SQA Standards

Scottish Standards - School learner

Standards can be described in many ways. For SQA:

Qualification standards are where we define the levels of knowledge and skills required to achieve a qualification. We apply these standards to evidence of candidate achievement for the purpose of gauging if candidates have achieved the requisite level of knowledge and skills (otherwise known as 'level of competence').

Assessment standards are the levels of demand on candidates (how difficult the assessment is for candidates taking it) and what the assessment covers.

SQA sets, maintains and monitors standards as part of our role as Scotland’s national qualifications body.

We set the standard of our qualifications by benchmarking against current qualifications on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

We also work with schools, colleges, private training providers, and employers, to ensure that standards are accurate and consistently applied across all qualifications and over time.

Our Governing Principles are central to this work and are described in the document SQA Awarding Body Code of Practice (273 KB).

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About SQA Standards

Information on how SQA sets, applies and maintains standards in qualifications.

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Monitoring Standards

Information on how SQA monitors standards.

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Monitoring Standards Over Time

Information on how SQA ensures Courses and Units remained equally demanding over time​

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