What Does Your SCQF Certificate Mean?

Wondering what that extra piece of paper with your results means? We explain what the SCQF certificate means and how it impacts your future. 

What is it?

The SCQF is a way of comparing Scottish qualifications. Each qualification you may get, from school up to university, as well as vocational training, gets a level that shows how difficult the learning is. It doesn't matter what grade you got - it's all about how hard it is to learn.  

What is it for?

The SCQF makes it easier to compare and understand qualifications. For example you can now tell that an Advanced Higher is at the same level as a Higher National Certificate. Plus most Scottish universities and colleges now use SCQF levels and credit points to describe their courses.

The SCQF can:

• help you understand qualifications you are not familiar with

• help employers understand different qualifications

• help universities or colleges identify the level that you have studied in a particular subject

• recognise other areas of your learning that can help your personal development


Are SCQF credit points the same as UCAS tariff points?

SCQF credit points are not the same as UCAS tariff points. UCAS tariff points relate to the grades you have achieved. SCQF credits are a measure of how much you need to learn to achieve a qualification, no matter what grade you get.

Why does an ‘A’ at Higher get the same number of SCQF credit points as a ‘C’ at Higher?

The number of SCQF credit points you’ve gained doesn’t change depending on your grade at any particular level. SCQF credits reflect how much learning you’ve done, not how well you’ve learned a subject.

Will my qualifications be recognised if I move abroad?

SCQF levels are now referenced against the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), so learning institutions and employers in Europe can easily compare your qualifications against their own country’s qualifications framework.

If I build up SCQF credit points, will I get into college or university?

Not directly, although SCQF credit points help admissions officers in colleges and universities know exactly how much learning you have done and at what level. The admissions officers still have other factors to consider, such as the subjects you studied and grades you achieved.

Will the SCQF help me to get a job?

Not directly, but it will help employers understand the level of difficulty of each qualification, as well as the number of credit points you have achieved as part of your personal development. As your career develops, any work-based qualifications you achieve may add to the number of credits you already have.

Click here to read the SCQF Guide to Life Long Learning.

Find out how the SCQF can help you make sense of qualifications and plan the next move in your learning journey.

Check out all of our info, advice and handy hints to help you on Results Day and beyond.