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Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

SCQF logo

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) is the national credit transfer system for all levels of qualifications in Scotland. It incorporates the Scottish Qualifications Certificate, Higher National Certificate, Higher National Diploma, Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) (equivalent to National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)) and all Degrees of Scottish Higher Education Institutions. It is managed by a partnership of the Scottish Qualifications Authority, the Association of Scotland's Colleges (ASC), QAA Scotland, Universities Scotland and the Scottish Government [1]. England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been developing the National Qualifications Framework in a similar fashion and the SCQF integrates with the European credit transfer system.


  • Background 1
    • SCOTCAT 1.1
    • Scottish Qualifications Authority 1.2
    • Further Discussions 1.3
  • The Framework 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5



Scottish Higher Education Institutions had long used the SCOTCAT (Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer) system for equating courses from differences institutions. SCOTCAT had 3 levels - Levels 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 was equivalent to University 1st Year, an HNC or a Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE). Level 2 was equivalent to University 2nd Year, an HND or a Diploma of Higher Education. Level 3 was equivalent to Years 3 and 4 at a Scottish University, and generally these credit lead to an Special or Honours Degree.

Scottish Qualifications Authority

Following the creation of the Scottish Qualifications Authority by the merger of the Scottish Examinations Board and SCOTVEC efforts were made to unite the different levels of vocational and academic qualifications. The aim being to make it easier for employers and education institutions to understand the level to which a person had been educated.[1] A secondary aim being to remove prejudice against vocational and non-traditional qualifications.

Further Discussions

Following from these two efforts all the education and training providers in Scotland agreed to create a common framework for all qualifications, both current and historical. This led to the development of a 12 level framework with different courses, units, modules and clusters being placed at a specific level with a credit weighting.

Changes have been made to Higher Education level courses to prepare the Scottish system for the Bologna process.

The Framework

The Framework has 12 levels:

SCQF Level SQA National Units, Courses and Group Awards Higher Education Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)
12   Doctorates  
11   Masters SVQ 5
10   Honours degree, Graduate diploma  
9   Ordinary degree, Graduate certificate  
8   HND, DipHE SVQ 4
7 Advanced Higher HNC, CertHE  
6 Higher   SVQ 3
5 National 5
Intermediate 2
Credit Standard Grade
  SVQ 2
4 National 4
Intermediate 1
General Standard Grade
  SVQ 1
3 National 3
Access 3
Foundation Standard Grade
  SVQ 1
2 National 2
Access 2
1 National 1
Access 1

See also


  1. ^ "Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework". Scottish Qualifications Agency. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 

External links

  • Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework official website
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority official website
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