Accreditation News

Welcome to SQA Accreditation's News area.

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Assessor and Verifier Competence

SQA Accreditation approved the LSIS (formerly LLUK) Learning and Development SVQs and Units in October 2010 and awarding bodies can now seek accreditation for these. The SVQs and Units are derived from the Learning and Development NOS which were approved by the UK NOS Panel in March 2010. 

SVQ Assessment Strategies

All SVQ structures must have either:

  •  a corresponding SVQ assessment strategy or
  • an overarching assessment strategy which covers a range of SVQs within a particular sector area.

Approval to Offer First Aid at Work (FAW) in Scotland

From 1 January 2013 Awarding Bodies regulated by SQA Accreditation, Ofqual and Welsh Government Department for Education and Skills will be permitted to award qualifications in both EFAW and FAW which will be accepted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for the purposes of compliance with regulation 3(2) of the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981. SQA Accreditation has assumed responsibility for the regulation of these qualifications when offered in Scotland.

Accreditation News Update - October 2013

The Accreditation News update for October has information on:

Assessor and Verifier Competence

SQA Accreditation is issuing this communication to provide clarification and guidance relating to the qualification requirements for the assessment and verification of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). In addition the following clarification and guidance may also be used for assessing other types of qualifications that may be supported by assessment strategies and/or assessment principles.

Update to Workplace Core Skills Assessment Support Pack - Numeracy SCQF level 5

We were alerted that there was an error in the existing assessment support pack for the above workplace core skill.

Regulatory Principles Directive RPDIR - 5 Complaints Handling

Regulatory Principles Directive RPDIR - 5 Complaints handling

Accreditation News Update - May 2013

Welcome to SQA Accreditation News Area

The attached news article has information on:

* Universal Services Timelines

* New Approved Awarding Bodies

* Approved Awarding Body Quality Assurance

* Regulatory Principles Directives

Stakeholder Survey 2012 - 2013

SQA Accreditation conducted a stakeholder survey between October and December 2012 with the purpose of gathering stakeholders' feedback and experiences of working with SQA Accreditation and to identify key strengths and weaknesses which could inform further improvements.

A report which outlines the findings from the survey has now been published and can be accessed here.

Many thanks to those who responded to the survey. If you have any questions regarding the report, please contact Laura McCansh, Research Officer on

Automated Responses for Accreditation Mailboxes - February 2013

As part of the ongoing review of our systems and processes we will shortly be implementing a change to how we confirm receipt of submissions to SQA Accreditation mailboxes.

SVQs and the SCQF

Following discussions with the Scottish Government regarding the use of the SCQF level in SVQ titles, we set up a small group of SSCs and Awarding Bodies in early summer to identify any issues which would potentially arise from using the SCQF level in the title of SVQs.

AC2 Submission Form (Amendments) (June 2012)

Please note that the Accreditation Co-ordination Group (ACG) has approved a revised process for AC2 submissions.

Changing our processes for Accreditation of Qualifications

We are changing our criteria to for qualifications and the way we process accreditation submissions.

MAG Communication (January 2011)

The Modern Apprenticeship Group (MAG), which approves the Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks in Scotland, issued two letters in January 2011 which outline their position with regards to NVQs in MA Frameworks and SCQF credit rating of MA Frameworks. 

Policy - Credit Rating Accredited Qualifications for the SCQF - December 2011

SQA Accreditation will consider SCQF credit rating submissions for approval if:

SCQF Partnership - Sept 2011

The SCQF Partnership is working with the other ECVET contact points in the UK and the National Agency for ECVET to recruit ECVET experts for 2012 ? 2014.  This is subject to a successful bid being approved by the European Commission.  ECORYS the National Agency is inviting notes of interest from suitably experienced experts to join a UK team on a part time basis.  You will find the application form, the profile for an expert and some information about the work of ECORYS here.  Applications must be returned by 30 September.

Statement on Common Conditions - May 2011

SQA Accreditation, The Department for Education and Skills (DES) and CCEA (Regulation) are currently considering how they can, respectively, implement arrangements which are similar to the Ofqual Recognition Conditions, either by mirroring those conditions which are relevant to each nation, or by adopting an approach which gives consideration to the spirit of the Recognition Conditions. All the Qualification Regulators are fully committed to reducing bureaucracy and identifying an approach which assists those awarding bodies that operate across all four UK countries, yet at the same time meets the respective requirements of each regulator and its legal obligations.

Guidance on NOS Consultation in Scotland (February 2011)

As you will be aware, the new NOS quality assurance procedure requires SSCs to demonstrate nation specific consultation with employers and key stakeholders in relation to the review and development of NOS. In Scotland, NOS are used as the basis for development of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and other competence based qualifications. 

Update on Information Sheets (January 2011)

We have modified the search facility on the SVQ Information Page.

SCQF Credit Rated SVQs (Awarding Bodies) October 2010

As you will be aware, our Accreditation Committee requires Awarding Bodies to be working towards issuing certificates which conforms to our new titling conventions for SVQs which have been SCQF credit rated.

UK European Qualifications Framework (EQF) National Co-ordination Points (NCPs)

The UK European Qualifications Framework (EQF) National Co-ordination Points (NCPs) have been working on the referencing the UK qualifications frameworks to the EQF.  The UK report ?Referencing the Qualifications Frameworks of the United Kingdom to the European Qualifications Framework? was launched at an international conference in April this year and can be accessed on all UK EQF NCPs websites.

SVQ Titling and the SCQF

You will recall that I wrote you to some time ago regarding the Accreditation Committee's decision with regards to the titling of those SVQs which have been SCQF credit rated. Since then a number of Awarding Bodies have been in contact to indicate that this would have implications for databases, in particular, having to hold two different titles and has a consequence in that it is not possible to produce two different SVQ certificates.  I therefore wish to advise you of a change to the original request.

Employer Direct Model Reminder

As a reminder of our previous Accreditation News article on the Employer Direct Model, Awarding Bodies and SSCs are reminded that for SVQs - where assessment strategies stipulate that employer/alternative training can be used as an in place of Assessors and Verifiers achievement of the A and V Units.

Employer Direct Model

As an alternative to A & V Units, some SSC/Bs have elected to use an employer direct model as an alternative to assessors and verifiers achieving the A and V Units within SVQ assessment strategies.

Titling of qualifications

As we can now accredit any qualifications other than degrees, our Accreditation Co-ordination Group (ACG) has noted an increase in the number of submissions for qualifications entitled Award, Certificate and Diploma.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy (2007) challenges Awarding Bodies to work towards placing their qualifications in the SCQF and making links with other qualifications to open up opportunities for individuals. There are no specific design requirements for qualifications placed on the SCQF, nor is there any requirement that qualifications on the SCQF must be based on NOS.

The Role of SSCs/SSBs and Awarding Bodies in Scottish Qualification Development

Skills for Scotland: A Lifelong Skills Strategy (2007) requires that employers have a say in the design of all qualifications and this has been embraced through the VQ Reform Programme with SQA ensuring that:

  • SSCs/SSBs and employers are involved in the design of the qualifications which are awarded
  • SSCs/SSBs and employers are involved in the design of the qualifications which are accredited by SQA Accreditation.

Complaints and Appeals (June 2010)

Complaints and Appeals (June 2010)

On reviewing the trend of non-compliances over the last two quarters, it has been noted that there is a significant increase in the number of Awarding Bodies that have a non-compliance against the following criterion (SQA Accreditation's Awarding Body Crieria (2007)):

  • 9.1.4 The circumstances under which a centre or candidate is entitled to make an appeal or complaint to SQA Accrediting Body.

SQA Accreditation Qualification Products Approval Process

From 1 April 2009 a new process was introduced to approve qualification products from Scotland.

SQA Accreditation Approval of Qualification Products

Since 1 April 2009, SQA Accreditation has had the remit to approve SVQ Structures, SVQ Assessment Strategies, Core Skills Signposting and SCQF Credit Rating of SVQs.  This remit now includes the approval of Scottish Qualification Products which have been funded through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).

SCQF Credit Rating Approval Process for SVQs

From 1 April 2009, SQA Accreditation introduced a new process for approving the SCQF credit rating of SVQs and SVQ Units.

SCQF Credit and Levelling of SVQs and Other Competence Based Qualifications

Explains the requirements for SCQF credit and levelling of SVQs and other Competence Based Qualifications (not SVQs).

Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks (MA Frameworks)

Provides information on Scottish Government policy on SVQs and the Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Group's (MAG) policy for Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks, including:

  • Scottish Government Policy on SVQs
  • Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Group's Definition of a Competence Based Qualification within a Modern Apprenticeship Framework
  • SVQs and Core Skills within a Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Framework
  • SQA Accreditation of the Mandatory Components of a Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Framework
  • SCQF Credit and Levelling of Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks

Find out more

Run out period for level 3 Scottish Vocational Qualifications

You may be aware of some research undertaken during 2009 which examined the impact of the lapsing/ run-out period for SVQs within Modern Apprenticeships.

Review of approval process for qualifications products

As you will be aware, from 1 April 2009, SVQ structures, Assessment Strategies, Core Skills Signposting and SCQF Credit and Levelling of SVQs have been approved by SQA Accreditation.  The opportunity to work closer with SSCs/B and awarding bodies in the development and approval of qualification outputs was welcomed by SQA Accreditation.

Guidance for Sector Skills Councils, Standard Setting Bodies and Awarding Bodies

A new guidance document has been produced to aid SSC/SSBs and Awarding Bodies in the development of SVQs.

Delegated Credit Rating

Delegated Credit Rating (DCR) has been developed in line with the Scottish Government's Skills Strategy. It aims to ensure that individuals receive appropriate credit for the learning they have received, and to provide routes into other learning opportunities. 

SQA Accreditation has developed a non-bureaucratic, no-cost process for credit rating which allows you to demonstrate your commitment to the Skills Strategy.

Knowledge Units within SVQ Structure

As National Occupational Standards are required to demonstrate full occupational competence, the UK NOS Panel (UKNP) is unable to approve Knowledge Only Units as NOS.

Awarding Body Approval and Accreditation

SQA Accreditation Approved Awarding bodies (ABs) are asked to note the following: