FAQs

  • What is the SCQF?

    The SCQF helps you understand Scottish qualifications. It provides a way of talking about, and comparing, qualifications. This will help you make better choices about learning and help you progress. The SCQF brings together all the mainstream Scottish qualifications. It gives them credit points, which show how much learning has been achieved, and a level which shows how demanding the learning is.

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  • Why does Scotland need a framework of levels and credits?

    There are many different qualifications - for example, Standard Grades, Highers, SVQs, HNC/Ds and Degrees - and the Framework is a way of showing how they relate to one another. It shows that qualifications are broadly comparable, but it does not mean they are equal. The SCQF supports the Scottish Government's lifelong learning strategy and - now that there's more mobility of learners and workers across the UK, Europe and internationally - qualifications frameworks are the method by which learning will be understood globally.

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  • Do I aim to get as many credits as possible, or as many qualifications at the highest level?

    You should aim for the programmes of learning that are best for you at different times of your life. For example, at school you might try for Advanced Highers that are at SCQF level 7. Later on, you might want to learn a new skill as a hobby and that qualification could be at SCQF level 5 or during your working life you may take an SVQ at SCQF level 8.

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  • Do credits entitle me to study for another qualification or job?

    No. It's up to the SQA and individual universities and colleges to decide how relevant one piece of learning is to the programme of learning that you want to move to (this is called credit transfer). Employers are more likely to be interested in the level of your qualifications.

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  • How do I work out what credits I have?

    Your community learning and development worker, school, college or university staff or training provider will tell you how many credit points each qualification represents. Or you can access further information about SCQF Level Descriptors and credit points in our publications. Visit our Resources section to view all of our publications.

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  • What's the difference between general and specific credits?

    SCQF credit points are general credit points to show the amount of learning you need to acquire to gain a qualification. For credit transfer, the SQA and individual colleges and universities will decide how relevant that piece of learning is for the new programme of learning you want to do and award specific credit points.

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  • Are all qualifications at the same level equal?

    No. The Framework does not describe qualifications at the same level as being equal. And qualifications at the same level are not interchangeable. But different qualifications can be equally hard to achieve. It means they are at a comparable level in terms of knowledge, skills or competence required. They make similar demands on the learner. That is why they are positioned at the same level in the Framework.

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  • All Higher Courses are positioned at SCQF level 6. Does it still matter how many I get, or do I just get one level 6?

    You will still be awarded the number of individual Highers that you pass. The level of an award in the SCQF is a guide to the general level of knowledge and skill you need to achieve to gain that award. How many qualifications you achieve is still important, depending on what you want to do next.

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  • Does it matter what subjects I study so long as I get levels and credits?

    Yes. You will still enter the programmes of learning that you think will be best for you to go on to further or higher education, to get a job or start a career.

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  • How do SCQF credit points relate to UCAS tariff points? Are they the same?

    SCQF credit points are not the same as UCAS tariff points. UCAS is the organisation that processes applications for higher education courses, and tariff points relate to the grade at which a qualification has been achieved. SCQF credit points are a measure of how much learning needs to be done to achieve a particular qualification, whatever the final grade. Visit the UCAS website for more info on tariff points.

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  • Are qualifications like Doctorates, Degrees and HNC/Ds going to become obsolete?

    No. You will still be awarded a Degree or a Diploma. The Framework shows how one qualification is broadly comparable with another in terms of the level of complexity and amount of work involved.

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  • Does the framework only cover schools, colleges and universities?

    No, it covers vocational training like SVQs that can also give you a better chance of getting a job or getting promotion. The Framework also covers the learning you can do in the community and with training providers.

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  • What other qualifications are in the SCQF?

    The SCQF aims to help people of all ages and circumstances to access appropriate education and training over their lifetime. It can cover learning that you do in the workplace and in the community. It already includes some non-mainstream qualifications, and this will continue over the next few years. For example, Midlothian Council has had its Creche Worker training course placed in the Framework, and qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and the Scottish Police College have been included in the SCQF too.

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  • Is it the SCQF's job to award qualifications?

    No, the SCQF is not a regulatory framework or an awarding body. Awarding and accrediting qualifications is still the job of organisations like the SQA, universities, colleges and statutory and professional bodies.

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  • Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?

    No. That is not part of the SCQF's purpose. The Framework is a new way of looking at, comparing and understanding Scottish qualifications. Other organisations review the quality of teaching, like HMIe.

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  • What is SCQF credit rating?

    For qualifications and learning programmes to be included on the SCQF, they must have their SCQF credit rating and level formally confirmed. This process is called credit rating. There are a number of SCQF Credit Rating Bodies in Scotland, including the SQA, colleges, universities and newly approved bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. For more information on which organisations are able to credit rate, call us on 0845 270 7371.

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  • I have lost my exam certificate. Can the SCQF reissue it to me?

    No. You would need to contact the awarding body concerned e.g. The SQA for Highers, Standard Grades and Intermediates or the university you attended for degree certificates.

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  • What SCQF information is shown on the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC)?

    The new certificate has three sections: - Summary of attainment lists all the Group Awards, Courses and stand-alone Units that you have achieved, and shows the SCQF levels of the qualifications which have been credit-rated. - Detailed record of attainment gives more detail about the qualifications you've achieved since the last certificate was issued, and will include SCQF levels and credit. - Profiles section shows your current achievements in Core Skills and SCQF credits.

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  • I studied and gained my qualifications outside the UK. Can you tell me what my qualifications are equivalent to in Scotland?

    No. You should contact an organisation called UK NARIC - the National Agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide. You will need to pay for this service. UK NARIC can be contacted on +44 (0)871 330 7033 or by email at info@naric.org.uk. A Careers Adviser at your local Skills Development Scotland Centre (formerly Careers Scotland) may also be able to provide advice on comparability of qualifications gained outside of the UK. You can find the address for your local careers centre on the Skills Development Scotland website.

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  • What is the EQF and what are its benefits?

    All countries have a qualifications system but a qualifications framework is a more systematic way of classifying qualifications, usually by a hierarchy of levels. Among the benefits are greater readability of qualifications and easier progression between levels. The EQF will relate different countries' national qualifications systems and frameworks together around a common European reference. In practice, it will function as a translation device making qualifications more readable. This will help learners and workers wishing to move between countries. For example, currently an enterprise in Ireland may hesitate to recruit a job applicant from, say, Hungary, because it does not understand the level of the qualifications presented by the Hungarian candidate. However, referencing national frameworks to the EQF can help in this respect by providing a common reference point in terms of the level of a particular qualification.

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  • Who is the EQF for?

    The primary users of the EQF will be bodies in charge of national and/or sectoral qualification systems and frameworks. Once they have related their respective systems to the EQF, the EQF will help individuals, employers and education and training providers compare individual qualifications from different countries and education and training systems.

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