PDA in Community Involvement at SCQF level 7

PDA in Community Involvement at SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards.

The PDA in Community Involvement at SCQF level 7 covers the principles and practice of involvement in community capacity building and the social context in which capacity building occurs.

It also includes: skills in working with groups; the roles, responsibilities and expected behaviours of each member of the community group; funding sources and the typical criteria for application within a community-based setting; the importance of effective management of physical and human resources; and accountability for funds and resources.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some employers. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of workshops and self-directed study.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in community Involvement at SCQF level 7 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so that it is fit for purpose.

It will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff (either paid staff or unpaid volunteers), while learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to secure employment or a volunteering position in the sector.

The Unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. Units are typically 40 hours of learning and they can be delivered on a full-time or part-time basis.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study (see Progression). 

Who does this qualification suit

The target audience is those in work, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.

The award is suitable for learners who have an existing understanding of Community Learning and Development, but wish to progress their knowledge further. Learners should have prior knowledge of the subject, supported by relevant experience of working in the sector either in a paid or voluntary capacity.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Although there are no formal pre-entry requirements for the PDA, learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • NQ Unit(s) at SCQF level 6 in Communications or above
  • NQ Unit(s) at SCQF level 5 in Numeracy or above
  • NQ Unit(s) in Working with Communities
  • SVQ Unit(s) in CDW or Youth Work
  • Good ICT skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Experience of working (paid or voluntary) within the Community Learning and Development, or related sectors. This could be in any of the following three strands of CLD practice: Capacity Building, Youth Work and Adult Learning


The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Community Development.

Achievement of the PDA in Community Involvement may provide progression to other qualifications in related areas, such as:

  • HNC in Working with Communities at SCQF level 7
  • SVQ 3 or SVQ 4 in Community Development or Youth Work
  • Relevant university degree programmes


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

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

There may be opportunities for integration of teaching and assessments. Blended learning approaches can also be used that incorporate lectures, group work activities, individual and group presentations, guest speakers, and video.

Further information on opportunities for holistic assessment is detailed in the individual Unit specifications.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GK6D 47

The PDA in Community Involvement at SCQF level 7 consists of three mandatory Units.

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

Group Award Specification