Skills for Work: Engineering Skills National 5 (SCQF level 5)

Skills for Work: Engineering Skills National 5 (SCQF level 5)

Qualification information

The National 5 Engineering Skills Course provides a basis for progression into further education or for moving directly into training or employment in an engineering sector by developing the necessary generic and practical skills, knowledge and understanding and employability skills.

It focuses on the broad areas of Mechanical, Fabrication, Electrical, Electronic, Maintenance, and on an element of Design and Manufacture.

It is anticipated that the Course will rely on and build on existing partnerships between schools and colleges and employers (or other agencies). It is designed so that it can be delivered in schools, if the school has suitable facilities and teaching expertise, but a partnership approach would still be necessary to provide the contact with the workplace that is an essential part of the experience for candidates.

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 engineering skills area.

The structure of the National 5 Skills for Work: Engineering Skills Course is consistent with the equivalent Course at National 4. This allows centres to choose activities and delivery methods which best suit their circumstances and candidates.

The Units are in a hierarchy, to facilitate multi-level delivery. This allows learners to achieve at their highest level, but enables achievement at a lower level if necessary.

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.

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 engineering
  • 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:

  • SVQs and Modern Apprenticeships in Engineering areas 
  • relevant programmes in Further Education colleges suitable training/employment 
  • 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

All the Units focus on the development of specific engineering skills. Assessment involves practical activities which will produce evidence for all the Outcomes. Assessment of the evidence will cover:

  • interpretation of a drawing or specification
  • the appropriate use of tools, materials and equipment
  • successful involvement in the completion of a task, product or assembly
  • quality checking of their work by the candidate
  • attention to health and safety aspects of working in a workshop type of environment


The assessment of employability skills is integrated in all of the Units and is based on assessor checklists and candidates completing a review sheet once for each unit of the Course. This review allows the candidate to record their development of employability skills in the context of different skills areas.

The Design and Manufacture Unit selected will also include an introduction to design using a CAD software package.

Each Unit will be supported by a National Assessment Bank (NAB) item which will provide an assessment package and will exemplify the national standard.

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 C253 75 (24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Engineering Skills at SCQF level 5 consists of four mandatory Unis.

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

Course Specification

Internal Assessment Reports