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

SVQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What are SVQs?

SVQs are national qualifications that recognise the workplace skills and experience staff have and provide the organisation with evidence which shows staff work to best practice National Occupational Standards. They are an assessment of competence not a training course, although training can be highlighted as a development need when assessing SVQs.

Who can do them?

NHSGGC has its own approved SVQ Centre which supports staff throughout the organisation to undertake vocational qualifications.

Priority will be given to requests from managers for staff to undertake SVQs when a service need has been identified as follows:

  1. Links to Service Needs, Redesign or Workforce Plans
  2. Identified at PDP Review
  3. Other e.g. (Role Development).
Why should staff do SVQs?
  • They provide staff with a recognised national qualification
  • They demonstrate that staff work to national standards
  • They can improve confidence and performance at work
  • They can provide a new insight to the job role
  • They are a useful developmental tool and can provide strong evidence at KSF Review meetings
  • They can provide staff with appropriate competences for future service delivery and for career progression.
What qualifications are on offer?

At present the SVQ Centre is approved to offer the following SVQs:

  • Business & Administration – Level 2 – 4
  • Healthcare Support (Clinical and Non Clinical) – Levels 2 – 3
  • Team Leading & Management Level 2 – 5
  • Learning & Development Level 3 – 4 (inc Assessor & Verifier awards)
  • Social Services and Healthcare – Level 2 – 3.
Are there any exams?

No. Staff are assessed at their workplace using a variety of methods e.g. observation, reflection, professional discussion, current work products and questioning to underpin knowledge and understanding. They will be assessed on the skills they use every day in their job.

Don’t worry if staff have never studied for anything before or have difficulty writing reports etc. We will help them gather the evidence they need in different ways and can discuss providing support prior to starting a vocational qualification, which can tackle lack of confidence and other concerns which staff and managers may identify.

Who assesses staff?

Staff will generally be assessed by either a peripatetic assessor attached to the SVQ central team, a workplace assessor linked to their local area, an assessor from another workplace or from an outside training provider. There may be development opportunities for staff to train as workplace assessors in some areas.

How long will it take?

Time to complete a qualification is flexible. Everyone works through SVQs at a different pace. However we would expect candidates to finish within 9 -12 months depending on the award and level of qualification being undertaken.

What support is available?

An assessor and internal verifier will both be available for support.

The SVQ Team can be contacted directly for information, advice or guidance in relation to SVQs.

In discussion with managers, staff require support with allocation of time to carry out SVQ assignments and assessments. Underpinning Knowledge and Understanding is an important part of any qualification and links will be made with the relevant education staff to offer support to candidates.

How much does it cost?

The NHSGGC SVQ Centre has limited capacity to assess a small number of qualifications annually which would be corporately funded. Other delivery options are available. Contact the Qualifications Team to discuss funding implications.

I’m interested, what do I do now?

As a manager

Contact us to discuss which SVQs may be appropriate for your staff and any funding implications. A service level agreement may require to be set up.

As a prospective candidate

Contact us for an application form and to discuss which SVQs may be appropriate for you. If undertaking the SVQ is not already highlighted on your PDP, please speak to your manager as you need their support before applying.

Want to know more?

For further information on any SVQ programme please contact: