PDA Dental Nursing: Supporting Special Care Provision SCQF level 7

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

The PDA in Dental Nursing: Supporting Special Care Provision at SCQF level 8 covers:

  • the legislation and policies that protect patients' rights when accessing dental care
  • the barriers that special care dental patients face and methods of overcoming them
  • the additional skills and resources required for working with special care patients
  • the support special care dental patients require

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 workshops and self-directed study.

The PDA in Dental Nursing: Supporting Special Care Provision has been developed in partnership with educationalists from the dental sector so it is fit for purpose.

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.

The Unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. Units can be delivered on a full-time or part-time basis.

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

This qualification is for registered dental nurses who are seeking to extend their clinical duties within their professional scope of practice, as defined by the General General Dental Council (GDC). They will gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively support patients who are receiving special care dentistry.


Access to this PDA is at the discretion of the centre. Candidates should be registered with the GDC. Candidates undertaking this PDA may require to have been disclosed under the PVG scheme (2011), standard or enhanced.

The Units in the PDA are aligned with the National Occupational Standards for Dental Nursing.

Learners will have the opportunity to progress to the HND in Dental Nursing.

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 although there are opportunities to integrate assessment.

Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice. The use of reports and projects is crucial to this.

PDA in Dental Nursing: Supporting Special Care Provision at SCQF level 8

Group Award code: GJ7N 48

The PDA in Dental Nursing: Supporting Special Care Provision consists of two mandatory Units.

  • Dental Nursing: Principles and Policies for Special Care Provision (H76E 35)
  • Dental Nursing: Special Care Practice (H76D 35)