NPA Aquaculture

The National Progression Award (NPA) in Aquaculture develops a candidate’s interest in aquaculture and supports the requirements of recent recruits to the salmon farming industry. Set at SCQF levels 4 and 5, the Award takes a very practical and vocational approach with much of the delivery taking place, where possible, at aquaculture sites.

At level 4, the NPA introduces candidates to local aquatic environments and aquaculture activities, and provides the flexibility to study and experience finfish and/or shellfish production.

At level 5, the NPA provides an insight into aquaculture which will enable candidates to confirm their interest in the sector as a career or pathway to further study.

The NPA in Aquaculture also develops employability skills and Core Skills. It is available through a limited number of training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

Aquaculture was identified by the Scottish Government as a priority industry and is an economically significant industry in the north-west of Scotland.

The Award is designed to be completed within one academic year at either level. Delivery can be tailored to suit the pace, level and needs of the candidate, usually part-time as part of a full-time school programme. It can be delivered on a full-time basis if preferred by employers. A significant proportion of the qualification can be completed on a flexible, open-learning basis.

For centres, the NPA creates opportunities to offer partnership delivery. The Award can be offered across Scotland and the frameworks permit local tailoring by centres to serve local needs.

The programme at SCQF level 4 can be delivered in school or at college, or in school supported by college tutors.

The NPA at SCQF level 5 can be delivered in college in collaboration with a school, or at work in collaboration with a school and college.

Who does this qualification suit

The main target audiences for the NPA in Aquaculture are secondary school candidates and recently recruited fish-farm staff.

The NPA at SCQF level 4 is suited to secondary school S3–4 candidates with a genuine interest in the aquatic environment and aquaculture.

The NPA at SCQF level 5 is aimed at anyone looking for an insight into global aquaculture together with practical work experience and skills development. This will include S5–6 candidates; recent fish-farm husbandry recruits undergoing induction; and individuals seeking a career change.

Both levels offer the skills required by industry and real work experience, leaving candidates in a better position for a career in the sector.

Access

Entry is at the discretion of the centre. A genuine interest in aquaculture is highly desirable.

No specific formal qualifications are required. It would be beneficial if candidates possessed Communication, Numeracy, ICT, Problem Solving and Working with Others at SCQF level 3 for the level 4 NPA and at SCQF level 4 for the level 5 NPA.

Progression

Successful candidates could progress to:

  • the NPA at SCQF level 5 (from level 4)
  • SVQ Level 2 in Aquaculture
  • ocally devised FE programmes at SCQF levels 4–6

With the appropriate educational profile, candidates could also progress to:

  • PDA in Fish and Aquatic Science
  • HNC in Fish Farming

Approval

Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

Centres will require access to a fish farm/aquaculture facility or suitable training facility.

How to assess

There are no closed-book end-of-Unit assessments. Instead, tasks completed and information gathered will go towards a portfolio of evidence.

Assessment takes place at various points during the programme. A wide range of assessment methods are used within the Units including multiple-choice questions, short reports, portfolios, and observation of practical tasks.

Assessments requiring a written report are completed to a given structure for SCQF level 4, ensuring that the challenge presented is appropriate to the level. The use of online multiple-choice questions is recommended for assessing factual knowledge, thus allowing more schools to access the qualification and limiting college delivery time.

Practical assessments within the aquaculture Units can be completed on a fish-farm or within a college training facility.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code:

G9D8 44 (24 SCQF credit points) SCQF level: 4

G9D9 45 (24 SCQF credit points) SCQF level: 5

Structure

At level 4, candidates are required to take two mandatory Units (one SQA credit, 6 SCQF credit points) and optional Units totalling three SQA credits (18 SCQF credit points), with at least one credit coming from the Restricted Optional section.

At level 5, candidates are required to take two mandatory Units (two SQA credits, 12 SCQF credit points) and optional Units totalling two SQA credits (12 SCQF credit points), with at least one credit coming from the Restricted Optional section.

NPA Level 4:

Mandatory Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

North European Aquaculture: An Introduction

F6T9 10

0.5

Aquatic Environment: Local Investigation

F6TA 10

0.5

Restricted Optional Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

Aquaculture: An Introduction to Finfish Production

F6TB 10

1

Aquaculture: An Introduction to Shellfish Production

F6TC 10

1

Optional Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

Aquaculture: Basic Seamanship

F6TD 10

0.5

Scottish Sea Fisheries: An Introduction

F6TE 10

0.5

Establishing a Business Identity

F5GA 10

0.25

Business and Finance: An Introduction

F5G8 10

0.25

Business and Marketing: An Introduction

F5G9 10

0.25

Business and E-Commerce: An Introduction

F9G7 10

0.25

Work Experience

D36H 10

1

NPA Level 5

Mandatory Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

Global Aquaculture

F6TF 11

1

Aquatic Environments for Aquaculture

F6TG 11

1

Restricted Optional Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

Aquaculture: Salmonid Ova Production

F6TH 11

1

Aquaculture: Floating Cage Fish Farm Operations

F6TJ 11

1

Optional Units:

Unit title

Code

SQA credit value

Aquaculture: An Introduction to Finfish Production

F6TB 10

1

Aquaculture: An Introduction to Shellfish Production

F6TC 10

1

Starting in Business

DK2P 11

1

Work Experience

D36H 11

1

Any other information
The knowledge-based components of the NPAs have been mapped to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Aquaculture.

It is possible to complete the Work Experience Unit* by undertaking a work placement, developing generic employability skills and attitudes, and satisfying the Unit Outcomes.

*Although many employers are not prepared to supervise 14–16 year old pupils on marine facilities due to insurance implications, the risks associated with a land-based hatchery are considerably lower, and these facilities may provide opportunities for relevant work experience in the short term.

Arrangements Documents

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