PDA Advanced Fertility Support SCQF level 8

PDA Advanced Fertility Support SCQF level 8

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

The PDA in Advanced Fertility Support: at SCQF level 8 covers the advanced skills and knowledge required to appropriately support and inform clients affected by pregnancy loss and bereavement. It includes the female reproductive system and fertility cycle, the interpretation and use of fertility charts, the importance of a formal client assessment and agreement process, and the benefits of online therapeutic support.

This qualification may be available through colleges, charitable organisations, 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.

Why deliver this qualification

The PDA in Advanced Fertility Support at SCQF level 8 has been developed in partnership with the sector.

It will help organisations who offer miscarriage advice and guidance services meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff (paid or unpaid). Learners will gain knowledge and skills needed to carry out their role effectively.

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 who already work in the advice and guidance sector or who are seeking employment or a volunteering opportunity and require this specific skill set.

This Award is suitable for a range of learners:

  • Those with some experience in advice and guidance but no experience or limited experience in the miscarriage support field, eg counsellors, nurses and midwives, tutors and teachers, and volunteer advisors from other areas (such as Samaritans or the Citizens Advice Bureau)
  • Those with some experience in the miscarriage support, advice and guidance field who wish to gain a national qualification, perhaps for the purposes of continued personal development, eg experienced volunteer advisors and counsellors


Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the centre. Learners would be expected at a minimum to have communication skills at SCQF level 6 or equivalent and some prior experience in the counselling/advice and guidance sector.

Learners may have other SQA qualifications, eg SVQ Units in Advice and Guidance, HNC Units in Counselling (or the equivalent from other awarding bodies). Alternatively, should be able to demonstrate, perhaps by way of CV and interview, their prior knowledge and experience gained from working or volunteering in a relevant role. Where appropriate this should include supervised hours.


Achievement of the PDA in Fertility Support: an Introduction prior to undertaking this Award is strongly recommended, particularly for those without suitable prior qualifications and/or experience.

Competency in the use of information and communication technology would be advisable, eg the Core Skill in Information and Communication Technology at SCQF level 5.

In terms of Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG), previously known as the disclosure process, organisations offering advice, guidance and support should have a ‘protection procedures policy’ in place. The employee/volunteer may be asked to sign a policy statement. Also, they may be asked at the time of making application, as part of the recruitment and selection process, to disclose background information, offer a history of any offences, spent or outstanding, and agree to a check being made should that be required.  


The content of the PDA has been aligned with the National Occupational Standards for Advice and Guidance.

Currently there is no progression to an existing qualification. However, Learners who successfully complete the PDA in Advanced Fertility Support at SCQF level 8 will progress to become more confident and competent in their current workplace or volunteering role.


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.

Assessment will be learner centred and should be designed to cover both theory and practice.  Recommended methods include learner responses to set questions, an investigation, and the production of a portfolio of work-based evidence drawn from practice.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

Group Award code: GK5D48 (28 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Advanced Fertility Support at SCQF level 8 consists of two mandatory Units.

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




Group Award Specification

  • PDA in Advanced Fertility Support at SCQF level 8 GK5D 48 (322 KB)