PDA Information Technology in Business SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Information Technology in Business at SCQF level 7 delivers the skills and knowledge needed for a range of administrative roles. It has particular emphasis on the use of IT within a business environment.

This qualification covers IT in Business: Word Processing, Presentation Applications, Spreadsheets and Databases.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some employers. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of workshops and self-directed study.

The PDA in Information Technology in Business at SCQF level 7 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry to ensure that it is suitable for the current sector.

It will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff, while learners will gain the knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

This PDA can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to gain employment in the sector.

The unit-based structure of the PDA aids timetable flexibility. Units are typically 40 hours of learning and they can be delivered on a part-time or full-time basis.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

The target audience for this PDA is those in work, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.


Access to the PDA is at the discretion of the centre. In general, entry should be open to any candidate who can demonstrate a reasonable expectation of successfully completing the award. It would be beneficial for candidates to be competent in communication and IT skills to SCQF level 5.

The following are examples of formal qualifications which could be recommended as suitable entry criteria:

  • Communication Core Skill at SCQF level 5 or equivalent
  • experience of working in an administration environment
  • IT skills at SCQF level 5

The units in this PDA are common to the Advanced Certificates and Diplomas in Administration and Information Technology and Business. Learners can carry forward credit from achievement of these units into these and any other Advanced Certificates and Diplomas the units are part of.

Centres interested in offering this qualification must come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the assessment strategy.

Each unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Each unit is assessed separately.

Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice. The use of reports and projects is crucial to this.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Group award code: GT74 47

The PDA in Information Technology in Business at SCQF level 7 consists of three mandatory units.

For further information on the structures and units of this qualification please refer to the Group Award Specification document