New CBQ diplomas

We currently offer three diplomas (CBQs) called Diploma in IT & Telecommunication Professionals, at SCQF Levels 5, 6 and 8. The Tech Partnership is currently revising the associated National Occupation Standards (NOS) and crediting and levelling these standards (on SCQF). Once this work is complete, SQA will be in a position to develop new qualifications based on the new NOS.

The existing qualifications will be replaced by three new awards:

IT Solutions Development (SCQF 6/8)
IT Infrastructure (SCQF 6/8)
Telecommunications Engineering (SCQF 6/8).

These will replace the current qualifications. I can’t give a precise date for when this work will be complete but it will be done before next July (when the current awards lapse). The new qualifications …

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Updating qualification portfolio

I updated the qualification diagram today. You can see it here. I made the following changes to the previous version.

HNC/D Technologies in Business is now available
PDA Cyber Security is now being developed
NPA Mobile Technology (SCQF Level 6) is removed
NPA Digital Media (SCQF Levels 4 and 5) is now available
NPA Web Design (SCQF Level 5) is now available.

As …

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Technology Industry Advisory Board

The Technology Industry Advisory Board (TIAB) is a Scottish Government/SQA committee that looks at the best ways for education to meet the needs of industry. Members are drawn from organisations across Scotland. I attended a meeting today to discuss the qualification development process.The Board wanted to know if there was anything it could do to improve the process.

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ASP writers needed- NPA Computer Games Development

We have now finalised the review of the units of the NPA Computer Games Development. We are now, therefore, looking for writers to undertake the task of writing the ASPs for these units.

We are aiming to develop three ASPs. We would like the ASPs to have an integrated approach, whereby each ASP would cover all units at one level ( …

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HNC Cyber Security update

It’s been a while since we updated you about the new cyber security qualifications. As many of you will know, we’re developing a suite of new qualifications over the next three years: HNC Cyber Security, HND Cyber Security and PDA Cyber Security.

We’re currently working on the HNC qualification. It’s coming along well. The Qualification Development Team (and some others) …

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Refreshed HND Computer Science

I recently posted an update about the revision of HND Computer Science. Since then the QDT has finalised the framework. The main change to the qualification is that Managing a Web Server has been replaced by Computer Architecture in the mandatory section of the award. We’ve also tidied the optional units to make them more relevant to the field of …

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NPA/NC Computer Games Development review – Update

The review of the NPA Computer Games Development is progressing well. The units have all been written and validated. The next stage is house styling and operationalising the units. This should be done within the next few weeks. All revised units should be available for delivery by end March.

No changes have been made to the titles of the units. …

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HNC/D Technologies in Business is now live

The HNC/D Information Technology (2006) review is now completed. The HN IT will be replaced by GN5N 15 HNC Technologies in Business and GN5P 16 HND Technologies in Business and finish in 2021 (HNC)/2022 (HND).

The following units have been developed and are now available on the SQA website:

HT9F 35 Database Server Administration / HT9G 34 Network Security Concepts / HT9H 34  …

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New CPD events for lecturers

I’ve previously mentioned the Digital Skills Partnership (DSP), which provides free CPD to college and university lecturers in areas of emerging technology.

The DSP is offering more (free) training this Spring. It will cover two topics: user experience (UX) and secure software. The events will take place throughout March in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.

I attended one of the previous events (on data science) and enjoyed it a great deal, so I can highly recommend the …

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Computing Conference

The annual Computing Conference took place on Friday at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow. There was a good turnout, with over 50 people in attendance. I was pleased to see so many teachers find time to attend, perhaps reflecting the growing importance of vocational Computing awards in Scottish schools.

The event was a mix of information, updates and keynotes. They keynotes …

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Support materials for NPA Cyber Security

The development team for this project met on Saturday. It’s been a while since I updated you on how things are going, so this seems like a good time to do that.

We’re developing a range of teaching and learning material including:

Teacher’s Guide
Learners’ Notes
practical activities (linked to Learners’ Notes)
Formative assessments
YouTube channel
List of resources.

The Teachers’ Guide will help new (and existing) teachers prepare for, and deliver, the NPAs — including advice about what you need to get started, what software you will require and how best to teach the awards. The Learners’ Notes will be self-contained notes on all of the topics within the units. Three sets of notes will be produced – one for each strand in the award (Data Security, Digital Forensics and Ethical Hacking). Each set of notes will be multi-level (covering Levels 4, 5 and 6) but each level will be clearly designated in the notes. This will permit learners to “read on” if they wish.The notes will also link to formative questions on each topic to permit learners to consolidate their learning before moving on to the next topic.

The material is coming along well. Complete draft versions of the Learners’ Notes are almost ready, as is the …

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CyberFirst Girls Competition is back for 2018

CyberFirst is a key part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme. It covers a broad range of activities, which includes a girls only competition. Young girls and women don’t often consider a career in cyber security, which means that industry is missing out on a lot of young talented people. This competition is a great start to …

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HND Computer Science QDT

The Qualification Development Team for HND Computer Science had its third meeting on Saturday.

The aim of the meeting was to decide how to take things forward.The first QDT meeting was held last June and since then we have made considerable progress with the revised framework. But more recently there was some disagreement about the precise nature of the revised award. More specifically, about how much computer science should be included.That resulted in a delay to the development.

We’re planning on commencing the review of the other HNs this year (HNC Computing, HND Technical Support and HND Networking) – making it more difficult to justify significant changes to HND Computer Science at this time (since it will also be reviewed as part of this “big review”).

So, we decided on a half way house. We will make changes to the optional units within the current HND Computer Science but leave the mandatory units alone. And we will restrict the changes to the options too. The changes might be more than a “tweak” but, perhaps, not much more.

We’re hoping to do this rapidly so that the …

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NPAs Digital Media – Subject page LIVE

The subject page for the revised NPAs in Digital Media at SCQF Level 4 (GN59 44) and SCQF Level 5 (GN58 45) is now live and can be accessed via the SQA website. These awards have a hierarchical structure across the two levels, allowing learners to mix-and-match units and facilitating bi-level teaching.

The NPAs in Digital Media are a revision of the NPA Digital Media Basics (G9FD 44) and Digital Media Editing (G9FF 45). The ‘old’ awards will enter into their lapsing period on 31/07/2018 and will finish on 31/07/2021.

You can access all relevant information regarding the NPAs Digital …

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Computing Conference 2018 – you can book now

Our annual Computing Conference 2018 will take place on Friday, 26 January, 10:00 – 15:30 with registration at 9:30am, in Radisson Blu Hotel Glasgow.

The event will be of interest to college lecturers and school teachers – or anyone with an interest in vocational qualifications.

The event will include an update on SQA Computing qualifications and external verification. There are also networking opportunities. The focus, as …

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NPA Web Design – Subject page LIVE

As announced in a post before the Christmas break, the subject page for the revised NPA Web Design (GN57 45), at SCQF Level 5, was being set up.  I can now confirm that the subject page is live and can be accessed via the SQA website. The subject page for the revised NPA Digital Media at SCQF Levels 4 and 5 will follow shortly.

The NPA Web Design is a revision of the NPA Web Design Fundamentals (G8HD 45). …

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Consultant FAQ

Happy New Year to all our readers from the team! We hope that you had a nice holiday.

We’ve put together a short list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about working with us. You can find it here. We did this because we are sometimes asked why we chose someone – or, more commonly, why we didn’t choose someone. The FAQ tries to explain our selection process (among other questions).

We try to be as transparent as possible in the way we go about advertising jobs and selecting people to fill them but I appreciate that we don’t always communicate that as well as we might. Hopefully, the …

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Merry Christmas from the team

Emma, Helen and I would like to wish you a nice holiday when it comes. We stop today until Wednesday, 3 January. But, in the meantime, you can contact us in the usual way.

It’s been a good year for the team. It started with the validation of HNC Data Analytics, followed later in the year with the validation of HNC/ …

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Digital Skills Partnership event

I attended the Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) event on “Data Science, machine learning and AI” at City of Glasgow College last week.

The DSP is a new collaboration between universities and colleges to provide CPD to lecturers in Computer Science. The Chief Technology Officer of an informatics company gave an interesting talk about how business can use data science and AI, and also discussed how things are likely to develop in the future. There was a good attendance at the event (mostly from universities) and I personally learned a lot.

SQA has a number of qualifications in the fields of data science and …

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Dip. in Dig. App. Support – Framework Update

An amendment to the framework of the Diploma in Digital Application Support at SCQF level 6 (GL2K 46) was recently approved (13 December 2017). The amendment is as follows:

Addition of Unit H3AH 04 Investigating and Defining Customer Requirements for IT and Telecoms Systems 2 to Group B1 of the framework.

This change should appear on the SQA website in the near future. You …

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