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Personal Development

Personal Development

New Personal Development Awards

These Personal Development Courses at SCQF levels 2 and 3 (Access 2 and 3) will be withdrawn on 31 July 2014 and at SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6 (Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2 and Higher) will be withdrawn on 31 July 2015.

Find out more about the new Personal Development Awards which replace the above courses.

Personal Development Courses

Personal Development Courses aim to help learners become employable, contributing and independent members of society through the development of transferable life skills. Available at SCQF levels 2–6, the Courses encourage candidates to build a range of personal, social and vocational skills such as evaluating, planning, reviewing, managing tasks and working with others.

Candidates can target their own individual development needs and assessment is based around these individual needs.

These qualifications are available in schools and colleges.

For information about the Access 1 and 2 levels, please refer to the Access 1 & 2 website.

Amazing Things

The purpose of the publication is to highlight the contribution made by the awards to young people’s achievement. It is a joint effort between all the different award providers.

The guide is aimed at everyone who places a value on young people’s voluntary effort to develop their own skills and improve the communities around them. It will be useful for youth work organisations, schools, colleges and universities, and employers.

A guide to the youth awards in Scotland (2.19 MB)

Personal Development Videos

Personal Development Units video imageNew videos are now available to view featuring Brannock High School, James Hamilton Academy and Our Lady's High School. Please use the following link to view them:

Feedback from centres

Related Links

LOGO: Learning Teaching Scotland NQ Online logo. LOGO: CEG Plan IT logo. LOGO: CEG Progress logo.

Understanding Standards

To learn more about General Assessment Principles, differentiation between levels, integration of units and their assessment and how they are applied to NQ Personal Development, you can visit the Understanding Standards Website.

Why deliver this qualification?

Personal Development Courses develop skills and abilities which complement subjects in other areas of the curriculum and meet the principles of Curriculum for Excellence. The Courses help centres to deliver life skills and candidates may get recognition for activities that have already taken place in the centre.

Levels 3, 4, 5 and 6 give automatic certification of Core Skills and achievement of this qualification is nationally recognised.

Who does the qualification suit?

These qualifications are suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • secondary school pupils
  • college students
  • young people training with an educational training provider
  • anyone looking to develop their personal skills


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


Personal Development Courses provide a clear progression route to: 

  • further Courses or Units in personal development
  • training or employment
  • further and higher education


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

Evidence for assessment can be generated at appropriate points throughout the Units and retained in a candidate folio. NABs for each Unit are available to download from SQA’s secure website. There is no external assessment.

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code:

SCQF level 2 (Access 2) — C250 08 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level 3 (Access 3) — C250 09 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level 4 (Intermediate 1) — C255 10 (24 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level 5 (Intermediate 2) — C255 11 (24 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level 6 (Higher) — C255 12 (24 SCQF credit points)

Courses at SCQF levels 2 and 3 consist of three 40-hour Units. At SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6 there are four 40-hour Units. Each Unit can be certificated separately.

Whether a learner achieves at SCQF level 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 depends on the amount of support they receive, their level of participation and the complexity of their tasks.

The four Units are as follows:

Personal Development: Self Awareness

(not mandatory at SCQF levels 2 and 3)
In this Unit, candidates will aim to increase their knowledge of their own qualities and feelings while undertaking a personal project.

Personal Development: Self in Society

In this Unit, candidates will aim to develop their interpersonal skills while planning and carrying out a group project.

Personal Development: Self and Work

In this Unit, candidates will plan to develop their task management skills while undertaking a vocational project.

Personal Development: Practical Abilities

In this Unit, candidates will demonstrate their abilities in handling information, communicating effectively and delivering a product or a service while undertaking one or more specific projects.

Past Personal Development Support Events

Please find the Presentations and handouts from Personal Development Support events below: