Qualifications Explained

The Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF)

What is the SCQF?

The SCQF is a way of comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers achievements such as those from school, college, university, and many work-based qualifications. It does this by giving each qualification a level and a number of credit points. The level of a qualification shows how difficult the learning is. The credit points show how much learning is involved in achieving that qualification. Each credit point represents an average of 10 hours of learning.

Throughout our prospectus, you will see the SCQF level awarded to each programme of study. This may help you decide which learning programme is most suitable for you at this stage in your lifelong learning journey.

The SCQF can:

  • help you decide how you progress in your learning;
  • help you understand qualifications you are not familiar with;
  • help employers understand different types of qualifications and help with the development of your skills;
  • help colleges and universities identify the level that has been studied in a particular subject and make it easier to transfer credit points between different learning programmes; and
  • provide recognition of other areas of your learning that may contribute to your personal development and your goals for the future.

All Scottish colleges and universities are now using SCQF levels and credit points to describe their courses, but only if these have been credit rated into the Framework. Some employers are also using SCQF levels instead of, or as well as, types of qualification when they advertise jobs.

The SCQF also helps to exemplify the relationships between Scottish qualifications and those in the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond, which can clarify opportunities for international progression routes and credit transfer. The SCQF has been referenced to the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), meaning that there is now an easy way to compare the level of qualifications across Europe which will encourage mobility of learners.

For more information on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, visit www.scqf.org.uk. For information on the SCQF level and credit points for learning programmes which have been credit rated, search the SCQF database.