Accreditation Q&A

Featuring: Social Enterprise Academy Accreditation Manager, Gail English. 

There are many benefits of accredited learning and development, including; developing key skills to succeed at work, increasing staff engagement and retention, and supporting life-long learning. 

Listen or read the Q&A to learn more about gaining accreditation and the benefits of taking part in an accredited programme. 



1. Why does the Academy offer accreditation?

“The Academy thinks that accreditation is important because we want learners to get some benefit from the learning that they are doing, something that they can then take with them as they go through their career. It’s something that says they have achieved a certain level within the learning that they are doing.”

2. What are the benefits for the individual gaining a qualification?

“If an individual completes an Academy programme and there is a qualification attached to that, completing the qualification is really useful as it helps to embed learning because the learner has to reflect. They also get credited for what they’ve done. If they want to move on in their organisation or they want to change jobs, then an accreditation is something they have for life”

3. What is the added value for the organisation?

“If an organisation supports their staff in doing a qualification it means that the organisation values the learning and development of their staff. I think that’s a really important message to send out.”

4. What type of assessments will learners have to do?

“Most of the assessments that we deliver at the Academy involve learners writing a report. The report is based on the work that they do in their daily life; it’s reflecting on what they do and how they are as a leader. It’s very much reflecting and then making sense of that within a report. It’s fairly straight forward and generally 1 or 2 assessments per qualification.”

5. How much work/capacity is required when completing an accreditation?

“It really depends on how big the qualification is. Qualifications have credit ratings. One might have six which is equal to sixty hours of input. That sixty hours would include attendance at a programme, doing individual research, applying the learning within the workplace and also writing the report. We try to make sure that because an accreditation is part of a learners daily work it’s not too orneriest and it’s achievable.”

6. How can an organisation support their staff in gaining a qualification?

“Organisations can support staff by giving time to attend a programme and giving time to complete the report that needs to be written. They can support their staff by also being part of the process as well because for some of the assessments, there might be action learning sets required.”

7. What if learners don’t pass first time?

“We have a lovely set of markers who work for the Academy and they mark the learners work. If a learner submits their work and they’ve not passed a criteria - assessments are marked criteria by criteria - we would get in touch with the learner, explain what criteria they’ve not met and get them to resubmit it.”

8. What is SCQF Credit Rating?

“SCQF is the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework. We have twelve levels on the framework. Level 9 would be the equivalent to a normal degree. In England and other countries, they have different numbers of levels on their qualification framework. For example, in England, they have 8 levels on their framework. When we deliver something at level 9 in SCQF terms, in England that would be equivalent to level 5.”

9. What does an Academy qualification mean? How does it compare to Highers, Higher National Diplomas or Degrees?

“At the Academy, we deliver programmes and qualifications at different levels. We have some programmes that have a SCQF level 5 qualification attached, right up to SCQF level 9. What we’re hoping is that learners can progress through the programmes that they do. We also have an articulation route for learners who complete the ILM certificate in leadership to the Napier BA Business Enterprise degree programme. If learners maybe haven’t achieved a degree programme in earlier life, they now have an opportunity to go on and progress to that.”

10. Are the qualifications nationally or internationally recognised?

“Yes they are nationally and internationally recognised. Anything that is on the SCQF credit rating can translate and be compared to other qualification around the world. The ILM qualifications that we deliver as SCQF qualifications and on the QCF framework are also recognised internationally. We deliver in different countries including Canada and Wales. They can decide whether the SCQF level or the CQF level is more relevant to their learners in terms of what is most recognised within their country.”

Final words of wisdom from Gail…

“I would be keen to encourage anyone who is doing a programme which has a qualification or accreditation attached to do it. It will really help to embed the learning and have a positive impact on you and your organisation!”



Find out more about qualifications

Ask us about the right qualification for you


Get in touch

To find out more about how an accreditation could benefit you and your organisation, contact:

Gail English

0131 243 2670

NatWest Top 100
Living Wage
Scottish Government