PDAs Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8

PDAs Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8 is designed to allow candidates to develop the skills and knowledge required for working in the early years and childcare sector.

These PDAs can be delivered by colleges, training providers and employer-approved centres.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDAs in Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8 has a wide range of options to suit candidate and employer needs.

The qualification can be delivered on full-time, part-time and distance learning basis. Combined modes of delivery can be offered so students in employment can maintain and develop their practice whilst undertaking these awards.

Who does this qualification suit

The main target group for the level 8 award is those who have achieved a practitioner qualification at SCQF level 7 or equivalent.


Candidates for the level 8 PDA should hold a practitioner qualification as prescribed by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), for example HNC Early Education and Childcare, SVQ Level 3 Children’s Care Learning and Development, or other recognised award.


On completion of the level 8 PDA, successful candidates will be able to progress on to the HND Childhood Practice, the level 9 PDA or, for example, BA Childhood Practice.

The PDA at level 9 is an award for those seeking to develop their professional knowledge and skills, and ultimately increase their future career prospects.  The award will advance their practice and enhance their personal and professional values and commitment.


Centres previously approved for the PDA in Early Education and Childcare  at SCQF level 8 will automatically be approved for the new PDA Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8 and all the Units contained within the Group Award.

Centres should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

Arrangements Documents

Group Award Specifications

Assessment Exemplars

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award codes:
G96H 48 (64 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 8)


Level 8

The PDA Childhood Practice at SCQF level 8 consists of five mandatory Units (48 SCQF credit points) and two optional Units (16 SCQF credit points).

Mandatory Units

Unit Title

Unit Code

SCQF Credit Points

Childhood Practice and Social Services: Developing Leadership (270 KB)

F56Y 35


Managing Quality in Early Education and Childcare Settings (270 KB)

DN1H 35


Developing Professional Childhood Practice (212 KB)

F56B 35


Integrated Working and Collaborative Practice (222 KB)

F56A 35


Childhood Practice: Graded Unit 2

F570 35