PDA Food Technology SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Food Technology at SCQF level 7 provides learners with the competencies required to carry out roles in the food and drink manufacturing industry.

The group award is designed as a discrete, specialised qualification to equip learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding required for employment or progression to further academic study, and may be seen to be supporting the national strategies and drivers in the food and drink manufacturing industry.

This qualification covers areas such as food industry principles, food industry practices and the fundamentals of food quality.

This qualification is available through colleges. It has been designed to be delivered as a taught course and will normally be available as a combination of practical activities, workshops and self-directed study, in the context of food science.

The PDA in Food Technology at SCQF level 7 was developed in partnership with employers and industry.

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

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

The PDA in Food Technology will be attractive to a diverse group of learners including those in employment, school leavers and adults returning to education.


Entry to this qualification is at the discretion of the centre. The following information on prior knowledge, skills, experience or qualifications that provide suitable preparation for this qualification has been provided as guidance only.

Learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

  • Numeracy and Communication at SCQF level 5
  • Science or Health and Food Technology at SCQF level 5

Current experience of the food and drink industry would be advantageous.

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the relevant National Occupational Standards for Food Science.

Learners will have the opportunity of progressing to other PDAs, which could perhaps lead to a full HN or SVQ in a food and drink related qualification.

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.

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

Each unit is assessed separately. Assessment will allow candidates to enhance their own practice, with reports and projects created being used for evidence.

Assessment/e-assessment support packs are available for this qualification.

Group Award code: GP9H 47 (24 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Food Technology at SCQF level 7 consists of 3 mandatory units and 1 optional unit.