PDA Computer Aided Draughting and Design SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Computer Aided Draughting and Design at SCQF level 7 is intended for those who wish to pursue a career working in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors as CAD Technicians or Junior Designers.

This qualification covers areas such as CAD: 3D Surface and Solid Modelling, CAD: Principles, CAD: Visualisation, Rendering and Presentation, and CAD: Graphical Design.

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 Computer Aided Draughting and Design at SCQF level 7 has 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 PDA in Computer Aided Draughting and Design is, by the nature of the framework considered to a part-time course that would be suitable for day/block release or evening delivery.

The PDA in Computer Aided Draughting and Design is aimed at learners in employment, seeking employment or wishing to upgrade and/or broaden their existing skills set. This could include:

  • school leavers
  • learners studying related subject areas such as engineering, construction and design related disciplines at NC level
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people changing direction/seeking a career change
  • part-time learners wishing to broaden skills and knowledge


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • NC or HNC in a related discipline ¿ this could include but is not limited to the NC Computer Aided Design and Technology, NC in an Engineering discipline, NC Built Environment, HNC Mechanical Engineering, HNC Manufacturing Engineering, or HNC Fabrication and Welding Engineering
  • at least one Higher level pass, with appropriate supporting passes at Standard Grade Credit/National 5 or equivalent in appropriate subjects ¿ Maths, English, Product Design, Graphic Communication and/or a science subject would be desirable
  • SVQ in Engineering or a related discipline

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.

Several of the Units in the PDA have been mapped against Semta and ECITB National Occupational Standards. Mapping information has been included in the Group Award Specification.

Learners could progress into or within industry, if already employed, as CAD Technicians or Junior Designers, working across a range of engineering and construction disciplines.

There may also be opportunities to progress to the HNC and HND Computer Aided Draughting and Design qualifications.

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 individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Group Award code: GL5C 47 (48 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Computer Aided Draughting and Design at SCQF level 7 consists of 3 mandatory Units and 2 optional Units.