PDA Community Involvement: an Introduction SCQF level 6

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

The PDA in Community Involvement: an Introduction at SCQF level 6 covers the knowledge and skills that are needed to work with local communities and to identify their needs.

It develops an understanding of: how government policies impact on community capacity building; the development of values in individuals; professional values and principles relating to the CLD sector; community groups, including their purpose and structure; and how to facilitate a group work session.

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 Community Involvement: an Introduction at SCQF level 6 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so that it is fit for purpose.

It will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff (either paid staff or unpaid volunteers), while learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to secure employment or a volunteering position 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, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.

The award is suitable for learners who have no background in the sector or may have some understanding of Community Learning and Development, but have no formal qualifications in the field. Learners may have prior knowledge of the subject, or have limited experience of working or volunteering in the sector. The award is designed to offer an introduction to Community Capacity Building, which is one of three main strands of Community Learning and Development.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Although there are no pre-entry requirements for the PDA, learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • NQ Unit(s) at SCQF level 5 in eg Communication or Volunteering Experience
  • Experience of working (paid or voluntary basis) within the Community Learning & Development or related sectors. This could be in any of the following three strands of CLD practice: Capacity Building, Youth Work and Adult Learning
  • Good interpersonal skills which may be demonstrated by the process of application and interview

The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Community Development.


This SCQF level 6 award will prepare learners for possible progression to other programmes at an equal or increased SCQF level in the field of Community Learning and Development. These include:

  • PDA in Youth Work at SCQF level 6
  • NC in Working with Communities at level 6
  • PDA in Community Involvement at SCQF level 7
  • HNC in Working with Communities at SCQF level 7
  • SVQ 2 or SVQ 3 in Youth Work or Community Development Work

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.

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

There may be opportunities for integration of teaching and assessments. Blended learning approaches can also be used that incorporate lectures, group work activities, individual and group presentations, guest speakers, and video.

Further information on opportunities for holistic assessment is detailed in the individual Unit specifications.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification on SQA Secure.

Group Award code: GK6C 46

The PDA in Community Involvement: an Introduction at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory Units.

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