PDA Project Management SCQF level 8

This Professional Development Award (PDA) in Project Management at SCQF level 8 is designed to enhance and accredit the project management skills of new, inexperienced or aspiring project managers. PDA's are vocational qualifications contributing to the continuous professional development of participants. Its SCQF rating at level 8 reflects a higher level qualification placed within a higher education portfolio.

This qualification is available through colleges and is jointly certificated by SQA and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

This PDA in Project Management will combine part-time study with project based assessment. It is likely that a blended learning approach will be adopted with the candidate's learning achieved through a combination of training and individual candidate study which might include:

  • attendance at workshops and conferences
  • desk study
  • access to multi-media and online resources
  • practical application

Some features of the PDA are:

  • it is nationally recognised
  • it can be achieved at work 
  • there are no formal entry requirements
  • it provides recognition of project management skills
  • it enhances career prospects

Possible progression routes include:

  • other PDAs in Management at SCQF level 8 and level 9
  •  other SQA qualifications which incorporate higher level project management Units, eg PDA in Personal Enterprise (SCQF level 9)
  • diploma in Management
  • other widely recognised professional project management qualifications, eg CMI jointly certificates this PDA with SQA — this will enable candidates to progress within the CMI framework of 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.

Where possible and appropriate, it is recommended that a single project be used for assessment of all Outcomes across both Units of the PDA in Project Management. Additionally, centres are encouraged to identify opportunities for integration of assessment evidence across Units. The Unit specifications detail the Evidence Requirements and assessment procedures for each assessment event.

Wherever possible, assessments should be based on real requirements and developments. Where this is not possible or there is a shortfall in the scope for assessment purposes then this can be replaced or supplemented with case study material provided by the centre. Candidates should be given project management experiences which are as real as possible.

Group Award code: G9CK 48 (24 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 8


The PDA in Project Management at SCQF level 8 comprises two mandatory Units:

Project Management: Project Justification and Planning — DV5H 35
Project Management: Managing the Implementation of a Project — DV5J 35

Support materials

SQA's high quality support materials which assist with the delivery of the HNC in Management, Diploma in Management and the suite of PDAs in Management consisting of HN Units, are now available on SQA's secure website. See your centre's SQA contact for access.