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What Are SVQs?

Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are competence-based qualifications that recognise the standard of work and experience gained by a candidate in their job role.

What Are Modern Apprenticeships?

As with SVQs, Modern Apprenticeships give people the ability to show competence within an occupational area while, at the same time, working towards a nationally recognised qualification. They are made up of an SVQ at Level 2 or above, a range of additional units and relevant Core Skills.

Qualifications For Entry

There are no formal educational entry qualifications required to start an SVQ or Modern Apprenticeship. However, for any Modern Apprenticeship qualifications attracting a contribution from Skills Development Scotland, candidates cannot be in full-time education or have had a similar qualification at the same level contributed to previously by Skills Development Scotland. Candidates will be assessed to ascertain the most appropriate level of entry.


A contribution towards the qualification may be available for candidates who meet the Qualifications for Entry as specified by Skills Development Scotland.

SVQ and Modern Apprenticeship Levels

Muir Slicer Associates Ltd can provide SVQs and Modern Apprenticeships from Level 2 to Level 5, depending on the qualification. As these qualifications are assessed in the workplace, the candidate must hold a position that gives them access to the evidence they require to gather in order to compile a portfolio. A benefit to the employer is that SVQs and Modern Apprenticeships relate to work your employees are involved with and can be used to monitor their progress.

SVQs And Modern Apprenticeships Available

Muir Slicer Associates Ltd can provide SVQ assessment in the following skill areas at various levels:

  • Business and Administration
  • Learning and Development
  • Management
  • Retail Skills
  • Retail Management

Modern Apprenticeships are also available in many of the skill areas outlined above.

At Muir Slicer Associates Ltd, our SVQ and Modern Apprenticeship candidates now use an electronic portfolio called OneFile.  In your electronic portfolio you will find all the units and elements which make up your qualification and you and your assessor can upload evidence to prove your competence.  All candidates are given an induction to explain how to access their OneFile, how to download and upload information and also a password.

How Long Does It Take To Complete A Qualification?

The time to complete an SVQ or Modern Apprenticeship varies depending upon the experience of the candidate, their level of commitment to achieving the qualification and the level of qualification being worked towards. As a rough guide, a Level 2 qualification can take between 6 – 9 months and a Level 3 between 9 – 15 months. Modern Apprenticeships, due to their nature and design, tend to take slightly longer. The Retail Skills Council have stipulated that it must take at least 9 months to complete a Modern Apprenticeship in Retail Management or Visual Merchandising.

These timescales should only be taken as a rough guide as all candidates progress at different rates.


On completion of the SVQ or Modern Apprenticeship, and successful verification of the portfolio, the candidate will be awarded a certificate by the relevant Awarding Body eg, SQA or City and Guilds. Candidates completing a Modern Apprenticeship will also receive a certificate from the relevant Industry Skills Council.

Appreticeships video