PDA Industrial Automation SCQF level 7

The Professional Development Award (PDA) in Industrial Automation at SCQF level 7 provides learners with the opportunity to develop industry relevant software and interfacing skills, with knowledge and understanding of process and computer control systems related to a number of sectors. Sectors may include - engineering, manufacturing, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, food and drink, fashion and textile industries along with those in the oil, gas and energy sectors.

This four unit PDA is available through colleges and covers areas such as Computer Programming and Engineering Systems Interfaced with Programmable Logic Controllers.

The PDA in Industrial Automation at SCQF level 7 has been developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is suitable for current sectors.

The qualification enables sectors to reskill and upskill their existing workforce. It is envisaged that this flexible and industry tailored PDA will improve learners' employment and progression prospects and will support national strategies and drivers.

The qualification can be used for upskilling and reskilling of the workforce; as an introduction into engineering for senior phase school students and for forming articulation routes to full HNC/D participation.


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, 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.

  • NC or HNC in a related discipline, these could include but not limited to Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Systems, Manufacturing Engineering and Measurement and Control Engineering.
  • at least one Higher level pass, with appropriate supporting passes at National 5 or equivalent in appropriate subjects, desirably this would include Maths, English, and/or a Science subject.
  • SVQ in Engineering or a related discipline.

Successful completion of the qualification could open up more employment opportunities and career prospects.

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.

Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) are available on the SQA secure website for some of the units in this qualification.