CBQs – Extension approved

I am pleased to advise that a one-year extension has been approved for the following CBQs: Code: GL2J 45  Title: Diploma in Digital Application Support at SCQF Level 5 End Accreditation Date (lapsing date): 31/03/2021 End Certification Date (finish date): 31/03/2024 Code: GL2K 46 Title: Diploma in Digital Application Support at SCQF Level 6 End Accreditation Date (lapsing date): 31/03/2021 End Certification Date (finish date): 31/03/2025 Code: GL2L 45 Title: Diploma for Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals at SCQF level 5 End…

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New National Occupational Standards

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has picked up the development of National Occupational Standards (NOS) relating to IT since the demise of E-Skills. SDS has commissioned new Standards relating to software development, Machine Learning, AI and cyber security, and is currently seeking feedback on the draft Standards. You can check the new Standards and provide feedback via this link. National Occupational Standards form the foundation for a wide range of vocational qualification since they define the workplace standards expected from a…

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CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020

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 get young girls motivated and interested in this sector. Teams are made up of up to four girls, who have to work…

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NPA Data Science assessments – Update

As stated in previous posts, the digital assessments for the NPA Data Science have been in production for some months now. As a reminder, there are assessments being produced for the following units: J2HN 44 Data Citizenship  J2G2 44 Data Science J2HN 45 Data Citizenship  J2G2 45 Data Science  J2GT 45 Data Science Project J2G6 45 Machine Learning J2HN 46 Data Citizenship  J2G2 46 Data Science  J2GT 46 Data Science Project J2G6 46 Machine Learning The units highlighted in bold…

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Happy New Year from the team

Happy New Year to everyone. We hope that you had a nice holiday. This year is shaping up to be a busy year. In February, we’re holding the 2020 Computing Conference in Stirling, which will be a much bigger event than usual. We’re hoping that up to 200 teachers attend. We’re also providing hands-on training for teachers of cyber security that month at various locations throughout Scotland. We’re expecting NPA Data Science to be offered by a lot of centres…

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Happy Christmas from the team

We stop today and return on Monday, 6 January. The team would like to wish you a Merry Christmas. We’ve had a busy year. Helen and Emma returned from maternity leave this year, returning the team to normal after Claudia, Caitlin and Lorraine provided cover. Caitlin and Lorraine found permanent positions within SQA and Claudia became a teacher. The annual Computing Conference took place in February. The early part of the year saw us working on HND Cyber Security and…

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Unit writers and vetters for PDA Cyber Security

We have made good progress in PDA Cyber Security and now we are looking for unit writers and vetters for the following units: Software Security Level 7 Application Security Level 7 Threat Analysis Level 8 Cyber Security Controls Level 8 Intrusion Detection, Analysis and response Level 8 Cyber Security Risk Management Level 9 Cyber Security Resilience Level 9 The unit outlines that provide info about the key knowledge and skills required are available on request. If you are interested, please…

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Computing Conference 2020

A few months ago, I mentioned changes to the annual Computing Conference. Next year’s conference is going to be bigger than normal and will include a wider range of subjects, and a different format. The event will take place on Wednesday, 5 February, 2020, at Stirling Court Hotel (part of the University of Stirling campus). We’re hoping that around 200 people will attend. The 2020 Computing Conference is aimed at teachers and lecturers, and will focus on a wide range of…

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Alternative assessments for NPA Cyber Security

Centres should have all received a set of the enhanced learning and teaching materials for the NPAs in Cyber Security. As stated in a previous post, we are also producing alternative assessments for this award. The assessments will follow a portfolio approach and will be based around tasks and activities that have been produced as learning and teaching materials for these NPAs. Therefore, learners will be able to generate evidence in the classroom and use it for assessment purposes. The…

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Training in data science

I attended a Digital Skills Partnership event on data science recently, which was held at the Langside Campus of Glasgow Clyde College. The purpose of the event was to update college lecturers about developments in data science. The presentations and workshops were presented by lecturers from St Andrews and Edinburgh universities. I enjoyed the event a great deal, and learned something about Jupyter Notebooks, which look great for teaching and learning. We’re doing a lot of developments in this area.…

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Digital Skills Partnership’s Critical Friends Programme

The Digital Skills Partnership’s Critical Friends Programme is a free mentorship programme, funded by Scottish Funding Council and Skills Development Scotland, in which lecturers are matched with industry friends for 12 months to provide insight into current industry practice and discuss how to help ensure students have the skills they need to succeed in industry. If you are delivering HNC/D or Undergraduate level courses in the area of Computer Science you could be matched with one of the following industry…

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First meeting of the development team for PDA Data Science

Following my recent announcement that SQA was about to begin the development of a suite of new, advanced qualifications in data science, the Qualification Development Team (QDT) met for the first time on Saturday in SQA’s offices in Glasgow. The QDT has representation from colleges, industry and national organisations but we’re looking for more members, particularly from the university and employment sectors, so please let Emma know if you’re interested in working with us. I was particularly pleased to welcome…

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Register now for cyber security training

All centres should have received a set of teaching and learning material for NPA Cyber Security. We now plan to provide training on the use of the material, and also demonstrate teaching approaches. I’m now able to provide more information about this training. There will be three training events. 1. Wednesday, 5 February at Stirling Management Centre. 2. Friday, 21 February at Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. 3. Friday, 28 February at Radisson Blu Hotel in Edinburgh. The first event…

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Extra support for NPA Data Science

The Short Life Working Group (SLWG), which I previously mentioned, met today to discuss how best to support the new NPA in Data Science. We looked at ways of providing additional support to teachers because of the unique challenges that data science presents to practitioners. The recently produced materials for NPA Cyber Security have been very well received by teachers and, ideally, we’d like to do something similar for this qualification. But that material was funded by central government, as…

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Consultants needed for qualification scoping

Before we start a formal qualification review, we will carry out a scoping exercise to identify changes needed for an existing qualification. We have currently identified three qualifications due to review and are looking for consultants to undertake scoping for the following: G9J8 45 NPA Computer Networks and Systems G8L5 48 PDA Network Technology G9HL 44 NPA Software Development We have created a scoping FAQ to help you understand this process. If you are interested or have any query, please…

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Training events for teachers of NPA Cyber Security

Every school and college in Scotland should have received a complimentary copy of the enhanced support materials for NPA Cyber Security by now. The next stage is to provide training on how to use the materials. We plan to hold three training events at different locations across Scotland. These events will take place on the following dates: Wednesday, 5 February (Stirling) Friday, 21 February (Glasgow) Friday, 28 February (Edinburgh). The first event will be part of the forthcoming 2020 Computing…

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HNC Cyber Security support materials

The Digital Skills Partnership has developed the learning materials to support the Digital Forensics and Data Security SCQF level 7 units within the HNC Cyber Security, in collaboration with college lecturers from City of Glasgow College, Dundee and Angus College, New College Lanarkshire and North East Scotland College. The materials are hosted on the college Moodle platform. More information about this development can be found on the Digital Skills Partnership website. The materials will also be helpful for the HND…

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HN review update

It’s been a while since I last updated you about our plans to review a number of core Higher National awards. The qualifications due for review are: HNC Computing HND Computer Science HND Networking HND Technical Support HND Software Development. We carried out “scoping” of the required changes and it was agreed that HND Technical Support and HND Networking would be rolled-up into a new, single award entitled HND Networking & Infrastructure to reflect changes in industry. More recently, we…

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Upgraded materials for NPA Cyber Security are coming

I’m pleased to let you know that the enhanced materials for NPA Cyber Security are on their way to schools and colleges. Every school and college in Scotland will receive a complete set of nine brochures that cover the contents of the NPA and provide advice to teachers about how best to deliver the qualification. The complete list of brochures is: Educator’s Guide (x1) Learner’s Guides (x3 one each for Data Security, Digital Forensics and Ethical Hacking) Worksheets (x3 one…

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Sector Panel meeting

The Sector Panel for Computing had its annual meeting yesterday at the Doubletree Hotel in Glasgow. The purpose of the panel is to provide strategic advice and guidance to the team to ensure that the qualification portfolio meets the needs of educators and employers. The membership of the panel reflects that objective with people from schools, colleges, universities, businesses and national organisations serving on the committee. It was a good meeting. We discussed a wide range of topics — including…

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