PDA Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Masonry Structures SCQF level 6

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

The PDA in Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Masonry Structures at SCQF level 6 covers the following specialist/high-level transferable skills: producing a work plan for a conservation or restoration project, preparing and mixing traditional lime mortars, consolidating and repairing of masonry structures, producing basic stonemasonry components, and completing stonemasonry repairs.

The SVQs in Heritage Skills are jointly awarded with Historic Environment Scotland.

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 following optional guidance can be used to support delivery and assessment as an alternative to the approaches outlined in the Group Award / Unit specification.

Optional assessment guidance 2023-24

The PDA in Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Masonry Structures at SCQF level 6 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is fit for purpose.

It 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.

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to gain employment 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.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. The following information on prior knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications that provide suitable preparation for this qualification has been provided by the Qualification Design Team as guidance only.

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:

  • National 4 or 5 level in appropriate science or technology subjects
  • An SCQF level 5 certificate in a related discipline
  • A craft qualification which might be combined with appropriate further study, prior to, or in parallel with, the PDA.


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

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN qualification or SVQ in Stonemasonry (Construction) at level 3.

This qualification is part of a qualification partnership agreement.

Centres interested in offering this qualification require a letter of authorisation from Historic Environment Scotland prior to coming forward for approval.

Once the letter of authorisation is received, centres 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. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the assessment strategy.

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice. The use of reports and projects is crucial to this. 

Group Award code: GL0X 46

The PDA in Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Masonry Structures at SCQF level 6 consists of five mandatory Units.