PDA Strategic Planning for Play SCQF level 8

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Strategic Planning for Play is a new continuing professional development (CPD) qualification that will help organisations to deliver the Scottish Government Play Strategy, which aims to promote and improve play and play spaces for children and young people in Scotland. The PDA has been developed in partnership by Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), Scottish Government, Play Scotland, SkillsActive and Inspiring Scotland.

PDAs extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. This PDA focuses on an understanding of play throughout services in Scotland including play policy and evaluating and analysing the impact of play on children and young people.

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 Strategic Planning for Play at SCQF level 8 was developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is fit for purpose.

It will help employers meet skills gaps, while learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace. This qualification may also be used on a Unit by Unit basis to allow learners to gain a CPD qualification.

It can 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.

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

The target audience is those in work, and organisations such as: architects, educationalists, transport planners, town planners, health professionals, employees and volunteers from health and social care, the third sector, housing associations and educationalists, sports and youth professionals. It is relevant to any organisation that requires to meet the Government Single Outcome agreement and/or Scottish Government National Outcomes.


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 at SCQF level 7, are required. Current experience of strategic planning within an organisation which may have access to the appropriate environment may be beneficial.

The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Playwork and the Scottish Government's Play Strategy and Go Play Outcome Framework.

Approval is not devolved to centres. All centres will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA's Business Development team for guidance.

Centres must contact Playscotland (www.playscotland.org.uk) to obtain a Letter of Support prior to seeking SQA Approval. This should be submitted with the Approval Application to SQA.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

Assessors and Internal Verifiers must be competent, to SCQF level 8 and/or above and have experience of carrying out play sufficiency.

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each Unit is assessed separately.

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

Group Award code: GH7Y 48


The PDA in Strategic Planning for Play at SCQF level 8 consists of four mandatory Units.

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