SQA Qualifications in the
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

  • Approaching final certification
  • Newly introduced National Course

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

The Framework brings together all Scottish mainstream qualifications into a single unified framework and provides a national vocabulary for describing learning opportunities. The central aims of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) are to:

  • enable employers, learners and the public in general to understand the full range of Scottish qualifications, how they relate to each other, and how different types of qualifications can contribute to improving the skills of the workforce
  • help people of all ages and circumstance to access appropriate education and training over their lifetime to fulfil their personal, social and economic potential

The vocabulary of the SCQF provides a way of comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers achievements from school, college, university as well as many work-based qualifications. It uses two measures to describe qualifications and learning programmes: level and credit.

There are 12 levels within the Framework with each level described in terms of level of knowledge, skills and competences, cognitive skills, ICT, numeracy and communication and autonomy. These descriptors reflect the complexity of learning required at each level to achieve the qualification.

Credit points are allocated on the basis on notional 10 hours of learning for 1 credit point. The notional hours will include learning activities such as; scheduled contact time, directed self-study and assessment activities. Credit points are an indication of the volume of learning undertaken to achieve the qualification.

SCQF credit points are general credit against the SCQF level. Any specific credit awarded for credit transfer purposes is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Note the descriptors set out the characteristic generic outcomes of each level. They are intended to provide a general, shared understanding of each level and to allow broad comparisons to be made between different types of qualifications and learning at different levels. They are not intended to give precise nor comprehensive statements and there is no expectation that every qualification or programme should have all of the characteristics.


Level 1

There is no separate descriptor for level 1, which covers all provision that comes below the full achievement of level 2.


Level 2

The outcomes of learning at level 2 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with knowledge of simple facts and ideas in a subject/discipline

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Relate knowledge to a few simple everyday contexts with prompting
  • Use a few very simple skills
  • Carry out with guidance a few familiar tasks
  • Use under supervision basic tools and materials

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Use rehearsed stages for solving problems
  • Operate in personal and/or everyday contexts
  • Take some account with prompting of identified consequences of action

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use very simple skills with assistance for example:

  • produce and respond to a limited range of very simple written and oral communication in familiar /routine contexts
  • carry out a limited range of very simple tasks to process data and access information
  • use a limited range of very simple and familiar numerical and graphical data in familiar and everyday contexts

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Work alone or with others on simple routine, familiar tasks under frequent and directive supervision
  • Identify given simple criteria some successes and/or failures of the work

National Certificates at SCQF level 2 have 54 credit points and are primarily aimed at 16 -18 year olds and adults in full-time education, normally college. National Certificates aim to develop a range of knowledge and skills (including Core Skills). Each National Certificate will have specific aims relating to a subject/occupational area, is linked to National Occupational Standards and is designed to prepare candidates for progression into employment or further education.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 2 have a minimum of 12 credit points which must be made up of at least 2 Units. These are small, flexible awards linked to National Occupational Standards and are designed to assess and certificate a defined set of skills in a specialist vocational area. NPAs will generally be taken by people in work on a part-time basis.


Level 3

The outcomes of learning at level 3 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • basic knowledge in a subject/discipline
  • simple facts and ideas associated with a subject/discipline

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Relate knowledge with some prompting to personal and/or everyday contexts
  • Use a few basic, routine skills to undertake familiar and routine tasks
  • Complete pre-planned tasks
  • Use, with guidance, basic tools and materials safely and effectively

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Identify with some prompting a process to deal with a situation or issue
  • Operate in familiar contexts using given criteria
  • Take account of some identified consequences of action

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use simple skills for example:

  • produce and respond to simple written and oral communication in familiar, routine contexts
  • carry out simple tasks to process data and access information
  • use simple numerical and graphical data in everyday contexts

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Work alone or with others on simple tasks under frequent supervision
  • Participate in the setting of goals, timelines, etc
  • Participate in the review of completed work and the identification of ways of improving practices and processes
  • Identify given simple criteria own strengths and weaknesses relative to the work

National Certificates at SCQF level 3 have 54 credit points and are primarily aimed at 16 -18 year olds and adults in full-time education, normally college. National Certificates aim to develop a range of knowledge and skills (including Core Skills). Each National Certificate will have specific aims relating to a subject/occupational area, is linked to National Occupational Standards and is designed to prepare candidates for progression into employment or further education.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 3 have a minimum of 12 credit points which must be made up of at least 2 Units. These are small, flexible awards linked to National Occupational Standards and are designed to assess and certificate a defined set of skills in a specialist vocational area. NPAs will generally be taken by people in work on a part-time basis.


Level 4

The outcomes of learning at level 4 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • basic knowledge in a subject/discipline which is mainly factual
  • some simple facts and ideas about and associated with a subject/discipline
  • knowledge of basic processes, materials and terminology

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Relate knowledge to personal and/or practical contexts
  • Use a few skills to complete straightforward tasks with some non-routine elements
  • Select and use with guidance appropriate tools and materials safely and effectively

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Use with guidance given stages of a problem solving approach to deal with a situation or issue
  • Operate in straightforward contexts
  • Identify and/or take account of some of the consequences of action/inaction

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use straightforward skills - for example:

  • produce and respond to simple but detailed written and oral communication in familiar contexts
  • use the most straightforward features of familiar applications to process and obtain information
  • use straightforward numerical and graphical data in straightforward and familiar contexts

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Work alone or with others on straightforward tasks
  • Contribute to the setting of goals, timelines, etc
  • Contribute to the review of completed work and offer suggestions for improving practices and processes
  • Identify own strengths and weaknesses relative to the work

Examples of Qualifications and Group Awards at this level are:

National Certificates at SCQF level 4 have 72 credit points and are primarily aimed at 16 -18 year olds and adults in full-time education, normally college. National Certificates aim to develop a range of knowledge and skills (including Core Skills). Each National Certificate will have specific aims relating to a subject/occupational area, is linked to National Occupational Standards and is designed to prepare candidates for progression into employment or further education.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 4 have a minimum of 12 credit points which must be made up of at least 2 Units. These are small, flexible awards linked to National Occupational Standards and are designed to assess and certificate a defined set of skills in a specialist vocational area. NPAs will generally be taken by people in work on a part-time basis.


Level 5

The outcomes of learning at level 5 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • basic knowledge in a subject/discipline which is mainly factual but has some theoretical component
  • a range of simple facts and ideas about and associated with a subject/discipline
  • knowledge and understanding of basic processes, materials and terminology

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Relate ideas and knowledge to personal and/or practical contexts
  • Complete some routine and non-routine tasks using knowledge associated with a subject/discipline
  • Plan and organise both familiar and new tasks
  • Select appropriate tools and materials and use safely and effectively (eg without waste)
  • Adjust tools where necessary following safe practices

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Use a problem solving approach to deal with a situation or issue which is straightforward in relation to a subject/discipline
  • Operate in a familiar context, but where there is a need to take account of or use additional information of different kinds, some of which will be theoretical or hypothetical
  • Use some abstract constructs - e.g. make generalisations and/or draw conclusions

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a range of routine skills - for example:

  • produce and respond to detailed written and oral communication in familiar contexts
  • use standard applications to process, obtain and combine information
  • use a range of numerical and graphical data in straightforward contexts which have some complex features

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Work alone or with others on tasks with minimum supervision
  • Agree goals and responsibilities for self and/or work team with manager/supervisor
  • Take leadership responsibility for some tasks
  • Show an awareness of others' roles, responsibilities and requirements in carrying out work and make a contribution to the evaluation and improvement of practices and processes

Examples of Qualifications and Group Awards at this level are:

National Certificates at SCQF level 5 have 72 credit points and are primarily aimed at 16 -18 year olds and adults in full-time education, normally college. National Certificates aim to develop a range of knowledge and skills (including Core Skills). Each National Certificate will have specific aims relating to a subject/occupational area, is linked to National Occupational Standards and is designed to prepare candidates for progression into employment or further education, mainly Higher National Certificate/Diploma.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 5 have a minimum of 12 credit points which must be made up of at least 2 Units. These are small, flexible awards linked to National Occupational Standards and are designed to assess and certificate a defined set of skills in a specialist vocational area. NPAs will generally be taken by people in work on a part-time basis.


Level 6

The outcomes of learning at level 6 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • generalised knowledge of a subject/discipline
  • factual and theoretical knowledge
  • a range of facts, ideas, properties, materials, terminology, practices, techniques about/associated with a subject/discipline

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Relate the subject/discipline to a range of practical and/or everyday applications
  • Apply knowledge and understanding in known, practical contexts
  • Use some of the basic, routine practices, techniques and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline in routine contexts which may have non-routine elements
  • Plan how skills will be used to address set situations and/or problems and adapt these as necessary

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Obtain, organise and use factual and theoretical information in problem solving
  • Make generalisations and predictions
  • Draw conclusions and suggest solutions

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a wide range of skills - for example:

  • produce and respond to detailed and relatively complex written and oral communication in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • select and use standard applications to process, obtain and combine information
  • use a wide range of numerical and graphical data in routine contexts which may have non-routine elements

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Take responsibility for the carrying out of a range of activities where the overall goal is clear under non-directive supervision
  • Take some supervisory responsibility for the work of others and lead established teams in the implementation of routine work
  • Manage limited resources within defined and supervised areas of work
  • Take account of roles and responsibilities related to the tasks being carried out and take a significant role in the evaluation of work and the improvement of practices and processes

Examples of Qualifications and Group Awards at this level are:

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 have 72 credit points and are primarily aimed at 16 -18 year olds and adults in full-time education, normally college. National Certificates aim to develop a range of knowledge and skills (including Core Skills). Each National Certificate will have specific aims relating to a subject/occupational area, is linked to National Occupational Standards and is designed to prepare candidates for progression into employment or further education, mainly Higher National Certificate/Diploma.

National Progression Awards (NPAs) at SCQF level 6 have a minimum of 12 credit points which must be made up of at least 2 Units. These are small, flexible awards linked to National Occupational Standards and are designed to assess and certificate a defined set of skills in a specialist vocational area. NPAs will generally be taken by people in work on a part-time basis.

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 6 will have a minimum credit value of 12 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 7

The outcomes of learning at level 7 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • a broad knowledge of the subject/discipline in general
  • knowledge that is embedded in the main theories, concepts and principles
  • an awareness of the evolving/changing nature of knowledge and understanding
  • an understanding of the difference between explanations based in evidence and/or research and other forms of explanation and of the importance of this difference

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use some of the basic and routine professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline
  • Practise these in both routine and non-routine contexts

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Present and evaluate arguments, information and ideas which are routine to the subject/discipline
  • Use a range of approaches to addressing defined and/or routine problems and issued within familiar contexts

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced skills associated with the subject/discipline - for example:

  • convey complex ideas in well-structured and coherent form
  • use a range of forms of communication effectively in both familiar and new contexts
  • use standard applications to process and obtain a variety of information and data
  • use a range of numerical and graphical skills in combination
  • use numerical and graphical data to measure progress and achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise some initiative and independence in carrying out defined activities at a professional level
  • Take supervision in less familiar areas of work
  • Take some managerial responsibility for the work of others within a defined and supervised structure
  • Manage limited resources within defined areas of work
  • Take the lead in implementing agreed plans in familiar or defined contexts
  • Take account of own and others' roles and responsibilities in carrying out and evaluating tasks
  • Work with others in support of current professional practice under guidance

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 7 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 8

The outcomes of learning at level 8 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • a broad knowledge of the scope, defining features, and main areas of a subject/discipline
  • detailed knowledge in some areas
  • understanding of a limited range of core theories, principles and concepts
  • limited knowledge and understanding of some major current issues and specialisms
  • an outline knowledge and understanding of research and equivalent scholarly/academic processes

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use a range of routine skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline, a few of which are advanced or complex
  • Carry out routine lines of enquiry, development or investigation into professional level problems and issues
  • Adapt routine practices within accepted standards

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues which are within the common understandings of the subject/discipline
  • Use a range of approaches to formulate evidence-based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems/issues
  • Critically evaluate evidence-based solutions/responses to defined and/or routine problems/issues

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills associated with a subject/discipline, for example:

  • convey complex information to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes
  • use a range of standard applications to process and obtain data
  • use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to measure progress and achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level
  • Take significant managerial or supervisory responsibility for the work of others in defined areas of work
  • Manage resources within defined areas of work
  • Take the lead on planning in familiar or defined contexts
  • Take continuing account of own and others' roles, responsibilities and contributions in carrying out and evaluating tasks
  • Work in support of current professional practice under guidance
  • Deal with ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices under guidance

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 8 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 9

The outcomes of learning at level 9 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of the scope, main areas and boundaries of a subject/discipline
  • a critical understanding of a selection of the principal theories, principles, concepts and terminology
  • knowledge that is detailed in some areas and/or knowledge of one or more specialisms that are informed by forefront developments

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use a selection of the principal skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline
  • Use a few skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are specialised or advanced
  • Practice routines methods of enquiry and/or research
  • Practice in a range of professional level contexts which include a degree of unpredictability

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues
  • Identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues
  • Draw on a range of sources in making judgements

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices in a subject/discipline, for example:

  • make formal and informal presentations on standard/mainstream topics in the subject/discipline to a range of audiences
  • use a range of IT applications to support and enhance work
  • interpret, use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level
  • Take some responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources
  • Practice in ways which take account of own and others' roles and responsibilities
  • Work under guidance with qualified practitioners
  • Deal with ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices, seeking guidance where appropriate

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) at SCQF level 6 will have a minimum credit value of 12 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. These are based on national occupational standards and or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational areas. PDAs are aimed at those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend and broaden their skills.

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 9 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 10

The outcomes of learning at level 10 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of a subject/discipline
  • a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles
  • detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more specialisms some of which is informed by or at the forefront of a subject/discipline
  • knowledge and understanding of the ways in which the subject/discipline is developed, including a range of established techniques of enquiry or research methodologies

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use a range of the principal skills, practices and/or materials associated with a subject/discipline
  • Use a few skills, practices and/or materials which are specialised, advanced, or at the forefront of a subject/discipline
  • Execute a defined project of research, development or investigation and identify and implement relevant outcomes
  • Practice in a range of professional level contexts which include a degree or unpredictability and/or specialism

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Critically identify, define, conceptualise, and analyse complex/professional level problems and issues
  • Offer professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues
  • Critically review and consolidate knowledge, skills and practices and thinking in a subject/discipline
  • Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional level issues
  • Make judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices in a subject/discipline, for example:

  • make formal presentations about specialised topics to informed audiences
  • communicate with professional level peers, senior colleagues and specialists
  • use a range of software to support and enhance work at this level and specify refinements/improvements to software to increase effectiveness
  • interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set and achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise autonomy and initiative in professional/ equivalent activities
  • Take significant responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources
  • Practice in ways which show a clear awareness of own and others' roles and responsibilities
  • Work effectively under guidance in a peer relationship with qualified practitioners
  • Work with others to bring about change, development and/or new thinking
  • Deal with complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices
  • Recognise the limits of these codes and seek guidance where appropriate

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 10 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 11

The outcomes of learning at level 11 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the main areas of a subject/discipline - including their features, boundaries, terminology and conventions
  • a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts
  • a critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, principals and concepts
  • extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in one or more specialisms, much of which is at or informed by developments at the forefront
  • critical awareness of current issues in a subject/discipline and one or more specialisms

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use a significant range of the principal skills, techniques, practices and/or materials which are associated with a subject/discipline
  • Use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices and/or materials which are at the forefront or informed by forefront developments
  • Apply a range of standard and specialised research or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry
  • Plan and execute a significant project of research, investigation or development
  • Demonstrate originality or creativity in the application of knowledge, understanding and/or practices
  • Practise in a wide and often unpredictable variety of professional level contexts

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues which are at the forefront or informed by developments at the forefront of a subject/discipline
  • Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues
  • Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues
  • Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking in a subject/discipline
  • Deal with complex issues and make informed judgements in situations in the absence of complete or consistent data/information

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a range of advanced and specialised skills as appropriate to a subject/discipline - for example:

  • communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise
  • communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
  • use a wide range of software to support and enhance work at this level and specify new software or refinements/improvements to existing software to increase effectiveness
  • undertake critical evaluations of a wide range of numerical and graphical data

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
  • Take responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others
  • Take responsibility for a significant range of resources
  • Demonstrate leadership and/or initiative and make an identifiable contribution to change and development
  • Practice in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others' roles and responsibilities
  • Deal with complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 11 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


Level 12

The outcomes of learning at level 12 will reflect the following characteristics:

Knowledge and Understanding

Demonstrate and/or work with:

  • a critical overview of a subject/discipline, including critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts
  • a critical, detailed and often leading knowledge and understanding at the forefront of one or more specialisms
  • knowledge and understanding that is generated through personal research or equivalent work which makes a significant contribution to the development of the subject/discipline

Practice: Applied knowledge and understanding

  • Use a significant range of the principal skills, techniques, practices and materials associated with a subject/discipline
  • Use and enhance a range of complex skills, techniques, practices and materials at the forefront of one or more specialisms
  • Apply a range of standard and specialised research/equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry
  • Design and execute research, investigative or development projects to deal with new problems and issues
  • Demonstrate originality and creativity in the development and application of new knowledge, understanding and practices
  • Practice in the context of new problems and circumstances

Generic Cognitive Skills

  • Apply a constant and integrated approach to critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, information and issues
  • Identify, conceptualise and offer original and creative insights into new, complex and abstract ideas, information and issues
  • Develop creative and original responses to problems and issues
  • Deal with very complex and/or new issues and make informed judgements in the absence of complete or consistent data/information

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills

Use a significant range of advanced and specialised skills as appropriate to a subject/discipline - for example:

  • communicate at an appropriate level to a range of audiences and adapt communication to the context and purpose
  • communicate at the standard of published academic work and/or critical dialogue and review with peers and experts in other specialisms
  • use a range of software to support and enhance work at this level and specify software requirements to enhance work
  • critically evaluate numerical and graphical data

Autonomy, accountability and working with others

  • Exercise a high level of autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities
  • Take full responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others
  • Demonstrate leadership and/or originality in tackling and solving problems and issues
  • Work in ways which are reflective self-critical and based on research/evidence
  • Deal with complex ethical and professional issues
  • Make informed judgements on new and emerging issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices

An example of a qualification at this level is:

Professional Development Awards: are undergoing a revision programme using a new set of design principles. Details of these new design principles are given below.

Professional Development Awards (PDA) at SCQF level 12 will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units. There is no limit set on the maximum number of SCQF credit points, therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation. At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award.

PDAs are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their skills base, usually after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest. They are based on national occupational standards or other professional standards and are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills.


National Progression Award at SCQF levels 2-6

What is it used for?

National Progression Awards (NPAs) are small flexible group awards that cover a defined set of skills/knowledge in a vocational area. They are designed for candidates in work or those preparing to enter or return to work.

What is it like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of occupational skills
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards or other professional/trade standards:
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • NPAs will have a minimum credit value of 12 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each NPA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each NPA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, students, colleges and Sector Skills Councils
  • NPAs can be delivered in college or the workplace
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis

Where will it lead?

NPAs can be used as part of the ongoing skills development of candidates and allow progression within an occupation. They can also be used to gain the required skills/knowledge to enter employment in a particular occupational area.

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Progression Awards


Higher National Certificate

What is it used for?

Higher National Certificates (HNCs) are designed to provide people with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge that employers expect and also to provide articulation to degree programmes, often with advanced entry into second year. Some HNCs exempt learners from taking all or part of the professional examinations needed to gain membership of the associated professional body.

Typically, holders of an HNC will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad knowledge of the subject/discipline/vocational area in general
  • Use professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with a vocational area, and practice them in vocational contexts
  • Demonstrate core skills to the level specified by the vocational sector
  • Exercise initiative and independence in carrying out defined activities at a professional level
  • Work with others in support of current professional practice under guidance

What is it like?

  • They are higher education vocational qualifications, which are undertaken mainly in tertiary colleges but also in some higher education institutions
  • They are based on Units
  • They are awarded at SCQF level 7 and are worth 96 SCQF credit points
  • At least 48 SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award but typically most of the Units in HNCs are at the level of the award. The appropriateness of the credits at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 48 SCQF points and include a Graded Unit of 8 SCQF points at level 7
  • The Graded Unit will be an examination or project, which will allow students to demonstrate that they can integrate and apply the knowledge and skills that they have gained in the individual Units to meet the principal aims and objectives of the HNC. Candidate achievement will be graded A, B or C
  • They are usually related to National Occupational Standards
  • They will typically require 480 hours of programmed learning and an approximately equivalent amount of independent study
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, professional bodies and higher education, who ensure they are fit for purpose
  • They cover a wide range of areas from Child Care to Business and Social Science to Gamekeeping

Where will it lead?

HNCs are designed to provide progression to employment at technician/technologist level and to articulation to HNDs and degree programmes at level 7 or 8 depending on articulation agreements.

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Higher National Qualifications


Higher National Diploma

What is it used for?

Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are designed to provide people with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge that employers expect and also to provide articulation to degree programmes, often with advanced entry into third year. Some HNDs exempt learners from taking all or part of the professional examinations needed to gain membership of the associated professional body.

What is it like?

  • They are higher education vocational qualifications, which are undertaken mainly in tertiary colleges but also in some higher education institutions
  • They are based on Units
  • They are awarded at SCQF level 8 and are worth 240 SCQF credit points
  • At least 64 SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award but typically most of the credits in the second year of an HND are at the level of the award. The appropriateness of the credits at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 96 SCQF points and include a Graded Unit of 8 SCQF points at level 7 and 16 SCQF points of Graded Unit(s) at SCQF level 8
  • The Graded Units will be an examination(s) or project(s), which will allow students to demonstrate that they can integrate and apply the knowledge and skills that they have gained in the individual Units to meet the principal aims and objectives of the HNC. Candidate achievement will be graded A, B or C
  • They are usually related to National Occupational Standards
  • They will typically require 1200 hours of programmed learning and an approximately equivalent amount of independent study
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, professional bodies and higher education, who ensure they are fit for purpose
  • They cover a wide range of vocational areas from Accountancy to Engineering and Information Technology to Music, with the content of each HND reflecting the needs of a particular sector

Where will it lead?

Holders of an HND may progress to employment at a higher technician, technologist or first line manager level, or to the second or third year of a degree programme (level 8 or 9) depending on the articulation arrangements of particular universities.

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Higher National Qualifications


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 6

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 6, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 12 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation.

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 7

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 7, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 8

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 8, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 9

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 9, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 10

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 10, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 11

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 11, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


Professional Development Awards at SCQF level 12

What are they used for?

  • Professional Development Awards (PDAs) are designed for those already in a career or vocation who wish to extend or broaden their higher level skills base, often after completing a degree or vocational qualification relevant to their area of interest

What are they like?

  • They are designed to assess and certificate progression in a defined set of specialist occupational skills
  • They are based on National Occupational Standards or other professional standards
  • The qualification is Unit based
  • At SCQF level 12, PDAs will have a minimum credit value of 16 SCQF credit points and will comprise at least two Units
  • There is no maximum credit value and therefore each PDA at this level will vary. The maximum credit value for each PDA will be determined by the defined aims and rationale of the Group Award and this will be checked at validation
  • At least half the credit points will be at the level of the Group Award
  • PDAs can be delivered in an education institution or the workplace

Where will they lead?

  • PDAs can be used as part of ongoing professional development and allow progression within an occupation or a move to another occupation

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on Professional Development Awards


SVQ 1

SVQs are work-based qualifications which are usually delivered in the workplace or in partnership with a college or other training provider. There are SVQs for nearly all occupations in Scotland and they are available SVQ Levels 1 - 5. SVQs are currently notionally placed in the SCQF as the individual SVQs may be at differing SCQF levels and have differing amounts of credit points, depending on the structure and context of the SVQ (see note below). SVQs are a means of recognising the skills and knowledge people need in employment, i.e. job competence. Successful completion of an SVQ provides clear evidence that the learner works to nationally recognised occupational standards.

Each Unit defines one aspect of a job or work-role, and says what it is to be competent in that aspect of the job. To be awarded a full SVQ, learners must achieve each of the SVQ Units which make it up by demonstrating that they are competent in that aspect of the job. The Units which make up the SVQ can also be taken as freestanding awards. Some SVQs or SVQ Units are incorporated into other awards or programmes including HNCs and Modern Apprenticeships.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications Level 1 (SVQs) are notionally placed at SCQF level 4 and when allocated credit, will have a differing amount of credit points depending in the structure and context of the SVQ. Typically, an SVQ will show the holder is competent in carrying out the job which the SVQ covers and has demonstrated this competence in the workplace. At SVQ Level 1 (notionally SCQF Level 4) competence involves the application of knowledge and skills in the performance of a range of varied work activities, most of which may be routine or predictable.

NB: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are currently notionally placed in the SCQF with the exception of those SVQs which were credit rated and levelled during a Scottish Government funded project (2005 - 2008), 130 SVQs were credit rated and levelled during this project. Work will continue on credit rating and levelling the remaining SVQs for the SCQF in conjunction with the Sector Skills Councils/Standard Setting Bodies and the relevant Awarding Bodies. Details of the SVQ credit rating process can be found in the Accreditation Section of the SQA website www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42382.html

Follow this link for more information on Scottish Vocational Qualifications


SVQ 2

SVQs are work-based qualifications which are usually delivered in the workplace or in partnership with a college or other training provider. There are SVQs for nearly all occupations in Scotland and they are available SVQ Levels 1 - 5. SVQs are currently notionally placed in the SCQF as the individual SVQs may be at differing SCQF levels and have differing amounts of credit points, depending on the structure and context of the SVQ (see note below). SVQs are a means of recognising the skills and knowledge people need in employment, i.e. job competence. Successful completion of an SVQ provides clear evidence that the learner works to nationally recognised occupational standards.

Each Unit defines one aspect of a job or work-role, and says what it is to be competent in that aspect of the job. To be awarded a full SVQ, learners must achieve each of the SVQ Units which make it up by demonstrating that they are competent in that aspect of the job. The Units which make up the SVQ can also be taken as freestanding awards. Some SVQs or SVQ Units are incorporated into other awards or programmes including HNCs and Modern Apprenticeships.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications level 2 (SVQs) are notionally placed at SCQF level 5 and when allocated credit, will have a differing amount of credit points depending in the structure and context of the SVQ. Typically, an SVQ will show the holder is competent in carrying out the job which the SVQ covers and has demonstrated this competence in the workplace. At SVQ Level 2 (notionally SCQF Level 5) competence involves the application of knowledge and skills in a significant range of varied work activities, performed in a variety of contexts. At this level, there will be activities, which are complex or non-routine and there is some individual responsibility and autonomy. Collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team, may often be a requirement.

NB: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are currently notionally placed in the SCQF with the exception of those SVQs which were credit rated and levelled during a Scottish Government funded project (2005 - 2008), 130 SVQs were credit rated and levelled during this project. Work will continue on credit rating and levelling the remaining SVQs for the SCQF in conjunction with the Sector Skills Councils/Standard Setting Bodies and the relevant Awarding Bodies. Details of the SVQ credit rating process can be found in the Accreditation Section of the SQA website www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42382.html

Follow this link for more information on Scottish Vocational Qualifications


SVQ 3

SVQs are work-based qualifications which are usually delivered in the workplace or in partnership with a college or other training provider. There are SVQs for nearly all occupations in Scotland and they are available SVQ Levels 1 - 5. SVQs are currently notionally placed in the SCQF as the individual SVQs may be at differing SCQF levels and have differing amounts of credit points, depending on the structure and context of the SVQ (see note below). SVQs are a means of recognising the skills and knowledge people need in employment, i.e. job competence. Successful completion of an SVQ provides clear evidence that the learner works to nationally recognised occupational standards.

Each Unit defines one aspect of a job or work-role, and says what it is to be competent in that aspect of the job. To be awarded a full SVQ, learners must achieve each of the SVQ Units which make it up by demonstrating that they are competent in that aspect of the job. The Units which make up the SVQ can also be taken as freestanding awards. Some SVQs or SVQ Units are incorporated into other awards or programmes including HNCs and Modern Apprenticeships.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications level 3 (SVQs) are notionally placed at SCQF level 6 or 7 and when allocated credit, will have a differing amount of credit points depending in the structure and context of the SVQ. Typically, an SVQ will show the holder is competent in carrying out the job which the SVQ covers and has demonstrated this competence in the workplace. At SVQ Level 3 (notionally SCQF Level 6 or 7 [K1]) competence involves the application of knowledge and skills in a broad range of varied work activities, most of which are complex and non-routine. There is considerable responsibility and autonomy, and control or guidance of others is often present.

NB: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are currently notionally placed in the SCQF with the exception of those SVQs which were credit rated and levelled during a Scottish Government funded project (2005 - 2008), 130 SVQs were credit rated and levelled during this project. Work will continue on credit rating and levelling the remaining SVQs for the SCQF in conjunction with the Sector Skills Councils/Standard Setting Bodies and the relevant Awarding Bodies. Details of the SVQ credit rating process can be found in the Accreditation Section of the SQA website www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42382.html

Follow this link for more information on Scottish Vocational Qualifications


SVQ4

SVQs are work-based qualifications which are usually delivered in the workplace or in partnership with a college or other training provider. There are SVQs for nearly all occupations in Scotland and they are available SVQ Levels 1 - 5. SVQs are currently notionally placed in the SCQF as the individual SVQs may be at differing SCQF levels and have differing amounts of credit points, depending on the structure and context of the SVQ (see note below). SVQs are a means of recognising the skills and knowledge people need in employment, i.e. job competence. Successful completion of an SVQ provides clear evidence that the learner works to nationally recognised occupational standards.

Each Unit defines one aspect of a job or work-role, and says what it is to be competent in that aspect of the job. To be awarded a full SVQ, learners must achieve each of the SVQ Units which make it up by demonstrating that they are competent in that aspect of the job. The Units which make up the SVQ can also be taken as freestanding awards. Some SVQs or SVQ Units are incorporated into other awards or programmes including HNCs and Modern Apprenticeships.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications level 4 (SVQs) are notionally placed at SCQF level 8 or 9 and when allocated credit, will have a differing amount of credit points depending in the structure and context of the SVQ. Typically, an SVQ will show the holder is competent in carrying out the job which the SVQ covers and has demonstrated this competence in the workplace. At SVQ Level 4 (notionally SCQF Level 8 or 9 [K2]) competence involves the application of knowledge and skills in a broad range of complex technical or professional work activities, performed in a wide variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. Responsibility for the work of others and the allocation of resources is often present.

NB: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are currently notionally placed in the SCQF with the exception of those SVQs which were credit rated and levelled during a Scottish Government funded project (2005 - 2008), 130 SVQs were credit rated and levelled during this project. Work will continue on credit rating and levelling the remaining SVQs for the SCQF in conjunction with the Sector Skills Councils/Standard Setting Bodies and the relevant Awarding Bodies. Details of the SVQ credit rating process can be found in the Accreditation Section of the SQA website www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42382.html

Follow this link for more information on Scottish Vocational Qualifications


SVQ 5

SVQs are work-based qualifications which are usually delivered in the workplace or in partnership with a college or other training provider. There are SVQs for nearly all occupations in Scotland and they are available SVQ Levels 1 - 5. SVQs are currently notionally placed in the SCQF as the individual SVQs may be at differing SCQF levels and have differing amounts of credit points, depending on the structure and context of the SVQ (see note below). SVQs are a means of recognising the skills and knowledge people need in employment, i.e. job competence. Successful completion of an SVQ provides clear evidence that the learner works to nationally recognised occupational standards.

Each Unit defines one aspect of a job or work-role, and says what it is to be competent in that aspect of the job. To be awarded a full SVQ, learners must achieve each of the SVQ Units which make it up by demonstrating that they are competent in that aspect of the job. The Units which make up the SVQ can also be taken as freestanding awards. Some SVQs or SVQ Units are incorporated into other awards or programmes including HNCs and Modern Apprenticeships.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications level 5 (SVQs) are notionally placed at SCQF level 11 and when allocated credit, will have a differing amount of credit points depending in the structure and context of the SVQ. Typically, an SVQ will show the holder is competent in carrying out the job which the SVQ covers and has demonstrated this competence in the workplace. At SVQ Level 5 (notionally SCQF Level 11) competence involves the application of skills and a significant range of fundamental principles across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts. Very substantial personal autonomy and often significant responsibility for the work of others and for the allocation of substantial resources feature strongly, as do personal accountability.

NB: Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are currently notionally placed in the SCQF with the exception of those SVQs which were credit rated and levelled during a Scottish Government funded project (2005 - 2008), 130 SVQs were credit rated and levelled during this project. Work will continue on credit rating and levelling the remaining SVQs for the SCQF in conjunction with the Sector Skills Councils/Standard Setting Bodies and the relevant Awarding Bodies. Details of the SVQ credit rating process can be found in the Accreditation Section of the SQA website www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/42382.html

Follow this link for more information on Scottish Vocational Qualifications


Professional Apprenticeship

What is a Professional Apprenticeships?

Professional Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs at management level (SCQF level 8 and above) . They offer businesses flexible, work-based training, as a tool for developing and up-skilling staff to meet their specific business requirements.

Who develops them?

Professional Apprenticeships are developed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). SSCs consult with employers and key partners in their sector to produce a training programme, which meets the needs of employers.

Who are they for?

Professional Apprenticeships are available to employees aged 16 or over. Employees need to demonstrate to their employer that they have the potential to complete the programme.


Technical Apprenticeship

What is a Technical Apprenticeship?

Technical Apprenticeships offer those aged over 16 paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs at management level (SCQF level 8 and above) . They offer businesses flexible, work-based training, as a tool for developing and up-skilling staff to meet their specific business requirements.

Who develops them?

Technical l Apprenticeships are developed by Sector Skills Councils (SSCs). SSCs consult with employers and key partners in their sector to produce a training programme, which meets the needs of employers.

Who are they for?

Technical Apprenticeships are available to employees aged 16 or over. Employees need to demonstrate to their employer that they have the potential to complete the programme.


Modern Apprenticeship

What is a Modern Apprenticeship?

Modern Apprenticeships offer anyone aged over 16 paid employment combined with the opportunity to train for jobs across a wide range of sectors. They are an exciting way of gaining skills and qualifications that will help to start a career without having to study full-time.

Modern Apprenticeships are supported by the Confederation of Business and Industry, the Trade Union Congress and a wide range of employers. All the Modern Apprenticeship frameworks are developed by the appropriate sector skills council in consultation with their industry. Modern Apprenticeship frameworks can also be used as the basis for training more established employees.

Off the job learning usually takes place through colleges or training providers.

What do they offer?

As a Modern Apprentice you will be employed from the very start of your training and will receive a wage from your employer. You will then be given the chance to develop expertise and knowledge through on-the-job assessment, as well as gaining vital skills such as teamwork and problem solving. Many Modern Apprentices also attend colleges or training centres to study the theory relating to their chosen occupation.

Find out more at: http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/35912.html


Awards

SQA Awards are small and flexible qualifications providing certification of learning and skills in a wide range of contexts. Awards are available for broad or specialist purposes.

Awards are made up of one or more Units, each having an SCQF level and credit value. They are internally assessed on a pass or fail basis.

SQA Awards have been designed for all learners to help develop and recognise skills, aiding progression into further education, higher education, training or employment.

Follow this link for more information on Awards


National Certificate at SCQF level 2

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 2 are designed to provide candidates with the skills and knowledge (including core/transferable skills) that employers expect and also to provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example National Certificates at level 3). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area. New design principles have been created for National Certificates and details are given below.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 2, National Certificates will be worth 54 SCQF credit points
  • The majority of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 2). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 27 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • They typically require 360 hours of programmed learning and 180 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, students, colleges and Sector Skills Councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 2 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications (National Certificates at SCQF level 3).

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 3

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 3 are designed to provide candidates with the skills and knowledge (including core/transferable skills) that employers expect and also to provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example National Certificates at level 4). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area. New design principals have been created for National Certificates and details are given below.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 3, National Certificates will be worth 54 SCQF credit points
  • The majority of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 3). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 27 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • They typically require 360 hours of programmed learning and 180 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, students, colleges and Sector Skills Councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 3 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications (National Certificates at SCQF level 4).

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 4

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 4 are designed to provide candidates with the skills and knowledge (including core/transferable skills) that employers expect and also to provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example National Certificates at level 5). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area.New design principals have been created for National Certificates and details are given below.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 4, National Certificates will be worth 72 SCQF credit points
  • The majority of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 4). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 36 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • They typically require 480 hours of programmed learning and 240 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, students, colleges and Sector Skills Councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 4 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications (National Certificates at SCQF level 5).

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 5

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 5 are designed to provide candidates with the skills and knowledge (including core/transferable skills) that employers expect and also to provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example National Certificates at level 6). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area. New design principals have been created for National Certificates and details are given below.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 5, National Certificates will be worth 72 SCQF credit points
  • The majority of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 5). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 36 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • They typically require 480 hours of programmed learning and 240 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with employers, students, colleges and Sector Skills Councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 5 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications (National Certificates at SCQF level 6).

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 6

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge (including Core Skills and other transferable skills) that employers expect. They also provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example Higher National Certificates at SCQF level 7). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 6, National Certificates are worth a minimum of 72 SCQF credit points
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • More than half of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 6). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 36 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • Typically, a National Certificate at SCQF level 6 will require 480 hours of guided learning and around 240 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with key stakeholders, for example, employers, learners, colleges and sector skills councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications, including those in higher education. Additionally, National Certificates at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores for named National Certificates at SCQF level 6

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends, and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 6

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge (including Core Skills and other transferable skills) that employers expect. They also provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example Higher National Certificates at SCQF level 7). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 6, National Certificates are worth a minimum of 72 SCQF credit points
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • More than half of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 6). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 36 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • Typically, a National Certificate at SCQF level 6 will require 480 hours of guided learning and around 240 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with key stakeholders, for example, employers, learners, colleges and sector skills councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications, including those in higher education. Additionally, National Certificates at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores for named National Certificates at SCQF level 6

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends, and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Certificate at SCQF level 6

What is it used for?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide learners with the skills and knowledge (including Core Skills and other transferable skills) that employers expect. They also provide progression opportunities to higher level programmes of study (for example Higher National Certificates at SCQF level 7). They are delivered within the broad context of a subject/occupational area.

What is it like?

  • They are vocationally related qualifications which are undertaken mainly in colleges
  • They are based on Units
  • At SCQF level 6, National Certificates are worth a minimum of 72 SCQF credit points
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • More than half of the SCQF credit points must be at the level of the award (level 6). The appropriateness of the credit points at a particular level must be confirmed at validation
  • They are made up of mandatory and optional Units
  • The mandatory section must have a minimum of 36 SCQF credit points
  • They are linked to National Occupational Standards
  • Typically, a National Certificate at SCQF level 6 will require 480 hours of guided learning and around 240 hours of self-directed learning
  • They can be taken through full-time study or part-time study and, in some cases, can be taken on a flexible or distance learning basis
  • They are designed and developed by Qualification Design Teams in consultation with key stakeholders, for example, employers, learners, colleges and sector skills councils

Where will it lead?

National Certificates at SCQF level 6 are designed to provide a progression pathway to employment and to higher level qualifications, including those in higher education. Additionally, National Certificates at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores for named National Certificates at SCQF level 6

Related definitions: National Occupational Standards

National Occupational Standards are statements of performance that describe what competent people in a particular occupation are expected to be able to do.

They are standards that cover all the main aspects of an occupation, including current best practice, the ability to adapt to future trends, and the knowledge and understanding needed to be competent in that occupation.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Units at Access 1

What is it used for?

National Units at Access 1 are designed for learners with severe and profound learning difficulties.

What is it like?

  • They are used in programmes of learning which deal with the personal needs of learners and contribute to enhancing their life skills and therefore their independence
  • Typically, a National Unit at Access 1 will require 60 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and substantial teacher/lecturer support
  • National Units at Access 1 are available in a range of subjects such as Science, Healthy Basic Cooking, Office Skills and Using Computer Aided Learning
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Units at Access 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other Units at Access 1 or Access 2
  • National Courses at Access 2

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2


National Courses at Access 2

What is it used for?

National Courses at Access 2 are designed for learners who need to build up confidence or may have additional support needs. National Courses aim to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 2
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Access 2 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 2
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 2 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 2
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other National Courses or Units at Access 2 or Access 3
  • Skills for Work Courses at Access 3/National 3
  • National Progression Awards at Access 2 or Access 3
  • National Certificates at Access 2 or Access 3
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2


National Courses at Access 3

What is it used for?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 3 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 3
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National Course at Access 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 3 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 3
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 1
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 1/National 4
  • National Progression Awards at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • National Certificates at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Skills for Work Access 3

This year is the final year that Skills for Work National Courses will use Access 3 in the title. From 2013/14, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 3 to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Access 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a broad vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Access 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Access 3
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by partnerships of schools and colleges, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are usually taken from third year onward

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Access 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at SCQF level 4
  • Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 1/National 4
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • Other courses in further education training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


National Units at Access 1

In 2013/14 and 2014/15, Access 1 will run in centres alongside National 1 (referred to as dual running).

What is it used for?

National Units at Access 1 are designed for learners with severe and profound learning difficulties.

What is it like?

  • They are used in programmes of learning which deal with the personal needs of learners and contribute to enhancing their life skills and therefore their independence
  • Typically, a National Unit at Access 1 will require 60 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and substantial teacher/lecturer support
  • National Units at Access 1 are available in a range of subjects such as Science, Healthy Basic Cooking, Office Skills and Using Computer Aided Learning
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Units at Access 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other Units at Access 1 or Access 2
  • National Courses at Access 2

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2


National Courses at Access 2

In 2013/14 and 2014/15, Access 2 will run in centres alongside National 2 (referred to as dual running).

National Courses at Access 2 are designed for learners who need to build up confidence or may have additional support needs. National Courses aim to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 2
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Access 2 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 2
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 2 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 2
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other National Courses or Units at Access 2 or Access 3
  • Skills for Work Courses at Access 3/National 3
  • National Progression Awards at Access 2 or Access 3
  • National Certificates at Access 2 or Access 3
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2


National Courses at Access 3

In 2013/14 and 2014/15, Access 3 will run in centres alongside National 3 (referred to as dual running).

What is it used for?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 3 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 3
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National Course at Access 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 3 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 3
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 1
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 1/National 4
  • National Progression Awards at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • National Certificates at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Units at Access 1

In 2014/15, Access 1 will run in centres alongside National 1 (referred to as dual running). This will be the last presentation of Access 1.

What is it used for?

National Units at Access 1 are designed for learners with severe and profound learning difficulties.

What is it like?

  • They are used in programmes of learning which deal with the personal needs of learners and contribute to enhancing their life skills and therefore their independence
  • Typically, a National Unit at Access 1 will require 60 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and substantial teacher/lecturer support
  • National Units at Access 1 are available in a range of subjects such as Science, Healthy Basic Cooking, Office Skills and Using Computer Aided Learning
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Units at Access 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other Units at Access 1 or Access 2
  • National Courses at Access 2

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2


National Courses at Access 2

In 2014/15, Access 2 will run in centres alongside National 2 (referred to as dual running). This will be the last presentation of Access 2.

National Courses at Access 2 are designed for learners who need to build up confidence or may have additional support needs. National Courses aim to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 2
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Access 2 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 2
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 2 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 2
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools, special schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year upwards

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • other National Courses or Units at Access 2 or Access 3
  • Skills for Work Courses at Access 3/National 3
  • National Progression Awards at Access 2 or Access 3
  • National Certificates at Access 2 or Access 3
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Access 1 and 2

National Courses at Access 3

In 2014/15, Access 3 will run in centres alongside National 3 (referred to as dual running). This will be the last presentation of Access 3.

What is it used for?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Access 3 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Access 3
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National Course at Access 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Typically, a National Course at Access 3 will require 180 hours of learning - although learners may need more time and significant teacher/lecturer support
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National Course at Access 3
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects such as Biology, Computing, Maths and Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Access 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 1
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 1/National 4
  • National Progression Awards at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • National Certificates at Access 3 or Intermediate 1
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Standard Grade at Foundation level

Final certification of Standard Grade takes place in August 2013. New National 3 Courses will replace Courses at Standard Grade Foundation and will be based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

What is it used for?

  • Standard Grades are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a Standard Grade at Foundation level shows that a learner has demonstrated the defined knowledge and skills for a particular subject to the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are made up of different parts called elements eg Knowledge and Understanding, Practical Abilities and Problem Solving
  • Each element is assessed to determine a grade for a learner
  • A Standard Grade at Foundation level is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Standard Grades at Foundation level are awarded at grades 5 and 6
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools over two years in the third and fourth years

Where will it lead?

  • Standard Grades at Foundation level support progression to National Courses at Intermediate 1 or to other courses in further education, or to training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Standard Grade at General level

Final certification of Standard Grade takes place in August 2013. New National 4 Courses will replace Courses at Standard Grade General and at Intermediate 1 level, and will be based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

What is it used for?

Standard Grades are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a Standard Grade at General level shows that a learner has demonstrated the defined knowledge and skills for a particular subject to the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are made up of different parts called elements eg Knowledge and Understanding, Practical Abilities and Problem Solving
  • Each element is assessed to determine a grade for a learner
  • A Standard Grade at General level is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Standard Grades at General level are awarded at grades 3 and 4
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools over two years in the third and fourth years

Where will it lead?

  • Standard Grades at General level support progression to National Courses at Intermediate 2 or to other courses in further education, or to training or employment.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Standard Grade at Credit level

Final certification of Standard Grade takes place in August 2013. New National 5 Courses will replace Courses at Standard Grade Credit and at Intermediate 2 level, and will be based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

What is it used for?

Standard Grades are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a Standard Grade at Credit level shows that a learner has demonstrated the defined knowledge and skills for a particular subject to the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are made up of different parts called elements eg Knowledge and Understanding, Practical Abilities and Problem Solving
  • Each element is assessed to determine a grade for a learner
  • A Standard Grade at Credit level is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Standard Grades at Credit level are awarded at grades 1 and 2
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools over two years in the third and fourth years

Where will it lead?

  • Standard Grades at Credit level support progression to National Courses at Higher or to other courses in further education, or to training or employment.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Courses at Intermediate 1 - with grading

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 1 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 1 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 1 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 1 will previously have taken Courses at level 3, such as Standard Grade at Foundation level or a National Course at Access 3, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 2
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 2/National 5
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 1 or Intermediate 2
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 1or Intermediate 2
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Courses at Intermediate 1 - with grading

In 2013/14 and 2014/15, Intermediate 1 will run in centres alongside National 4 (referred to as dual running). Final certification of Intermediate 1 will take place in August 2015.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 1 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 1 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 1 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 1 will previously have taken Courses at level 3, such as Standard Grade at Foundation level or a National Course at Access 3, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 2
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 2/National 5
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 1 or Intermediate 2
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 1or Intermediate 2
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Courses at Intermediate 1 - with grading

In 2014/15, Intermediate 1 will run in centres alongside National 4 (referred to as dual running). Final certification of Intermediate 1 will take place in August 2015.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 1 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 1 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 1 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 1
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 1 will previously have taken Courses at level 3, such as Standard Grade at Foundation level or a National Course at Access 3, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Intermediate 2
  • Skills for Work Courses at Intermediate 2/National 5
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 1 or Intermediate 2
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 1or Intermediate 2
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Skills for Work Intermediate 1

This is the final year that Skills for Work National Courses will use Intermediate 1 in the title. From 2013/14, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 4 to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 1 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 1
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 1 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 1
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by partnerships of schools and colleges, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are usually taken from the third year onward

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 1 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at SCQF level 5
  • Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 2/National 5
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


National Courses at Intermediate 2 - with grading

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 2 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 2 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 2
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 2 will previously have taken Courses at level 4, such as Standard Grade at General level or a National Course at Intermediate 1, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth or sixth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Courses at Intermediate 2 - with grading

In 2013/14 and 2014/15, Intermediate 2 will run in centres alongside National 5 (referred to as dual running). Final certification of Intermediate 2 will take place in August 2015.

National Courses at Intermediate 2 - with grading

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 2 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 2 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 2
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 2 will previously have taken Courses at level 4, such as Standard Grade at General level or a National Course at Intermediate 1, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth or sixth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


National Courses at Intermediate 2 - with grading

In 2014/15, Intermediate 2 will run in centres alongside National 5 (referred to as dual running). Final certification of Intermediate 2 will take place in August 2015.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Intermediate 2 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Intermediate 2 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Typically, a National Course at Intermediate 2 will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Intermediate 2
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment. Many learners taking National Courses at Intermediate 2 will previously have taken Courses at level 4, such as Standard Grade at General level or a National Course at Intermediate 1, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth or sixth year, although some schools are introducing them earlier - in the third or fourth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Intermediate 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • National Certificates at Intermediate 2 or Higher
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications

Skills for Work Intermediate 2

This is the final year that Skills for Work National Courses will use Intermediate 2 in the title. From 2013/14, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 5 to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 2 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 2
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 2 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Intermediate 2
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken from third year onward

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Intermediate 2 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • Skills for Work National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


Higher

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Typically, a National Course at Higher will require 160 hours of programmed learning and around 80 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment
  • Many learners taking National Courses at Higher will previously have taken Courses at level 5, such as Standard Grade at Credit level or a National Course at Intermediate 2, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in higher or further education
  • training or employment

National Courses at Higher are the main entry qualification for programmes in higher education.

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications

Higher

In 2014/15, existing Higher Courses will run in centres alongside the new Higher Courses (referred to as dual running). Final certification of the existing Higher Courses will take place in August 2015.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Typically, a National Course at Higher will require 480 hours of programmed learning and around 240 hours of independent study
  • Candidates must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades - A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the Course assessment
  • Many learners taking National Courses at Higher will previously have taken Courses at level 5, such as Standard Grade at Credit level or a National Course at Intermediate 2, or Units at this level, but it is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit everyone's interests and skills, from Biology to Business Management, Information Systems to Italian, and Maths to Media Studies
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in fifth year

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in higher or further education
  • training or employment

National Courses at Higher are the main entry qualification for programmes in higher education.

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam, or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Higher

New Higher Courses have been designed to meet the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence. They provide progression from National 5 and lead on to Advanced Higher.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Many learners taking National Courses at Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 5, such as National 5, or Units at this level, but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in higher or further education
  • Modern Apprenticeships
  • training or employment

National Courses at Higher are the main qualification required for entry into programmes of higher education in Scotland.

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. In all Highers, learners will usually take two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications


Skills for Work Higher

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at Higher
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Higher
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are usually taken from fifth year onward

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. National Courses at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores of Ungraded Highers (including Skills for Work Higher)

Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 6
  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications
  • Further/higher education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


Skills for Work Higher

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at Higher
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Higher
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. National Courses at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores of Ungraded Highers (including Skills for Work Higher)

Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 6
  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications
  • further/higher education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


Skills for Work Higher

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability and Core Skills.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at Higher
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • A Skills for Work National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at Higher
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. National Courses at SCQF level 6 carry a UCAS Tariff which may help learners seeking to progress on to higher education. Follow this link to find UCAS Tariff scores of Ungraded Highers (including Skills for Work Higher)

Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 6
  • Scottish Vocational Qualifications
  • Further/higher education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work


Higher (new)

New Higher Courses have been designed to meet the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence. They provide progression from National 5 and lead on to Advanced Higher.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • The Course as a whole is allocated a further 6 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Higher is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 6
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Many learners taking National Courses at Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 5, such as National 5, or Units at this level, but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Advanced Higher
  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in higher or further education
  • Modern Apprenticeships
  • training or employment

National Courses at Higher are the main qualification required for entry into programmes of higher education in Scotland.

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or a folio completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. In all Highers, learners will usually take two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications


Advanced Higher

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Advanced Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 8 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Advanced Higher is allocated 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • Typically, a National Course at Advanced Higher will require 160 hours of guided learning and an equivalent amount of self-directed learning
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Advanced Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Most learners taking National Courses at Advanced Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 6 ie National Courses at Higher but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in sixth year, building on the knowledge and skills gained in the related National Courses at Higher

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Advanced Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Degree courses in higher education
  • Other courses in further and higher education
  • Training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or dissertation completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. Most Advanced Highers include two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Advanced Higher

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Advanced Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 8 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Advanced Higher is allocated 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • Typically, a National Course at Advanced Higher will require 160 hours of guided learning and an equivalent amount of self-directed learning
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Advanced Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Most learners taking National Courses at Advanced Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 6 ie National Courses at Higher but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in sixth year, building on the knowledge and skills gained in the related National Courses at Higher

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Advanced Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Degree courses in higher education
  • Other courses in further and higher education
  • Training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or dissertation completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. Most Advanced Highers include two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications


Advanced Higher

Final certification of the existing Advanced Higher Courses will take place in August 2015. New Advanced Higher Courses which have been designed to meet the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence will be introduced in 2015/16.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Advanced Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 8 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Advanced Higher is allocated 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • Typically, a National Course at Advanced Higher will require 160 hours of guided learning and an equivalent amount of self-directed learning
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Advanced Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Most learners taking National Courses at Advanced Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 6 ie National Courses at Higher but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in sixth year, building on the knowledge and skills gained in the related National Courses at Higher

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Advanced Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Degree courses in higher education
  • Other courses in further and higher education
  • Training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or dissertation completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. Most Advanced Highers include two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on National Qualifications

Advanced Higher (new)

New Advanced Higher Courses are being designed to meet the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence, and will provide progression from Higher Courses.

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Advanced Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 8 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Advanced Higher is allocated 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education, usually in sixth year
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Advanced Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Most learners taking National Courses at Advanced Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 6 ie National Courses at Higher but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • They may be taken as part of a relevant Scottish Baccalaureate

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Advanced Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in further and higher education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or dissertation completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. Most Advanced Highers include two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

Advanced Higher

What is it used for?

National Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area. Achieving a National Course at Advanced Higher shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills for a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units and a Course Assessment, all at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 8 SCQF credit points
  • A National Course at Advanced Higher is allocated 32 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education, usually in sixth year
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course Assessment to be awarded a National Course at Advanced Higher
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The Grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • Most learners taking National Courses at Advanced Higher will previously have taken Courses at SCQF level 6 ie National Courses at Higher but this is not mandatory
  • National Courses are available in a wide range of subjects, to suit a range of interests and skills
  • They are usually taken in secondary schools or colleges
  • In schools they are usually taken in sixth year, building on the knowledge and skills gained in the related National Courses at Higher
  • They may be taken as part of a relevant Scottish Baccalaureate

Where will it lead?

National Courses at Advanced Higher are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • degree courses in higher education
  • other courses in further and higher education
  • training or employment

Related definitions: Course Assessment

This is an external assessment and can be, for example, an exam or project work or dissertation completed during the Course and then marked by SQA. Most Advanced Highers include two forms of external Course assessment.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications


Scottish Baccalaureates

What is it used for?

Scottish Baccalaureates are intended to provide the learner with valuable opportunities to make connections with the wider world of learning and work. It is envisaged that much of the Interdisciplinary Project work will take place outwith the school setting, in collaboration or partnership with universities, colleges, and employers.

What is it like?

The Scottish Baccalaureates consist of a coherent group of current Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, in addition to an Interdisciplinary Project. This arrangement allows learners to build a significant body of knowledge, skills and qualifications in, for example, Science, Languages, Social Sciences or Expressive Arts, which will enhance progression opportunities in related disciplines and offer added breadth and value through the Interdisciplinary Project. This is intended to broaden the learner experience, provide opportunities to apply or extend subject knowledge in relevant contexts, and to develop the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into further and higher education, and/or employment.

For example, the mandatory components of the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages are:

Interdisciplinary Project Unit Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (16 SCQF points)
2 eligible Courses Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (64 SCQF points)
1 eligible Course Higher SCQF level 6 (24 SCQF points)

In addition to the above, Scottish Baccalaureates:

  • Are allocated 104 SCQF credit points, 80 of which are at SCQF level 7
  • Are usually taken in secondary schools in S6
  • Require learners to achieve all of the component National Courses at grades A to C and the Interdisciplinary Project in order to achieve at least a Pass for the overall qualification
  • Require learners to achieve A grades in at least one Advanced Higher and one of the component National Courses or Interdisciplinary Project, and at least a B grade in all of the others in order to achieve a Distinction for the overall qualification

The Interdisciplinary Project

The Interdisciplinary Project is a Unit at Advanced Higher level where subject knowledge is applied in realistic contexts via an investigation or practical assignment. The Interdisciplinary Project is designed to develop the following high level skills:

  • Research skills: analysis and evaluation
  • Interpersonal skills: negotiation and collaboration
  • Planning: time, resource and information management
  • Problem-solving: critical thinking, logical and creative approaches
  • Presentation skills
  • Autonomous learning
  • Self-evaluation: recognition of own skills development and future areas for development

Where will it lead?

Scottish Baccalaureates are designed to provide progression to further or higher education or to employment in related disciplines. As a Scottish Baccalaureate is at SCQF level 7 it may, in some instances, provide direct entry to second year of a Scottish university degree, or entry into the first year of a Scottish 'three years to Honours' programme.

Follow this link for more information on the Scottish Baccalaureates

Scottish Baccalaureates

What is it used for?

Scottish Baccalaureates are intended to provide the learner with valuable opportunities to make connections with the wider world of learning and work. It is envisaged that much of the Interdisciplinary Project work will take place outwith the school setting, in collaboration or partnership with universities, colleges, and employers.

What is it like?

Scottish Baccalaureates consist of a coherent group of current Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, in addition to an Interdisciplinary Project. This arrangement allows learners to build a significant body of knowledge, skills and qualifications in, for example, Science, Languages, Social Sciences or Expressive Arts, which will enhance progression opportunities in related disciplines and offer added breadth and value through the Interdisciplinary Project. This is intended to broaden the learner experience, provide opportunities to apply or extend subject knowledge in relevant contexts, and to develop the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into further and higher education, and/or employment.

For example, the mandatory components of the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages are:

Interdisciplinary Project Unit Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (16 SCQF points)
2 eligible Courses Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (64 SCQF points)
1 eligible Course Higher SCQF level 6 (24 SCQF points)

In addition to the above, Scottish Baccalaureates:

  • Are allocated 104 SCQF credit points, 80 of which are at SCQF level 7
  • Are usually taken in secondary schools in S6
  • Require learners to achieve all of the component National Courses at grades A to C and the Interdisciplinary Project in order to achieve at least a Pass for the overall qualification
  • Require learners to achieve A grades in at least one Advanced Higher and one of the component National Courses or Interdisciplinary Project, and at least a B grade in all of the others in order to achieve a Distinction for the overall qualification

The Interdisciplinary Project

The Interdisciplinary Project is a Unit at Advanced Higher level where subject knowledge is applied in realistic contexts via an investigation or practical assignment. The Interdisciplinary Project is designed to develop the following high level skills:

  • Research skills: analysis and evaluation
  • Interpersonal skills: negotiation and collaboration
  • Planning: time, resource and information management
  • Problem-solving: critical thinking, logical and creative approaches
  • Presentation skills
  • Autonomous learning
  • Self-evaluation: recognition of own skills development and future areas for development

Where will it lead?

Scottish Baccalaureates are designed to provide progression to further or higher education or to employment in related disciplines. As a Scottish Baccalaureate is at SCQF level 7 it may, in some instances, provide direct entry to second year of a Scottish university degree, or entry into the first year of a Scottish 'three years to Honours' programme.

Follow this link for more information on the Scottish Baccalaureates

Scottish Baccalaureates

What is it used for?

Scottish Baccalaureates are intended to provide the learner with valuable opportunities to make connections with the wider world of learning and work. It is envisaged that much of the Interdisciplinary Project work will take place outwith the school setting, in collaboration or partnership with universities, colleges, and employers.

What is it like?

The Scottish Baccalaureates consist of a coherent group of current Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications, in addition to an Interdisciplinary Project. This arrangement allows learners to build a significant body of knowledge, skills and qualifications in, for example, Science, Languages, Social Sciences or Expressive Arts, which will enhance progression opportunities in related disciplines and offer added breadth and value through the Interdisciplinary Project. This is intended to broaden the learner experience, provide opportunities to apply or extend subject knowledge in relevant contexts, and to develop the generic skills, attitudes and confidence necessary to make the transition into further and higher education, and/or employment.

For example, the mandatory components of the Scottish Baccalaureate in Languages are:

Interdisciplinary Project Unit Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (16 SCQF points)
2 eligible Courses Advanced Higher SCQF level 7 (64 SCQF points)
1 eligible Course Higher SCQF level 6 (24 SCQF points)

In addition to the above, Scottish Baccalaureates:

  • are allocated 104 SCQF credit points, 80 of which are at SCQF level 7
  • are usually taken in secondary schools in S6
  • require learners to achieve all of the component National Courses at grades A to C and the Interdisciplinary Project in order to achieve at least a Pass for the overall qualification
  • require learners to achieve A grades in at least one Advanced Higher and one of the component National Courses or Interdisciplinary Project, and at least a B grade in all of the others in order to achieve a Distinction for the overall qualification

The Interdisciplinary Project

The Interdisciplinary Project is a Unit at Advanced Higher level where subject knowledge is applied in realistic contexts via an investigation or practical assignment. The Interdisciplinary Project is designed to develop the following high level skills:

  • Research skills: analysis and evaluation
  • Interpersonal skills: negotiation and collaboration
  • Planning: time, resource and information management
  • Problem-solving: critical thinking, logical and creative approaches
  • Presentation skills
  • Autonomous learning
  • Self-evaluation: recognition of own skills development and future areas for development

Where will it lead?

Scottish Baccalaureates are designed to provide progression to further or higher education or to employment in related disciplines. As a Scottish Baccalaureate is at SCQF level 7 it may, in some instances, provide direct entry to second year of a Scottish university degree, or entry into the first year of a Scottish 'three years to Honours' programme.

Follow this link for more information on the Scottish Baccalaureates


National 1

What it is used for?

The new National 1 qualifications replace Access 1 qualifications and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 1 qualifications are designed for learners who require additional support for learning. They encourage and challenge learners and enable them to work towards qualifications appropriate to their needs and achievement.

What is it like?

  • At National 1 there will continue to be a range of Units for learners which enable them to develop basic skills and generic skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • National 1 Units explicitly recognise the need for varying degrees of teacher/lecturer support to be built in to the Units
  • In National 1 Units, learning takes place through enriched practical experience
  • Some National 1 Units use a sensory approach to learning
  • National 1 Units are normally 6 SCQF credit points, although learners may need more time and more support to achieve them
  • There are also smaller National 1 Units to suit the wide range of learner needs at this level
  • Additionally, there are new Personal Achievement Awards at National 1 to recognise learner achievement
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Progression routes are flexible within the framework of qualifications at National 1 and National 2. Some learners will progress from National 1 to National 2. Some learners may progress to other National 1 Units or Awards.

The range of Units and Awards at this level provides breadth and challenge.

The Personal Achievement Awards provide a clear progression pathway from National 1 to National 2.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications


National 2

What is it used for?

New qualifications at National 2 replace Access 2 qualifications and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 2 qualifications are designed for learners who require additional support for learning. They will build on the broad, general education and will encourage and challenge learners to work towards qualifications appropriate to their needs and achievement.

What is it like?

  • Courses at National 2 provide a basis for developing skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, as well as providing opportunities for the development of skills across a range of learning contexts
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 2 Course is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 2
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • There are also smaller National 2 Units to suit the wide range of learner needs at this level
  • Learners must achieve all of the Units to be awarded a National 2 Course
  • Personal Achievement Awards at National 2 recognise learner achievement
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

Progression routes are flexible within the suite of qualifications at National 2. Some learners will progress from National 2 to National 3.

The range of Units and Courses at National 2 provides opportunities to begin to develop subject-specific skills, as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work.

The use of optional Units in Courses at National 2 provides flexibility and will facilitate choice and lateral progression within National 2 and progression to National 3.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications


National 3

What is it used for?

National 3 Courses replace National Courses at Standard Grade Foundation level and Access 3 and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 3 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 3 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject, at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 3 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 3 Course is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must achieve all the Units to be awarded a National 3 Course
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 3 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at National 4
  • Skills for Work Courses at National 4
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 3 or 4
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 3 or 4
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 4

What is it used for?

National 4 Courses replace National Courses at Standard Grade General and at Intermediate 1 level, and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 4 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 4 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject, at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 4 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 4 Course is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National 4 Course
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • Added value is assessed through an Added Value Unit
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 4 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at National 5
  • Skills for Work Courses at National 5
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 4 or 5
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 4 or 5
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 5

What is it used for?

National 5 Courses replace National Courses at Standard Grade Credit and at Intermediate 2 level and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 5 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 5 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 5 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 5 Course is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course assessment to be awarded a National 5 Course
  • Added value is assessed through a Course assessment, which is set and marked by SQA and which carries 6 SCQF credit points
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 5 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • Skills for Work Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 5 or 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 5 or 6
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications.

Skills for Work National 3

From this year, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 3 rather than Skills for Work Access 3 to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a broad vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 3 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 3
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 3
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by partnerships of schools and colleges, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Skills for Work National Courses at National 4
  • National Courses at National 4
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • Other courses in further education training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work

Skills for Work National 4

From this year, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 4, rather than Skills for Work Intermediate 1, to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 4 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 4 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 4
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 4 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all of the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 4
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 4 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Skills for Work National Courses at National 5
  • National Courses at National 5
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work.

Skills for Work National 5

From this year, Skills for Work National Courses at this level will be called Skills for Work National 5, rather than Skills for Work Intermediate 2, to reflect the changes to National Course titles.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 5 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 5 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 5
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 5 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 5
  • There is no external assessment for Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 5 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • Skills for Work National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work.

National 1

What it is used for?

The new National 1 qualifications replaced Access 1 qualifications and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 1 qualifications are designed for learners who require additional support for learning. They encourage and challenge learners and enable them to work towards qualifications appropriate to their needs and achievement.

What is it like?

  • At National 1 there will continue to be a range of Units for learners which enable them to develop basic skills and generic skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • National 1 Units explicitly recognise the need for varying degrees of teacher/lecturer support to be built in to the Units
  • In National 1 Units, learning takes place through enriched practical experience
  • Some National 1 Units use a sensory approach to learning
  • National 1 Units are normally 6 SCQF credit points, although learners may need more time and more support to achieve them
  • There are also smaller National 1 Units to suit the wide range of learner needs at this level
  • Additionally, there are new Personal Achievement Awards at National 1 to recognise learner achievement
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Progression routes are flexible within the framework of qualifications at National 1 and National 2. Some learners will progress from National 1 to National 2. Some learners may progress to other National 1 Units or Awards.

The range of Units and Awards at this level provides breadth and challenge.

The Personal Achievement Awards provide a clear progression pathway from National 1 to National 2.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 2

What is it used for?

New qualifications at National 2 replaced Access 2 qualifications and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 2 qualifications are designed for learners who require additional support for learning. They will build on the broad, general education and will encourage and challenge learners to work towards qualifications appropriate to their needs and achievement.

What is it like?

  • Courses at National 2 provide a basis for developing skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work, as well as providing opportunities for the development of skills across a range of learning contexts
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 2 Course is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 2
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • There are also smaller National 2 Units to suit the wide range of learner needs at this level
  • Learners must achieve all of the Units to be awarded a National 2 Course
  • Personal Achievement Awards at National 2 recognise learner achievement
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

Progression routes are flexible within the suite of qualifications at National 2. Some learners will progress from National 2 to National 3.

The range of Units and Courses at National 2 provides opportunities to begin to develop subject-specific skills, as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work.

The use of optional Units in Courses at National 2 provides flexibility and will facilitate choice and lateral progression within National 2 and progression to National 3.

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 3

What is it used for?

National 3 Courses replaced National Courses at Standard Grade Foundation level and Access 3 and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 3 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 3 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 3 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 3 Course is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must achieve all the Units to be awarded a National 3 Course
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 3 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at National 4
  • Skills for Work Courses at National 4
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 3 or 4
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 3 or 4
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 4

What is it used for?

National 4 Courses replaced National Courses at Standard Grade General and at Intermediate 1 level, and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 4 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 4 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject, at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 4 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 4 Course is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units to be awarded a National 4 Course
  • Assessment is carried out internally by teachers/lecturers
  • Added value is assessed through an Added Value Unit
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 4 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at National 5
  • Skills for Work Courses at National 5
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 4 or 5
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 4 or 5
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications

National 5

What is it used for?

National 5 Courses replaced National Courses at Standard Grade Credit and at Intermediate 2 level and are based on the aims, purposes and values of Curriculum for Excellence.

National 5 Courses are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific subject area as well as skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. Achieving a National 5 Course shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular subject at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a National 5 Course
  • The Units which make up the National Course can also be taken as freestanding qualifications
  • A National 5 Course is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learners must be successful in all the Units and the Course assessment to be awarded a National 5 Course
  • Added value is assessed through a Course assessment, which is set and marked by SQA and which carries 6 SCQF credit points
  • National Courses are awarded at four grades A, B, C and D. The grade is determined by a learner's performance in the external Course assessment
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education
  • National Courses are available in a range of subjects. These can be accessed using the subject drop-down menu at www.sqa.org.uk/curriculumforexcellence

Where will it lead?

National 5 Courses are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • Skills for Work Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF levels 5 or 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF levels 5 or 6
  • Other courses in further education
  • Training or employment

Follow this link for more information on the new National Qualifications.

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National 3

Skills for Work National Courses at National 3 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a broad vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 3 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of three National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 3
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 3 is allocated 18 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 3
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 3
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by partnerships of schools and colleges, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 3 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Skills for Work National Courses at National 4
  • National Courses at National 4
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 3 or 4
  • other courses in further education training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work

Skills for Work National 4

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 4 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 4 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 4
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 4 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 4
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 4
  • There is no external assessment of Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by partnerships of schools and colleges, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 4 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • Skills for Work National Courses at National 5
  • National Courses at National 5
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 4 or 5
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work.

Skills for Work National 5

What is it used for?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 5 are designed to develop skills and knowledge in a specific vocational area, as well as an understanding of: the workplace, skills and attitudes for employability, Core Skills, and other transferable skills. Achieving a Skills for Work National Course at National 5 shows that a learner has demonstrated the specified knowledge and skills in a particular area at the defined national standard.

What is it like?

  • They are usually made up of four National Units at the level of the Course
  • There may be a choice of Units available
  • In some cases, learners may count Units at higher levels towards a Skills for Work National Course at National 5
  • A Skills for Work National Course at National 5 is allocated 24 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 5
  • Normally, each Unit is allocated 6 SCQF credit points
  • Learning programmes include practical experience and learning through reflection
  • Learners must be successful in all the selected Units to be awarded a Skills for Work National Course at National 5
  • There is no external assessment for Skills for Work Courses
  • They are usually offered by school and college partnerships, sometimes working with employers or other training providers
  • In schools they are normally taken as part of the senior phase of secondary education

Where will it lead?

Skills for Work National Courses at National 5 are designed to support progression. Learners may progress to:

  • National Courses at Higher
  • Skills for Work National Courses at Higher
  • National Progression Awards at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • National Certificates at SCQF level 5 or 6
  • other courses in further education
  • training or employment

Follow this link for more information on Skills for Work.