Annual Review – Service
The needs of our customers are at the heart of everything we do. From hosting support and training events, to improving our online and digital services, to handling enquiries; we aim to provide our customers with the support and services they need.
Over the last year, we have run hundreds of events for centres to provide them with information and support. Our Customer Contact Centre provides a vital service to our customers by handling the large volume of telephone and e-mail enquiries we receive on a daily basis.
As an awarding body, we devise and develop qualifications, including the National Qualifications taught in secondary schools and colleges. We have been responsible for developing new National Qualifications which are being introduced to schools and colleges over a three-year period.
In the last year, we have introduced the new Higher qualification and dual-run both new and previous National Qualifications during the exam diet. We also continued to provide support for teachers and lecturers to help them with the introduction of the new qualifications.
SQA across the globe
SQA supports countries within emerging markets to develop their education provision, giving their people opportunities to progress and develop in life.
For example, our two-year Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) are allowing students to progress to degree study at universities and higher education institutions around the world. And to make this progression as smooth as possible, SQA has partnered with a number of highly regarded international institutions who will consider applications from SQA HND graduates.
You said…we did: customer satisfaction survey
We place a great deal of importance on customer feedback, and we listen carefully to the views of our customers. In 2014—15 we commissioned a customer satisfaction survey to gather information from our customers on their views of our performance, the levels of satisfaction they have experienced, and how they perceive SQA. This involved conducting telephone interviews with our customers across the UK.
Online and digital services
We are continually working to improve the digital services that we provide, and we have made a number of improvements to our website and apps in 2014–15. We also launched a new Android version of our study planner app and launched a new SQA Accreditation website.
Our social media presence is continuing to grow and this year, we set up a dedicated SQA customer support Twitter account to handle customer enquiries.
SQA showcases Wider Achievement Awards
Wider Achievement Awards are available in a number subjects such as employability, enterprise and volunteering skills. They complement SQA’s National Qualifications, giving young people an additional study option while at school or a qualification that can be delivered by an employer or a training provider.
We produced a series of short films that showcase the value and flexibility of our Wider Achievement Awards.
Styling for success with SQA's Steps to Work Award
There are many great examples of how SQA qualifications enable personal growth and support the Scottish economy. This includes the hairdressing and beauty sector.
We recently produced a short film that explores how East Renfrewshire Council’s Schools Vocational Programme and business partner Maxxell Training are using SQA’s Steps to Work Award in their programme ‘Style for Success (Steps to Work)’. The programme uses hairdressing and beauty therapy to re-engage young women from local secondary schools with education through a flexible and innovative approach to vocational study.
Engineering careers with an SQA National Certificate
Our qualifications cover a diverse range of topics and service a multitude of industries, including the engineering sector.
We recently produced a short film in collaboration with Glasgow School–College Business Partnership that demonstrates the benefits of partnership working to deliver an innovative scholarship programme in electrical engineering.
The partnership offers SQA’s National Certificate in Electrical Engineering through its one year scholarship programme, providing a unique pathway into a range of engineering occupations for S5 and S6 pupils in Glasgow.