Joint statement from SQA and Skills Development Scotland on Foundation Apprenticeships

22 May 2020

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SQA and Skills Development Scotland (SDS) are committed to supporting learners who are undertaking a Foundation Apprenticeship, at this exceptionally difficult time.

We want to ensure that young people across Scotland get the results they deserve, so they can progress to further learning or work.

The unique benefits of Foundation Apprenticeships - the blend of classroom and work-based learning - have presented unique challenges for learning providers and for learners due to complete in June this year.

Covid-19 restrictions to work-placements have impacted learners' ability to complete elements of the SVQ units within each Foundation Apprenticeship Framework.

Restrictions have also impacted learning providers' capacity to complete assessments and in line with regulatory requirements.

SQA and SDS have worked together with learning providers on a solution that's fair; in line with public health guidance and that maintains the integrity and credibility of Foundation Apprenticeships.

Foundation Apprenticeship learners

Learners who have completed all group awards and units of their Foundation Apprenticeship and have been resulted on SQA systems will, as normal, receive the Foundation Apprenticeship certification along with the Scottish Qualification Certificate that records all their achievement.  

Where achievement of the full Foundation Apprenticeship was not possible due to the impact of the coronavirus, we will issue learners a letter of recognition. These learners will also receive a Scottish Qualification Certificate listing their achievements.

The letter will formally recognise the achievements of learners who have completed the National Certificate Award or National Progression Award part of their Foundation Apprenticeship and have no unit 'Fails' resulted on SQA systems.

All other learners who have completed and passed other units of their Foundation Apprenticeship will be certified via existing SQA processes but will not receive the letter of recognition.

SDS and SQA are working with colleges and universities to discuss their acceptance of the letter of recognition for course admissions and progression to Further Education and Higher Education in 2020.

Learning providers

In order to enable this and to support learners, learning providers should continue to gather evidence where possible and have results on SQA system before 15 July 2020. Please refer to SQA coronavirus updates for any additional subject specific guidance.

Further updates will be provided when the discussions with colleges and universities on their recognition for course admissions and progression in 2020 have concluded.

If you have any questions on this update, please contact


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