SQA is the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland.
In our accreditation role, we accredit vocational qualifications that are offered across Scotland, including Scottish Vocational Qualifications and approve awarding bodies that wish to award them.
As an awarding body, we work with schools, colleges, universities, industry, and government, to provide high quality, flexible and relevant qualifications. We strive to ensure that our qualifications are inclusive and accessible to all, that they recognise the achievements of learners, and that they provide clear pathways to further learning or employment.
What They Do
The organisation has two main roles: accreditation, and awarding qualifications. The organisation is therefore divided into two distinct sections – the SQA Accreditation and the SQA Regulation which operate separately from each other.
accredits qualifications other than degrees
approves, and quality assures awarding bodies that plan to enter people for these qualifications
SQA Awarding Body
devises and develops qualifications
validates qualifications (makes sure they are well written and meet the needs of learners and tutors)
reviews qualifications to ensure they are up to date
arranges for, assists in, and carries out, the assessment of people taking SQA qualifications
quality-assures education and training establishments which offer SQA qualifications
issues certificates to candidates
Within these roles it offers a range of services for businesses and training providers, ranging from course and centre approval through customised awards, to endorsement, credit rating and licensing services.
SQA has 100 years experience in developing qualifications and qualification systems and over 20 years experience of working internationally in partnership with governments, colleges, universities, schools and industry. Its global hubs include the UK, Beijing, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi.
It offers qualifications and consultancy services to help governments and people realise their full potential.
SQA’s customers use its technical expertise to help establish educational and training supply chains.
developing qualifications frameworks
developing qualifications and curricula
defining occupational standards
designing assessment and quality assurance systems.
All its work is tailored to support the specific needs of customers, to build capacity and result in a fully sustainable solution, based on international best practice. It has worked with governments and agencies in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, and the Middle-East.
SQA qualifications are designed to suit the changing needs of different countries and industry providers. They provide a route to employment, develop the skills of staff and can provide advanced university entry. A number of its qualifications are recognised by professional bodies, and enable Associate Grade and Member Grade of professional bodies e.g. Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
They can complement local qualifications to expand international recognition. All of SQA’s qualifications are recognised on the following qualifications frameworks:
HND links with Professional Bodies
SCQF, QCF and EQF Ready reckoner
Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) for Scotland
The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for the rest of the United Kingdom
European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for Europe
Where is Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)