PDA Swimming Teaching SCQF level 7

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to professional standards. The PDA in Swimming Teaching at SCQF level 7 has been designed to provide learners with a wide range of skills and knowledge relevant to the teaching of swimming across a range of ages and abilities. This award is jointly certificated with Scottish Swimming, sportscotland and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

This qualification aims to ensure learners are effective, quality practitioners with individuals and groups of participants, across a range of ages and abilities. Learners will teach with a person-centred approach and they will act, in all aspects of their teaching practice, with professional standards of ethical behaviour.

This qualification is available through Scottish Swimming. 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. Assessment of this award will be through a series of theoretical and practical assessments or tasks.

This subject will not have alternative assessment guidance for session 2023-24. You should refer to the Group Award/Unit specifications for detailed delivery and assessment information. For general support on delivery and assessment see the HNVQ assessment guidance 2023-24.

The PDA in Swimming Teaching at SCQF level 7 enables successful learners to gain employment within the leisure industry by providing a coherent qualification that will be responsive to the needs of learners and employers.

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.

Learners must be 16 years or older, but do not need to have formal relevant qualifications to enter this PDA. They would benefit from having an interest in swimming, and the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through relevant work experience that may include working with children and/or adults.

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the CIMSPA Professional Standard: Swimming Teacher

Learners must be at least 16 years old before starting this qualification.


This award and its unit are not auto-approved and are non-devolvable to centres.


SQA centres considering delivering the qualification in this group award specification should be aware of the approval stipulations which require to be fulfilled.

The following approval criteria apply to this qualification:

  • centres must contact Scottish Swimming (www.scottishswimming.com) to obtain a Letter of Support prior to seeking SQA approval. This should be submitted with the approval application to SQA
  • assessors/internal verifiers must be recognised by Scottish Swimming
  • assessors and internal verifiers must:

— hold an assessor/internal verifier (IV) qualification, as determined by Scottish Swimming

— be occupationally competent and have evidence of continuous professional development (CPD)

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.

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

Qualifications Structure

Group award code: GR32 47 (16 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Swimming Teaching at SCQF level 7 consists of two mandatory units.

This Award is jointly certificated with SportScotland and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

Portability statement

Each of the home nations sports councils, UK Coaching and CIMSPA are committed to working with the respective sports governing bodies to maximise the portability of coaches working across the UK. Home country sports councils have agreed the following portability statement:

'All qualifications and learning opportunities developed in line with the sector's professional standards and endorsed by CIMSPA will allow people to operate in their chosen occupation, population and environment across and throughout the UK, for example, coach (core occupation), working in the school environment (environment), working with children (population).'

(27 February 2020)