Core skills are five skills that are key to learning and working in today's world, identified by employers as the skills most likely to be needed in any work environment. This does not mean that every job will need people who are proficient in all five core skills but it does mean that every job will require some level of ability in some or all of these skills.

The five core skills are:

  • Communication
  • Numeracy
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others.

All five core skills must be included in the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) and applied at a minimum required level according to the level of the MA. In some instances, different levels may be acceptable but Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) would need to provide evidence to justify different levels. SSCs must provide the core skills signpost approved by SQA accreditation as a minimum.

Where the SSC believes core skills are embedded in the mandatory qualification and do not require separate certification, then a detailed mapping exercise must be included within the framework submission.

If core skills are not embedded in the mandatory units of the SVQ, they must be separately certificated; the relevant section in the Framework document should make this clear. Examples of core skills mapping

Follow the links below to view example of core skills mapping for different sectors at a range of levels. Please note that some of the documents may be an extremely large size, so bear this in mind if you intend to print them.

Agriculture at SVQ Level 2 and SVQ Level 3

Finance and Accounting at SVQ Level 2, SVQ Level 3 and SVQ Level 4

Horticulture at SVQ Level 2 and SVQ Level 3

Health and Social Care at SVQ Level 2 and SVQ Level 3 and SVQ Level 4

Children's Care, Learning and Development at SVQ Level 3 and SVQ Level 4

Guidance on core skills mapping and signposting can be found at the SQA Accreditation website.

Related information


Read Guidance for Sector Skills Council: Overview

Read an overview of Technical and Professional Apprenticeships