PDA Dental Practice Management SCQF level 8

PDA Dental Practice Management SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Dental Practice Management at SCQF level 8 covers the following specialist skills: leadership, quality improvement, recruitment, and resource management.

This qualification covers areas such as team leadership, facilitating practice inspection, managing recruitment and performance.

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

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Dental Practice 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.

The unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. Units typically require 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).

Who does this qualification suit

This PDA has been designed to provide a formal qualification for those working (or those who aspire to work) in a supervisory or managerial role within the dental environment.

Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Learners should be involved with the day-to-day management of a dental environment, such as general dental practice.

All learners must be able access opportunities to meet the unit’s learning outcomes and demonstrate the evidence requirements.

It is also recommended that learners should have strong communication and interpersonal skills, which may be evidenced by previous achievement of relevant qualifications at SCQF level 6 or above, such as Higher English or equivalent.


Designed for the dental workforce, the PDA also includes a range of units from the Management and Business & Administration suites of National Occupational Standards (NOS).


Unit title

National Occupational Standards (NOS)

H8GY 04

Provide Leadership in Your Area of Responsibility

Leadership and Management

H5K4 04

Manage the Use of Financial Resources

Council for Administration (CfA)

H9Y6 04

Plan, Organise and Control Customer Service Operations

Council for Administration (CfA)

FE1K 04

Implement, Monitor and Review Change

Council for Administration (CfA)


Successful completion of the units within this PDA will offer learners the opportunity to progress within the dental sector, and some managers may wish to move on to undertake a PDA in Operational Leadership and Management.


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

Centres without devolved authority 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 for the SVQ units are set out in the relevant assessment strategy.

How to assess

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.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

Group award code: GV3A 48 

The PDA in Dental Practice Management at SCQF level 8 consists of 5 mandatory credits and 2 optional unit credits.