Why take a qualification?

Think about why you want to take a qualification. This will help you to identify the best qualification for you.

  • Do you want to confirm your knowledge and skills?

If so, you need a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you already have. You probably have evidence you can use to show what you know already. This could be a workbook, an in-house training certificate, work notes or reports... This evidence is called 'evidence of prior learning'. Find out more at Recognition of Prior Learning.

  • Do you want to develop your knowledge and skills?

You may already have a qualification but want to move onto the next SCQF level. For example, you may be thinking about a Higher National Certificate or a Higher National Diploma. You can search for qualifications above by SCQF level. Or you may want a qualification in a new area, for example, if you are thinking of changing your job. Search for qualifications in another area by clicking on the job family you are interested in.

  • Do you want to help others to learn?

If so, you might be interested in a qualification in Learning and Development. Search for qualifications by clicking on the Learning and Development tab. Think about evidence you already have of helping others to learn in your everyday work. For example, you may be a mentor for younger staff.

  • Do you want to supervise or manage others?

If so, you might be interested in a qualification in Leadership and Management. Search for qualifications by clicking on the Leadership and Management tab. Think about evidence you already have of leading and managing others in your everyday work. For example, you may have responsibility for an area of work or group of people.

Which level of qualification is right for you?

The qualifications above are listed according to their SCQF level. Think about the level of qualification you want to undertake. You may already have qualifications from school or from previous jobs.

  • SCQF level 4 is equivalent to O Grade, Standard Grade (General), Intermediate 1 or National 4
  • SCQF level 5 is equivalent to O Grade, Standard Grade (Credit), Intermediate 2 or National 5
  • SCQF level 6 is equivalent to Higher
  • SCQF level 7 is equivalent to HNC
  • SCQF level 8 is equivalent to HND

Look at the SCQF Level and Credit page for more information about how to work out the right level of qualification for you.

Who can you go to for help?

You could talk to your line manager, your KSF reviewer, your colleagues, or your Learning and Development department. They can talk about the knowledge and skills you already have and what qualification would be best for you.

Making choices

Read about NHSScotland staff making choices about which SQA qualification is right for them:

Amir feels that the SVQ in Pharmacy Services at SCQF Level 5 will recognise what he already knows from his job as an Assistant in a busy hospital pharmacy. Having left school with no qualifications in Science, he feels that his knowledge and experience of working in the pharmacy means he has evidence he can use towards achieving the qualification.

Sheila, a maintenance assistant, is keen to undertake some formal learning. The SVQ in Healthcare Support (non-clinical) at SCQF Level 6 includes Units which are directly relevant to her role. She passed two Highers (SCQF Level 6) at school but wants to take a qualification at the same level to build her confidence as she left school many years ago!

The SVQ in Hospitality Supervision & Leadership SCQF at Level 7 seems the right choice for Sandy. He has been working as a Laundry and Linen supervisor - he wants to move into a more senior management role. He already has evidence for the Unit 'Supervising Linen Services'.