Skills for Work: Construction Crafts National 5 (SCQF level 5)

Construction image hardhat hammer

Qualification information

National 5 Skills for Work: Construction Crafts is an introductory qualification which develops the skills, knowledge and attitudes, needed for work in the construction industry. It offers progression for National 4 candidates but is also a suitable level of entry for candidates with an aptitude for practical crafts work who could cope with the additional demand at National 5.

The Course includes practical construction crafts Units in four of the main construction trades: bricklaying, decorative painting, carpentry and joinery, and plumbing.

Learners develop a variety of skills in the trade-specific Units, while the Employability Skills Unit addresses a number of practical and employability skills which can be practised and developed across all the Units in the Course (eg setting goals, reflecting, and learning from experience).

At SCQF level 5, learners work alone or with others on straightforward tasks with support. 

This qualification provides a basis for progression into further education, or for moving directly into training or employment within the construction sector. It is available through schools and colleges.

Why deliver this qualification

This Course focuses on developing generic employability skills needed for success in the workplace through a variety of practical experiences in the construction crafts area.
There is considerable flexibility of topics and contexts to facilitate personalisation and choice for learners and centres — and to allow new and stimulating contexts for learning to be built into the Course.

The crafts-specific Units are in trades with high levels of identified skill shortages.

The skills areas covered are readily resourced in centres that already offer construction Courses.

It is anticipated that the Course will build on existing partnerships between schools, colleges of further education, employers and other training providers. Such partnerships will enable the Course to be delivered in a variety of appropriate learning environments with access to relevant teaching expertise.

Who does this qualification suit

The SfW Construction Crafts Course is experiential, practical and candidate centred. It is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • adult candidates who are seeking to enhance their employability and to develop introductory vocational skills in the construction sector
  • learners who have previous experience of construction crafts at National 4
  • pupils from mainstream schools or other education establishments
  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • learners participating in 16+ programmes
  • college students wishing to develop their skills and knowledge in relation to construction crafts
  • trainees participating in preparation for entering employment
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


Successful learners may progress to:

  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications in construction crafts
  • further education
  • vocational training
  • employment


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

Assessment in this Course will be based on a range of practical workshop activities, supported by assessor observation checklists and candidate self-checking of quality. In the Employability Skills Unit, candidates will carry out self-evaluation on a range of skills, review their progress and identify action points. They will also demonstrate that they can put action points into practice.

There is no external assessment for this Course. Learners must successfully complete each Unit to achieve the Course.

Unit specifications provide detailed information on the Evidence Requirements for each Unit. The Unit Support Notes provide information on approaches to assessment for each Unit.

The Units are internally assessed by centres and externally verified by SQA.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award code C218 75 (24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Construction Crafts at SCQF level 5 consists of three mandatory Units and a choice of one from two optional Units.

For further information on the structure and units of this qualification please refer to the Course Specification document.

Course Specification

Internal Assessment Reports