Last Updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The six point scale

What is this?

Who is this for?

Anyone who volunteers or works in the CLD sector or who uses CLD methodologies in their work.

The six-point scale is a tool for grading the quality indicators. It is mainly used by Education Scotland, local authorities and other governing bodies for the purpose of national and/or local benchmarking across a number of establishments. It is not necessary for individual CLD providers or partnerships to measure themselves against the six-point scale although they may choose to do so. It should be noted that, when a grading is applied, it is for the whole quality indicator. Individual themes should not be graded. In education, an evaluation can be arrived at in a range of contexts. We need to bear in mind that awarding levels using a quality scale will always be more of a professional skill than a technical process. However, the following general guidelines should be consistently applied

An evaluation of excellent means that this aspect of CLD provision is outstanding and sector-leading. The experiences and achievements of the people we work with are of a very high quality. An evaluation of excellent represents an outstanding standard of provision which exemplifies very best practice, based on achieving equity and inclusion and a deep professional understanding which is being shared to support system-wide improvement. It implies that very high levels of performance are sustainable and will be maintained.

An evaluation of very good means that there are major strengths in this aspect of CLD provision. There are very few areas for improvement and any that do exist do not significantly diminish service users’ or learners’ experiences. An evaluation of very good represents a high standard of provision for all service users/learners and is a standard that should be achievable by all. There is an expectation that providers will make continued use of self-evaluation to plan further improvements and will work towards improving provision and performance to excellent.

An evaluation of good means that there are important strengths within CLD provision yet there remains some aspects which require improvement. The strengths have a significantly positive impact on almost all service users and learners. The quality of service users’ or learners’ experiences is diminished in some way by aspects in which improvement is required. It implies that providers should seek to improve further the areas of important strength and also take action to address the areas for improvement.

An evaluation of satisfactory means that strengths within this aspect of CLD provision just outweigh the weaknesses. It indicates that service users/learners have access to a basic level of provision. It represents a standard where the strengths have a positive impact on service users’ or learners’ experiences. While the weaknesses are not important enough to have a substantially adverse impact, they do constrain the overall quality of service users’ or learners’ experiences. CLD providers need to take action to address areas of weakness by building on strengths.

An evaluation of weak means that there are important weaknesses within this aspect of CLD provision. While there may be some strengths, the important weaknesses, either individually or collectively, are sufficient to diminish service users’ or learners’ experiences in substantial ways. It implies the need for prompt, structured and planned action on the part of CLD providers.

An evaluation of unsatisfactory means there are major weaknesses within this aspect of CLD provision which require immediate remedial action. Service users’ or learners’ experiences are at risk in significant respects. In almost all cases, staff responsible for CLD provision will require support from senior managers in planning and carrying out the necessary actions to effect improvement. This may involve working alongside other partners.


Level 6


outstanding or sector leading

Level 5

Very good

major strengths

Level 4


important strengths with areas for improvement

Level 3


strengths just outweigh weaknesses

Level 2


important weaknesses

Level 1


major weaknesses



PDF file: The six point scale (96 KB)