Barista Skills Award SCQF level 5

The Award in Barista Skills at SCQF level 5 will develop the knowledge, understanding and technical skills required for the role of a barista.

This qualification covers areas such as the different types of coffees and other beverages typically served by a barista. Setting up, operating, cleaning and closing down specialist equipment is also covered. Learners will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills by preparing and serving different hot and cold beverages.

Achievement of this Award is nationally recognised.

This qualification is available through colleges and training providers.

This Award has a wide potential market. It is open to all learners, regardless of age, academic experience or ability.

Centres have the flexibility to choose the delivery method which best suits their circumstances and their learners.

The Award can be used to offer a progression pathway to other qualifications (see Progression).

The Award at SCQF level 5 is suitable for:

  • S3–S6 pupils
  • school leavers
  • college students
  • adult returners to education
  • trainees preparing for employment
  • employees studying as part of a continuing professional development programme
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • those who wish to start their own business


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

No specific knowledge is required to undertake this Award.

The Award may provide progression to:

  • other units in food and beverage service at SCQF level 5/6
  • the National Certificate in Hospitality Operations at SCQF level 5
  • employment in the hospitality industry

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 unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit in this Award. Assessment of this unit requires learners to produce evidence of their underpinning knowledge of coffee and other beverages and participate in activities to demonstrate their practical skills.

Awards are not graded.

Assessment can take place at appropriate points as learners progress through the tasks within the unit. Evidence of assessment can be presented in a format that best suits the individual learners and the activities being undertaken. Evidence can include written records, assessor records, diaries, video, recordings of interviews and photographs.

Assessment support packs for all units are available to download from SQA’s secure site.

Group award code: GP8F 45 (6 SCQF credit points)

The Award in Barista Skills at SCQF level 5 consists of 1 mandatory unit (6 SCQF credit points), ie J1WL 45 Barista Skills (SCQF level 5).

Please see our information sheet (164 KB) for detailed resource requirements for the Barista Skills unit.

Understanding Standards

Changes to Understanding Standards materials

Please note: Understanding Standards materials are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain up to date.

Understanding Standards Event - 21st October 2024 Stirling

Award in Barista Skills at SCQF level 5

This Understanding Standards event is for those who deliver or who are considering seeking approval to deliver our Award in Barista Skills. Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in workshops covering Barista skills demonstrations from a professional coffee company, unit delivery and assessment, internal verification, and CPD.

Book a place