PDA Personal Training SCQF level 7

PDA Personal Training SCQF level 7

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

The PDA in Personal Training at SCQF level 7 covers the following specialist areas: core strength and posture, delivering personal training sessions, metabolic considerations for personal trainers, planning and management of personal training, and working effectively and safely with clients.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some employers. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of performance activities and case studies.

Alternative assessment guidance 2021-22

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

Enhanced PDA Personal Training alternative assessment approaches (533 KB)

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Personal Training at SCQF level 7 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry.

It will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff, while learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to gain employment in the fitness sector.

The development of this Award was initiated by demand from the sector, and the increasing need of people to achieve recognition by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).  REPs is managed by the sector skills council Skillsactive and is the independent public register which recognises the qualifications and expertise of exercise and fitness professionals in the UK. REPs has recognition across the world.

The Unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. Units are typically 40 hours of learning and they can be delivered on a full-time or part-time basis.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The Professional Development Award in Personal Training will be suitable for those who:


  • are working in, or seeking employment in, the fitness industry

who require a specific skill set

  • wish to develop their current skills and knowledge in the area of personal fitness


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Learners do not need to have formal relevant qualifications to enter this PDA. Good communication skills, both oral and written, are required. Current experience as a personal trainer or exercise professional would be advantageous.


The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Fitness.

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN qualification in Fitness, Health and Exercise at level 7 or 8.

Please see the Sports and Leisure MySector for all available qualifications in this area.


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.

How to assess

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice.

Where can you take this course?

Group Award Specification

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GH02 47 (32 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Personal Training at SCQF level 7 consists of five mandatory Units.

Related links

College Development Network logo.Skills Active Logo