FOI22/23 115 Business Case - NPA in Climate Change and Sustainability

Date published: 22/12/2022

FOI reference: 22/23 115

Date received: 02/12/2022

Date responded: 21/12/2022

Information requested

We have noticed that the SQA have newly developed an NPA in Climate Change and Sustainability at levels 3 and 4, using existing units from within the Geography and Environmental Science courses. I imagine that lots of the questions above re: teaching, cross-over etc would have applied - even more so as it contains existing units that are already widely delivered by Geog and Science staff.

Developing an NPA in Geology or Earth Science, utilising the existing units from the old Int 1/2/Higher courses would be an excellent way for us to properly credit pupils work in this and without developing additional assessments/specifications etc.

Could you please share the business case, as you outlined above, that was completed for the CC&S NPA? This will allow us to look at putting a strong business case together for geology/earth science. I'm happy to go down the FOI route if required to get access to this


The business case is attached.

However, some information is redacted as it is considered exempt from release.

The names of staff members below Head of Service level has been removed under section 38(1)(b) as it is considered to be personal information.

Financial information has been removed under section 33(1)(b)

33        Commercial interests and the economy

(1)        Information is exempt information if—

(a) it constitutes a trade secret; or

(b) its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority).

The financial information contained within the business case document has been removed as it is considered commercially sensitive. This information, if placed in the public domain, could substantially prejudice the commercial interests of SQA as it would provide information on the costs of establishing new courses for learners. This would provide information that would be useful to other qualification bodies who may have an interest in establishing similar courses. This would adversely affect the commercial interests of the SQA.

When applying a section 33 exemption a public authority must undertake a public interest test. This will identify if the public interest is greater in maintaining an exemption than releasing the information.

Whilst it is understood that there may be an interest in the costs of establishing new courses, SQA has to have the right to develop business cases for establishing new courses without the costs of this being placed into the public domain and being available to potential competing organisations. This could lead to SQA not establishing some new courses and accordingly affecting the interests of SQA. Accordingly the public interest is deemed to be in favour of maintain the exemption.


FOI22/23 115 Information Sheet