Connecting With SQA - SQA's Monthly E-zine.

Friday, 5 May 2006
Issue 7

Scottish Candidate Number services – colleges, employers and training providers

We are making changes to the arrangements for candidate registration which will affect colleges, employers and training providers. These changes are designed to simplify procedures and at the same time reduce the potential number of re-registrations (duplicates). We will put in place a Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) allocation service.

The new procedure will allow centres to submit the standard registration details to us but not including an SCN. We will match the details against our candidate database. If we find a match we will let you know the SCN that already exists for the candidate. If there is no record of the candidate, we will provide you with a new SCN.

We'll send more detailed information about this to all our centres at the end of May.

New Corporate Plan 2006-2009

With the new financial year beginning on 1 April, we have begun to implement our new Corporate and Business Plan for 2006/09. The plan sets out our main areas of focus for the next three years, and includes our Mission, Vision and Values Statements. It forms the basis of our budget, and is approved by ministers at the Scottish Executive.

Our vision is 'to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in qualifications and assessment'.

Our mission is to 'work in partnership to provide high quality, recognised and relevant qualifications and assessment'.

Our values are:

  • Quality
  • Integrity
  • Innovation
  • Partnership
  • Service

Find out more.

SQA Glasgow - on the move

PHOTO: Optima reception.

The move to our new office has begun. Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to relocate to The Optima Building.

Full details of our new address have been issued to all our customers. Details are:

Scottish Qualifications Authority
The Optima Building
58 Robertson Street
G2 8DQ
Tel: 0845 279 1000

We look forward to welcoming you to our new office soon.

Customer Satisfaction Survey 2006 results

We are committed to delivering a high quality customer service. To help us achieve this, we have been commissioning The Leadership Factor, an independent research company, to conduct annual customer satisfaction surveys on our behalf over the last three years.

In the recent survey a structured sample of 500 customers (220 schools, 60 colleges and 220 employers and training providers) were contacted by telephone.

The overall satisfaction rating achieved was 80%, an increase on the previous years'.

We are currently assessing your scores and comments and will agree action plans to make improvements.

We will keep you updated on progress throughout the year.

Higher National framework

Six revised Higher National frameworks have been validated recently, to be delivered from August 2006:

  • HNC/D in Advertising and PR
  • HNC/D in Marketing
  • HNC and Diploma [Professional Development Award (PDA)] in Management
  • HNC Quality
  • PDA Quality
  • PDA Project Management

We are currently working on assessment exemplars for all frameworks, which will be available along with the revised frameworks.

SQA at Getenergy 2006

PHOTO: getenergy.

A small team representing various areas of our business attended this year's Getenergy annual event in Dubai recently.

Getenergy's events focus exclusively on tackling the challenges surrounding education and training in the upstream oil and gas industry. The events bring together oil companies, service providers, universities, colleges and private training providers from across the world to exchange information and develop valuable networks.

We were the only national awarding body in attendance, and were among over 50 exhibitors. There was a significant amount of international interest in our qualifications and certification.

James Watt and Forth Valley colleges also accompanied us on the exhibition stand, which displayed cohesive teamwork - colleges delivering courses together with recognised certification from a national awarding body.

As well as the exhibition, sessions were held on education and training topics, and our representatives were able to interact in the debates.

The event was a huge success, and we are becoming a known player in the oil and gas training and education market both at home and internationally.


Professional Development Workshops
We are running the following Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) in May and June:

  • Delivering Work
    Based Core Skills
    - Tuesday 9 May in Glasgow

  • Meeting the Requirements
    Of A1
    - Tuesday 16 May in Dalkeith

  • Meeting the Requirements
    Of V1
    - Tuesday 13 June in Dalkeith

  • Preparing for Candidate
    Queries about the Revised 2006 SQC
    - Wednesday 14 June in Glasgow and Thursday 22 June in Dalkeith

  • Managing an SVQ Programme - Thursday 22 June in Glasgow
If either of these workshops would help with your Continuing Professional Development, please click on the link below for further information and our registration form. Alternatively, call our Customer Contact Centre on 0845 279 1000, where someone will be happy to process your booking.

Register your place. Remember places are limited.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Launch Events

Are you already delivering or interested in delivering SQA Units and Courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)? If you are, then please don't miss the forthcoming launch events for new ESOL National Courses.

During May we will be hosting two launch events for new National Courses at Higher and Intermediate 2 levels in ESOL. These events aim to update key teaching staff on aspects of these new Courses due to be introduced from August 2006. The events will focus specifically on course arrangements and assessment.

The events are free and will be held on the following dates between 10am and 3.15pm:

  • Tuesday 23 May in Inverness
  • Wednesday 31 May in Glasgow

As demand is expected to be high, bookings are limited to one person per centre, processed on a first-come first-served basis. Additional spaces may, however, be available after the closing date for bookings, depending on how many bookings are received at that point.

» Book a place.

Professional Development Directory August 2006 to January 2007 We are currently completing the content of our new Professional Development Directory for August 2006 to January 2007. Copies will be sent to all SQA Co-ordinators of our approved centres during May – look out for your copy coming soon.

The new Professional Development Directory will also be on our website from end of May. We look forward to working with you again.

Advisory Council new members appointed Education Minister Peter Peacock has reappointed the Convenor and nine members to our Advisory Council for a second term. In addition, one new member has been appointed.

The Advisory Council provides advice to our Board and Scottish ministers in relation to qualifications devised or awarded by us, and our functions and procedures affecting stakeholders. The Council can also provide advice on other matters as it thinks appropriate.

Linda McKay MBE has been re-appointed as Convener of the Advisory Council.

The nine members who have been re-appointed are: Ann Auchterlonie, Bill Gold, Anne Mulgrew, Hugh McCafferty, Steve McColl, Eddie Phillips, Judith Sischy, Paul Thomson and Gary Waddell. The new member appointed is Professor Alex MacLennan.

Full details of the Advisory Council are on our website.

» Details of Advisory Council members.

SQA publications - have your say We’re very keen to find out what you think about our publications - particularly about the way they’re written. All our support and procedural publications now carry a statement saying that we’re committed to using plain English. If you come across some text you find less than entirely comprehensible, or if there’s something you think can be improved, (or even if you think we’re getting things just about right), please let us know by e-mailing

Sunday Herald Exam Guide
The Sunday Herald has once again produced a guide to help exam candidates with revision. It contains very useful information on exam structures and techniques with practice questions and worked examples.

» Access the guide.

HN Challenge Semi-Final Results
The HN Challenge Semi-Finals took place in the Auditorium at Hampden Park earlier this week. West Lothian College defeated Banff & Buchan College and, after a 'sudden death' tie-break, Stow College overcame Ayr College.

West Lothian and Stow will contest the Final, also at Hampden, on 31 May, prior to the 'Heroes & Champions' evening reception. We will let you know what happens.

History of Scotland's Higher National qualifications: the 1970s To mark the 80th anniversary of Higher National Qualifications, we continue a series of historical snippets through the decades.

The North Sea oil era was under way and Home Rule returned to the forefront of Scottish politics, a referendum bid failed, the UCS work-in and the three-day week of the miners’ strike dominated the news. At the end of the decade, Margaret Thatcher entered 10 Downing Street.

Hudson’s Report on Technician Courses and Examinations in Scotland recommended that the existing courses be replaced with new advanced-level courses (to be called ‘Higher Technician Certificate/Diploma’) and that a single policy-making body, the Scottish Technical Education Council (SCOTEC), should take responsibility for them.

It also recommended that the Scottish Council for Commercial, Administrative and Professional Education (SCCAPE) change its name to the Scottish Business Education Council (SCOTBEC) for consistency.

PC Passport – Scotland’s fastest growing ICT qualification
Over 2,700 copies of the Leckie & Leckie PC Passport Course Notes publications with CD-ROM have now been sold.

» Find out more.

Click here to view the National Qualifications section of SQA's website. Click here to view the Higher National section of SQA's website.