PDA Advancing Equality and Diversity through Inclusiveness SCQF level 9

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills. They are linked to National Occupational Standards — and relevant legislation where appropriate.

The PDA in Advancing Equality and Diversity through Inclusiveness at SCQF level 9 develops the skills of implementing and embedding the concepts of equality, diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace. It particularly meets the CPD needs of staff in the education and training sectors, for both student and staff-facing roles, in relation to the requirements of current equality legislation.

The award encompasses the changes in equalities legislation enabling staff to develop a deeper understanding of the links between inclusiveness and the full range of protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010 and reflected in Government and organisational strategy and policy.

In delivering on the mainstreaming of equality, it is incumbent on individual staff to demonstrate within their role how they are developing and promoting the ethos and concept of inclusiveness within the full range of protected characteristics, and delivering, in relation to their role, improved outcomes for staff or students.

This qualification is available through colleges. 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 Advancing Equality and Diversity through Inclusiveness at SCQF level 9 has been developed in partnership with key stakeholder organisations, such as The Equality Challenge Unit, Colleges, Education Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, The Higher Education Academy and delivering centres.

It will help organisations subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty to evidence how they are mainstreaming equality in all aspects of their day-to-day work throughout the organisation, meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff.

The unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. TThe mandatory section comprises of one unit of 40 hours of learning and one unit of 80 hours of learning.

This PDA may provide progression routes to further study, (see Progression). 

The target audience is staff in organisations subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty eg the education sector, local authorities and potentially all employers wishing to upskill their employees in meeting The Equality Act 2010 legislative requirements. In colleges for example, the PDA is relevant for a variety of staff and student facing roles (lecturing, financial, HR and organisational development, middle and strategic management). Schools and HEIs could also find the PDA beneficial.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

The PDA may be recognised for articulation to a variety of higher level programmes by various HEIs, eg The Open University's Master in Education (Equality and Diversity). SQA will be negotiating with these institutions individually to explore if credit transfer agreements can be reached.

Centres interested in offering this qualification 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. The specific delivery requirements are set out in the group award specification (arrangements document).

Each individual unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for each unit.

Each unit is assessed separately.

Assessment materials will be made available for this qualification in due course.

Group Award Code: GM11 49


The PDA in Advancing Equality and Diversity through Inclusiveness at SCQF level 9 consists of two mandatory units.