PDA Operations and Management of Visitor Attractions SCQF level 8

Professional Development Awards (PDAs) extend or broaden professional or vocational skills and are linked to National Occupational Standards. The PDA in Operations and Management of Visitor Attractions at SCQF level 8 covers the development of managerial competences and expertise for those who work or are seeking employment in the sector.

This qualification covers areas such as Managing People, Creating a Culture of Customer Care and Visitor Attraction Management.

This qualification is available through colleges 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 Operations and Management of Visitor Attractions at SCQF level 8 was developed in partnership with employers and industry so it is suitable for the 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:

  • a minimum of two SQA Highers (SCQF level 6) pass at grade C, along with three SCQF level qualifications (including English) at C or above.
  • an appropriate HNC or HN units
  • relevant work experience

Learners would have the opportunity of progressing to an HN Travel and Tourism and thereafter to relevant degree programmes.

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.

Each unit specification gives detailed information on the evidence requirements and approaches to assessment for the unit.

Each unit can be assessed separately. There is also opportunity for the integration of assessment.

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

Group award code: GT13 48 (40 SCQF credit points)


The PDA in Operations and Management of Visitor Attractions at SCQF level 8 consists of three mandatory units and one optional unit (40 SCQF points in total).