SVQ Offshore Drilling Operations

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Offshore Drilling Operations at SVQ level 3 has been developed by OPITO and SQA. It is intended for people working in the offshore oil and gas sector and who seek to develop their knowledge of deck and helideck operations, rig floor equipment, drilling and tripping operations, casing and tubing operations, drilling fluid and circulating equipment, derrick operations and well control.

This qualification is now in its lapsing period and will finish on 30/06/2016. Please refer to the Qualification Structure section for further information.

Why deliver this qualification

The SVQ in Offshore Drilling Operations is offered as work-based qualification and optional Units can be selected to suit the candidate’s work role. It can be offered at any time and does not need to follow the academic session.

This qualification is nationally recognised and based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) developed by OPITO. It is assessed in the workplace, or in conditions of the workplace. Examples include offshore fixed drilling platforms, jack-ups, semi-submersibles and drill-ships. The onshore facilities of training providers or colleges may be used for the assessment of simulated activities relating to emergency response and well control.

Who does this qualification suit

The SVQ at level 3 at drillers and assistant drillers.

The Units relate directly to the candidate’s work, offering a wide recognition of candidates’ skills and achievements. These qualifications aim to improve skills and career prospects which can lead to enhanced job satisfaction and open up the possibility of continued study.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. As these are mainly work-based qualifications, candidates should be in positions which would enable them to provide the required evidence.


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

Assessment is mainly through performance in the workplace. Evidence may be gathered by observation, product evaluation, questioning, witness testimony and personal statement.

Simulation is permitted where it is not practical to assess a candidate in a real work situation. Examples might be where the candidate is required to carry out emergency or contingency procedures, where client confidentiality is an issue, or where a candidate’s job role does not cover all aspects of the qualification.

Parts of the level 3 Unit, Provide Well Control, can be assessed in Realistic Working Environments using simulators that replicate well conditions and the driller’s console and controls.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Accredited Qualification Unit Search.

Awarding partnership arrangements

This qualification is jointly awarded by Opito.

Qualification structure

This qualification is now in its lapsing period and will finish on 30/06/2016. Centres should note:

  • The qualification will be deleted from the relevant catalogue
  • The qualification’s content and delivery tools will remain on SQA’s website until 30/06/2016 at which point they will be removed and archived
  • No new centres may be approved to offer the qualification
  • No candidates can be entered for the qualification
  • Centres should ensure candidates complete the qualification and results are submitted to SQA before 30/06/2016.

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material