SVQ 4 Life Sciences and Related Industries at SCQF level 8

SVQ 4 Life Sciences and Related Industries at SCQF level 8

The SVQ 4 in Life Sciences and Related Industries has been developed by Cogent, the Sector Skills Council for Science-Based Industries. The SVQ allows candidates to demonstrate competence in job related skills in their particular area of work and expertise.

This qualification covers the specialist knowledge and skills needed to follow health and safety procedures and maintain good working relationships in the life sciences and related industries.

There are also options to study more specific topics such as making presentations, developing and providing training, managing budgets and providing leadership, establishing and implementing quality assurance processes, and analysing samples.

This qualification is available through colleges, employers and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

The SVQ 4 in Life Sciences and Related Industries at SCQF level 8 is a new qualification.

Figures from 2013 show the life sciences sector in Scotland is thriving, with over 630 organisations employing around 32,000 people across the sector. These roles span across industry, universities, schools, further education colleges and the NHS. The types of work employees in these roles carry out include preparing samples through to testing. There are good job opportunities in these areas for people with the right skills.

Upon successful completion of the SVQ, learners will gain an internationally recognised qualification which guarantees that they have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to carry out their role successfully. Employers will also benefit from their employees being proficient.

Assessment is carried out in the workplace, minimising any time learners would need to be away from their work.

The SVQ can be offered full-time or part-time (eg day-release).

Who does this qualification suit

This SVQ is suitable for: learners who may have just left school; people in employment who wish to obtain a formal qualification; employees who wish to obtain short, continuing professional development courses.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Candidates should be in a job or placement where they are carrying out relevant tasks and responsibilities which allow them to gather the required evidence.


  • There are opportunities to continue to undertake further vocational training or academic qualifications. These may include (but are not exclusive to):
  • Degrees in Chemistry, Science or a related discipline
  • Developing a career in coaching through Assessor and Verifier Awards
  • Qualifications in a related area, including (but not limited to) Health & Safety, Training & Development, Business
  • Improvement Techniques and Supervisory Management
  • Membership of a professional institution at Technician level (Further information available at )
  • Cogent Gold Standard qualifications contained within the Gold Standard frameworks (

Successful completion of the Modern Apprenticeship could lead to the following job roles:

  • technical supervisor
  • advanced technician


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs. For detailed guidance on how to assess this particular SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Strategy.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

Group Award Code: GJ31 24

The SVQ 4 Life Sciences and Related Industries at SCQF level 8 consists of two mandatory Units and six optional Units.

For details of the Units making up the SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure (74 KB).

National Occupational Standards

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

Modern Apprenticeships

This SVQ is a mandatory component in the Technical Apprenticeship in Life Science and Related Science Industries.

SQA also offers the following components of this Apprenticeship:

  • GK6G 16    HND in Applied Biological Sciences at SCQF level 8
  • GK6H 16    HND in Applied Chemical Sciences at SCQF level 8
  • GK6F 16    HND in Applied Sciences at SCQF level 8
  • G7YX 16    HND in Biomedical Sciences at SCQF level 8

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessor's guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio

Scope and range document

Centres may find the scope/range document (55 KB) helpful when devising an instrument of assessment.

Useful links

Cogent Life Sciences Scotland

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