PDA Podiatry Support SCQF level 8

PDA Podiatry

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Podiatry Support at SCQF level 7 has been designed to provide an accredited and certificated award which will equip individuals with the skills and knowledge to improve professional practice and provide continuous professional development for Podiatry Assistants in employment and in training. The PDA contains six Higher National Units — all Units are mandatory.

This qualification is available through SQA approved centres with work based employer engagement. This award will be available to individuals across Scotland therefore 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 adopted for each approved centre should be flexible and adopt a widening access approach to recruiting candidates. Delivery approaches such as distance learning, e-learning and workplace place learning are actively encouraged and where possible used to enrich all candidates experiences of the award, and not just for those individuals living and working at a distance from the approved centre.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Podiatry Support been designed for delivery as a taught course with the Higher National (HN) Units. The award also provides a combination of workplace, directed and independent learning, through reading, research and practice-based learning

The PDA in Podiatry Support at SCQF level 7 aims to allow candidates to advance their knowledge through the practical application of theory to support their clinical practice. Candidates may also use this qualification as progression into higher level study.

Who does this qualification suit

The PDA is primarily a training programme to develop support workers in podiatry into a clinical role within a defined scope of practice. Eligibility of potential candidates will be at the discretion of centres however it is recommended that candidates are currently employed as a podiatry assistant or trainee podiatry assistants. Centres must ensure that candidates are, or can gain a placement within an appropriate job role within a podiatry setting.


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


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 as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

The PDA takes a portfolio building approach to assessment. This is necessary as the Units provide candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through practice that will be observed and validated by a HPC registered podiatrist.

Where can you take this course?

Arrangements Documents

Unit Downloads

Group Award code: GF94 47 (52 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 7


Unit Title Code SCQF Level SCQF Credit SQA Credit
Principles of Professional Practice H29S 34 7 8 1
Physiology for Care Professionals FN2A 34 7 16 2
Functional Anatomy H1T6 34 7 8 1
Dermatology and Nails H1T5 34 7 8 1
Microbiology for Podiatry Support H1T7 34 7 4 0.5
Podiatry Assistant Clinical Practice H1T4 34 7 8 1
Total credits 7 52 6.5