National Certificate in Dental Technology: an Introduction at SCQF level 6

National Certificate in Dental Technology: an Introduction at SCQF level 6

National Certificates (NCs) are practical qualifications designed to equip learners with the knowledge and skills (including Core Skills) required for further study or to gain employment.

The NC in Dental Technology at SCQF level 6 introduces learners to techniques that are important in the dental technology sector. This includes professional ethics and responsibilities and health and safety, as well as practical skills in producing fixed and removable appliances.

This qualification covers areas such as the General Dental Council (GDC) Standards for the Dental Team and the introductory level GDC Learning Outcomes for trainee dental technicians to work safely in the dental laboratory environment.

National Certificates are designed for full-time delivery over one year (or part-time over two years) and are available in colleges. 

Why deliver this qualification

NCs bridge the progression gap from school attainment to HN and other study. They are suitable for school leavers and those seeking a route back into study at non-advanced level. They are trusted qualifications having been developed by practitioners with the support of the sector.

The NC in Dental Technology: an Introduction at SCQF level 6 is straightforward to deliver and slots readily into college timetables. 

It may be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)
  • open and distance learning
  • infill into existing classes
  • evening provision
  • January start, ‘Access to HN Course’

National Certificates have e-assessment and e-learning options — improving flexibility and enabling time and cost savings.

Successful completion of this NC may enable a learner to progress to an FE course or to employment as a trainee dental technologist.

National Certificates include opportunities for learners to develop Core Skills. Throughout this course learners will develop core skills in Communication, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology, Working with Others and Problem Solving.

Who does this qualification suit

This NC is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • School leavers
  • Adult returners to education
  • Learners looking to progress to an HNC/HND
  • Learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • Employers who wish their employees to take part in short, continuing professional development courses
  • Learners who are seeking national recognition of their achievements


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

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:

  • SQA units (or their equivalent) at SCQF level 4 or above eg National 4 in a science-related subject, or National 5 in Human Biology
  • Successful completion of a locally-devised entry course at SCQF level 4 or above


The NC in Dental Technology: an Introduction may provide progression opportunities to:

  • an HNC/HND or equivalent in a related area
  • employment in the dental technology sector


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

Each unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit.

Assessment of this NC is through a series of theoretical and practical assessments or tasks. Some assessments will be carried out under supervised open-book conditions, others under supervised closed-book conditions.

Each unit is assessed separately. 

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification structure

Group Award code: GM56 46 (72 SCQF credit points)

The National Certificate in Dental Technology: an Introduction at SCQF level 6 consists of 11 mandatory units (72 SCQF credit points)

NC in Dental Technology: An Introduction at SCQF level 6 GM56 46  (460 KB)