National Progression Award in Software Development at SCQF level 6

National Progression Award in Software Development at SCQF level 6

National Progression Awards (NPAs) assess a defined set of skills and knowledge in specialist vocational areas, linked to National Occupational Standards (NOS). The NPA in Software Development at SCQF level 6 introduces learners to techniques that are important in the IT sector such as Computing Applications Development, Computing: Authoring a Website, and Software Design and Development.

The principal aim of the qualification is to provide learners with programming skills and prepare them for employment as entry-level computer programmers.

This NPA is primarily designed for use within a Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) in IT. This is part of a wider FA initiative by Skills Development Scotland to increase the range of work-based learning opportunities for pupils in the senior phase of secondary education. It provides seamless progression into a full Modern Apprenticeship but can also be used as a precursor to the PDA suite of qualifications in Software Development at SCQF levels 7 to 9.

As the title indicates, this NPA is entirely focused on software development, including applications and websites. There is a complementary NPA in Professional Computer Fundamentals which focuses on hardware and system support.

The qualification is available through schools, colleges and training providers.

Why study this qualification

The NPA is suitable for:

  • learners who are in the senior phase of secondary education
  • individuals who are currently in employment and wish to obtain a formal qualification
  • those who are looking to access the PDA suite in Software Development at levels 7 to 9
  • employees who want to develop their careers
  • individuals who are seeking national recognition of their achievements
  • employers who wish their employees to take part in short continuing professional development courses

Access

Entry is at the discretion of the centre.

No previous knowledge of computer programming is necessary, but all learners will be expected to have some skills in the use of standard IT systems and application software (eg word processing, spreadsheet, graphics etc.). However, learners would benefit from prior achievements such as relevant National 5 Courses or component Units.

Employment and progression

This qualification is designed to be part of a Foundation Apprenticeship which articulates to the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications. It will also provide a good basis for progression to higher level qualifications in Software Development, eg the PDA in Software Development at SCQF levels 7 to 9.

Qualification structure

This NPA is part of the Foundation Apprenticeship in IT, which articulates to the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications

Unit search

Qualification structure

This NPA is part of the Foundation Apprenticeship in IT, which articulates to the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecommunications

Unit search

How to assess

Assessment of this award will be a combination of practical and knowledge assessments under closed- and open-book assessment conditions. It is recommended that centres refer to the assessment and Evidence Requirements for each Unit.

Assessment Support Packs are available on the SQA secure web site for all three of the qualification units.

The delivery of the award is at the individual centre’s discretion. However, it is strongly recommended that Unit Software Design and Development should be delivered first, and more specifically Outcome 1.

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