NextGen: HN - VSA SVQ Centre

VSA SVQ Centre is the first training centre to deliver a Next Generation: HNC (NextGen: HNC) qualification. It is part of the VSA social services organisation, which has offered a range of services in Aberdeen for over 150 years. VSA SVQ Centre offers a bespoke service to the organisation, allowing staff to achieve qualifications related to their roles. It currently delivers SVQs, PDAs, first aid qualifications, assessor and verifier qualifications, Core Skills qualifications, and HNC Social Services. Their Modern Apprenticeship Programme has been very successful.

HNC Social Services

VSA currently delivers HNC Social Services to ensure that their team have the knowledge, values and skills they need for their roles. It also enables them to meet the requirements to register as residential childcare workers. The centre delivers the qualification on a part-time basis to staff who have experience of working in the service. It also offers the HNC to colleagues across adult and community services for continuous professional learning. The NextGen: HNC will bring about some changes. Some current methods, such as integrated assessment, will continue, but the NextGen: HNC will introduce meta-skills, Learning for Sustainability and a new grading model.

NextGen: HNC Social Services

As one of the three pilot centres, VSA was part of the Qualification Design Team for the NextGen: HNC Social Services. This involved discussions around the framework, the new grading model, how to reduce assessment and possible optional units. Lecturers from the centre also wrote some units, based on their areas of expertise.

VSA have successfully transferred current learning resources onto a digital format using an e-authorising tool, which learners have positively engaged in. They plan to continue using this method during its pilot year, alongside traditional teaching methods, tutorials and individual meetings. For NextGen: HN, VSA will integrate delivery across units, ensuring each topic has learning resources, teaching materials and lesson plans. The centre will use methods similar to those they have previously used to map the assessments across the units. This will ensure integration and reduce assessment load for learners and lecturers.

The next few months will be very busy as we prepare the assessments and learning and teaching materials. As a small centre, we only have one Assessor/Tutor and one Verifier for our HNC programme, however we have subject experts and SVQ Assessors in the wider team and organisation who will be involved in the preparation and delivery. It has been a privilege to be involved in shaping the NextGen HNC and we are looking forward to starting our pilot year in August.

Diane Scott, Qualifications Supervisor

NextGen: HNC Social Services will be delivered as a pilot. VSA is the only independent training provider delivering it, alongside two further education colleges. NextGen: HNC Social Services will comprise a 15-credit qualification that is made up of three 3-credit units, three SVQ units and an optional unit of 3 credits. The new award will be at SCQF level 7 and account for 120 SCQF credits. The qualification has been approved by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), which will allow learners to be able to register in line with the previous HNC awards. The qualification will include meta-skills and project-based learning, allowing candidates to gain knowledge that can be integrated into the SVQ component for practice assessed in a workplace setting. SQA will monitor the pilot and carry out constant evaluation to ensure robust qualifications that are fit for purpose to ensure a skilled workforce

John Currie, Subject Implementation Manager SQA