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Private Higher Education Institution
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About us

We provide products and services in skills, training and education which positively impact on individuals, organisations and society.

What we do

  • We are the national accreditation and awarding body for Scotland. Our purpose is to help people fulfil their potential and maintain standards across Scottish education.
  • We engage with learners, schools, colleges and training providers across Scotland, the rest of the UK and internationally, to develop, maintain, and improve a framework of qualifications, and to set and maintain standards for many other awarding bodies, and accredited qualifications.


As an awarding body, SQA develops, maintains, and improves a framework of qualifications. These can be gained at Scotland’s schools, colleges, employers and training providers.

They include:

  • National Qualifications. These are studied at school and college, and include National 1–5, Highers, and Advanced Highers.
  • Higher National Qualifications. These are often studied at college. They are made up of units which are qualifications in their own right. They can act as a bridge to study at university, and are currently being redesigned under the ‘Next Gen’ project.
  • A range of vocational qualifications, developed with industry partners, and responding to perceived skills needs.


As an accrediting body, SQA sets and maintains standards for many other awarding bodies.

We accredit qualifications such as Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), which provide evidence that learners can do their jobs well. Our accreditation role is similar to work by Ofqual in other parts of the UK.

SQA Accreditation provides extensive support and quality assurance which offers a badge of quality for awarding bodies and their customers,.

Working with standards setting organisations and others in development of:

  • National Occupational Standards (NOS)
  • the qualification structures and related support
  • credit rating qualifications for the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Our accreditation function also plays an important role in supporting Foundation Apprenticeships and the wider Developing the Young Workforce policy, and our qualifications form part of the majority of Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeships.

Develop and manage qualifications

  • SQA qualifications, and the way we deliver them, makes a significant contribution to the Scottish economy and boosts Scotland’s reputation as a successful and sustainable economy.
  • We develop new qualifications and assessments while maintaining our existing portfolio, ensuring that SQA Awarding complies with all legislative and regulatory requirements.