PDA Barbering SCQF level 7

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

The PDA in Barbering at SCQF level 7 is an advanced, industry-recognised qualification that covers specialist and high-level transferable skills. The specialist skills that are covered include: creative shaving, creative cutting techniques, and creative cutting and shaping of facial hair.

This qualification is available through colleges, training providers and some employers. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of workshops and self-directed study.

The following optional guidance can be used to support delivery and assessment as an alternative to the approaches outlined in the Group Award / Unit specification.

Optional assessment guidance 2023-24

The PDA in Barbering at SCQF level 7 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry making it suitable for the current sector.

It will help employers meet skills gaps and provide continuing professional development for staff, while learners will gain knowledge and skills needed for progression in the workplace.

The unit-based structure aids timetable flexibility. Units are typically 40 hours of learning and they can be delivered on a full-time or part-time basis.

The target audience is those who are in work, but who do not have a formal qualification and who are interested in training and assessment within the barbering sector to SCQF level 7.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, the PDA is targeted at those who have knowledge and experience within the barbering sector.

Centres interested in offering this qualification 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 (510 KB). The specific delivery requirements are set out in the group award specification (arrangements document).

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Each unit is assessed separately.

Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice. The use of reports and projects is crucial to this.

Assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Group award code: GM03 47 (40 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Barbering at SCQF level 7 consists of three mandatory units.