SQA Advanced Certificate Computer Aided Draughting and Design

SQA Advanced Certificate qualification provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers. The SQA Advanced Certificate gives learners the opportunity to develop the practical skills and underpinning knowledge of CAD, the design process and wider engineering technology.

The SQA Advanced Certificate Computer Aided Draughting and Design (CADD) will develop a comprehensive level of knowledge and practical skills in traditional CADD topics, as well as the more advanced features of modern software. The candidate will also develop knowledge and understanding of the design process, and of how CADD can help in achieving a desirable design solution.

Specific tasks covered in this qualification include the use of a CAD system to produce 2-dimensional details and drawings, 3-dimensional part and assembly models, 3D animations, and technical illustrations. Other tasks that may be covered include the production of physical prototypes (produced by hand and 3D-printed), creation of hand-drawn sketches, using mathematics skills to solve design problems, and presenting final design solutions using traditional and technological processes.

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.

Why deliver this qualification

SQA Advanced Certificates and Diplomas have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

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.

These qualifications provide progression routes to further study (see Progression).

Who does this qualification suit

The qualification is aimed at learners wishing to pursue a career working in the engineering, manufacturing and construction sectors, or wishing to upgrade and/or broaden their existing skills set. This could include:

  • school leavers
  • learners studying related subject areas such as engineering, construction and design related disciplines at NC level
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people changing direction/seeking a career change
  • part-time learners wishing to broaden skills and knowledge


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 SQA Advanced Certificate in a related discipline; these could include but are not limited to the NC Computer Aided Design and Technology, NC in an Engineering discipline, NC Built Environment, SQA Advanced Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, SQA Advanced Certificate in Manufacturing Engineering or SQA Advanced Certificate in Fabrication and Welding Engineering.
  • at least one Higher level pass, with appropriate supporting passes at Standard Grade Credit/National 5 or equivalent in appropriate subjects — Maths, English, Product Design, Graphic Communication and/or a science subject would be desirable
  • SVQ in Engineering or a related discipline

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


Employment opportunities exist within the Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction sectors as CAD technicians and junior designers.

Offer this qualification

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

Assessment support packs are available for the mandatory units within the SQA Advanced Certificate.

Qualification structure

SQA Advanced Certificate in Computer Aided Draughting and Design (SCQF level 7)

Group Award Code: GN0Y 47 (96 SCQF credit points)

SQA Advanced Diploma in Computer Aided Draughting and Design (SCQF level 8)
Group Award Code: GM9V 48 (240 SCQF credit points) - This award finished 31/07/2020



Group award specification

Unit Specifications