PDA in Strategic Management at SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Strategic Management at SCQF level 8 provides candidates with the skills and knowledge to enable them to contribute to the strategic process in organisations.

This qualification covers areas such as managing strategic change and developing strategic plans. The specific aims of this qualification are: to provide candidates with the skills and knowledge necessary to determine a suitable strategy for an organisation; to enable candidates to analyse different strategic concepts and their implications; to enable candidates to establish an organisation’s strategic position; and to enable candidates to assess suitable methods for strategic change and produce strategic plans.

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 Strategic Management at SCQF level 8 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so 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 knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

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

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

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

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


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Learners do not need to have relevant formal qualifications to enter this PDA. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are required. Current experience of working in a management capacity would be advantageous. For both mandatory units of this qualification, it will be beneficial if candidates have achieved H1F3 35 Management: Plan, Lead and Implement Change or equivalent units, or have equivalent experience.

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for six functional areas for Management and Leadership: Managing Self, Providing Direction, Facilitating Innovation and Change, Working with People, Using Resources and Achieving Results.

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN qualification or SVQ in Management at level 4.

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

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.

Specific delivery requirements

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

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.

Qualifications structure

Group award code: GF93 48 (16 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Strategic Management at SCQF level 8 consists of 2 mandatory units.