Carpentry & Joinery Apprenticeship PDA @ SCQF Level 6

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A Modern Apprenticeship is a fantastic way of gaining skills, qualifications, and experience, without having to study full-time. You will be earning whilst you are learning! This is an opportunity to work towards an industry-recognised qualification whilst you are learning ‘on the job’ and it is a fantastic way to kick-start your career, whilst learning the foundation skills required for a career in the construction industry.

This Modern Apprenticeship is made up of two parts; the SVQ, which is the site-based qualification, that is carried out in the workplace, and the Professional Development Award (PDA), which is the theoretical and practical element of the qualification, which takes place at college.

This is a qualification designed to prove that the learning has met the standards of work demanded within the industry.

You must successfully complete both parts of this qualification plus core skills at required SCQF Levels to achieve your full Modern Apprenticeship.

Course code





The next intake into college for this course is due to start around September 2024.

Within your 4-year apprenticeship you will attend college for 144 days on campus during the early years of your apprenticeship and a further 4 days to complete your skills test at the end of your apprenticeship. All remaining learning will take place in your workplace.

You will not sit the “Skills Test” unit of the SVQ before 3½ years have been completed from your start date.

Modern Apprentices over the age of 22 years, who can demonstrate that they are significant prior site experience, may be permitted to complete after a minimum of 2 years, where their achievement and competence has been recognised by BOTH the employer and the training provider. These candidates would need to meet the requirement of a full portfolio of evidence against the SVQ and they may not sit the “Skills Test” unit before the LAST 6 months of their apprenticeship. This must be agreed prior to being signed up as Modern Apprentice.

Entry Requirements

You must be in full-time employment and aged 16 years or over by the time the course starts.

We recommend that candidates have achieved, as a minimum, National 4 in English and Maths, good drawing skills are an advantage.

Candidates should be well presented, committed to the Modern Apprenticeship and able to complete and attend College.

You should be physically fit and able to work in different environments and be good at working with your hands.

Information and Interview Session Requirements

There are no requirements for a college interview for this course, but you may have to attend an interview with a potential employer to gain employment as an apprentice. If you are successful, your new employer will sign you up with a training provider who will book you onto a place on this course.

Course Content

The course is delivered in an integrated and holistic manner using a series of “Tasks” and “Tests”. In addition to the subject-specific content, there are core units that need to be achieved, including Construction Drawing, Construction Materials, Building Craft Science, and Construction Studies.

The on-site work experience (SVQ) will require individuals to record the types of work being undertaken whilst on-site, which will be entered as evidence in their portfolio.

By completing the the following you will achieve the full Modern Apprenticeship:

  • Carpentry and Joinery SVQ3 at SCQF Level 6
  • PDA at SCQF Level 6

Throughout the program core skills will be integrated, achieving:

  • Communication (SCQF Level 5)
  • Numeracy (SCQF Level 5)
  • Information Technology (SCQF Level 4)
  • Working with Others (SCQF Level 5)
  • Problem Solving (SCQF Level 5)


Assessments take the form of written (using an online e-portfolio) and practical assignments which are integrated throughout the programme. Written assessments are carried out by candidates in their own time under the guidance of an assessor. The work-based training will be carried out and assessed in the workplace using candidate portfolios and evidence gathering of competencies met. This can include observations, witness testimonies, professional discussions, and written accounts. Once all elements have been achieved there will be a “Skills Test” at the end of the entire programme, which will be undertaken at the College.


Once this Modern Apprenticeship has been completed and achieved you will become a fully qualified and time served. You can remain in your specialist field or progress to supervisory or technical occupations within the sector.

Career Prospects

Continued employment within the Construction Industry as a tradesperson, also the ability to progress to a site manager or further with additional qualifications being gained in the future.

Additional funding information


Selling Points

46% of all current 1st year Dumfries and Galloway construction apprentices have previously studied a construction related course within the college, highlighting both the fantastic opportunity for progression to apprenticeship and how employers are looking for apprentices who have prior construction knowledge and skills.

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