PDA Perioperative Practice SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Perioperative Practice at SCQF level 8 covers specialist skills in pre-operative, post-operative and intra-operative care, together with personal and professional development.

This PDA has been developed to address the changing skills mix of the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland, in response to the need identified by NHS Education Scotland for a nationally agreed competency framework developed in partnership with employers.

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.

Candidates must currently be working as a support worker in a relevant field or have completed the HNC Care and Administrative Practice.

This qualification has not been available previously and has been requested by the profession and workforce planners.

The PDA in Perioperative Practice 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 are typically 40 hours of learning and they can be delivered on a full-time or part-time basis.

The target audience is those in work, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set. The award will give current support workers the knowledge and skills to improve their current practice. This qualification is aimed at individuals currently working as support workers in a relevant field or those who have completed the HNC Care and Administrative Practice.


Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the centre.

It is recommended that employed learners wishing to undertake the award are able to demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills.

This PDA qualification is not suitable for direct entry. It is suitable for those who:

  • are currently working as a support worker in a relevant field, or
  • have completed the HNC Care and Administrative Practice

The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Health Care Support.

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HND qualification in Care and Administrative Practice at SCQF level 8.

Centres interested in offering this qualification should come forward for approval and 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide (510 KB). The specific delivery requirements are set out in the Group Award Specification (Arrangements Document).

Each Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the 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: GK55 48 (40 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Perioperative Practice at SCQF level 8 consists of three mandatory Units.

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

The award is achieved on the successful attainment of all three Units contained within the Group Award. All three Units are mandatory.

The qualification is at SCQF level 8. This reflects the level of knowledge required to develop and improve practice.