What is Diva?
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) set up the Digital media and ICT Vendor Alliance (DIVA) Programme in 2004 to expand and enrich Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and digital media qualifications in Scotland, in particular the Higher National qualifications, by fostering collaboration with the global ICT and digital media industry.
The aim of DIVA was to give Scottish learners access within mainstream curriculum to industry-led vocational qualifications aligned to the needs of the workplace, in order to support employability. A subsidiary aim was to benefit from the substantial investment by vendors in high-quality curriculum and associated resources for both teaching and learning.
Currently there are 13 global industry vendors working as part of the DIVA project, with more to follow. All vendors are selected through a screening process which includes an objective scoring system and a consultation process with SQA centres.
A Memorandum of Understanding and a Non Disclosure Agreement is developed as the basis for collaboration, covering objectives, expectations and approximate resource allocations. These instruments have become models for subsequent projects in SQA.
For some of the vendors, a ‘Lead Centre’ was recruited, typically a College of Further Education, to act as a champion and ‘cascade’ DIVA products throughout the education sector in Scotland.
In October 2009, the SQA initiated a review of fresh opportunities for DIVA in terms of industry courseware and certifications. Specific objectives were to:
- Summarise current DIVA activities and plans
- Assess emerging opportunities with existing vendors
- Identify relevant opportunities with vendors outside the current DIVA framework
- Reflect on DIVA in the broader context of key technology trends and policy developments
- Outline a series of options for DIVA development encompassing vendor-related opportunities and new ways of working
The review was conducted within a short timescale from October 2009 to December 2009.
The 2009 review exercise led to a set of 10 recommendations as follows:
- Re-affirm and re-invigorate the role of DIVA as a strong vehicle for delivering SQA Corporate Business Plan 2009-2012 objectives and broader policy objectives.
- Raise the profile of DIVA within SQA, in particular assign responsibility as an internal DIVA Champion to a senior level post within SQA with a cross-departmental remit.
- Create a process for regular strategic level dialogue with DIVA vendor partners.
- Review the Lead Centre model to encompass cross-sector and cross-regional Lead Centre Partnerships, leveraging the benefits of existing vendor/education sector relationships.
- Expand the range of DIVA partners but review the selection criteria for which vendor developments to engage with, placing more emphasis on mapping to key industry trends and existing/predicted demand to ensure take up by learners and relevance to employers.
- Focus on mapping vendor certifications to awards rather than creation of vendor specific units, but take into account good practice in relevant vendor developments when building new units.
- Encourage vendors to submit their courseware and certifications for SCQF credit rating.
- Explore how DIVA can help to deliver the objectives of the Curriculum for Excellence development work.
- Address the sector requirements for stronger DIVA communications, showcasing and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.
- Use greater collaboration to achieve DIVA goals and leverage the potential benefits of DIVA.
As a result of the ongoing commitment to the DIVA project a brand new set of MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) are currently being developed in partnership with both existing and new vendors. o find out more about who those vendors are, and the developments being carried out with them, please visit the "Vendor Section".