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ETP E-zine.

22 August 2008
Issue 29



PHOTO: Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief ExecutiveI am very pleased to welcome you to this second special issue of the SQA e-zine specifically for you, our employer and training provider customers. Here we will highlight some of our products and services that can bring benefits to your staff and to your business.

We all need to support our primary resource – our people – with skills and knowledge to be able to respond to economic demands and the ability to compete in an increasing global economy.

Together, working through the Scottish Government’s Skills Strategy, we can achieve a skilled and productive Scotland that supports growth for individuals, business and society.

I hope you find these articles informative and useful to you and your business. Please let us know what you think.

Janet Brown
Chief Executive

New Qualifications in Renewable Energy Systems

IMAGE: Wind Turbine
With European Union targets for the UK to produce 20% of energy from renewables by 2020, we can no longer rely on fossil fuels alone. If this country is to limit global environmental damage we should look at the role that renewable energy technologies may play in meeting energy demands.

In response to this challenge, we have developed a new qualification in Renewable Energy Systems, aimed at people already in a career within this area and designed to extend or broaden skills in the workplace. This qualification provides a knowledge and understanding of other available energy systems.

Our Professional Development Award (PDA) in Renewable Energy  Systems (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 8) is designed from Higher National (HN) Units, which can also contribute to optional Units for either the Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) in Engineering Systems.

Undertaking this qualification will provide knowledge and understanding of the physics and engineering which is relevant to current and future trends in energy production, sustainability and energy conservation issues. It also enables valid comparisons between technologies when solving energey related problems.

There is interest for our PDA not only in Scotland but in the rest of the UK. Organisations are delighted to see a Renewable Energy qualifications at SCQF Level 8 because the majority of qualifications in this subject are at post-graduate level.

For more information on our PDAs, please contact Alison Spice, Business Development Manager.

Find out more about this exciting qualification.


MySQA is our web-based facility that is designed to offer SQA candidates secure access to their SQA record. Phase 1 of MySQA was launched on 1 May this year. It was principally promoted to students sitting school exams who could register online to receive their exam results by email and/or text message.

On 5 August we sent out exam results by email to 20,414 students and by text message to 13,574 students.

When we launch phase 2 of MySQA in the Autumn, we will be promoting the service and its benefits to your candidates. As part of Phase 2, qualification information will be available for candidates to view online. This means that candidates will be able to see Courses and Units they are currently doing, results we have received for Courses and Units and all SQA qualifications they have been certificated for. They will also be able to check that the personal details we hold for them are correct.

We will send you more information about MySQA and its benefits over the next couple of months. If you have any questions about MySQA in the meantime, please email Jacqui Murray.

Tell us about your stars

LOGO: star awards
Our annual star awards recognise the success, triumph and achievement of the best in Scottish education and training. There is fantastic and inspirational work being delivered in our schools, colleges and workplaces by committed individuals and partnerships. Why not take a few moments to put them forward for a prestigious SQA Award. You have nothing to lose and potentially a huge amount to gain!

Award categories for employers and training providers are:

We've had an incredible response to our 2008 star awards - so much so that we are extending the deadline for nominations until Friday 29 August. Nominating couldn't be easier as it is exclusively online. Simply follow the link below to see full details of all the Award categories and submit your nomination.

If you have a star in mind - for any category - get on board and nominate them today!

More information on the star awards.

Safer Surfing

IMAGE: Internet Safety
With the increase in identity  theft and other internet related threats relating to children, the Government, through various initiatives, is driving forward an agenda to help ensure the ‘safe guarding’ of  everyone’s use of the Net. There is a need  to raise awareness, among users, of the dangers of  surfing the Net and for users to be able to recognise and deal with the threats that exist. Everyone using the Net is at risk from children to silver surfers.

Our Internet Safety Intermediate 1 Unit is a great means of

With on-line based learning and assessment available from us, delivery and assessment is relatively simple and straightforward and the qualification can be introduced with the minimum of investment  in time, effort and expense.

Our Social Software Intermediate 2 Unit is an ideal progression partner for Internet Safety, covering a range of Social Networking tools including,

There is an opportunity here for Training Providers looking to diversify. There is a significant  potential market ranging from employers to parents, children and grandparents who are all now regularly surfing the Net. If you would be interested in hearing more about our Internet Safety or Social Software qualifications please contact Bob Marren, Business Development Manager on 07770 537 401.

Find out more.

New Licensing Qualifications - Helping Scotland serve safely

LOGO: SQA Licensing QualificationsAs many of you will know, the law that governs how alcohol is to be sold is changing, requiring all those involved with the supervision of the sale or service of alcohol to be trained and qualified to a set standard.

In response to these changes, we have developed a suite of four qualificaitons and courses for both personal licence holders and staff, in the hospitality and retail sectors:

Our Qualifications Manager, Christine Keenan says, 'We wanted to be sure that what we created not only meets the requirements of the legislation, but also the needs of the people who have to do the training.'

In addition to the new qualificaitons, we have also created a series of handbooks to accompany the Courses, which will not only get people through their qualification, but will also be an invaluable guide as the new law comes into force and begins to have an impact on business.

Find out more.

Qualifications you recognise - in skills you need

GRAPHIC: Skills for Work roadsign.Skills for Work Qualifications were developed and launched as a direct response to your need for school leavers to be prepared for employment with the basic skills and attitudes which will help them succeed in a complex world.

There are Skills for Work Qualifications at Access, Intermediate and Higher levels related to a broad spectrum of professions – 19 at present. Employability skills are taught in practical environments linked to professions students are interested in from hairdressing to hospitality and construction to financial services.

When you see a Skills for Work Qualification on a CV you know they have gained those skills all good employees have.

Find out more about our range of Skills for Work Courses.

English for Speakers of Other Languages


Over the last five years, we have provided work-based English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) qualifications to learners who are in work, or who are preparing for work. Using this experience, we have developed Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA)-approved Certificates in 'ESOL for Work' at National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Entry 3 and Level 1 for the market in England, and our own Customised Certificates at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 4 and Level 5 for Scotland.

The new ESOL for Work qualifications were launched last year by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Cirencester College quickly grasped the opportunity to market the qualfications, producing Courses that were tailored to meet the needs of local employers and enabling their migrant worker employees to achieve a recognised ESOL qualification.

Anna Marshall, Head of ESOL at Cirencester College, said, 'Employers have realised the value of offering their workers the opportunity to build their language skills, and learn the language needed for their workplace. They have an obligation to ensure that their staff understand health and safety requirements and adhere to them. They want them to be able to work effectively with other employees, and they also need to ensure that their customers are receiving the level and quality  of service they expect. This requires a workforce that is skilled at communicating with customers. The SQA ESOL for Work qualifications lend themselves to being adapted to meet the needs of employers.'

PHOTO: Madison Hotel & Conference Centre staff

Cirencester College has been so successful that they are now delivering our ESOL for Work qualifications to migrant worker employees in 11 different workplaces in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, including the Madison Hotel & Conference Centre in Swindon. Barry Evenson, the General Manager at the Madison, says, 'It is really important in a customer service industry to ensure staff can communicate clearly and understand the customers' requirements. Cirencester College has been excellent at providing a tailor-made package to suit both our business needs and to fit in with the times available for our employees to take the lessons.'

If you are interested in finding out more about how our ESOL for Work qualifications could benefit your business and your employees, please contact Eunice McAllister, Business Development Manager, 07725 429799.

Find out more.

Personal Development National Qualifications

IMAGE: Personal Development
Scottish education and training recognises the need to educate the whole person, providing them with skills and knowledge to participate fully in society and potentially lead rich, fulfilling lives.

We have developed a new Course and Units in Personal Development which you can deliver from August 2008. The Personal Development Course seeks to develop learners’ potential as employable, contributing members of society through the development of life skills related to task management, social interaction, and self awareness.

With initiatives like More Choices, More Chances which aims to reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training in Scotland, we are getting many enquiries from Community Adult Learning Groups and private training providers because these groups are realising the advantages of delivering the Personal Development Courses and Units. The Units can be taken as part of the Course (Access 2 through to Higher) or as stand alone Units and there is no exam at the end.

As the learner works through each Unit they will have to complete a number of set tasks which are assessed. The learner becomes more confident because the Units focus on how they can develop their skills in working with others, managing their time and problem solving whilst involved in community projects

Example of activities are:

Find out more.

Care Scotland - Developing Higher Nationals in Social Service

LOGO: SQA Care ScotlandMany of you will be aware that work has been going on to develop a new Higher National Diploma (HND) to fill the gap which currently exists above Higher National Certificate (HNC) level in the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) for social service workers in Scotland. The new award is being developed to enable practitioners to develop their skill and knowledge base at SCQF Level 8 with a view to developing advanced competence or to gain access to awards at a higher level.

The development team have been conducting a number of consultation events around the country and have met a large number of representatives from service delivery organisations. It is envisaged that delivery routes for the qualification will be based around day release and distance learning with many characteristics of higher education approaches, which will provide opportunities for delivery in a number of ways. We will be working closely with employers, training providers and colleges.

A full update on the work undertaken so far, appears in the June issue of the Care Scotland Bulletin, available on our website, along with all the latest news from the Care Scotland Team.

Full details of the structure and potential routes through this new award will appear soon, but should you have any questions or comments you would like to share with the development team in the meantime please contact Marisa Meechan.

Read the full update.

Ensuring delivery of Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Who is responsible for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) process in your organisation?

Find out more about CPD.

WorldSkills UK

LOGO: World Skills uk Scotland logoAbout 1,000 competitors and 50 countries will compete in 40 skills at WorldSkills London 2011, watched by an estimated 250,000 visitors. We need talented young people to compete against the world’s best at the event.
You can help us by entering your students or apprentices in a WorldSkills UK competition in your industry, aiming either for Calgary 2009 or for London 2011.
WorldSkills UK competitions are a set of skills competitions held each year in over 70 skills areas including engineering, IT, construction, hairdressing and landscape gardening. They are designed by leading industry experts.
Outstanding WorldSkills UK national finalists may have the chance to compete for a place in the UK squad to train for WorldSkills London 2011.

One of the award categories in our own star awards, this year is the Skills Competitor of the Year - this is a new category, sponsored by the Scottish Government on behalf of UK Skills, which recognises SQA candidates who have developed their vocational qualifications to competitive levels, locally or nationally.

Find out more about how to get involved.

Introducing LEOPlus

LOGO: LeoPlus ProjectLEOPlus is one of twelve projects that are part financed by the European Commission to consider how to generate greater mobility of vocational trainees and apprentices in Europe.
It is a strategic project that aims to explore good practice and issues surrounding mobility and make recommendations to policy makers in the partner nations and the European Commission. Partners are drawn from 3 contries: Finland, Sweden and Scotland. The partners in Scotland include SFEU (as project managers), SQA, STF, Careers Scotland, Stirling Council and the Alliance of SCCs.

We are working together to identify practical solutions to making mobility in apprenticeships and Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET) more attractive to companies, in particular SME's, and individual participants. Additionally, we are looking to encourage streamlining of processes, funding and administration and the associated qualifications frameworks.

We will initially approach European and national policy makers and influencers who can implement recommendations into mainstream policy and funding allocations. We will also consult with practitioners and Educational/ Skills support agencies who can promote good practice recommendations. Naturally the end beneficiaries are the apprentices / trainees themselves and the business community who will benefit from the implementation of strategic initiatives and good practice.

LEOPlus will produce workable recommendations and prototype tools to support the achievement of the project's overall aim and objectives. These will take the form of:

The project is due to finish in the Autumn of 2008 and there will be a showcase conference for all twelve projects in Brussels on the 30 September 2008.

If you wish any more information on the project please visit the website at or contact Sarah Breslin, Sharon McGuigan or Martin Chisholm at SQA for further information.

Make a contribution to E-Assessment Development

LOGO: European Social FundAs part of the European Social Fund (ESF)-funded Transforming Scottish Education Through Technology (TranSETT) project, we are developing banks of questions in a number of subject areas in our National Progression Award and National Certificate qualifications, and making these available online to all our learners and centres across Scotland and the rest of the UK via our recently acquired e-assessment authoring system.

We are currently tendering for the content creation of these online questions and a number of web-based teaching and learning packs to complement these. We are looking for organisations and partnerships with the relevant experience in the 14 subject categories. Full training and support will be available to the successful tenderers to enable the successful completion of this work, which is due to complete on 31 March 2009.

Full details of the breakdown of the work is available in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) schedule 2, with each area of the work supplied in a separate 'Lot'. Each tenderer can bid for one or more of these 'Lots'. The deadline for tender submissions is Friday 29 August 2008.

To access the ITT, please follow the link - - and enter 'SQA 1283' as the Contract Number and your own e-mail address in the E-mail Address field.

For further information, please contact Derek McFarlane.

Find out more about TranSETT.

Development of Police Training

PHOTO: SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown and Director of the Scottish Police College, John Geates signing commemorative SQA certificatesOver the last three years, we have been working in partnership with the police service in Scotland to develop a range of Professional Development Awards (PDAs).  PDAs are flexible qualifications fit for industry, training and education which are ideal for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) so employers can enhance the skills of their employees. They focus on professional and vocational, work-based or work-related skills development and are aligned to National Occupational Standards (NOS) and/or professional body requirements.

We are delighted to report that in June, at the Scottish Police College, in Tulliallan, the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) launched its Professional Development Programme (PDP). The keynote speakers were Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice – Scottish Government and Andrew Cameron, Chief Constable – Central Scotland Police.

Their programme is at the forefront of professionalising and skilling the public sector in Scotland and fully supports the Scottish Government’s Skills Strategy.

We have worked closely in partnership with ACPOS, the Scottish Police College and Scottish Universities in the development of this programme, which uses the full capability of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).

Through our Credit Rating Service, we have also credit rated a number of Police College training programmes which sit within the Professional Development Programme.

If you would like to find out more about developing qualifications for your business, using the Police model, please contact Mags Paterson, Business Development Manager, on 0141 942 4064.LOGO: Scottish Police College

Find out more about our work with the Police.

International Vocational Awards in Policing

PHOTO: Gordon Rodgers, SQA Business Manager with representatives from the Maldives Police Force, at their recent visit to ScotlandIn partnership with the Scottish Police College, we have also recently launched new International Vocational Awards (IVAs) in Policing. These qualifications are in:

Representatives from the Maldives Police Service were at the launch of the IVAs and later visited our offices in Glasgow. Police Officers from the Maldives Police Service are currently studying IVAs in Operational Policing and Police Management.LOGO: Scottish Police College

Find out more about our work with the Police.

Modern Apprenticeship Awards

LOGO: Modern Apprenticeship Awards
Apprentices, training providers, colleges and employers have contributed significantly to the development of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme in Scotland. Now in their 7th year, the Scottish Modern Apprenticeships Awards are a celebration of the high standards now being reached by the many employees, employers and training centres involved in Modern Apprenticeships.

The 2008 Awards, which take place on Wednesday 26 November 2008 in Edinburgh, will showcase those who have, through their involvement in Modern Apprenticeships, demonstrated initiative, enterprise, and outstanding commitment to the improvement of skills development for the Scottish economy.

We are delighted to be sponsoring the 'Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by SQA' award categories and we would encourage you all to consider nominating your apprentices for these awards.LOGO: SQA Sponsorship logo

Find out more about the awards.