How SQA helps trailblazers and employers

Involve us

We know that trailblazers aren’t always sure how an awarding organisation can help or when the best time to involve one is.

We advise trailblazers to involve an awarding organisation such as ourselves from as early as possible. The better the blueprint of your standards, the better your assessments. We can support you right through the process, or in the specific areas you need help.

If you’d like to chat through your needs, you can speak to our dedicated Trailblazers team.

We can help you with everything from creating industry standards, assessing standards to recognition, certification and quality assurance.

Here are some of the services we can provide, either stand-alone or as part of a package customised to your needs.

Creating standards

We can use our experience to help you set and write the standard for your industry/sector. A well-written standard to start with will give you the best grounding to go on to develop the right assessments.

Assessment strategies

Having set the standards, employers must find ways of confirming that standards are being met. Good assessment is crucial to this – whether this is part of a qualification or stand-alone.

We can help trailblazers to develop assessment strategies for individual industries/sectors. An assessment strategy is the industry/sector blueprint for those designing, developing and delivering assessment for Apprenticeships and will be based on the standards agreed by each industry/sector.

We have proven expertise in this area – particularly in an international context – and we can make this know-how available to you as you develop your own assessment strategy.

Assessment design and delivery

We can provide a range of services including developing tests and other assessments, marking examinations and issuing certificates or photocards confirming achievement. We can also deliver a full contract on your behalf such as licence to practice qualifications.

Assessments generate the evidence of a learner’s knowledge and skills, which is then judged against the standards developed for your industry. We can provide, or support, the design and development of high quality assessments that will give confidence and assurance that the standard required has been met.


With many years’ experience of developing and delivering on-line assessment, and an established infrastructure to facilitate e-assessment, we can support you in finding and implementing e-assessment solutions that best meet your business’s needs.

E-assessment provides employers and apprentices with flexibility and choice of when and where they can do an assessment and it can save on time and resources.


Qualifications, with embedded assessment, have formed the core part of Apprenticeships since their inception. For Apprenticeships that intend to go forward on a similar basis, we can provide an extensive range of vocational and knowledge based qualifications across a wide range of sectors to meet the needs of future Apprenticeship training and assessment.

Unique qualification solutions

Some industries and businesses have very specific requirements which means existing qualifications may not quite fit what they need. Our Customised Awards service allows businesses to develop their own qualifications, tailored to specific needs.

Whether an SME or a large corporate we can guide each business through the development process to create its own qualification.

Recognition of learning

Qualifications are one way of recognising learning but it is also possible to recognise learning that is not part of a qualification, for example with a stand-alone assessment.

This can be done by benchmarking learning or assessment against another piece of learning/assessment or find where it fits on an existing qualification framework such as the Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) or European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

We have experts on both benchmarking and the intricacies of assigning level and credit to learning who can find the best solution to recognise the learning you are offering.

Endorsing processes

Some industries, sectors or businesses may want to implement their own processes but wish to have a measure of external confirmation that these processes will ensure the quality of the assessment or learning on offer. We can offer both external scrutiny and endorsement of your processes.