Approving qualification products

We use the term qualification products to describe the following:

The rules for approval of qualifications products vary according to type of qualification.  Once approved, these products can be used as the basis of qualification development by awarding bodies. Awarding bodies can then seek accreditation knowing that qualification products have been approved.

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs)

For SVQs, qualification products must be approved by Accreditation Co-ordination Group (ACG). Each SVQ must have an SCQF credit-rated qualification structure, an assessment strategy and Core Skills signposting. It is essential that these are finalised and approved before awarding bodies use them as the basis of qualifications.

Other qualifications (including Regulatory and Licensing)

For other qualifications, we advise you consult with the appropriate Accreditation Manager. Normally, if a qualification is developed by a Standard Setting Organisation (SSO), and will be made available to awarding bodies, we expect the SSO to submit qualification products for approval at ACG.  Where an industry regulator is setting the standard for awarding bodies then we expect the regulator to submit the qualification products for approval at ACG.

The structure and any relevant assessment strategy must be submitted.  SCQF credit rating and Core Skills signposting are optional but encouraged. Submitting qualification products for approval will help to avoid or address any issues which could prevent or delay accreditation.

Preparing your submission

Please provide evidence for approval of qualification products as outlined in the following checklist.

You must submit your evidence to

Evidence for Qualification Products Complete
1. Have you attached all units on which the qualification(s) will be based?  
2. Have you provided support from the originating body for the use of any imported units within the qualification structure, where applicable?  
3. Have you provided support from awarding bodies to confirm: - the qualification structure(s), including any proposed pathways and endorsements, can be implemented - whether the awarding body proposes to seek accreditation for the qualification(s) - the assessment principles can be implemented?  
4. Have you provided evidence demonstrating market demand for the qualification(s) in Scotland, including: - support from Scottish employers - stakeholders - SQA approved awarding bodies. Please note that employer support must indicate that they will use the qualification, not just that they support it in principle.  
5. Have you submitted the Qualification Structure(s) on The Qualification Grid. This spreadsheet has a dual function. It records the qualification structure(s)showing mandatory and optional sections, as appropriate. It also records the SCQF level and credit for each unit and how you have determined the overall level and credit of the qualification.  

For full details and guidance on the submission process and evidence required, please see:

It is mandatory for Standard Setting Organisations to use the standardised qualification product templates introduced by SQA Accreditation:

Assessment Strategy

Core Skills Signposting

Qualifications Grid

The approval process

Accreditation Managers review submissions for approval before presenting them to ACG.  We aim to take submissions to ACG within 20 working days but this may take longer if further information is required from the submitting organisation.

The diagram below illustrates the process:

Accreditation Process