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Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework

Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF)

We work with Scottish colleges, training providers, employers and Scottish subject-matter experts to develop and maintain our SCQF provision. We develop our qualifications in line with the requirements of the SCQF quality model and ensure their alignment with the needs of Scottish learners, providers and employers.

View our list of qualifications >

The SCQF is Scotland’s national qualifications framework, designed to support lifelong learning by:

  1. Helping people of all ages and circumstances to access appropriate education and training over their lifetime, so as to fulfil their personal, social and economic potential.
  2. Enabling employers, learners and the public to understand:
    • the full range of Scottish qualifications
    • how qualifications relate to each other and to other forms of assessed learning
    • how different types of qualifications can contribute to the development and utilisation of the skills of the workforce
    • how Scottish qualifications relate to qualifications in other countries
    • how using SCQF Level Descriptors can assist with qualifications development and benchmarking skills and experience in all sectors.
  3. Providing a framework which can support the aims of fair work and social justice by ensuring that it provides tools and resources which can recognise prior learning, support progression and improve social inclusion.

To be placed on the SCQF learning programmes must go through a consistent process of credit rating, used by all credit rating bodies.

What’s credit rating?

  • It is the process (or set of interconnected processes) used to ensure the appropriateness, quality and integrity of a learning programme.
  • SCQF credit points and an SCQF level are allocated to each constituent part (e.g. a module or unit) and to the programme as a whole.
  • There are two types of credit rating activities: internal and third party.
    1. Internal - Learning programmes or qualifications are developed by a credit rating body, who can credit rate its own provision according to the credit rating process. This is the type of credit rating we focus on.
    2. Third Party – Learning programmes are developed by a ‘submitting organisation’ who then engage a credit rating body to credit rate and submit their provision onto the SCQF on their behalf.

Not all credit rating bodies can credit rate third party provision and, when they do, a formal contract is created between the ‘submitting organisation’ and the credit rating body to ensure the consistent delivery of the submitted programmes in line with the requirements of the SCQF.

Key benefits of SCQF provision

  • The ability to award level and credit points with potential comparability across providers in Scotland, UK and beyond.
  • Formal recognition for programmes both in terms of level and credit points and quality assurance.
  • Recognition for learners/employees/members for learning and training undertaken.
  • Reference to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
  • Learner/employee mobility.
  • The ability to identify progression pathways and links to other organisations.

See how Scottish qualifications compare with each other within the SCQF >

More fundamentally, the SCQF allows everyone in Scotland to understand qualifications in order to access appropriate education and learning. The framework gives clarity and equality to learning, allowing everyone in Scotland to progress and achieve at their own pace. It also provides tools and resources to allow employers to develop a skilled workforce.

The SCQF is also the tool which allows recognition of all learning achieved by individuals (recognising prior learning). The more informal and non-formal learning that is recognised, the less learning needs to be repeated unnecessarily, which is good for individuals, employers and the Scottish economy.

More information

To find out more about the benefits or the SCQF, how it operates in Scotland and relates to other frameworks around the world, visit the SCQF website, where you can find:

  • Resources for learners, employers, education providers and carers
  • Video clips, case studies and details of any upcoming workshops or events.

View below for our list of City & Guilds and ILM qualifications which feature on the SCQF.


Beauty Therapy

Beauty Therapy qualification type is vocational.

  • Diploma in Complementary Therapies at SCQF Level 6 – (3006)
  • Diploma in Body and Spa Therapy at SCQF Level 6 – (3012)

Business Support Skills

Business Support Skills qualification type is SVQ.

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and Mentoring qualification type is vocational.

These qualifications are created by ILM, a City & Guilds Group business. The links below will take you to the ILM website.


Construction qualification type is vocational.

Construction and Building

Education and Training

Education and Training qualification type is SVQ.

  • Team Leading at SCQF Level 5 – (8358)

Engineering and Transport

Engineering and Transport qualification type is SVQ.

Enterprise and Small Business

Enterprise and Small Business qualification type is vocational.

  • SCQF Level 9 Diploma in Business and Enterprise – (8155)


Hairdressing qualification type is vocational.

  • Diploma in Hair and Beauty (Barbering, Beauty therapy, Hairdressing) at SCQF Level 4 (3005)
  • Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing at SCQF Level 6 – (3010)

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy qualification type is SVQ.

Hospitality and Catering

Hospitality and Catering qualification type is vocational & SVQ.

Land-Based Industries

Land-Based Industries qualification type is SVQ.


Management qualification type is vocational.

These qualifications are created by ILM, a City & Guilds Group business. The links below will take you to the ILM website.

Management and Leadership (Generic)

Oil and Gas Extraction, Petroleum and Chemical Industries

Oil and Gas Extraction, Petroleum and Chemical Industries qualification type is bespoke/restricted.

  • Oil and Gas Extraction, Petroleum and Chemical Industries – (9454)

Processing and Manufacturing

Processing and Manufacturing qualification type is SVQ.

Retail and Warehousing

Retail and Warehousing qualification type is SVQ.


Security qualification type is bespoke/restricted.

  • Award in Parking Enforcement at SCQF Level 5 and 6 – (2954)

Teaching and Supporting Learners

Teaching and Supporting Learners qualification type is vocational.

  • Master Professional Practitioner Award - Masters in Education at SCQF Level 11 – (4435)

Travel, Tourism and Aviation

Travel, Tourism and Aviation qualification type is SVQ.

Work Preparation

Work Preparation qualification type is vocational.