursework, class assessments or mock exams. To take a holistic view on the appropriate result, our Examiners will also take account of how the other candidates at that school/college performed in the exam. We will always recommend that a candidate sits the exam where possible. Sitting the exam does not exclude the candidate from having an exceptional circumstances request submitted on their behalf.
- Post Results Service:
This service will run after candidates have received their certificates. If a school or college is concerned by a candidate’s result, they can request a clerical check and/or a marking review of the script or other externally assessed component, such as a portfolio. The ‘script’ is the name we give to the candidate’s exam answer paper. If this check/review of the marking of the script or other externally assessed component leads to a change of grade (either up or down), this will be amended on our system and a new certificate will be issued to the candidate. There will be no consideration of ‘alternative evidence’ with this service. If the original grade remains unchanged after a clerical check or marking review, the school or college will be charged for this service.
What is a clerical check?
If a school or college submits a request for a clerical check, SQA staff will check that:
- all parts of the script or other externally assessed component, such as a portfolio, have been marked
- the marks given for each answer have been totalled-up correctly
- the correct total/result was entered into the system for that script or other externally assessed component (the system evaluates all the results received in the different parts of the Course, in order to calculate the final grade.)
What is a marking review?
If a school or college submits a request for a marking review, this will include:
- a clerical check (same as above)
- our Senior Examiner reviewing the marks that the candidate was given for each question/component/item in the exam paper or other externally assessed component, to check whether the original marking was in line with the national standard
Why have these changes been made?
The new Results Services provides better support for candidates and reduces the burden on teachers and lecturers, enabling them to focus more on teaching and learning.
Eligibility for an appeal was based on the candidates estimate with only 10-15% of them being eligible for this service. Results Services does not have these restrictions in place and are open to all candidates who have completed all the compulsory components for a National Course.
Who was involved in the decision for change?
The new Results Services are the product of a wide-ranging consultation between SQA together with schools, colleges and other education professionals who recognised that a review of the Appeals service was required.
SQA engaged externally with key stakeholders who were already involved in the appeals process. This included head teachers, depute head teachers, candidates, parents and principal teachers. We also consulted with our Principal Assessors (who lead our examining teams) and SQA Co-ordinators (our main contacts in schools and colleges). Quality improvement officers and advisors from local authorities across Scotland also participated in the consultation.
In 2009, we looked at our appeals system and compared it with systems in other countries, and stakeholders’ perceptions of the appeals process in general. Once this initial research was completed, we then undertook further engagement on the expectations of the new services. This took place between May and December 2010.
During this time, the stakeholders we consulted with included:
- Scottish Funding Council
- Scotland's Colleges
- Education Scotland (formerly Learning and Teaching Scotland and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education)
- Scottish Government
- Schools (including head teachers, deputes and SQA co-ordinators)
- Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
- Scottish Parent Teacher Council
- Scottish Parent Councils
- Skills Development Scotland
- Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
When were these changes made?
The new Results Services were introduced in session 2013-14. So, the first exams to go through these new services will be those sat in the summer of 2014.
Which qualifications are affected by these changes?
The new Results Services have been introduced for all National Courses that are externally assessed. ‘External’ assessments are marked by specialists appointed by SQA, whereas ‘internal’ assessments are marked in schools and colleges by the candidates’ teachers and lecturers. The qualifications that Results Services apply to include: Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher.
What is meant by alternative evidence?
As part of the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service, where a candidate is unable to sit the exam, their school or college will submit alternative evidence for SQA to consider. This evidence needs to demonstrate the ability of the candidate - giving our Examiners a clear picture of how the candidate performed during the Course.
What type of evidence will SQA accept to support a candidate with exceptional circumstances?
The new Exceptional Circumstances Consideration service will allow us to accept a wider range of evidence than our current appeals service permits.
Schools and colleges will, of course, have to provide evidence of demonstrated attainment, but, with the new service, we may be able to give credit even where this evidence has only a predictive value. In other words, our Examiners will use their professional judgement to determine what the candidate may have achieved, had they been able to complete the exam. The Examiners will review all the evidence provided by the candidate’s school or college, and award them with the grade they deserve.
Mock exams are organised and run locally by schools, colleges and education authorities. SQA will not insist on mock exams as the only form of acceptable evidence, but we do recognise that they are a good example of demonstrated attainment. We envisage that schools and colleges will continue to conduct mock exams as they do now and, therefore, submit these to us as evidence for any candidates affected by Exceptional Circumstances. However, there are other forms of evidence that could equally demonstrate the candidates’ attainment – these include classwork, class tests, homework assignments, essays etc. These will also be accepted.
Why did SQA choose academic year 2013-14 to implement the new services?
Following the consultation exercise, there was wide-spread agreement with partners and stakeholders that the new services would provide a fairer system.
In particular, the new process is simpler and avoids the narrow focus on ‘teaching to the test'. It also allows a wider range of alternative evidence to be considered for candidates who miss an exam through illness or other exceptional circumstances. So, for this reason, it was in candidates’ and teachers’ best interests to have the new services implemented as soon as possible. Given the large-scale system that needed to be built for the new services, 2013-14 was the earliest opportunity for implementation.
We emphasise that the new Results Services have been introduced for all National Courses that are externally-assessed. So, the qualifications they apply to include: Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, National 5 Higher and Advanced Higher.
Are any candidates disadvantaged by the new Results Services?
No. With the new Post-Results Service, if a school or college is concerned by a candidate's result, they will be able to request a clerical check and/or review of the marking of that candidate’s exam script or other externally assessed component.
As part of the new Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service, we will continue to consider alternative evidence of demonstrated attainment by the candidate.
Following the consultation exercise, there was wide-spread agreement that the new Results Services are in the best interests of both candidates and teachers. See above for further details of the benefits they will bring.
Can the candidate's result go down?
Yes. If a school/college requests a clerical check/review of the marking of a candidate’s script or other externally assessed component, this can result in the candidate's result going up or down. When a result is changed (either up or down), this will be amended on our system and a new certificate will be issued to the candidate.
Is there a charge for the new Results Services?
If a school/college requests a clerical check/review of the marking script and the grade remains unchanged, they will be charged for this service.
The charges are as follows:
- Clerical Check £10
- Marking Review £29.75
- Priority Marking Review £39.75
There will be no charge for the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration Service.
Do schools and colleges still have to submit estimates for candidates?
Yes, schools and colleges should still continue to submit estimates. As part of the Exceptional Circumstances Consideration process, candidates’ estimates will be given to our Examiners. The Examiners will use these estimates when judging the alternative evidence that has been submitted by the candidate's school/college. The Examiners will look at how accurate the estimates were for the entire class, and use this information as one of the factors when determining what the appropriate result is for the candidate.
What is SQA currently doing to develop these new services?
A project was established to manage the development and implementation of the new Results Services. We have engaged with schools, colleges and other stakeholders to establish what information, guidance and other materials they need. Guidance and training materials have been user-tested by representatives from schools and colleges before publication.
We work with an External Advisory Group, which comprises of key SQA staff and stakeholders from across the community including:
- The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
- Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS)
- School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
- Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association (SSTA)
- Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC)
- National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS)
- Scotland’s Colleges.
The group represents all areas of the education community and its members give us their feedback on our communication and implementation plans.
Non receipt or damaged certificate
Please contact your school or college after the holidays and they will arrange for a new certificate to be issued on your behalf if you did not receive your certificate or if it is damaged.
Incorrect spelling of name or results missing
SQA uses the details your school/college supplies us with. Please contact your school after the holidays and ask them to update/amend your details and advise us to arrange another certificate to be sent to you.
I have received two certificates with different information on them why?
The most likely explanation is that we are holding your results under two different Scottish Candidate Numbers. Please take both certificates to your school or college and ask them to arrange a merge with us to bring the information together into one single certificate.
I have not received a certificate at all how can I find out my results?
Please contact your school or college. They will have notification of your results. You must also check the address details your school or college hold for you. If they have the wrong details they must update your details and notify SQA and arrange for another certificate to be sent out.
Can I have something removed from my certificate?
Your certificate is a record of all your achievements. Items can only be removed if they have been included in error if you think this is the case you should contact your school or college who will liaise with us to resolve the matter.
I have sat my qualifications in Gaelic MySQA, SCQF and UCAS explained
This year, each candidate who has undertaken subject examinations through the medium of Gaelic will receive a single certificate displaying these qualification titles in Gaelic.
At present, the following examinations are available from SQA through the medium of Gaelic:
National 5: Geography, Modern Studies, History and Mathematics, Higher: Mathematics
This year, there are 26 candidates entered for Gaelic medium National 4 courses, 75 for Gaelic medium National 5 courses, and 27 Higher Matamataig (Mathematics).
Qualifications achieved through the medium of Gaelic will be displayed in Gaelic in the abbreviated text message and the e-mails that candidates receive if they have signed up for MySQA.SCQF Points
A qualification undertaken through the medium of Gaelic will attract the same number of SCQF points as its English equivalentUCAS Tariff
A qualification undertaken through the medium of Gaelic will attract the same number of UCAS points as its English equivalent.
I sat my exams in Gaelic but the course title does not appear on my certificate
Course titles and all Units/elements attained through the medium of Gaelic will be reported in Gaelic on the certificate. This includes the exam code element in the Detailed record of attainment. Candidates who do not complete or fail the external assessment (exam) will still see the Units/elements they have attained reported in Gaelic.
Qualification titles and Units/elements that appear in Gaelic on the certificate will be followed by an English translation in brackets (). (An appendix is attached providing details of the Gaelic titles and their English translation.)
There will also be a recognition statement (in English) reported on the Detailed record of attainment to indicate that the course was assessed and attained through the medium of Gaelic. The recognition statement will not appear if the candidate achieves units/elements or the external assessment only ie. does not achieve the complete course award.
Please contact your school to discuss further any questions you may have relating to the failure to complete the course or failing the external assessment.
My certificate does not contain the correct Gaelic spelling i.e. grave accents
The Scottish Qualifications Certificate will display the subject and any associated Units/elements in Gaelic. Due to restrictions with system functionality at this stage, we are unable to produce certain characters, such as grave accents, however this is under review as part of our Gaelic Language Plan commitments.
Can I order a Replacement Certificate in Gaelic?
Replacement certificates can be ordered via the Replacement Certificate Service. Only replacement certificates ordered for candidates who sat exams from 2012 onwards will display course titles and Units/elements in Gaelic. Replacement certificates for years up to and including 2011 will be issued in English only.
What is the SCQF?
The SCQF helps people understand Scottish qualifications. It provides a way of talking about, and comparing, qualifications. This will help people make better choices about learning and help them progress.
The SCQF brings together all the mainstream Scottish qualifications. It gives them credit points, which show how much learning has been achieved, and a level, which shows how demanding the learning is.
What does the SCQF do?
There are many different qualifications - Nationals, Highers, SVQs, HNC/HNDs, degrees - and the SCQF is a way of showing how they relate to one another.
Another reason for introducing the SCQF was to support progression or movement between different qualifications. Learners often have to start from scratch when they move job or start a new qualification, and the SCQF makes it much easier for learning and training providers to recognise what has already been achieved and to give learners ‘credit’ for this. It also helps people to understand the different routes they can take to acquire new skills and qualifications.
Why does Scotland need a Framework of levels and credits?
The Framework shows that qualifications are broadly comparable (though this does not mean that they are equivalent) by describing them using a common language of level and credit.
The SCQF supports the Scottish Government’s lifelong learning strategy and - now that there’s more mobility of learners and workers across the UK, Europe and internationally - qualification Frameworks are the method by which learning will be understood globally. SCQF information will be useful to holders of the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) so they can explain to employers and training providers how their qualifications compare to other qualifications.
Who will benefit from the SCQF?
The SCQF is beneficial to a wide range of people and organisations such as:
- people of all ages and circumstances who access education and training over their lifetime to fulfil their personal, social and economic potential
- employers, learners and the public who will be able to understand the full range of Scottish qualifications, how they relate to each other and how they can contribute to improving skills
- qualification providers, who will be able to describe programmes of learning that lead to qualifications and make the relationship between qualifications clearer
Other benefits will be to:
- clarify entry and exit points and support the development of routes to progress from qualification to qualification
- maximise the opportunities to transfer credit between qualifications
- assist learners to plan their progress and learning
Who developed the SCQF?
The SCQF is managed by a partnership of SQA, the higher education sector (working through the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland), and the Scottish Government. An industry representative also sits on the SCQF Board. However, a much wider range of stakeholders have overseen the SCQF’s development, including Skills Development Scotland, learndirect scotland, the Confederation of British Industry, Confederation of Scotland’s Local Authorities (COSLA), Federation of Small Businesses, Education Scotland and Communities Scotland.
Is SCQF new?
The SCQF is managed by a partnership of SQA, the higher education sector (working through the Quality Assurance Agency and Universities Scotland), and the Scottish Government. The Association of Scotland’s Colleges have recently joined this partnership. However, a much wider range of stakeholders have overseen the SCQF’s development, also including Careers Scotland, learndirect scotland, the Confederation of British Industry, Confederation of Scotland’s Local Authorities (COSLA), Her Majesties Inspectorate of Education and Communities Scotland.
Visit the SQA Ready Reckoner to see where SQA qualifications are placed in the SCQF
What does ‘level’ mean??
The level of the qualification shows how demanding it is. There are 12 levels in the Framework, level 1 being the least difficult and level 12 the most demanding.
Are qualifications that have the same level equal?
No. The SCQF level shows that qualifications at the same level involve the same complexity of learning, but each qualification may differ in terms of the subject, purpose and size. For example; qualifications on the same level may have a different number of credit points, which will show that more time is needed to achieve the qualification. For example, an Advanced Higher is at SCQF level 7 and has 32 credit points, while a Higher National Certificate is also at SCQF level 7and has 96 credit points. Not only are the qualifications different sizes, but they are also different types and serve different purposes.
How do ‘credit points’ work? What do they mean?
Credit points are based on the amount of time an ‘average’ learner would take to complete the qualification. As well as including the time spent learning in school/college it includes self-directed learning - ie study at home or the library, etc.
The number of SCQF credit points shows how much learning has to be done to achieve the qualification. One SCQF credit point represents about 10 hours of learning. For example, if a learner achieves a Higher Course (level 6) with 24 SCQF credits, they will have done about 240 hours of learning.
Are all credit points worth the same?
Yes. (And no.) SCQF credit points are all allocated on the basis of one SCQF credit point to 10 learning hours. This means that the six SCQF credit points for a Higher Unit and the six credit points for an Intermediate 2 Unit each represent 60 hours of learning. However, the credits for Higher have been gained at level 6, while the credits for Intermediate 2 have been gained at level 5. This means that the learning at level 6 is more complex than level 5.
Do I aim to get as many credits as possible, or as many qualifications at the highest level?
You should aim for the programmes of learning that are best for you at different times of your life. For example, at school you might try for Highers (level 6). Later on, you might want to learn a new skill as a hobby, and that qualification could be at SCQF level 5; or during your working life you might take an SVQ at SCQF level 7.
Do credits entitle me to study for another qualification or job?
Individual universities and colleges set entry requirements for their courses, so it is up to them to determine how relevant your learning is compared to their requirements. However, the SCQF level and credit points of your qualifications help them to make this decision.
Employers are normally more likely to be interested in the SCQF level of your qualifications than the number of points achieved. However, credit points indicate the amount of learning you have achieved at an SCQF level, and will tell the employer how big the qualification is.
- helps qualification-providers describe programmes of learning that lead to qualifications and makes the relationship between qualifications clearer
- clarifies entry and exit points, and supports the development of routes to progress from qualification to qualification
- maximises opportunities to transfer credit between qualifications
- helps learners plan their learning and progress
Where will I see the SCQF?
Information about the SCQF appears on your Scottish Qualifications Certificate. Many colleges and universities mention the SCQF in their prospectus or on their website. Local authorities have been using SCQF since 2001 to report on school attainment.
Who uses the SCQF?
SQA, colleges and universities have been working with the SCQF for some years. In Scotland, universities use the SCQF to describe their qualifications and all degrees offered by universities have been placed on the Framework. This helps learners to move and progress between programmes and institutions.
What other qualifications are in the SCQF?
The Framework already includes some non-mainstream qualifications. For example, Midlothian Council has had its Crèche Worker training course placed on the Framework, and qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and the Scottish Police College have been included in the SCQF Framework too.
Will SCQF replace qualifications like doctorates, degrees and HNC/Ds?
No. You will still be awarded a degree or a Diploma. The Framework doesn’t replace qualifications - it simply shows how one qualification broadly compares with another.
Does the SCQF award qualifications?
No. Awarding and accrediting qualifications is done by SQA and other organisations like universities, colleges, statutory and professional bodies. Additionally, colleges can credit rate their own or other organisations provisions.
Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?
No. That is not part of the SCQF’s purpose. The Framework is a new way of comparing and understanding Scottish qualifications. Education Scotland reviews the quality of learning and teaching in Scotland.
Does the funding that schools, colleges and universities get depend on the SCQF level of the courses they teach?
No. This is not part of the SCQF’s purpose. Funding is reviewed by other organisations such as the Scottish Funding Council, local authorities and Scottish Enterprise.
What SCQF information is shown on the Scottish Qualifications Certificate SQC?
The certificate has three sections:
- The summary of attainment, which lists all of the Group Awards, Courses and stand-alone Units that you have achieved and shows SCQF levels of the qualifications which have been credit-rated
- The detailed record of attainment gives more detail about the qualifications you’ve achieved since the last certificate was issued, and will include SCQF levels and credits
- The profiles section shows your current achievements in Core Skills and SCQF credits
Why is the SCQF shown on the certificate?
The SCQF is used in Scotland’s schools, colleges and universities and employers are becoming more aware of the SCQF. With more and more qualifications being placed in the Framework, it is therefore appropriate to include SCQF information on learners’ certificates.
Knowing your SCQF information can help you make decisions about what to do next. It also helps colleges and universities make decisions about entry or progression. For example, some universities and other higher education institutions give credit transfer for HNCs and HNDs onto the second or third year of a degree programme.
Why do I need to know about the SCQF?
The SCQF can help learners to negotiate their way through the lifelong learning journey. They need to know that they can use their SCQF credit points towards new qualifications, and that there are different paths they can take. For example, many learners who have achieved an HND have used this credit towards a degree - instead of entering a university in year 1 they enter into year 2 or 3. This will become even more important as more and more qualifications are included in the Framework.
How do I work out the total SCQF credits I have?
On your Scottish Qualifications Certificate there’s a profile page that gives you a breakdown of all the credit points you have gained and their SCQF levels.
How were grades 1 – 6 in Standard Grades shown in the SCQF?
The grades 1 – 6 showed how well the learning had been achieved within one of three levels:
- grades 1 or 2 were awarded at Credit Standard Grade - SCQF level 5
- grades 3 or 4 were awarded at General Standard Grade - SCQF level 4
- grades 5 or 6 were awarded at Foundation Standard Grade - SCQF level 3
Why do grades A, B, C and D get the same number of credit points in National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher and Intermediate 1 and 2 ?
The SCQF level is a guide to the general level of knowledge and skill needed to achieve that award. The number of SCQF credit points gained doesn’t change depending on your grade - the SCQF credit points reflect how much learning you’ve achieved, not how well you’ve learned it. Your grades show how well you have done.
Does the SCQF make a difference to my exam results?
No, the SCQF has no effect on exam results. Level and credit are gained when you achieve individual Units and external assessments. The grading you get in an exam does not affect the SCQF level. Please see the above question above 'Why do grades A, B, C and D get the same number of credit points in National 5, Higher, Advanced Higher and Intermediate 1 and 2?'.
What if I sit a number of qualifications at the same level?
It makes no difference. Each individual qualification is allocated an SCQF level and you will be awarded each qualification, even if these are at the same level. For example, National 5 and Intermediate 2 are both at level 5. If you achieve these you will be awarded both qualifications and gain SCQF credit points for each. These examples have 24 credit points each, giving you 48 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5. It’s the same if you achieve two National 5s - you get 48 points at level 5.
What support will candidates have to help them understand all of this?
All candidates receive the flyer 'About Your SQC' with their certificate. As well as explaining your results, this tells you what the SCQF is, how it works, and what it means for you.
All SQA centres (schools and colleges for example) have received a short guide to the SCQF called 'Achievement Counts', which is designed to help learners understand the SCQF. It is available to download on the SCQF website, www.scqf.org.uk. All SQA centres also have supplies of 'Your Exams' and 'About your SQC'.
Copies are also available from the SCQF office, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0141 225 2927.
All SQA Centre Co-ordinators have a Resource Pack containing copies of presentations, guides and leaflets to help explain the SQC and the SCQF to colleagues, parents and learners.
If you have any questions on the new SQC, please contact SQA’s Business Development & Customer Support Team on: 0303 333 0330 or e-mail: email@example.com
Is there an easy way to see SQA qualifications in the SCQF?
Please download our Ready Reckoner of SQA qualifications in the SCQF.
How does SCQF relate to UCAS points?
It doesn’t. SCQF credit points are not the same as UCAS tariff points and do not relate to the tariff. UCAS tariff points relate to the type of qualification, the subject and the grade achieved, and are allocated on that basis. SCQF credits are a measure of how much learning needs to be done to achieve a qualification, regardless of the grade achieved.
Will the SCQF help candidates get a college or university place?
Not directly. Entrance into college or university is at the discretion of the institution, and normally relies on learners’ grades and subjects. However, the SCQF will help colleges and universities understand what learners have achieved. As more qualifications are allocated an SCQF level and credit points, the SCQF information will become important to the institutions to help make entry and credit transfer decisions.
Will the SCQF help candidates get a job?
Not directly, but the Framework diagram is a useful way to show potential employers what level of learning has been achieved. Work is continually being done to help employers understand how the SCQF can help them recruit the employees they need.
I have heard the terms ‘general credit’ and ‘specific credit’ being used. What does this mean?
The SCQF credit points given to a qualification are ‘general’ credit points. They don’t relate to any subject or any particular purpose - they just help people understand how qualifications relate to one another.
If the holder of an award decided to apply for a different type of qualification, he or she might be able to use some or all of the credits achieved towards the new qualification, but this would depend on the subject match. For example, an HND in Business might provide a large number of credits toward a degree in Business, but only a small number of credits towards a professional qualification in Accounting. Specific credit means credit that would count for a specific purpose - it is usually given at the discretion of the institution you’re applying to.
What if I have enough general credit points but not sufficient specific credit points for progression?
An institution may ask for a number of credits in a specific subject area at a particular SCQF level, and may ask you to supplement your learning to gain these credits. This may be at a level below or above the general credit points you already have.
Will the SCQF replace recognition for prior learning/experience?
No, but the 'SCQF Handbook' contains guidance on recognition of prior learning that may help to quantify it. This can be found on the SCQF website (www.scqf.org.uk).
Individual institutions will also have their own policies on recognition of prior learning and experience.
Do other countries have their own Frameworks?
The current Frameworks for England and Nothern Ireland are the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The HE sector has the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). In Wales, the Credit and Qualifications framework Wales (CQFW) incorporates the NQF, QCF and HE Frameworks.
The Republic of Ireland has its own Framework, the National Framework of Qualifications for Ireland which, like the SCQF, includes general qualifications normally taken at school, vocational education and higher education.
The Qualifications can cross boundaries leaflet shows the Frameworks of the UK and how the qualifications within them roughly compare.
Additionally there is a European Qualifications Framework (EQF). The idea behind this Framework is that each European member nation will reference their Framework to the EQF. This may act as a translation device and provide a common currency by which learners and workers will be able to have their learning compared across Europe.
Do stand-alone Units have an SCQF level and credit points?
SQA Units have an SCQF level and credit points. However, not all SVQs have SCQF credit points, as they are owned by the Sector Skills Councils, which are responsible for these qualifications.
The Scottish Qualification Certificate (SQC) issued by SQA reports the level and credit points of each Unit a candidate achieves, in addition to the level of the overall qualification, to which they may contribute.
Will all SQA Group Awards be positioned on the SCQF?
Group Awards are positioned on the SCQF. However, a small number of legacy qualifications do not. These will either lapse or be replaced by SCQF credit rated qualifications.
Are SVQs given level and credit points in the SCQF?
The ready reckoner that shows the mainstream Scottish qualifications in the SCQF shows SVQs notionally positioned. The Scottish Government had previously funded a project to credit rate (the process of allocating SCQF level and SCQF credit points to be placed in the Framework) individual SVQs. This work was led by SQA and involves Sector Skills Councils (who develop the standards that SVQs are based on), and awarding bodies approved to deliver SVQs in Scotland have contributed to this work.
SVQs are made up of different Units, and because of this, the amount of credit they are awarded varies. SVQs are also made up of mandatory and optional Units, and so some people will have the same SVQ at the same level but will have a slightly different number of SCQF credit points, depending on which optional Units they completed.
Many SVQs have been credit-rated, with other SVQs being available for credit-rating as appropriate, such as when they come up for review or revision.
Will SQA quality assure our qualification/learning programme?
SQA will only quality assure the qualification/learning programme once it has been credit rated if you have signed up to our external quality assurance service. This is at an additional annual cost and is carried out by an SQA Officer.
Can a new qualification/learning programme be credit rated?
Organisations can submit an existing qualification/learning programme which learners have already taken part in, or a programme which has yet to run.
Learners in our qualification/learning programme do not sit a final exam, can this still be credit rated?
The way in which a qualification/learning programme is assessed does not affect the submission and as long as the outcomes are formally assessed, and the results recorded then it can be considered for credit rating.
Is there a charge for this service?
As this is a commercial service there is charge. For further details please contact SQA’s Credit Rating Service.
What type of credit does this process refer to?
This will result in general credit and not specific credit being allocated.
Does completing this process mean that we have been accredited?
SCQF Credit Rating will not result in accreditation or validation by SQA. SQA is the credit rating body.
What is a customised award?
Customised Awards are qualifications owned and developed by you. They allow you to decide the content and structure of the qualification with SQA providing assistance on its development, external quality assurance and certification.
Do I need to have existing training in place to create a customised award?
No. A Customised Award can be created with little or no training in place. Similarly, a Customised Award can be created if there is already training in place. A member of our Business Development Team will be able to talk you through your options.
What is the process?
Our five point process for creating a Customised Award can be reviewed on our Customised Awards process page
How long can the process take?
The process to create a Customised Award can vary, depending on the amount of work required. A member of our Business Development Team can give you more information about the length of the process depending on what you are hoping to achieve. Our experience tells us that a development can be completed in approximately 4- 6 months.
Who do I work with?
You will work with a member of our Business Development team. They will introduce you to our Specialist Awards and Services team, who will work with you to create your award. Our Business Development team member will be your first point of contact and will guide you through the process from start to finish.
What are the benefits to my business?
There are several benefits to your business for creating a Customised Award. They can include:
- Creating a truly bespoke qualification
- Accredit your own learning and obtain recognition for it
- Exclusively own your own qualification
- Help you achieve business objectives
- Increase skills levels in your workforce and improving work practices and motivation
- Assist the management and development of human resource functions
- Provide recognition and development opportunities for employees
- Help meet regulatory requirements and demonstrate the competence of your employees to external parties.
Can anyone else use my customised award?
No – not without your permission. When you create your Customised Award, you exclusively own and deliver this qualification, but you are free to allow other SQA Centres to deliver your award.
What other services are available?
What does it cost?
The costs for creating a Customised Award can vary depending on the development time, and your requirements. A member of our support team will be able to talk to you about this and give a full breakdown of costs.