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Home > Staff and Recruitment > HR Connect > Learning, Education and Training > Qualifications > Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ)

Our purpose is to provide direction and focus for the development of qualification and vocational training frameworks across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. As you might expect in an organisation as large as NHSGGC a wide range of learning and education opportunities are available.

It is our job to:

  • Identify and manage the qualification activity within Greater Glasgow and Clyde ensuring that appropriate linkages are made across disciplines and functions
  • Work with internal and external partners to develop and provide individual qualification pathways which will address service learning needs and create new opportunities for groups of employees and individuals
  • Develop knowledge and expertise in the principles and applications of national frameworks such as the KSF, SCQF and the NHS Career Framework ensuring that Greater Glasgow and Clyde is able to exploit the full potential of such developments
  • To lead and manage the provision of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) in Greater Glasgow and Clyde ensuring robust processes are in place to successfully offer a wide range of vocational qualifications to our employees.

Explanation of Levels

SVQs are offered across 5 levels:

The Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework (SCQF) has been developed to help Employers and Learners understand how qualifications relate to each other and to other forms of learning. SQA has developed an interactive framework to visualise this. A full explanation of all qualifications are shown on the SCQF Framework.

Level 2 (SCQF Level 5/6)

For a level 2 SVQ, candidates have to be able to show that they are competent in a range of varied activities, in a variety of contexts.

Some of the activities will be complex, and the person will have some individual responsibility or autonomy. The job may also involve collaboration with others, perhaps through membership of a work group or team.

Level 3 (SCQF Level 7)

At this level, candidates have to perform a broad range of activities in a variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine.

They will usually be working with considerable responsibility and autonomy, and may have control or guidance of others.

Level 4 (SCQF Level 9)

Level 4 SVQs involve a broad range of complex, technical or professional work activities. They will be performed in a wide variety of contexts and with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy. People doing these SVQs will often be responsible for the work of others and for allocating resources.

How the SVQ Process Works

The decision to apply for a vocational learning programme may be identified for staff either by the individual or by Service Managers.


This may be as a result of one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Links to Service Needs, Redesign or Workforce Plans
  2. Identified at PDP Review
  3. Other e.g. (Role Development).

In all cases PDPs should indicate the required learning need.

Determining the correct SVQ award and level

Informal discussions may be required to determine the correct SVQ award & level. Application forms are then completed and forwarded to the SVQ Centre. Further discussions may be required with Managers regarding delivery options and possible funding implications/cost. Assessment is generally provided internally (using assessors from within the organisation) or in some cases externally (using assessors contracted to an FE college or external provider). The NHSGGC SVQ Centre has a limited resource and can offer a number of SVQ programmes annually which will be funded corporately, assessed and quality assured directly from the Centre. Intakes will take place around September and March of each year. Priority will be given to the applications depending on the need for staff to undertake a vocational qualification.

The SVQ Centre manages the Vocational Learning provision for NHSGGC, including quality assurance, any relevant internal verification and appropriate administration.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) may require to be drawn up between the service area and the SVQ Centre. This agreement will confirm how the required underpinning Knowledge and Understanding for candidates will be met.

Sessions, workshops and tutorials

Introductory workshops/planning sessions for candidates will be arranged. This will include training on the e-portfolio system ‘Proof Positive’ if necessary.

These sessions will be followed by individual tutorials arranged with the candidate and the assessor.

Assessments and certificates
  • Assessor judges and assesses candidate competence against the standards and advises on how to cover gaps
  • Assessor accredits SVQ units individually until full SVQ achieved
  • Certificate is then issued by awarding body.

What NHSGGC can offer

NHSGGC SVQ Centre has approval to offer various S/NVQs across these areas:

  • HealthCare Support
  • Business and Administration
  • Learning and Development
  • Social Services and Healthcare Management.

Update to Management SVQs

Due to operational reasons the SVQ Team have taken the decision to temporarily withdraw the Management SVQs from our portfolio of Qualifications. As soon as we are in a position to deliver this qualification we will update this site. If you have any question regarding this, please contact Brian Keogh, Senior Learning and Education Advisor either by email ( or call 07834 228 569.

Applying for an SVQ

Complete section one of the application form. All questions must be completed. Once you reach the end of this section you should click the save and continue later button. This will now ask you to enter an email address, enter your line managers email address. This will email your completed application directly to your line manager. 

Please inform your line manager that they must complete all of section two on the application form and click the submit button. Once both sections are fully completed your application will be held on our waiting list and once an assessor becomes available they will contact you directly to arrange an induction workshop. If you have an queries regarding your application please contact: L&E Support and Advice: 0141 278 2700 (Ext. 12700) or email:

Further guidance for Managers

Managers have an important part to play in the NHSGGC SVQ Programme. As a manager, the following information should give you a brief insight into your role in helping to make the scheme a success for candidates and the organisation as well as being a useful tool for yourself.

If you have identified that SVQs may be useful as a development tool within your area please contact the SVQ Centre on 0141 278 2700 and choose option 3 for guidance as to how to proceed.

Why are Managers important in the SVQ process?

The manager is responsible for individual PDPs and their unit or departmental training plan. It is the manager who prioritises learning and education activity in line with organisational and individual needs. Managers are responsible for the budget for learning, education and training including possible funding associated with SVQs. Managers require to support candidates with regards to allocating and agreeing time for the candidate to prepare for assessment visits/activities.

Staff will see you as a leader

You can:

  • Positively support the development of staff in line with service requirements and workforce planning 
  • Authorise and support their applications
  • Help them achieve their awards by giving ongoing training, encouragement and support
  • Provide opportunities to gather evidence
  • Give everyone fair and equal access to the programme.

You can also help in the evaluation of the SVQ programme by giving feedback on how the scheme helped you / your workplace and how it could be improved.

What can you do to support candidates?

You can:

  • Provide them with witness testimonies or statements about the work they do and the way they do it
  • Provide them with development opportunities, which fit in with their SVQ
  • Show an interest in their progress
  • Carry out observations of them at work and provide witness testimonies of this – also very useful at appraisal times
  •  Identify and agree underpinning Knowledge and Understanding training needs in line with the national standards requirements
  • Introduce yourself to the candidate’s assessor and consider attending their initial workshop if you feel it would be helpful in understanding the process
  • Accommodate candidate’s requests for preparation time for assessor appointments
  • Familiarise yourself with the SVQ your candidate is doing by talking to them and their assessor about it or looking at the standards themselves
  • Consider undertaking a management or related vocational qualification yourself
  • You may also wish to consider facilitating a member of staff in becoming a workplace assessor and thereby supporting colleagues through the SVQ process.
What can you expect from the candidate?

The candidate should:

  • Tell you about their SVQ and discuss their progress with you
  • Consult with you regarding assessment preparation time to gather evidence for their next assessor visit
  • By undertaking SVQs, show increased understanding and confidence in their ability to do their job.
What can you expect from the assessor?

The assessor will be one of the following:

  • A qualified member of the SVQ Centre team, trained workplace assessor from within your own service area or another service area (subject to negotiation with the appropriate manager in that area)
  • An external assessor from an outside training provider.

The assessor should:

  • Contact candidates regularly (usually monthly visits are arranged)
  • Provide progress reports and update you on your candidate’s progress
  • Provide you with a contact phone number / email address and give you all the help and advice they can when and if you need it
  • Give advice on any agreements in place with regards to SVQs.
So what’s in it for you?
  • You can use SVQs as an excellent staff development tool e.g. for PDP’s / KSF Reviews to help the candidate at appraisal time
  • Your staff may learn new skills and be interested in having work delegated to them
  • Your staff will be more motivated and will be looking for opportunities to achieve their award
  • You can use SVQs to ensure that your staff have the competences necessary for current and future service delivery.

Additional Information