Scottish Schools Education Research Centre (SSERC) offers a broad portfolio of services, principally in support of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas of the curriculum, which are not available from any other source, and which can be broken down into three main strands of activity:

SQA’s credit rating service

SQA’s credit rating service allows organisations to highlight the value of their training and qualifications by having these recognised on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) — Scotland’s National framework.

The Young STEM Leader Programme (YSLP)

SSERC’s work with SQA centred around the Young STEM Leader Programme (YSLP). The YSLP is a youth award for young people in Scotland that allows them to design and lead STEM activities, events or interactions for their peers.

The programme is designed in a way that enables young people to develop important leadership, communication and teamworking skills while they explore topics such as stereotypes in STEM, opportunities in STEM and challenges/issues in STEM.

Since its inception in 2018, the programme has reached over 14,000 young people in schools, colleges, community organisations and more across Scotland.

Working with SQA

SSERC chose SQA to support the credit rating process for the formal awards levels – at SCQF Levels 4, 5 and 6.

The project plan for the design of the Young STEM Leader Programme specified that the qualifications for secondary aged learners would be part of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. This allows:

It was hoped that this recognition would increase the attractiveness of the award, maximising the uptake among young people and centres, and ultimately increase the credibility and value of completing a Young STEM Leader award.

Why choose SQA?

SQA is a reputable organisation with international recognition. Having our awards SCQF credit rated by SQA means that centres were easily able to understand the value of the qualifications and it increased the confidence of educators in delivering a reputable programme.

SQA provided a good level of support through the credit rating process for all three qualifications, and was able to offer competitive pricing. Since the credit rating for the YSLP, a continued relationship between SSERC and SQA has led to other packages of work, such as annual External Quality Reviews, also undertaken by SQA.

Next steps

Building on the ongoing success of the existing programme, SSERC has received funding to develop a new award at SCQF Level 7. This qualification will enable young people in the senior phase, colleges and community settings to continue their STEM engagement beyond the existing programme. 

SQA will work on the credit rating process and has supported SSERC with the qualification design process. SQA is also the chosen credit rating body for other SSERC programmes, including Leadership in STEM Education (SCQF L11) and a number of professional learning courses in technologies for teachers and technicians.

Are you an organisation interested in SCQF credit rating your qualifications? Find out more.