Award in Volunteering Skills

Award in Volunteering Skills

The Award in Volunteering Skills at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 5 provides formal recognition of volunteering activity. Through participation in volunteering activities, candidates will develop a range of skills and personal development experiences which will help to prepare them for responsibility, further education and employment.

Candidates learn about the context of volunteering; plan a volunteering placement; review and reflect on their own skills and volunteering experience; and complete an investigative project.

This qualification is available in schools and colleges.

Alternative assessment guidance 2021-22

For guidance on which approach suits your current circumstances please use the HNVQ assessment decision tree.

Enhanced Award in Volunteering Skills alternative assessment approaches (76 KB)

Why deliver this qualification

The Volunteering Skills Award is open to all learners, regardless of age, academic experience or ability.

The achievement of other awards ¿ such as the Saltire Award, Youth Achievement Award and the Duke of Edinburgh Award ¿ can contribute towards the Volunteering Skills Award. These other awards exist for people under the age of 25, however the Volunteering Skills Award has the added advantage of being open to learners of any age.

The Award may be delivered in schools, colleges, community organisations and Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs). Delivery is flexible to suit the needs of individuals or groups and can be adapted to take into account whether candidates already volunteer or are new to volunteering.


Centres may deliver the Volunteering Skills Award to candidates who already volunteer within their own institutions. This means that social and fundraising committee members, class reps, school/college council reps, student mentors, and learners who carry out other important roles can have their contributions acknowledged.

Achievement of this Award is nationally recognised.

Who does this qualification suit

The Award is suitable for candidates with no previous volunteering experience, candidates who are currently volunteers, and those preparing to be volunteers.

Potential candidates include:

  • S3-S6 pupils
  • College students
  • Adult returners
  • Anyone in a volunteering role


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.


This qualification may provide progression to:

Further study

  • SCQF level 4 from level 3
  • SCQF level 5 from level 4
  • NC Working with Communities at SCQF level 6 (G9YN 46)
  • HNC Working with Communities at SCQF level 7 (G7KM 15)
  • Co-ordinating Volunteers at SCQF level 6 (G8NJ 04)
  • Managing Volunteers at SCQF level 7 (G8NK 04)
  • PDA Volunteering Management at SCQF level 8 (G917 48)
  • Employment in the voluntary sector or volunteer management


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence.

How to assess

A wide range of methods can be used to assess the Volunteering Skills Award. Assessment methods may include written and recorded oral evidence and performance evidence, leading to the compilation of a portfolio. The portfolio may comprise elements such as candidate notes, logbook and assessor observation checklists.

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) for all three mandatory Units are available to download from SQA's secure site.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Structure of Volunteering Skills Award at SCQF level 3

Group Award code: GD1N 43 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 3

To achieve the Award, candidates must complete three mandatory Units.

Mandatory Units

Preparing to Volunteer - FR26 09
Volunteering Experience - FR27 09
Volunteering: Investigative Project - FR28 09


Structure of Volunteering Skills Award at SCQF level 4

Group Award code: GD1P 44 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 4

To achieve the Award, candidates must complete three mandatory Units.

Mandatory Units

Preparing to Volunteer - FR26 10
Volunteering Experience - FR27 10
Volunteering: Investigative Project - FR28 10


Structure of Volunteering Skills Award at SCQF level 5

Group Award code: GD1R 45 (18 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 5

To achieve the Award, candidates must complete three mandatory Units.

Mandatory Units

Preparing to Volunteer - FR26 11
Volunteering Experience - FR27 11
Volunteering: Investigative Project - FR28 11


Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material