PDA Managing Projects and Business Processes SCQF level 9

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Managing Projects and Business Processes at SCQF level 9 is designed to enable managers to develop and achieve competence in project management in the context of the overall activities of the organisation. It has been designed in  particular to meet the needs of managers who are not designated as project managers as such but who may be required, as part of their managerial role, to take responsibility for projects.

This qualification is available through training providers, colleges and some employers. It has been designed to be delivered in the workplace with candidates generating the required evidence as part of their current management role.

Jointly certificated by SQA and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The PDA in Leadership at SCQF level 8:

  • is nationally recognised
  • can be achieved at work
  • has no formal entry requirements
  • provides recognition of managing projects
  • enables progression within the Management SVQ framework
  • enhances career prospects

The PDA Managing Projects and Business Processes is part of the SVQ framework and is, therefore, work based. Candidates will be supported by a qualified assessor and can work through their qualification at their own pace. 

However, it is likely that assessment plans between assessor and candidate will agree target dates for completion of specific parts of each unit.

A candidate support pack is available for the knowledge requirements of the Manage Business Processes unit, and useful HN support material is available for the Managing Projects unit.

The unit-based structure aids flexibility with candidates generating the required evidence naturally through their current management job role.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study, training and professional qualifications (see Progression).

SQA and CMI have joined forces to help build careers in Management. CMI now offers one year free studying membership for those undertaking an SQA generic Management qualification. For further information please visit: http://www.managers.org.uk/sqa.

The main target groups for the PDA in Managing Projects and Business Processes are people who are currently employed in management posts, predominantly at first-line, team-leading and middle management levels.



Whilst entry to the PDA in Managing Projects and Business Processes at SCQF level 9 is at the discretion of the centre, eligible managers should have current experience in a managerial role which will enable them to demonstrate the competences of the two units in this PDA.

The PDAs in Management are based on SVQ Management units. In line with the Assessment Strategy developed for SVQs in Management, access to the PDAs in Management is open only to those who currently occupy a management role which enables them to display competence at the level of the standards which make up the award. The nature and level of the management role may vary depending on the level of PDA involved.

Successful candidates can gain membership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which means that they can become part of the professional community of managers and can benefit from the development opportunities that this can bring.

Candidates who complete this PDA will have gained the following: 

  • two of the seven units of the full SVQ in Management at SCQF level 7
  • one of the eight units of the full SVQ in Management at SCQF level 9

Candidates achieving this PDA are also eligible for 12 months free studying membership of CMI.

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.

As this PDA is made up of SVQ units, the assessment is governed by the Assessment Strategy for PDAs in Leadership and Management

Candidates gather evidence of their performance through normal workplace activity, in line with the requirements of the PDA. This evidence will be assessed using usual workplace assessment methods, such as use of portfolios/e-portfolios; observation; examining of work products; testimonial evidence from witnesses; personal statements; accreditation of prior learning, etc.

Qualifications Structure

Group Award code: GM71 49 (26 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Managing Projects and Business Processes at SCQF level 9 consists of 2 mandatory units:

  • Manage Projects
  • Manage Business Processes