Guide to Qualifications


The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, known as the, SCQF for short, is Scotland’s national lifelong learning framework, and is used by learners, education providers, employers, Credit Rating Bodies (CRBs) and policymakers throughout the country.

The SCQF provides the language used to describe all learning in Scotland. Effective communication is at the heart of the framework, and we at the SCQF Partnership greatly value your support in helping to bring the SCQF closer to the learner through your communications activities.


The SCQF is a way of comparing the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers programmes in school, college, university and in the workplace. It does this by giving each qualification on the Framework 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 this prospectus, you will see the SCQF level and credit points awarded to each programme of study, if it is on the framework. 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
  • 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.

More information can be found on the SCQF website.

The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership promotes lifelong learning in Scotland. Through the Framework (see picture here) you can gain a better understanding of qualifications in Scotland and plan your future learning. 

More information on realising your potential

View the interactive framework diagram

View the Academics Appeals Policy

View the Assessment Policy

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