Nominate your brightest stars for SQA awards

The SQA has launched the 2018 SQA Star Awards, its annual celebration of excellence in education and training.

Across fourteen categories, the awards recognise the achievements of those individuals working towards SQA qualifications, as well as the schools, colleges, training providers, and employers who deliver them.

The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in November at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

To mark the Year of Young People 2018, SQA has introduced a new award – Young Person of the Year. The category will celebrate young people who have embraced the themes of the Year of Young People whilst working towards SQA qualifications.

SQA candidates will have the chance to shine across a range of categories, with a Candidate of the Year award on offer for school, college and training organisation learners.

Last year’s Star Awards highlighted inspirational candidates who have shown dedication to their community, as well as their studies.

Jack Park was named School Candidate of the Year for lending his sports coaching skills to local children, whilst being an outstanding pupil at Kilmarnock Academy. Modern Apprentice Jack Gibson was commended for turning around the fortunes of a Shelter store, whilst achieving his Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Management.

Jack Gibson (pictured right) completed his management apprenticeship with Glasgow-based training provider Impact Results Ltd, who themselves were recognised in the Lifelong Learning Centre category.

Jack was nominated for an SQA Star Award by Garry Walker, Training and Accreditation Manager at Impact Results Ltd. Having been both a nominator and a nominee, Garry has seen many benefits of getting involved with the SQA Star Awards.

Garry (pictured left) said: “Nominating Jack was a no brainer, his passion and commitment to the success of his Shelter shop and the support he gives his volunteers was clear to see. The Apprenticeship framework enabled him to have a clear structure for his own personal development and gave him the confidence and growth needed to succeed inh is role. To be Highly Commended at the SQA Star Awards was a real boost, not just for him but for Shelter Scotland and also Impact Results Ltd.

“As a result of our own nomination, we have had some great exposure. As a small provider, we never considered that we would win the award. It proves that size isn’t everything if you are doing things right, so for anyone thinking about nominating I would say….Go for it!!”

Also dazzling at the 2017 Star Awards were schools, colleges, and training providers whose innovative approaches to teaching enabled their students to achieve their ambitions. 

The SilverNote Music initiative at North East Scotland College (NESCol) in Aberdeen is giving budding music industry moguls the opportunity to create original work and showcase their talents to the local community as part of their SQA qualification. The college was rewarded when they were named winners of the Innovation award at last year’s ceremony.

According to Tony Young (pictured far left, collecting award), Curriculum and Quality Manager at NESCol, being nominated for an SQA Star Award was a confidence boost for all those involved in the SilverNote initiative. He says: “We were pleased to be nominated for such a prestigious award and were over the moon to go on and eventually win. We are constantly working to find innovations in our approaches to learning and teaching, so to win an SQA Star Award for Innovation is a wonderful accolade for North East Scotland College and has given us even more drive to build on this success.”

SQA qualifications are delivered across the UK and around the world. The SQA Star Awards reflect this, with categories for UK, and International-based centres. Previous winners of the International award include centres from Oman, Latvia and Nepal.

Darlington based Thermal Insulation Contractors Association (TICA) were named Centre of the Year in the Wider UK at the 2017 SQA Star Awards. TICA (pictured far right) were praised for the high quality of training and apprenticeships on offer at their recently revamped National Training Centre.

Madeleine Hill, TICA Operations Manager, said that winning the SQA Star Award was a proud moment for their staff and learners. She added: “Everyone at the centre plays their part in improving standards and implementing procedures and standards which have lifted us to our current levels.  It’s great to have secured a place on the shortlist, but to have actually won is absolutely marvellous.”

The 2018 SQA Star Awards will once again see a winner from the individual and centre award categories presented with a coveted Pride o’ Worth trophy.

SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, said: "The SQA Star Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to recognise learners for their achievements but also acknowledge the outstanding work of our centres: the schools, colleges, training providers and employers who deliver our qualifications. The Star Awards give us a chance to thank the people who give our learners the guidance and encouragement they need to realise their potential."

Nominate for SQA Star Awards 2018 by Friday 29 June 2018 at www.sqa.org.uk/star