PDA Service Design SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Service Design at SCQF level 7 provides a sound foundation in the principles and practice of service design, a highly sought-after skill for many employers. Whether used in public services, large businesses or new start-ups, service design adds value, improves collaboration and makes work more efficient, effective and fulfilling.

This qualification covers the areas of user research, service design tools and methods, and co-design, the process of implementing changes while keeping users at the heart.

We have designed this qualification for delivery as a taught course, and it will normally be available as a combination of workshop and self-directed study.

The PDA in Service Design at SCQF level 7 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.

While this PDA does not provide any specific progression routes, achievement should allow learners to develop in generic qualification areas, for example, Management or Project Management, or to progress to further study in Business Process Management within Further or Higher Education.  

The target audience is those already in employment who are looking at change and change management within their organisation, and those who are interested in performance improvement and enhancement with both public and private sectors. It is also aimed as a top-up to those graduates who have a qualification in a specialist subject, as service design methodology can be applied to any sector. 


Entry is at the discretion of the centre and there are no specific requirements prior to undertaking this PDA.  However, it would be beneficial if learners had good skills in communication and working with others.

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards across many disciplines, covering areas such as design and creative thinking; information systems and their management; business and project management; user-centred development processes; and interactive media areas concerned with presentation of information.

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.

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 learners to enhance their own practice. The use of projects is crucial to this.

Group Award code: GP38 47 (32  SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Service Design at SCQF level 7 consists of 4 mandatory units.