Becoming an awarding body

If you want to become an SQA approved awarding body, you must demonstrate that your organisation can meet SQA Accreditation's current Regulatory Requirements.

We will normally deal with all enquiries and applications in order of receipt.  However, there may be times when we have to prioritise enquiries and/or applications due to volume received.

On such occasions, we will prioritise enquiries and/or applications based on the following order:

1. Qualifications are offered in both Scottish Government’s and Skills Development Scotland’s growth sectors

2. Qualifications are offered in Scottish Government’s growth sectors

3. Qualifications are offered in Skills Development Scotland’s growth sectors

4. Qualifications are not offered in growth sectors.

If we have to re-prioritise your enquiry or application, then we will advise you accordingly.

What is the first step?

Before you consider applying for awarding body approval and qualification accreditation you should read our General Approval Requirements and Guidance for Prospective Awarding Bodies and must undertake a self-appraisal. This will help you establish whether it is appropriate for your organisation to progress with an approval application or choose another option.

This process may indicate that awarding body approval is not appropriate. You may wish to consider one of these alternatives:

How do I enquire about becoming an awarding body?

If, after self-appraisal, you are confident that your organisation can meet our requirements and want to be an awarding body, then you must contact SQA Accreditation to discuss the intention to seek awarding body approval status.

You can contact SQA Accreditation by:

* e-mail:

* telephone: 0345 213 5249

Failure to do so is likely to result in any approval request being rejected at the submission stage.

Following discussion you may be asked to complete the Enquiry Form and send it to Should you have any difficulty in sending the completed Enquiry Form to the Regulation mailbox, please contact the Accreditation Officer.

Within five working days of receiving your Enquiry Form we will acknowledge your submission. If your organisation is in a position to progress to the next stage you will be invited to complete awarding body approval submission forms.

How do I formally apply to become an approved awarding body?

If your Enquiry Form indicates that you can progress, you will be invited to complete the Awarding Body Approval Form AC1 and AC2 Qualification Accreditation Form. This covers your request for approval and the submission of qualification(s) for accreditation.

What happens next?

If your organisation is approved by Accreditation Co-ordination Group (ACG), you will be required to sign up to our Accreditation Licence which outlines our expectations of you as an awarding body.