National Progression Award Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF level 6

National Progression Award Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF level 6

National Progression Awards (NPAs) assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas, linked to National Occupational Standards. The NPA in Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF level 6 introduces learners to knowledge and skills that are important in the Early Education and Childcare and Playwork sector.

This NPA develops knowledge and understanding of Early Education and Childcare and Playwork practical, technical and transferable skills; oral, written and evaluation abilities; resource management; problem solving and planning; organisational and communication skills.

The NPA Social Services, Children and Young People is a combination of assessment and practice based experience: introducing key learning themes that can be a basis for a career working with Children and Young People. It is also a requirement of the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services, Children and Young People at SCQF Level 6  and assists with  the underpinning knowledge of the SVQ 2 Social Services: Children and Young People mandatory units. The SVQ 2  is the benchmark qualification for registration with Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as a support worker.

This qualification covers areas such as play for children and young people, the safeguarding of children and young people, communicating with children and young people, development of children and young people, promoting the wellbeing and safety of children and young people.

The qualification is available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

NPAs are trusted because they are developed by practitioners from industry and are supported by the relevant sector skills council (SSC):  Scottish Social Services Council, Skills and Industry has recognised that the qualification fits the job.

The NPA in Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF level 6 offers current, fit for purpose, bite-sized chunks of learning that are straightforward for centres to adopt and for learners to study. New skills can be gained through  the qualification and learners who have completed the NPA Social Services (Children and Young People) may continue and be able to complete the Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services, Children and Young People.

The Mandatory Units can slot into school timetables; and they are a more manageable size for employee training.   

NPAs provide opportunities for partnership delivery that can provide benefits for partners and increase options for learners.

NPAs can add value and breadth to a CV for a learner by developing vocational skills.

This NPA covers SCQF levels 6, allowing clear progression and development routes to:

  • Foundation Apprenticeship Social Services (Children and Young People)
  • Modern Apprenticeship in Social Services (Children and Young People)
  • higher level education
  • to employment

This NPA provides opportunities to develop:

  • Core Skills (which underpin all National Certificates)
  • transferable skills
  • employability skills           

The NPA could be offered in one of the following modes:

  • full-time (eg as a fast-track into full a NC or HN programme)
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision

Who does this qualification suit

The NPA is suitable for:

  • learners who are at school or who may have just left school
  • mature candidates who may have been out of education for a long period of time
  • individuals who are currently in employment and wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • those who are looking to access HN programmes
  • learners who want to study at a pace and style that they determine
  • employees who want to develop their careers
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • employers who wish their employees to take part in short continuing professional development courses


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, it is recommended for learners entering the level 6 award to have completed some training at level 5.


The level 6 award could provide progression to:

  • SCQF level 7
  • an HNC/HND in Early Education and Childcare or related area
  • an SVQ in the Social Services( Children and Young People) sector
  • an SVQ in Playwork
  • employment in the Early Learning and Childcare sector, perhaps as a Early Learning and Childcare Assistant or as a Playwork Assistant


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

Centres without devolved authority require 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 Systems and Qualification Approval Guide.

How to assess

Assessment of this award will be a combination of practical and knowledge assessments under closed and open-book assessment conditions. It is recommended that centres refer to the assessment and Evidence Requirements for each Unit.

Assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

The delivery of the award is at the individual centre’s discretion.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualifications Structure

Group Award Code: GL79 46 (24 SCQF credit points)

The NPA Social Services (Children and Young People at SCQF level 6 consists of 5 mandatory Units (24 SCQF credit points).

Group Award Specification

NPA Social Services (Children and Young People) GL79 46 (465 KB)