CodeClan offering SQA's PDA in Software Development

                                                                                                                               24 February 2016 

Scotland’s only digital skills academy has become the first in the UK to offer its students a Professional Development Award (PDA) from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). 

CodeClan teaches students to code software in an intensive 16-week course and will be the first educational facility in the world to offer SQA’s internationally recognised PDA in Software Development.

CodeClan has been instrumental in working alongside SQA to establish this new award, which will be available at three levels on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9). The new PDA will also be available to all SQA approved educational and training facilities.

CodeClan CEO, Harvey Wheaton said: “It’s a thrill to be able to offer our students the unique opportunity to have their time and hard work at CodeClan recognised on a national and international level with this award.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding seeing our students produce such impressive work at the completion of the course and now we can provide them with this fantastic SQA qualification.”

All students at CodeClan will be given an opportunity to complete the three units that comprise the Level 8 SQA PDA. Students may also be given the opportunity to achieve a Level 9 SQA PDA as part of their ongoing life learning following graduation.

The three units that make up the Level 8 SQA PDA include analysis and design, implementation and testing, and project work. Students will be required to achieve these three units throughout their 16-week course at CodeClan in order to be eligible for the award.

In the future, CodeClan hopes to be able to offer the Level 7 SQA PDA award as part of its continuing expansion of courses.

Dr Janet Brown, Chief Executive of SQA, said: “I am delighted to see the new PDA in Software Development delivering for students at CodeClan. In line with the Digital Skills Investment Plan for Scotland, SQA is committed to working with the digital skills industry to provide relevant qualifications. These upskill employees and support the sector in addressing current skills shortages.

“I'd like to wish all those currently working on or about to start the PDA all the best in their studies.”

Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, Annabelle Ewing, said: “This is very positive news for students involved with the skills academy. An SQA-accredited qualification will help them build up their CV, improve their employability and give them an excellent chance of taking up a career in software development.”

Claire Gillespie, Key Sector Manager for ICT and Digital Technologies at Skills Development Scotland said: “This accreditation shows that both students and employers can be confident in CodeClan to teach the skills required by industry for a career in software development.
“CodeClan is already making a difference to Scotland’s digital sector with the first graduates entering the workplace, and SQA accreditation underlines its potential in helping to put Scotland at the forefront of a growing global market.”

Industry led and government backed, CodeClan opened its doors late last year amid a global shortage of digital skills professionals and aims to produce a steady stream of junior software developers every 10 weeks. 

Forecasts suggest that Scotland alone could offer up to 11,000 job opportunities a year in the digital sector, rising by 2,000 every year. The academy intends to create a new generation of software developers that will allow Scotland’s vibrant digital sector to flourish and drive the economy. 

CodeClan has the backing of Digital World, a campaign to promote careers in the digital technology industry, which has been developed by the sector in partnership with Skills Development Scotland.

For more information visit the CodeClan website.