SVQs in Business and Administration (2015)

SVQs in Business and Administration (2015)

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Business and Administration are designed to equip those working in business and administration with the skills and knowledge they need to demonstrate competence in their job role.

The SVQ at Level 1 is about following routine procedures in an office, supporting work procedures and understanding how to communicate in a business environment.

Level 2 involves a greater range of activities with some degree of complexity and limited autonomy. Mandatory Units cover undertaking allocated work, communicating and managing own performance in a business environment. There is a wide range of optional Units including document production, supporting events, meetings and diaries, customer service, IT and various specialist administrative functions.

At Level 3, candidates have a broad range of activities with significant complexity, responsibility and autonomy, often in a supervisory or team-leading role. Mandatory Units cover managing workload, communicating and planning, and improving own performance in a business environment. There is again a wide range of optional Units including work responsibilities, document production and design, managing events, customer service, managing business resources, and managing information and data.

Level 4 candidates will normally be managers with responsibility for staff and/or financial or other resources.  Mandatory Units involve managing and being accountable for own performance and managing work and communication in a business environment. Optional Units include business support services, project management, managing business resources, innovation and change, managing Information and data, customer service and communication.

These qualifications are available through colleges and training providers.

Find further information on lapsing qualifications in Business and Administration.

Foundation Apprenticeship - Business Skills (SCQF Level 6)

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) have commissioned Skills CFA to scope and develop a Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills at SCQF Level 6. Foundation Apprenticeships are designed to allow pupils to gain vocational qualifications that combine sector specific skills alongside the knowledge that underpins these skills in a workplace setting while still at school. The Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills will combine NQ Business Management and SVQ Business and Administration Units to meet the design principles set out by SDS. Centres and other stakeholders are invited to comment on these proposals via the survey

Important information: As of 1 September 2016, all SVQs with an established SCQF level no longer include the SVQ level in their titles. Please note that our web pages and documents will gradually be updated over time as the SVQs are reviewed, so may still contain the existing titles. More information on SCQF levels can be found on our SCQF web page.

Why deliver this qualification

Upon successful completion, learners gain an internationally recognised qualification which demonstrates that they have the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to carry out their role successfully.  Employers benefit from competent and motivated staff.

SVQs are assessed in the workplace. This minimises the time candidates require outside the workplace to complete the qualification.

Who does this qualification suit

SVQs in Business and Administration are designed for people at various levels within business organisations and are therefore appropriate to many job roles from junior administrators through to office managers.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. This is a work-based qualification, therefore candidates should be in a job role which enables them to provide the required evidence in a working environment.


There is some overlap of Units between the different levels of SVQ Business and Administration — helping candidates to progress to higher level SVQs as their job role develops or changes.


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

Assessment is through performance in the workplace. Most assessment will be based on performance evidence, ie observation (in person, video recordings) and work products generated by the candidate (word-processed documents, letters, spreadsheets, travel/accommodation bookings, receipts, e-mail correspondence, database reports, graphic elements, etc). The specific evidence produced will depend on the choice of optional Units.

Holistic assessment is encouraged — gathering evidence towards more than one Unit in the same assessment occasion.
For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs. For detailed guidance on how to assess this particular SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Guidance.

The Assessment Strategy sets out the criteria that must be met for assessment and requirements for assessors and internal verifiers.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

Group Award Code: GK6W 21

The SVQ 1 Business and Administration at SCQF level 4 consists of two mandatory Units and four optional Units.

Group Award Code: GK6X 22

The SVQ 2 Business and Administration at SCQF level 5 consists of three mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Group Award Code: GK6Y 23

The SVQ 3 Business and Administration at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory Units and five optional Units.

Group Award Code: GA3Y24

The SVQ 4 Business and Administration at SCQF level 7 consists of three mandatory Units and five optional Units.

For details of the Units making up the SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure documents.



National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Accredited Qualification Unit Search.

Core Skills signposting

•    BusinessAdmin SVQ1 Core Skills (325 KB)

•    BusinessAdmin SVQ2 CoreSkills (423 KB)

•    BusinessAdmin SVQ3 CoreSkills (440 KB)

•    BusinessAdmin SVQ4 CoreSkills (234 KB)

Modern Apprenticeships

For further details see Skills CFA.

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessor's guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio

Internal Assessment Reports

Understanding Standards & Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding Standards

Understanding Standards: Best Practice in Assessment of SVQs in Business and Administration

This material is intended to help assessors make valid, reliable and consistent assessment decisions when assessing SVQs in Business and Administration. It contains examples of evidence and assessment decisions supplemented by notes from External Verifiers explaining why they represent good, fair or poor practice. It also provides guidance on referencing evidence.


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