PDA Support Adult Literacies Learning SCQF level 6

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards.

The PDA in Supporting Adult Literacies Learning at SCQF level 6 is intended for individuals who wish to assist with tutoring adults in numeracy and literacy.

This qualification is available through colleges and community learning and development centres. It has been designed to be delivered with a learner-centred, participative and practical approach.

This subject will not have alternative assessment guidance for session 2023-24. You should refer to the Group Award/Unit specifications for detailed delivery and assessment information. For general support on delivery and assessment see the HNVQ assessment guidance 2023-24.

This qualification is a revision of the PDA in Introduction to Tutoring in Adult Literacies Learning (ITALL) at SCQF level 6 (G8GV 46). It has been developed in partnership with the adult literacies sector so that it is fit for purpose.

The size of the PDA has been reduced from 16 SCQF credit points (80 hours) to 12 SCQF credit points (60 hours) as a result of feedback from centres that the size of the PDA in ITALL was deterring many from undertaking it.

The PDA in Supporting Adult Literacies Learning will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff. Learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

Candidates of this qualification are likely to be competent and confident in their own reading, writing and numeracy ability, and interested in supporting young people and adults to develop their own skills. They are likely to be good communicators, patient, creative and willing to commit to supporting a learner or learners over a reasonable period of time. They might be wishing to volunteer with a learner or learners or they may be hoping to gain paid tutoring hours once they have experience.


Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the centre. The following information on prior knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications that provide suitable preparation for this qualification has been provided by the Qualification Design Team as guidance only.

Candidates would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • an SCQF level 5 qualification or equivalent in Communication and Numeracy a candidate who does not have these qualifications might consider working towards them first
  • an interest in, and commitment to, the development of adult literacies in Scotland
  • competence and confidence in their own literacy and numeracy capabilities
  • basic ICT skills or a willingness to learn and use basic ICT skills

Candidates must also be attached to a placement for Unit 3: Delivering and Developing Adult Literacies Learning. They should have an identified learner or learners to work with, under the supervision of a group tutor who can support them during their placement.

Candidates may progress to the PDA in Tutoring in Adult Literacies at SCQF level 8, a qualification which develops skills of group teaching as well as the use of a range of teaching strategies. The Adult Literacies Professional Development Framework is the overarching framework for professional development in adult literacies and can be consulted for information about typical employment opportunities in Scotland.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have 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 Guide to Approval.

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Each Unit is assessed separately. Candidates will be assessed by a range of methods including written and/or oral responses and observation of practice.

Group Award code: GG5H 46 (12 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Supporting Adult Literacies at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory Units.

Candidates will be awarded the PDA in Supporting Adult Literacies Learning at SCQF level 6 on completion of all three of the mandatory Units (12 SCQF credit points, all at SCQF level 6).

For further information on the structure and units for this qualification please refer to the Group Award Specification document.

The structure is illustrated below:

Code Unit title SQA credit SCQF credit points SCQF level
H3P8 33 Raising Awareness of Adult Literacies 0.25 2 6
H3P7 33 Preparing to Work with Adult Literacies Learners 0.25 2 6
H3P6 33 Delivering and Developing Adult Literacies Learning 1 8 6