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Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
The central aims of the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) are to:

Enable employers, learners, and the public in general to understand the full range of Scottish qualifications, how they relate to each other, and how different types of qualifications can contribute to improving the skills of the workforce.

Help people of all ages and circumstances access appropriate education and training over their lifetime to fulfil their personal, social and economic potential.

The SQA helps to make the relationships between qualifications clearer. It can clarify entry and exit points and routes for progression within and across education and training sectors. It also helps maximise the opportunities for credit transfer. In these ways it will assist learners to plan their progress and learning.

Qualifications in the SQA are compared using two measures: level and credit. The level of a qualification shows how difficult the learning is. The credit points show the size of the qualification and how much work is involved in achieving that qualification. For example, one person may study a course at Intermediate 1, SQA level 4 and another at Higher, SQA level 6. Both award the same number of SQA credit points but at different levels of difficulty.

* SVQs are currently notionally placed on the SQA. Projects to refine the position of individual SVQs are underway. The report of the first phase was issued in August 2006 and subsequent phases are expected to report in 2007 and 2008. Any recommendations require agreement and approval of the Accreditation Committee.

Following the review of SQA qualifications, new and revised National Qualification Group Awards, ie National Certificates, National Progression Awards and revised Professional Development Awards are also placed in the SQA.

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