PDA Cemetery Operations SCQF level 6

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Cemetery Operations at SCQF level 6 covers the following specialist skills:

  • the preparation of burials
  • carrying out excavation in preparation for burial
  • the restoration of internment plots
  • inspection and maintenance of cemetery headstones and memorials
  • maintaining health and safety of oneself and others in a cemetery environment

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 PDA in Cemetery Operations at SCQF level 6 has developed in partnership with employers and industry, therefore it is suitable for the current sector.

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

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to gain employment in the sector.

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.

This PDA provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).

The target audience is those in work or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Learners do not need to have formal relevant qualifications to enter this PDA.

Current experience of working in cemeteries or graveyards or within a horticultural or landscaping setting would be advantageous.

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Horticulture.

Learners will have the opportunity to progress to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN qualification or SVQ in Horticulture, Landscaping or Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces at SCQF level 6.

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 (510 KB).

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

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Group award code: GP5P 46 (24 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Cemetery Operations at SCQF level 6 consists of 3 mandatory units and 1 optional unit.