PDA Sustainable Business Practice SCQF level 6

PDA Sustainable Business Practice SCQF level 6

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

The PDA in Sustainable Business Practice at SCQF level 6 has been developed as a direct consequence of the Scottish Government's current legislative drive towards a more sustainable economy. It is about developing sustainability awareness in support of sustainable business practice.

The rising cost of raw materials and utilities places an imperative on organisations to reduce waste in all its forms. Adopting sustainable business practices will help organisations reduce costs and potentially save money and jobs.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and employers. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of workshops and self-directed study.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Sustainable Business Practice at SCQF level 6 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is fit for purpose.

Organisations registered (or aspiring to register) to an environmental management system (eg ISO14001, EMAS) take on a voluntary obligation to ensure that their employees are aware of, and suitably qualified to carry out their responsibilities in a manner that contributes to sustainable development.

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 sector.

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.

Who does this qualification suit

The target audience is those in work, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.

At an operational level within a workplace, everyone has a role to play in contributing to sustainable business practice. In many cases sustainable business practice doesn't necessarily create new roles for people, but requires them to have an understanding of sustainability issues and to be able to recognise opportunities to make improvements.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

While there are no formal entry requirements for the PDA in Sustainable Business Practice, current experience working within an organisation would be advantageous.


The Units in the PDA are linked to the following Cogent National Occupational Standards:

COGSBP16      Develop and awareness of sustainable business practice
COGSBP26      Contribute to resource efficiency in support of sustainable business practice
COGSBP35      Develop an awareness of environmental good practice in support of sustainable business practice


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.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GJ0M 46 (18 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Sustainable Business Practice at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory Units.

For further information on the structure and Units of this qualification please refer to the Group Award Specification (310 KB).