PDA Workplace Assessment Using Direct and Indirect Methods SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards.

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Workplace Assessment Using Direct and Indirect Methods at SCQF level 8 will develop knowledge and skills in preparing for, planning and carrying out assessment of individuals in the workplace. Assessor-candidates will use the following direct methods — observation, examination of work products (both created and not created at the time of observation), and questioning.

They may also be involved in authenticating indirect evidence such as discussion with candidates, testimony of others (witnesses), examination of candidate statements, assessment of candidates in simulated environments, and recognition of prior learning (RPL, also known as the accreditation of prior achievement, APA).

This qualification is available through training providers and some employers.

The PDA in Workplace Assessment Using Direct and Indirect Methods at SCQF level 8 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry.

It is regarded as an appropriate qualification for workplace assessors who assess workplace qualifications (outside of the UK) or in-company standards.

The PDA in Workplace Assessment Using Direct and Indirect Methods is intended for assessors who assess in the workplace using observation of performance and at least three other methods.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, the assessor-candidate must have a job role that includes assessment of learners in the learner's place of work.

The unit in the PDA has been mapped against the Learning and Development National Occupational Standard L&D9DI Assess Workplace Competence Using Direct and Indirect Methods.

Learners would have the potential, if in a suitable job role, of progressing to other PDAs such as the Internal Verification of Workplace Assessment at SCQF level 8 and the Diploma in Learning and Development at SCQF level 8 or 9.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority require to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical / occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

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

The assessor-candidate's knowledge will be assessed by a professional discussion with their assessor, or answering questions (either written or oral), or providing a statement of how and why they carried out certain activities, or a combination of these. Performance evidence of carrying out assessment in the workplace, plus at least three other methods must also be provided. Each assessment should cover the full assessment cycle.

The assessor-candidate's performance must be observed. Simulation of assessment is not allowed.

Group award code: GT7L 48 (10 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Workplace Assessment of Direct and Indirect Methods at SCQF level 8 consists of one mandatory unit: Assess Workplace Competence Using Direct and Indirect Methods (J3P0 48).