Close and go back to newsletter

SQA News 23 May 2024

Approval clarifications

We recently updated SQA Connect and our NQ catalogue to clarify the difference between devolved approval and auto approval.

Devolved approval

Devolved approval only applies to certain Scottish colleges. It means that they do not need to go through the full approval process for any group award or unit that has been specified as having devolved approval. Instead, Scottish colleges can request that devolvable group awards or units are added to their approval list, using the Devolved Authority Approval Application form.

Auto approval 

Auto approval is solely for National Qualifications which form part of the traditional school curriculum. Most Scottish schools and colleges are automatically approved for group awards, courses or units listed on the auto approved list.

To highlight this distinction, we have changed the field on SQA Connect which referred to ‘Approval Devolvable to Centres’ to refer to ‘Devolved approval (designated Scottish colleges only)’. We have also updated the wording in our NQ catalogue to reflect this distinction.

Qualifications containing auto approved and non-auto approved units

We would also like to clarify the approval process for qualifications which contain a mix of auto approved units, and units which are not auto approved.

Before delivering these qualifications, centres must apply for approval for the relevant group award. This applies even if centres are only delivering auto approved units within the qualification. 

An example of this type of qualification is the Scottish Studies Award at SCQF levels 4, 5 and 6

Further guidance is available in the ‘Approval’ section of the relevant subject web pages for these qualifications. If you have any questions or need further guidance, please contact your SQA regional manager.