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The SCQF helping Educators and Advisers support the Learner Journey

Female workshop facilitator standing in front of the projected screen talking to delegates

As another new academic session gets underway in Schools, Colleges and HEIs across Scotland, Julie Cavanagh, Head of Partnerships and Communication at the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP) gives some insight into how Educators and Advisers can use the Framework (SCQF) to help learners plan their journey, and advises how you can access some helpful SCQF resources.

The SCQF Partnership, plays an increasingly important role in supporting lifelong learning in Scotland, offering over 850 learning programmes in addition to those owned by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and delivered by Scotland’s universities. These programmes recognise all aspects of work-based learning as well as young people’s wider achievements.

Educators and advisers can use the SCQF to help individuals understand the level of their learning and help them make a plan for their career through the development of individual pathways. In the period following exam results Careers Advisers from Skills Development Scotland use the SCQF to help young people make sense of their qualifications, whether things have gone better than expected or not according to plan.

The SCQF promotes equality of qualifications; meaning that there are different types of learning, but individuals still have to use the same level of skills to achieve them.

Many people aren’t aware that programmes such as the Youth Achievement Awards, Sports Leaders UK Awards and Duke of Edinburgh’s Leadership Award are all recognised on the SCQF, as well as programmes owned by the Police, Fire Service and the NHS. Knowing these programmes are on the SCQF and that they can be compared to other more formal qualifications helps build confidence in learners and can also help them into further learning.

Much has changed in the 10 years I have been with the SCQF Partnership, particularly within the Scottish education landscape, and educational policy has moved on significantly. However, the SCQF has always remained the underpinning support mechanism for lifelong learning in Scotland.

The latest review of the 15-24 Learner Journey clearly puts the SCQF at the heart of government policy in this area and 10 years on many more people across Scotland are aware of the SCQF and its benefits.


Some useful facts you may not know about the SCQF:

  • There are over 11,400 programmes recognised on the Framework
  • Over 290 different organisations own these programmes
  • There are 55 organisations known as Credit Rating Bodies who have the authority to place learning onto the Framework
  • 93% of programmes at SCQF level 6 are not Highers


The SCQF Partnership operates a database of credit rated learning which is easy to search and contains all programmes which have been recognised on the Framework.

The SCQF Partnership also offers useful resources for Educators and Advisers including:

All these resources can be downloaded, ordered by email info@scqf.org.uk, or requested by calling 0141 225 2922


About the author

Julie Cavanagh

Head of Partnerships & Communications, SCQF Partnership

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