PDA Building Information Modelling SCQF level 8

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

Following the review of the HNC and HND in Computer Aided Architectural Design and Technology in 2016, SQA have developed a Professional Development Award (PDA) in Building Information Modelling (BIM) at SCQF level 8.

The two unit PDA aims to address the government and industry drive to modernise the Built Environment sector with the adoption of BIM technologies, processes and collaboration. Learners will develop knowledge of the principles of Building Information Modelling and skills in the practical application of collaborative working.

Due to the size of the qualification, it is likely that the PDA in Building Information Modelling will be delivered on a part-time basis by colleges.

In 2011, the UK Government Construction Strategy mandated the use of Level 2 BIM on all public sector projects by 2016.

The PDA in Building Information Modelling at SCQF level 8 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry. The qualification will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff, while learners will gain valuable knowledge and skills.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study (see Progression). 

The PDA in Building Information Modelling is aimed at learners wishing to upgrade and/or broaden their existing skills set. This could include:

  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry professionals seeking knowledge and skills in the use of BIM technology.
  • Learners studying related subject areas such as architectural technology, construction, engineering, CADD and design related principles.
  • Learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects.

This qualification will be of interest to individuals in a wide range of job roles, including:

  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Cost Engineers
  • BIM Managers and Co-ordinators
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Building Surveyors
  • Asset Managers
  • Facilities Managers


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, 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:

  • NC or HNC in a related discipline, these could include but not limited to the NC Computer Aided Design and Technology, NC Built Environment, NC in an Engineering discipline, HNC Construction or HNC/HND/PDA Computer Aided Draughting and Design.
  • at least one Higher level pass, with appropriate supporting passes at Standard Grade Credit/National 5 or equivalent in appropriate subjects, desirably this would include Maths, English, Product Design, Graphic Communication and/or a Science subject.
  • SVQ in Construction or Engineering related discipline.

The units in the PDA cover elements of the underpinning knowledge identified within the relevant National Occupational Standards (NOS). Mapping information has been included in the Group Award Specification.

While there are no specific articulation and/or progression opportunities, the PDA in Building Information Modelling could provide more employment opportunities and career prospects.

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.

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

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) for both Units are available on the SQA secure website. 

Group Award code: GM6V 48 (24 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Building Information Modelling (BIM) at SCQF level 8 consists of 2 mandatory Units.