SVQs Business and Administration

SVQs Business and Administration

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Business and Administration are designed to equip those working in business and administration with the skills and knowledge they need to demonstrate competence in their job role.

The SVQ at SCQF level 4 is about following routine procedures in an office, supporting work procedures and understanding how to communicate in a business environment.

Level 5 involves a greater range of activities with some degree of complexity and limited autonomy. Mandatory units cover undertaking allocated work, communicating and managing own performance in a business environment. There is a wide range of optional units including document production, supporting events, meetings and diaries, customer service, IT and various specialist administrative functions.

At SCQF level 6, candidates have a broad range of activities with significant complexity, responsibility and autonomy, often in a supervisory or team-leading role. Mandatory units cover managing workload, communicating and planning, and improving own performance in a business environment. There is again a wide range of optional units including work responsibilities, document production and design, managing events, customer service, managing business resources, and managing information and data.

SCQF level 8 candidates will normally be managers with responsibility for staff and/or financial or other resources. Mandatory units involve managing and being accountable for own performance, and managing work and communication in a business environment. Optional units include business support services, project management, managing business resources, innovation and change, managing Information and data, customer service and communication.

These qualifications are available through employers, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

Successful candidates gain an internationally-recognised qualification which demonstrates that they have the skills, knowledge and behaviours required to carry out their role successfully.  Employers benefit from competent and motivated staff.

SVQs are assessed in the workplace. This minimises the time candidates require outside the workplace to complete the qualification.

Who does this qualification suit

SVQs in Business and Administration are designed for people at various levels within business organisations and are therefore appropriate to many job roles, from junior administrators through to office managers.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. This is a work-based qualification, so candidates should be in a job role which allows them to provide the required evidence in a working environment.

No prior qualifications are required to undertake this qualification, although experience in and/or knowledge of the subject would be an advantage, particularly at SCQF levels 6 and 8.


There is some overlap of units between the different levels of SVQ Business and Administration — helping candidates to progress to higher-level SVQs as their job role develops or changes.

The level 5 and 6 SVQs could provide progression to:

  • an HNC/HND in Administration and IT, Business or other related area
  • a PDA in a Business related subject

The level 8 SVQ could provide progression to a degree programme with a Higher Education institution.


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority must 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.


How to assess

Assessment is through performance in the workplace. Most assessment will be based on performance evidence, ie observation (in person, video recordings) and work products generated by the candidate (word-processed documents, letters, spreadsheets, travel/accommodation bookings, receipts, e-mail correspondence, database reports, graphic elements, etc). The specific evidence produced will depend on the choice of optional units.

Holistic assessment is encouraged — gathering evidence towards more than one unit in the same assessment occasion.

For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs. For detailed guidance on how to assess this particular SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Guidance.

The Assessment Strategy sets out the criteria that must be met for assessment and requirements for assessors and internal verifiers.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

The SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 4 consists of two mandatory units and four optional units.

The SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 5 consists of three mandatory units and five optional units.

The SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory units and five optional units.

The SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 8 consists of three mandatory units and five optional units.

For details of the units making up each SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure.

SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 4 GK6W 21

SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 5 GK6X 22 (21 KB)

SVQ Business and Administration at SCQF level 6 GK6Y 23 (22 KB)

SVQ in Business and Administration at SCQF level 8 Structure GM31 24

Changes to SVQ Business & Administration Levels 1, 2 & 3

SCQF credit rating information for units within SVQs in Business and Administration

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Core Skills signposting

Core Skill mappings are carried out by the SSC responsible for the development of an SVQ. It is a requirement of SQA Accreditation that every SVQ submission includes information on where possible opportunities for candidates to develop Core Skills exist across the mandatory units.

Centres should note that mappings are not audited or validated against the Core Skills framework/units so are not accepted by SQA awarding body as evidence towards achievement of the Core Skills units.

BusinessAdmin SVQ1 Core Skills at SCQF 4 (325 KB)

BusinessAdmin SVQ2 CoreSkills at SCQF 5 (423 KB)

BusinessAdmin SVQ3 CoreSkills at SCQF 6 (440 KB)

BusinessAdmin SVQ4 CoreSkills at SCQF 8 (35 KB)

Modern Apprenticeships

This relevant SVQ is a mandatory component in the following Modern and Technical Apprenticeships: 

  • Business and Administration at SCQF Level 5
  • Business and Administration at SCQF Level 6
  • Business and Administration at SCQF Level 8

Details of each Apprenticeship Framework, including the required additional Enhancements is available from Skills Development Scotland.

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessor's guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

Understanding Standards & Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding Standards

Understanding Standards: Best Practice in Assessment of SVQs in Business and Administration

This material is intended to help assessors make valid, reliable and consistent assessment decisions when assessing SVQs in Business and Administration. It contains examples of evidence and assessment decisions supplemented by notes from External Verifiers explaining why they represent good, fair or poor practice. It also provides guidance on referencing evidence.


Network Events


This year's SVQ Business and Administration Network Events will take place on Wednesday, 22nd May at Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh and Thursday, 30th May at Celtic Park, Kerrydale Suite. You can register for the events now. Please contract Caitlin Boyle ( if you want to know more about the event.




Guidance on delivery of Business Skills Foundation Apprenticeship

Useful Links