Glossary

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Glossary

Scottish education and training is full of acronyms and special terminology. These are some of the ones that you'll come across in everyday use by SQA, but it is by no means a definitive or exhaustive list!

A

ACE

Adult and Continuing Education

APL

Accreditation of Prior Learning (the process which enables candidates to receive certification for past achievements. These may have been acquired through work experience, leisure pursuits or training. APL focuses on the competences which can be demonstrated at the time)

Appeals

The process where a centre can appeal against either a candidate's external assessment result or a quality assurance decision against the centre

Approved Centre

The term used by SQA to describe the place where candidates undertake qualifications

APS

Awards Processing System (SQA's computer system for processing candidate registrations, entries and results)

Assessment

The process of collecting and interpreting evidence of candidate performance

Assessment on demand

The use of the assessment process to confirm competence without requiring candidates to undertake any further training

Assessor

The person who applies the assessment process to candidates for their achievement of a qualification

Assessor and Verifier Units

Nationally-devised Units which centre staff can complete to prove their competence in the assessment process

C

Candidate

The term given to a person undertaking an SQA qualification

CBAL

Community Based Adult Learning

Core Skills

Transferable skills and knowledge which underpin lifelong learning, work and social life, and are assessed as part of all SQA's qualification families

CoSLA

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
View CoSLA website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

Credit transfer

The process by which recognised competences or formal qualifications in one area are accepted as evidence of achievement in another area

CSYS

Certificate of Sixth Year Studies (discontinued)

D

DfEE

Department for Education and Employment - now called Department for Education and Skills (DfES)
View DfES website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

DGSA

Dangerous Goods Safety Advisers
View DGSA website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

DSO

Data Solutions Officer

E

EBP

Education Business Partnerships

EV

External Verifier (the SQA official who checks that the assessment process for SVQs has been valid, reliable and practicable)

Evidence

What the candidate produces to prove competence/ability against the qualification

External assessment

Assessment of a candidate's competence/ability against a qualification under exam conditions

F

FE

Further Education

G

GCSE

General Certificate of Secondary Education (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland - equivalent to Standard Grade)

GNVQ

General National Vocational Qualification (a qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland)

GSVQ

General Scottish Vocational Qualification (discontinued)

H

HE

Higher Education

HIE

Highlands and Islands Enterprise
View HIE website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

HN

Higher National

HNC

Higher National Certificate

HND

Higher National Diploma

I

ICT

Information and Communications Technology

ILA

Individual Learning Accounts
View ILA website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

Independent assessment

An instrument of assessment applied by the awarding body to improve the rigour and credibility of assessment decisions across different awarding bodies and centres

Internal assessment

Assessment of a candidate's competence which occurs within an approved centre

Internal Verifier/ Moderator

The person within the centre who checks that the assessment process has been valid, reliable and practicable

K

KU

Knowledge and Understanding

L

LEC

Local Enterprise Company

LSC

Learning and Skills Council
View LSC website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

LTS

Learning and Teaching Scotland
View LTS website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

M

MA

Modern Apprenticeship
View MASCOT website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

Marking scheme

Pre-determined answers against a Unit/Course specification which is used to judge candidates' evidence

N

NAB

National Assessment Bank

NC

National Course or National Certificate

NGFL National Grid for Learning
View NGFL website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

NOS

National Occupational Standards (see Occupational standards)

NQ

National Qualification

NRA

National Record of Achievement

NVQ

National Vocational Qualification

O

Occupational standards

In SVQs, standards determined by a Sector Skills Council relating to skills and knowledge considered relevant to particular jobs in that industrial sector

Open learning

Learning which is flexibly designed to make education and training widely accessible. Includes flexistudy, open access, distance learning, learning by appointment and independent study

OU

Open University
View Open University website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

P

PA

Principal Assessor

PBNC

Project-based National Course

PDA

Professional Development Award (SQA qualifications made up of Higher National or SVQ Units)

Portfolio

A folder or booklet containing indexed and organised candidate evidence relevant to a qualification

Practical competence

The candidate's ability to perform manual and/or behavioural tasks

PS

Problem Solving - one of the Core Skills

Q

QA

Quality Assurance

QAM

Quality Assurance Manager. Official appointed by SQA to check a centre's quality assurance management systems in respect of delivery of qualifications.

R

RER

Registrations, Entries and Results - collective term for these SQA procedures, and the manual that covers them (though this has been replaced with the Operational Help Centre). You may also see references to REUR - Registrations, Entries and Unit Results

RET

Record of Education and Training (an earlier form of the SQC)

S

SCE

Scottish Certificate of Education (now discontinued)

SCN

Scottish Candidate Number

SCOTCAT

Scottish Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme

SCOTie

SQA individual enrolment system (predecessor of the APS)

SCQF

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
View SCQF website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

SEED

Scottish Government Education Department
View SEED website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

SEN

Special Education Needs

SFEU

Scottish Further Education Unit
View SFEU website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

SGA

Scottish Group Award

SLN

Special Learning Needs

SME

Small to medium-sized enterprise

Special assessment arrangements

Alternative instruments of assessment and/or support to enable a candidate to demonstrate competence against the qualification standards

SPA

Scottish Progression Award

SQC

Scottish Qualifications Certificate

SQMS

Scottish Quality Management System
View SQMS website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

SSA Scot

Sector Skills Alliance Scotland
View SSA Scot website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

SSC

Sector Skills Council

SSDA

Sector Skills Development Agency
View SSDA website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

STN

Special Training Needs

SVQ

Scottish Vocational Qualification

SWAP

Scottish Wider Access Programme
View SWAP website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

T

T & D

Training and Development

U

UfI

University for Industry
View UfI website GRAPHIC: Web Link icon - clicking on this link will open a new window.

V

VET

Vocational Education and Training