- What is the SCQF?
- Why does Scotland need a framework of levels and credits?
- How do I work out what credits I have?
- What's the difference between SCQF levels and credits?
- What's the difference between general and specific credit? And can I use my credit points from one qualification towards achieving another?
- Are all qualifications at the same level equal?
- 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?
- Does it matter what subjects I study so long as I get levels and credits?
- How do SCQF credit points relate to UCAS tariff points? Are they the same?
- Does the framework only cover schools, colleges and universities?
- What other qualifications are on the SCQF?
- Is it the SCQF's job to award qualifications?
- Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?
- What is SCQF credit rating?
- I have lost my exam certificate. Can the SCQF Partnership reissue it to me?
- What SCQF information is shown on the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC)?
- Are Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) now on the SCQF?
- How does the SCQF link with Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy,Developing the Young Workforce?
- I studied and gained my qualification in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Can you tell me what my qualifications are equivalent to in Scotland?
- I studied and gained my qualifications outside the UK. Can you tell me what my qualifications are equivalent to in Scotland?
- What is the EQF and what are its benefits?
- Who is the EQF for?
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.
Why does Scotland need a framework of levels and credits?
There are many different qualifications – for example, Nationals, 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.
How do I work out what credits I have?
You can visit the SCQF Database to search for the learning programmes you have undertaken. The Database provides you with information on SCQF level, credit value, EQF level, programme owner.
What's the difference between SCQF levels and credits?
The SCQF has 12 levels. The different levels indicate the level of difficulty of a particular qualification, with level 12 being the most demanding. Credit points are a way of showing how much time it takes, on average, to complete a qualification or learning programme. Like other credit systems in the UK and abroad, the SCQF works on the basis that one credit points represents the amount of learning achieved through a notional 10 hours of learning time. This covers everything you have to do to achieve the outcomes in a qualification, including the assessment procedures
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.
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 contain learning which is equally difficult or complicated and when this is the case they will be at an equal level on the framework. However, even when qualifications are at the same level, some require a greater amount of time to complete because there is more to learn, and therefore they are not equal in terms of credit. 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.
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.
Does it matter what subjects I study so long as I get levels and credits?
Yes. You will still need to study the subjects that you think will be best for you to go on to further or higher education, to get a job or start a career. Colleges and Universities may ask for particular subjects for entry into their programmes depending on what you want to do.
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.
Does the framework only cover schools, colleges and universities?
No, it covers vocational training like SVQs that can give you a better chance of getting a job or getting a promotion. The Framework also covers other learning that you might do; for example, in your local community or with an employer.
What other qualifications are on 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 community or in/for the workplace. For example, the Workers’ Educational Association Scotland has had its Counting on a Greener Scotland programme placed on the Framework, and professional qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) are now on the SCQF too.
Is it the SCQF's job to award qualifications?
No, the SCQF is not a regulatory framework and the SCQF Partnership is not an awarding body – it doesn’t provide or develop qualifications. Awarding and accrediting qualifications is still the job of organisations like the SQA, universities, colleges and statutory and professional bodies.
Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?
No. That is not part of the SCQF’s purpose. The Framework is a way of looking at, comparing and understanding Scottish qualifications. Other organisations review the quality of teaching, like Education Scotland’s HM Inspectors.
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 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland.
For more information on which organisations are able to credit rate, have a look at the Who are the CRBs page of our website.
I have lost my exam certificate. Can the SCQF Partnership reissue it to me?
No. You would need to contact the awarding body concerned e.g. the SQA for Highers, Nationals and HNC/Ds or the university you attended for degree certificates.
What SCQF information is shown on the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC)?
The certificate has three sections:
- Summary of attainment lists all the Group Awards, Courses and stand-alone Units that you have achieved, and shows SCQF levels of the units/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.
Are Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) now on the SCQF?
Yes, they are available in many industries across SCQF levels 5-12. There’s lots more information on MAs on the Skills Development Scotland website at www.apprenticeships.scot.
Developing the Young Workforce is the Scottish Government’s response to Education Working for All. The strategy outlines a seven-year programme to offer all young people in Scotland a broader range of choices in the Senior Phase (from S4 to S6) of their school years and higher-quality work experience. It also aims to build closer connections between schools, colleges and employers.
The SCQF supports the strategy by showing the equality between vocational and academic qualifications.
Use this guide Qualifications Can Cross Boundaries to compare qualifications across Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. It is helpful if you studied elsewhere in the UK or have moved from Scotland to another location in the UK/Ireland and need to compare your Scottish qualifications.
If you studied in Europe and your country of origin has a qualifications framework which has been referenced to the EQF, you can use the EQF level to compare against the SCQF level.
If your qualifications were achieved in a country outwith Europe, 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 (within the UK). Skills Development Scotland may also be able to help. You can contact them on 0800 917 8000 or have a look for your nearest centre.
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. You may find it useful to have a look at the EQF portal. The EQF level for all qualifications on the SCQF can be found for each programme listing on the SCQF Database.
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.