PDA Health and Social Care: Personalisation in Practice SCQF level 8

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Health and Social Care: Personalisation in Practice at SCQF level 8 consists of three HN Units: one at SCQF level 7 and two at SCQF level 8. The PDA provides an SQA qualification for those working in a personalised way in the Health and Social Care, Early Years and Community Development sectors.

This qualification is available through SQA approved centres. It will be available to individuals across Scotland, so it should be delivered in an accessible and flexible manner without any candidate being disadvantaged due to their geographical location or other structural factors.

The delivery mechanisms each approved centre adopts should be flexible and should make access for candidates as open as possible.

Delivery approaches such as distance learning, e-learning and workplace place learning are actively encouraged. Where possible, they can be used to enrich all candidates' learning experience, not just those who live and work at a distance.

The PDA in Health and Social Care: Personalisation in Practice at SCQF level 8 has been designed for delivery as a taught course. It will normally be delivered through a combination of workshops and self-directed study. It can be delivered on a full or part-time basis.

In particular, the award will equip candidates with the knowledge, skills and understanding they will need to support the transition to more personalised ways of supporting people. The award is designed to help a wide range of workers across the public, private and voluntary sectors to reflect on the values and principles that underpin the cultural shift in support delivery that is outlined in the 10-year Self-Directed Support Strategy.

This PDA will provide candidates with the opportunity to progress and to develop their confidence and competence in their practice.

The qualification will enable candidates to evaluate their role as workers by:

  • developing their knowledge of legislation and policy frameworks related to personalisation in practice.
  • reflecting on the value of community development approaches.
  • developing their understanding of personalisation, co-production and inclusion.
  • critically reflecting on the processes of and implementation of self-directed support.
  • critically reflecting on methods of working to build community connections and approaches to facilitating participation and partnerships.

Existing practitioners in care sector looking for opportunities for Continuous Professional Development.

The primary target group is people who are experienced and qualified practitioners, and who already have qualifications which may include:

  • HNC in Social Care
  • SVQs in Health and Social Care level 3
  • SVQ in Community Development Work level 3
  • HNC Healthcare
  • SVQs 3 Healthcare Support (Clinical and Non-clinical)
  • Other relevant professional awards, for example Nursing, Social Work and Community Learning and Development.


Candidates wishing to undertake this award should be able to demonstrate effective communication and interpersonal skills, and should be able to use these skills to give an account of their experiences, reflect on them, make valid conclusions and express strengths and development needs (both personal and organisational). This may be demonstrated by achievement of a relevant qualifications at SCQF level 7 or above, with relevant experience in a health and social care or other relevant setting.

The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Health and Social Care and Community Development Work. Candidates would have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN qualification or SVQ in Health and Social Care at level 3 or 4 or SVQ in Community Development Work level 3 or 4.

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 in completing the relevant approval application forms.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

Assessment has been designed to allow candidates to enhance their own practice, and the use of case studies and projects is crucial to this. Candidates should reflect on their own practice and that of the organisation for critical evaluation and to allow them to apply what they have learned.

Each Unit is assessed separately. Each Unit requires that the candidate produces written work which, in most cases, is based on research and practice.

Evidence will be based on the candidate's practical experience in a workplace context.

Group Award code: GD7R 48 (24 SCQF credit points) SCQF level: 8


The PDA in Health and Social Care: Personalisation in Practice at SCQF level 8 is composed of 3 mandatory HN Units:

  • Health and Social Care: Personalisation in Practice (FM96 34)
  • Health and Social Care: Community Development Approaches to Personalisation in Practice (FX34 35)
  • Health and Social Care: Implementing Personalisation and Self-Directed Support (FX35 35)