SVQ Retail Skills at SCQF level 5

SVQ Retail Skills at SCQF level 5

The Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Retail Skills at SCQF level 5 allows learners to demonstrate competence in job related skills in their particular area of work and expertise.

This qualification covers areas such as health and safety, teamwork, customer service and sales. There are wide range of optional units reflecting the diversity of the sector and the multi-channel nature of the modern retail business.

It is suitable for a wide range of large and small retail organisations, for example

This qualification has been designed in partnership with the relevant Sector Skills Council (SSC), People 1st.

SVQs are based on National Occupational Standards. SQA works in partnership with other organisations to ensure that National Occupational Standards (NOS) are relevant to the current and future needs of Scottish industries.

This qualification is available through employers and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

Upon successful completion, learners will gain an international recognised qualification which guarantees that they have the skills, knowledge and abilities required to carry out their role successfully.  Employers will also benefit from their employees being proficient.

As assessment is carried out in the workplace this minimises any time learners would need to be away from their work.

Candidates can progress to a range of qualifications including SVQ in Retail (management), Retail (Sales Professional) and/or SVQ (Visual Merchandising)

The SVQ can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • part-time (eg day-release)

Who does this qualification suit

This SVQ is suitable for:

  • learners who may have just left school
  • individuals who are currently in employment and who wish to obtain a formal qualification


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Candidates should be in a job or placement where they are carrying out relevant tasks and responsibilities, which allow them to gather the required evidence.

No prior qualifications or knowledge are required to undertake this qualification.  However, experience/knowledge of the retail industry would be an advantage.


The level 5 award could provide progression to:

  • an SVQ in Retail at SCQF level 6
  • employment in the retail sector


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority are required 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 Assessment Strategy.


How to assess

For general information on how to assess this qualification, please refer to the document Guidance on how to assess SVQs. For detailed guidance on how to assess this particular SVQ, please refer to the Assessment Strategy and Assessors Guidelines for SVQs in Retail at SCQF levels 4, 5 & 6.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification content and delivery tools

Information about the qualification(s)

Qualification Structure

The SVQ in Retail Skills at SCQF level 5 consists of three mandatory units and seven optional units.

For details of the units making up the SVQ, please refer to the Qualification Structure (270 KB)

National Occupational Standards

Unit information for this qualification is available on our Unit Search.

Core Skills signposting

Core Skill mappings are carried out by the SSC responsible for the development of an SVQ. It is a requirement of SQA Accreditation that every SVQ submission includes information on where possible opportunities for candidates to develop Core Skills exist across the mandatory units.

Centres should note that mappings are not audited or validated against the Core Skills framework/units so are not accepted by SQA awarding body as evidence towards achievement of the Core Skills units.

Core skills signposting (86 KB)

Modern Apprenticeships

This SVQ is a mandatory component in the level 5 Retail Modern Apprenticeship.

SQA also offers the following components of this Apprenticeship:

Unit Title SCQF 5
Core Skills: Communication F427 04
Core Skills: Numeracy F42B 04
Core Skills: Information and Communication Technology F42F 04
Core Skills: Problem Solving F42K 04
Core Skills: Working with Others F42P 04

Information about delivery, assessment, quality assurance and support material

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy (147 KB)

Assessor's guidelines

SVQ Retail Combined Units

Evidence requirements

Assessor's Guidelines

Candidate Guidance and Portfolio

Qualification Verification Summary Reports

Qualification Verification Summary Reports were formerly known as Internal Assessment Reports.

2018 Qualification Verification Summary Report (168 KB

Monitoring Standards Reports

2006 reports