Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF)

Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF)

The Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) will develop knowledge and skills in key areas such as delivering customer service, customer retention, resolving customer problems, business principles, and managing own performance and professional development.

This qualification is aimed at those already working in a wide variety of customer service settings such as hotels, banks, contact centres, restaurants and retail outlets.

As a work-related, competency based qualification it will provide confirmation to employers that learners have gained the skills and knowledge needed to conduct customer level skills at level 3 to a nationally recognised standard.

This qualification is available through employers and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

Customer Service impacts on all occupational sectors. This Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) can be embedded in a company’s normal training and development process.

The Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) is designed to be assessed in the workplace so candidates don’t need to spend lots of time away from their work to undertake the qualification which also helps to minimise costs.

This qualification offers centres flexibility and choice because of the comprehensive range of optional Units.

Learners can progress to a range of courses at a higher level including the Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) or related topics such as management or business, allowing centres to retain or build student numbers.

Who does this qualification suit

The Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) is a competence based qualification and is suitable for a wide range of candidates in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects.

This qualification is aimed at those already working in a wide variety of customer service settings such as hotels, banks, contact centres, restaurants and retail outlets.  Learners will typically have responsibility for organising the delivery of customer service, resolving customer problems, managing team performance etc.

This qualification covers both the knowledge and competency aspect of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Customer Service but it can also be taken as a standalone qualification.


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, learners should be 16 years of age or over and in a job role that will enable them to generate the evidence required for the competence-based Units of this Diploma.

There aren’t any specific recommended prior learning requirements for this qualification but learners may find it helpful to have already achieve a level 2 qualification.


This qualification provides learners with a mix of relevant practical skills and knowledge which will enable them to follow a career in customer service and/or undertake further study in customer service or a related area such as management or business at a higher level.

Customer service impacts on all occupational sectors and this qualification could lead to a wide range of jobs in customer service, including:

  • Contract Centre Supervisor
  • Customer Service Team Leader
  • Customer Relations Advisor
  • Hotel Manager
  • Sales Manager

The qualification also provides progression to a range of courses at higher level including the Level 4 NVQ Diploma in Customer Service (QFC) or related topics such as management or business.


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

This qualification will be assessed on the job by qualified assessors. Evidence of occupational competence should be generated and collected through performance in the workplace or under workplace conditions. This includes the knowledge-based Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria of the competence Units.

The qualification assesses key skills and knowledge people need to perform their job role effectively and are based on the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Customer Service. This means that someone achieving this Diploma is able to prove they have the skills and knowledge to do the job to the standard of competence defined nationally by the industry. Observation of performance can be supplemented by other types of evidence, such as witness testimony, personal statements, products of work, questioning.

Where simulation is used for Customer Service Units at QCF Level 2 and above, it should be used sparingly and should only form a small part of the evidence for the qualification. Evidence may be produced through simulation solely in exceptional circumstances, ie situations that are not naturally or readily occurring, such as response to emergencies.

Simulation must be undertaken in a ‘realistic working environment’ (RWE). An RWE is ‘an environment which replicates the key characteristics in which the skill to be assessed is normally employed’. It must provide conditions the same as the normal day-to-day working environment, with a similar range of demands, pressures and requirements for cost-effective working. Guidelines for using RWE are outlined in the Skills CFA Assessment Strategy, which can be downloaded from this page.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF)

SQA Qualification Code: GJ9G 57

Ofqual Qualification Code: 601/4214/5

The qualification requires the learner to complete mandatory and optional Units. However, it is designed to be flexible, meaning learners can gain the qualification at their own pace.

Group Award code: GJ9G 57 (55 QCF credit points)

The Level 3 Diploma in Customer Service (QCF) consists of 6 mandatory Units (31 QCF credit points) and optional Units totalling a minimum of 24 QCF credit points.  A minimum of 40 credit points must be achieved at level 3 or above.

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the Qualification Structure (105 KB).

Unit Specifications and Assessment Guidance

Unit Specifications and Assessment Guidance for these qualifications are available on SQA's secure website. These are available from your centre’s SQA Co-ordinator. For further information, please contact mycentre@sqa.org.uk.

Assessment Strategy

The qualification is governed by the Council for Administration’s Assessment Strategy.  The Assessment Strategy details the requirements for external quality control, evidence, approaches to workplace performance, and expertise for assessors and verifiers.

For further information on the assessment of this qualification and the occupational requirements of assessors and verifiers, please refer to the Assessment Strategy (147 KB).

Webteam please add the PDF “SkillsCFAAssessmentStrategy” saved in the same folder as this WPO

Learner Guidance and Portfolio

Level 1 Certificate and Levels 2, 3 and 4 Diploma in Customer Service (738 KB)