PDA Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services at SCQF level 8 covers the following specialist skills / high-level transferable skills.

This new award has been designed to provide a certificated qualification to improve professional practice and provide continuous development for staff responsible for the strategic procurement of care services in the Scottish public sector. For the avoidance of doubt, 'care services' in the context of this PDA relates to the commissioning/procurement of social and health care and associated support services, for children and young people, and for adults and older adults. The award will equip candidates with the skills and knowledge required to effectively deliver a tendering exercise for the award and on-going management of contracts for care services, where an award with competition has been agreed in a procurement plan. 

The proposed title meets the requirements of the award. The main focus is on the procurement and subsequent contract management of care services but also provides learning on the legal and policy context for commissioning and on the wider strategic commissioning/planning process. 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 Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services at SCQF level 8 has developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is suitable for the current sector.

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


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.
Entry will generally be dependent on the experience and job role, particularly with regard to the vocational Units contained within the PDA. 
Eligibility of potential candidates will be at the discretion of approved centres but it is assumed that candidates will have an input to strategic commissioning and/or the analytical, planning, tendering.

The Units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for commissioning, procurement and contracting staff.

It is widely anticipated that this PDA will provide a solid foundation to advance careers and provide underpinning knowledge for progression to other roles in corporate procurement and strategic commissioning.

Centers interested in offering this qualification 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.  The specific delivery requirements are set out in the Group Award Specification (Arrangements Document).

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 candidates to enhance their own practice. The use of reports and projects is crucial to this. 

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

Group Award code: GK2A 48 (52 SCQF credit points)

The PDA in Commissioning, Procurement and Contracting for Care Services at SCQF level 8 consists of 6 mandatory Units and 2 optional Units.