Connecting With SQA - SQA's Monthly E-zine.

Thursday, 9 March 2006
Issue 5

Developments in National Qualifications in Urdu

We are pleased to announce that the Scottish Executive has approved a business case to support the introduction of a National Course in Urdu at Higher.

It is likely that Higher Urdu would be available from August 2007, with first certification in August 2008. This new Course would allow for progression from Standard Grade Urdu.

PHOTO: Cover of SQA's Quality Framework: a guide for centres.

Quality Framework

SQA’s Quality Framework: a guide for centres will be published in March. The quality framework replaces an earlier publication Quality Assurance Principles, Elements and Criteria.

The revision, whilst not changing our framework in any major way, has focused on updating. It reflects emerging practice and sets out our quality framework with a focus on the consideration of candidate needs, working in partnership with centres, and use of simplified language. As part of the revision of terminology the term 'verification' will be used (this will replace 'moderation').

The quality framework will be supported by revised policy, where needed, and guidelines to support centres. The new framework will come into active use from August 2006, with revised guidelines being updated as required over the next year.

There will be further consultation with stakeholders before this to establish appropriate arrangements for our support to centres, including auditing of centres with devolved authority.

Professional Development Workshops We are running the following Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) in March:

  • Appeals Exemplificationin Higher English
    Wednesday 15 March in Glasgow

  • Assessment and Portfolio Building in an SVQ Programme
    Tuesday 21 March in Dalkeith

If either of these workshops would help with your Continuing Professional Development, please click on the link below for further information and our Registration Form. Alternatively, call our Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000, where someone will be happy to help process your booking.
» Register your place. Remember places are limited.

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and Scottish Qualifications Certificate(SQC) Events During May and June our team of Customer Account Managers (CAMs) will be running events for centres and stakeholders in each of the thirty-two local authority areas.

The events will consist of a presentation, lasting for about 1 hour on SCQF and the SQC and we would like to see as many people from your centre there as you think appropriate.

The aim of these events is to:

  • offer guidance on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF)
  • highlight recent changes to the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC)
  • enable centres to provide a presentation to staff, candidates, parents and other interested parties on these important developments

Your Account Manager will be in touch with you, by e-mail, to give you further details on the event in your local area.

Get Going with PC Passport We are working with Leckie and Leckie to bring our school and college customers to a promotional event on Wednesday 26 April 2006.

'Get Going with PC Passport' will be an opportunity for potential customers to hear of others' experience of PC Passport as well as receiving a free copy of Leckie and Leckie's recently published PC Passport Course Notes for Beginner Level. There are two editons of this publication, one for school candidates and one aimed at college candidates. Each school and college will receive invitations to the Edinburgh event very soon.

» Find out more about the publications.
Skills for Work – Information for Parents Why are the Skills for Work Courses being introduced? What does piloting mean? How will the Courses be certificated?

These are just a few of the questions answered in the 'Information for Parents' leaflet. The leaflet also explains why these Courses have been introduced, what is meant by employability and how Skills for Work Courses will help career prospects for young people.

» Access the leaflet.

Get involved in the HN Design Rules Evaluation We are currently undertaking a preliminary evaluation of the Design Rules for Higher National Qualifications agreed in 2003.

We are very keen to get the views of as many course coordinators involved in the development or delivery of any Higher National Qualification completed under these new design rules.

A simple questionnaire has been devised to seek those views.

» Request the questionnaire.

New Approval and Verification Manager Matthew McCullagh joined the Quality Assurance team on 13 February 2006 as the new manager for Approval and Verification.

Matthew has a background in further education and has been working with us as a full-time moderator for the past two years, so may already be known to a number of centre staff.

He replaces Jean Allan who has moved to our International Team.

History of Scotland's Higher National qualifications: the 1950s To mark the 80th anniversary of Higher National qualifications, we continue a series of historical snippets through the decades.

The 'birth of the teenager', the Suez Crisis, the launch of the Sputnik programme by the Russians and the theft of the Stone of Destiny were hitting the headlines – and in Scotland the drive to extend further education was gaining momentum.

In 1956, a major building programme proposing fifteen colleges was launched. It was a considered response to fears that the standard of science and technology training in Scotland was running the risk of lagging behind, in a global context.

The initial training focus may have been on industry, but business and commerce were not forgotten, with the opening of Chesters in Bearsden, the first Management School in Great Britain, and two extensions to the Scottish College of Commerce.

Learndirect Scotland Conference We had a presence at the Learndirect Scotland Conference held in Glasgow on 6th March. The event, attended by over 300 delegates, gave us the opportunity to update both existing and new customers to our products.
Click here to view the National Qualifications section of SQA's website. Click here to view the Higher National section of SQA's website.