PDA Strategic Leadership SCQF level 11

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Strategic Leadership at SCQF level 11 offers candidates the opportunity to develop their managerial competence in two of the key areas: providing direction and achieving results.

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 Strategic Leadership at SCQF level 11:

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

Candidate support packs are available for the knowledge requirements of the two units in this qualification.

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 target group for this award is senior managers; chief executives; directors and those in strategic posts who can generate the evidence within the workplace. The award is suitable across private sector; public sector and voluntary sector.


Whilst entry to the PDA in Strategic Leadership at SCQF level 11 is at the discretion of the centre, eligible managers must have current experience in a managerial role that will enable them to demonstrate the competences of the two units in this PDA.

Both units in this PDA have been levelled at SCQF level 11. Before commencing the award, candidates should be able to show that they have the requisite background to attempt a unit at SCQF level 11. In particular they should be able to demonstrate appropriate written and oral communications skills for units at this level, and the capacity to be able to grasp the underpinning knowledge and understanding required for a PDA at this level.

The PDA in Strategic Leadership is 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 that enables them to display competence at the level of the standards which make up the award.

The PDA is jointly certificated by SQA and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Successful candidates can gain membership of 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 successfully complete this PDA will have gained two units towards the SVQ in Management at SCQF level 11.

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.

The qualification consists of two practical units and is part of the SVQ framework.  It is, therefore, work based and is designed for candidates who are employed.  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.

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.

As this PDA is made up of SVQ units, the assessment is governed by the Assessment Strategy for PDAs in Leadership and Management //www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/47500.html

Group Award code: GM7C 51 (24 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Strategic Leadership at SCQF level 11 consists of 2 mandatory units:

  • Lead Your Organisation
  • Manage Continuous Improvement