SQA Advanced Certificate Built Environment

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as building measurement and cost studies, environmental building science, building services, construction materials and specifications, as well as sustainability and modern methods of construction.

Learners will gain contemporary vocational skills including study, research, analysis, planning and organisational skills. They will also learn to take responsibility for their own learning and develop abilities to be flexible and to work co-operatively with others.

This qualification is available through a growing number of colleges, training providers and universities around the world. Typically, an SQA Advanced Certificate takes one year to complete.

This SQA Advanced Certificate will enable learners to achieve professional body recognition, for example from the Chartered Institute of Builders.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Certificates and SQA Advanced Diplomas have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry - so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability. This qualification was developed in partnership with Chartered Institute of Builders.

The unit-based structure supports flexible delivery. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

There is a wide choice of optional units which will enable centres to offer courses tailored to meet local needs.

The SQA Advanced Certificate/Diploma provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • school leavers
  • learners progressing from a lower level award in Construction or a closely related discipline
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is decided by the college or learning provider.

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.


Learners who achieve an SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment can progress to the SQA Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology, Building Surveying, Construction Management, and Quantity Surveying.

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas can provide progression to degree-level study. For example, the SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment could provide direct entry into the second year of most Built Environment degree programmes.

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas also provide the knowledge and understanding required for related Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs). For example: the SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment provides a range of skills which support learning in the SVQ 3 and SVQ 4 Construction: Technical Modern Apprenticeship Frameworks.

Offer this qualification

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

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment

Group award code: GN0G 47 (96 SCQF credit points)

SQA Advanced Certificate in Built Environment at SCQF level 7 consists of 11 mandatory units (88 SCQF credit points) and one optional unit (8 SCQF credit points).

For further information on the structures and units of these qualifications please refer to the group award specification.

Group award specification

Unit Specifications

Construction Graded Units: reduction of evidence requirements