Skills for Work: Laboratory Science National 5 (SCQF level 5)

Skills for Work: Laboratory Science National 5 (SCQF level 5)

Qualification Information

National 5 Skills for Work: Laboratory Science is an introductory qualification. The Course provides a broad experiential introduction to laboratory science. Candidates will explore a variety of industries and services, and career opportunities, in science laboratories locally, nationally, and globally.

They will develop the basic practical skills and knowledge needed for working in a laboratory: measuring, weighing and preparing compounds and solutions; and health and safety requirements. Practical skills in microbiology, measuring radioactivity, chemical handling and laboratory instrumentation will be developed.

Candidates will work with others to produce a plan to undertake a practical investigation to test scientific hypotheses. This will also involve reporting of the results, conclusions and evaluations of the investigation.

Throughout all Units the Course emphasises the employability skills and attitudes valued by employers which will help to prepare candidates for the workplace. Candidates will review their own employability skills, and will seek feedback from others on their strengths and weaknesses.

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

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 laboratory science 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.

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

This qualification is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • 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 Laboratory Science
  • 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:

  • National Courses or Units 
  • Further/higher 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

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 C266 75 (24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Laboratory Science at SCQF level 5 consists of four mandatory Units.

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

Course Specification

Internal Assessment Reports