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Secondary and Employability Services

Registered over 40 establishments to deliver our award - trained over 500 practitioners across Scotland. 

Including HMP Service where we worked with 9 prisoners who all received credits for the first time in their lives. 

“One young person took her book with her to a children’s panel meeting, which empowered her to speak about achievements and her progress and provided the evidence of her active involvement in learning. This was the first time this young person presented and spoke at a panel.

The young people liked the programme, it is topical and relevant, and encourages them to reflect on themselves. They like having their book, it’s their personal journey.”

  • Very positive about the programme – hoping to develop the programme over time

  • Develops a programme of engagement that offers consistency and continuity as well as providing evidence of a young person’s engagement, learning, development and progression.

  • It provides a recognition of achievement at different stages of development and understanding, and at a pace when they are ready.

  • Like that its structured but not in a rigid way

  • Like that it focuses on the individual

Feedback from practitioner

We have been using the Playback Awards for a few years as they cover real life situations, which students can relate to. The students enjoy working with the material and are gaining core and life skills in the process, while they can achieve an SCQF qualification. Some of the students did not have a great experience whilst at school and they have commented on how the materials have helped them achieve a better understanding of their place in the community and different options available to them.

We are lecturers at West Lothian College primarily working with students who have physical and/or mental health issues.

Stirling Council have had a very successful working relationship with Playback for a number of years since initial discussions around an accreditation for stand-alone SCQF Award Transition in Action for young people who are disadvantaged, isolated or have a form of learning disability …namely dyslexia or poor literacy.


Liz introduced us to the Playback SCQF Award, and we have used this award as a template around building resilience, confidence and communication skills. The young people are able to use the unit portfolios to initiate discussion around issues and developmental needs in a ‘young person’ friendly way and is open to individual interpretation – this allow each young person to personalise the learning experience.


Since the initial meeting and introduction to the self-evaluation (Personal Development) units we have utilised other modules and created a 13-week programme together where the core skills have been in embedded throughout. By working together and evaluating the outcomes and outputs from the units we have been able to introduce the level 4 Essential Skills to Employment Award that covers preparing for work and the steps needed to ensure sustained employment.


The structure of our programme relates entirely around the Playback Awards model with extension activities and other accredited and non-accredited certificates and vocational training and more than meets the requirements set by Skills Development Scotland for output claims. The constant evaluation and learning point requirements ensure that all learners take ownership of their learning and greater empowerment is given.


The Essential Skills for Employment Award units (10) outline the steps needed to work towards a work placement and the use of the module to capture and record the experiences are useful in going forward.


The unit portfolios are used as presented evidence for auditors and SDS assessment and have been highlighted as good practise for delivery of the funded programme. The opportunity to access the portfolios remotely increases the inclusion of young people who would previously be geographically excluded and the ability to offer ongoing support to individual’s means there is no time pressure or restriction – again this means young people are not disadvantaged in any way.

Stirling Council have had a very successful working relationship with Playback for a number of years

Our young people have faced many trauma’s in their lives which has meant they have missed out on various learning which includes life, skills, discussions on future career choices, basics of health & hygiene these are just a few of the areas that are affected. The Playback SCQF Award units have been of huge benefit to 100+ of our young people to date in supporting them to learn about these basics in a structured way that allows them to explore their current abilities and look at how they can increase their knowledge and what may be available to them in the future. Often the young people have had very disrupted education meaning they have none or very few qualifications, again these units have provided them with the opportunity to increase their qualifications which they can add to their CV’s to support them progressing with their transitions and improves self-worth and confidence.

I am a Throughcare worker supporting looked after and accommodated young people in secure and Residential units.

The Moving on - Transition in Action Award was completed by a number of pupils who would have otherwise not gained any qualifications, they successfully were awarded 10 SCQF credits within a few months, this outcome brought a sense of pride to our pupils.

Due to this success we have introduced the Playback Essential Skills for Employment Award to our Senior Wider Achievement class, both teachers and pupils appreciate the straightforward layout of the unit portfolios and pupils can easily identify their skills and qualities and they feel better prepared in planning their future.

Within our cohort, 16 of our senior pupils are due to start a work experience; this is working alongside the Work Experience unit that is included in the Essential Skills for Employment Award. This has given pupils a detailed structure of what to expect when they are in a working environment and what is expected of the employer.

Wick High School have been using Playback Awards for a number of years and have been a great alternative for pupils to gain SCQF credits.

Image by Austin Distel
Introducing the Essential Skills for Employment Award SCQF Level 3 and 4
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