PDA Print

PDA Print

There are nine PDAs for the Print sector, all at SCQF level 6 covering specialist areas of the diverse printing process. These will allow candidates to demonstrate competence in job related skills in their particular area of work and expertise.

These are:

  • PDA Print: Digital Artwork
  • PDA Print: Digital Printing
  • PDA Print: Flexography
  • PDA Print: Print Administration 1
  • PDA Print: Print Administration 2
  • PDA Print: Print Finishing 1
  • PDA Print: Print Finishing 2
  • PDA Print: Sheet Fed Lithography
  • PDA Print: Web Offset

The PDAs are based exclusively on National Occupational Standards for the Print Sector. SQA works in partnership with other organisations to ensure that National Occupational Standards (NOS) are relevant to the current and future needs of Scottish industries. This means that the PDAs are designed to be delivered and assessed in the workplace with candidates being employed or on placement.

These qualifications are available through employers and training providers.

Full details of all nine qualification structures can be found on the SQA website.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDAs for the Print industry are all new qualifications and are designed to focus on developing specific skills in specialised areas of the printing process. They can be used for the purposes of upskilling, filling skills gaps and CPD.

Upon successful completion, candidates will gain an international recognised qualification which guarantees that they have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to carry out their role successfully. As assessment is carried out in the workplace this minimises any time candidates would need to be away from their day-to-day work.

The PDAs are based on units from the corresponding SVQs for the sector and will provide progression to the related SVQ qualifications.

The PDAs can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time  

Who does this qualification suit

These PDAs are suitable for:

  • individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Although no prior qualifications are required to undertake these qualifications, experience in/knowledge of the subject would be an advantage. Therefore, Candidates should be in a job or placement where they are carrying out relevant tasks and responsibilities which allow then to gather the required evidence. 


Candidates can progress to a range of related qualifications as the PDAs are composed of NOS and they will allow candidates to accumulate units towards the relevant SVQ 3 at SCQF level 6. These are:

  • SVQ 3 Carton Manufacturing
  • SVQ 3 Print Administration
  • SVQ 3 Pre Press*
  • SVQ 3 Press*
  • SVQ 3 Post Press*

*These replace the SVQs in Digital Printing, Mechanised Print Finishing and Binding and Machine Printing.



Specific subject expertise is required to deliver this qualification which is detailed in the Group Award Specification (Arrangements Document). To gain approval for this qualification centres should complete and submit a Qualification Approval Application Form. The Business Development Team can provide guidance in completing this form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

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 Strategy.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

PDA Print: Digital Artwork  

Group Award Code: GK93 46

PDA Print: Digital Printing

Group Award Code: GK94 46

PDA Print: Flexography

Group Award Code: GK95 46

PDA Print: Print Administration 1

Group Award Code: GK98 46

PDA Print: Print Administration 2

Group Award Code: GK99 46

PDA Print: Print Finishing 1

Group Award Code: GK9A 46

PDA Print: Print Finishing 2

Group Award Code: GK9C 46

PDA Print: Sheet Fed Lithography

Group Award Code: GK96 46

PDA Print: Web Offset

Group Award Code: GK97 46

The nine (9) PDAs are all at SCQF level 6. Each has a mandatory structure.

Seven have three mandatory units.

Two, PDA Print: Print Finishing 1 and PDA Print: Web Offset, have four mandatory Units. There are no optional units in any of the PDAs.

For further information on the units and structure of these PDAs please refer to the Group Award Specification documents.


Group Award Specifications