PDA Animal Science and Communication SCQF level 6

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Animal Science and Communication at SCQF level 6 covers the following specialist skills:

  • Animal Biology
  • Veterinary Terminology
  • Communication and Customer Service

This qualification covers areas such as:

  • Veterinary vocabulary within the context of body systems.
  • Common veterinary terms, abbreviations and drug classifications.
  • The main characteristics of the major animal categories.
  • The structure of major animal tissues and related function.
  • Animal body structures including adaptations to different environments.
  • Theory and application of communication in relation to customer service
  • Customer service policy.

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 workshops and self-directed study.

The PDA in Animal Science and Communication at SCQF level 6 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.

It can also be offered to people who are in training and who wish to gain employment in the sector.

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


Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • Veterinary Care Assistant qualification
  • Three Highers at Grade C or Above
  • Four National 5s including (to include a science, Mathematics and English)
  • Relevant vocational experience

The units in the PDA have been mapped against the National Occupational Standards for Animal Care.

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to a degree level programme in Veterinary Nursing.

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will need 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 unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the 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.

Group award code: GT0P 46 (20 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Animal Science and Communication at SCQF level 6 consists of three mandatory units.