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Professional Accreditation Scheme

The Scottish Widening Access Professional Accreditation Scheme

SCAPP’s key aim is to provide a practitioners’ network to support the development and professionalisation of a strong widening access and participation community in Scotland and by doing this embed, enhance and support effective practice in Scotland. Central to this is the Quality Standards objective which aims to ensure quality of practice by supporting and promoting the alignment of practice with evidence.

To support this objective, SCAPP is developing a new Professional Accreditation Scheme that aims to provide professional recognition for individuals working in Widening Access and Widening Participation (WA and WP). The Scheme will support and promote continuing professional learning and development of staff working in WA and WP across all sectors.

The Scheme’s objectives are to: raise the profile of WA and WP,  share practitioner knowledge and best practice and celebrate success; promote and support continuing professional learning and development of people working WA and WP, help to build practice-based research and evaluation capacity, provide individuals with a measure of success and provide WA and WP practitioners with a clear understanding of enhancements needed to continually professionally learn and develop to improve WA and WP provision and services.

We expect the Professional Accreditation Scheme to offer the following benefits:

  • Provide professional recognition for your work and achievements in WA and WP
  • Enhance the quality of practice in WA and WP and endorse the value and experience of your professional practice.
  • Reward your commitment to WA and WP and illustrate the impact your work has had to enable those most marginalised in society to reach their potential.
  • Provide a vehicle for you to benchmark your practice against national WA and WP standards and evidence quality assured professional practice to employers and other key stakeholders such as funding bodies.
  • Enhance your Professional Learning/CPD portfolio and provide opportunities that allows you to stand out in a competitive job market by being able to evidence the contribution you have made to the development of WA and WP.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to learn and keep up with the latest professional practice.
  • Provide an opportunity for you to engage with and contribute to a growing community of WA and WP practitioners in Scotland and beyond.

The Professional Accreditation Scheme is currently in development and has at its core a Professional Standards Framework which sets out professional practice in WA and WP under three inter-related themes:

  • What we Value
  • What we Do
  • What we Know and Understand

The intention is to offer professional accreditation at three levels: Affiliate level; Practitioner Level; and Leadership Level. The final draft of the Professional Accreditation Scheme will be completed by the end of May 2021` with a view to piloting it from September 2021.  We are planning a series of short information and feedback sessions in June 2021 and more information will be circulated across the SCAPP network when these dates are finalised.

For further information please contact 

Information and Consultation event June 2021 Resources

Two events were held in June 2021 for practitioners. This covered the context and background to the Professional Standards Framework and Accreditation Scheme, the benefits, further information about the levels of the Scheme that colleagues can apply for, the process, the planned pilot of the programme which will be launched from August 2021 and an opportunity for questions and answers.

A pdf of the slides can be found here.

An edited version of the online meeting video is available here 

Please note that the acronym associated with Widening Access and Participation used in this presentation will be reviewed in the light of feedback and changes will be reflected in any further presentations or documents related to the Professional Standards Framework and Accreditation Scheme and any other related documents and text.

Further information about the pilot will be circulated to all SCAPP members and uploaded to this page in August 2021

Any enquiries about the Scheme at this stage should be sent to