Update: NPA Computers Games Development

A quick update from the previous blog post about the NPAs Computer Games Development (SCQF Levels 4, 5 & 6):

The Group Award has now been validated along with the units. I’m currently in the process of operationalising it (unit coding, subject page, etc.) and it will be available to Centres within the next few weeks.

The current award will finish on the 1 …

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HNC/D Digital Design and Web Development

The framework of the HNC/D Digital Design and Web Development ( GL7Y 15 and GL80 16) has now been updated to include four optional units:

F8R6 34 Games Design Theory  (1 HN Credit, SCQF level 7)
HH3G 34 Games Design: Pitch a Treatment   (1 HN Credit, SCQF level 7)
F8R5 34 Games Development: Character Creation and Storytelling  (1 HN Credit, SCQF level 7)
F6BX 35 Narrative and …

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NC Computer Games Development – ASPs

The NC Computer Games Development was validated last Friday. For more information, please read the recent post on our blog regarding this validation event.

We are now looking for volunteers to write the ASPs for the new/revised units. We will be developing ASPs for the following units:

Unit title 
SCQF Level 
Credit value 
New/ Rev. 
Mand./ Opt. 

HY2 …

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HNC Cyber Security – Validation event

We are holding the validation event for the new HNC Cyber Security on Friday, 18th May 2018.

We are still seeking volunteers to represent the following: employers, training centres and universities.

More information about this development can be found via the FAQ or the blog.

If you represent one of these sectors and are interested in joining the validation panel or …

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National Certificate in Computer Games Development

The validation event for the revised NC Computer Games Development took place on Friday in the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. The purpose of validation events is for independent experts to check new (or revised) qualifications to make sure that they are fit for purpose.

The validation panel comprised representatives of colleges, industry, training centres and SQA. The development team was represented by the Lead Developer, a college member of the QDT, Emma and me. I thought that it was a particularly good event with really positive suggestions for improvement.

The outcome of the validation was that the revised qualification …

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Higher National units in cyber security

As part of the HNC Cyber Security development, we’ve produced a number of new Higher National units relating to the subject area. There are several new units including:

Data Security
Digital Forensics Case Studies
Internet of Things
Penetration Testing
Scripting for Security
Social Engineering.

We also took the opportunity to update some existing units, such as Digital Forensics and Ethical …

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NPA Computer Games Development

We completed the Group Award Specification for this award today and it has now been submitted for (internal) validation. You can see the final version here. The units have been ready for some time but were not published on the website because they weren’t coded. You can see final (uncoded) versions of the units here.

The validation of the group award should be straight-forward since we haven’t changed the structure of the award. However, we have significantly updated and improved the component units (which have already been validated).

I appreciate that we’re late to finalise the qualification given how close it is to the end of session but I hope some of your consider the new version of the award since the units are much better, with significantly less assessment than the current versions.

I’ll let you know when the …

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HNC Cyber Security – Survey

As many of you will be aware, we are at the final stage of developing the HNC Cyber Security, which will be available for delivery from August 2018.

As part of the development process, SQA seeks feedback on qualifications as they are being developed. Therefore, before we take the award to validation on 18th May, we would greatly appreciate your views …

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HN Next Generation

Some of you may know that SQA has recently embarked on a review of Higher National Qualifications (HNQs). HNQs include HNCs and HNDs (but also PDAs). The last review of HNQs was in 2003, when the current design rules were introduced. The new initiative is called HN Next Generation (HN-NG) and will take a root-and-branch review of current HN awards.

At this time, the project team are gathering information and that will be the focus for most of this year (2018). Meetings have been arranged (or have already taken place) with stakeholders across all sectors. Once this fact-finding phase is complete, the team responsible for HN-NG will then consider what changes should be made (and consult on those changes). There are no firm timescales right now and we don’t want to hurry this important review so nothing will change in the foreseeable future.

Running in parallel with this project is SQA’s on-going Assessment Futures initiative, which is taking a hard look at our assessment practices with a view to modernising them. It is likely that these two initiatives will work together so that the assessment model employed in HN-NG will be informed by the Assessment Futures project.

Undoubtedly, changes are coming to HNQs. It’s too early to say what these will be but they will likely have a big impact on the shape of Higher National awards in the future. The review of a number of HN Computing qualifications will commence …

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HNC Cyber Security – Validation event

The development of the HNC Cyber Security is almost complete. We are planning to host a validation event for this award on Friday, 18th May 2018.

More information about this development can be found via the FAQ or the blog.

We are now seeking volunteers to join the validation panel.

If you are interested in being part of the validation panel …

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External Verifiers wanted

We’re currently looking for new External Verifiers for Computing. The advert provides more information. We’re looking for people from all sectors but particularly from training centres, schools and universities.

External Verification is great CPD for teachers, lecturers and trainers. It gives you the opportunity to find out how other centres go about delivering SQA awards. Training is provided so don’t …

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Team responsibilities

I’ve now divided divided responsibilities between Claudia and Emma, and updated the organisation chart for the team. You can download it here. It’s worth downloading and printing so that you know who to contact about each qualification.

The division of work isn’t as clean as it was before Helen left since it’s not a simple advanced/non-advanced split. There’s a …

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Hello, I’m Claudia Lambie and have recently joined the Computing team to cover Helen’s post whilst she’s on maternity leave. I previously worked for SQA as a Qualifications Officer for school-based National Qualifications. Whilst I’m not new to SQA, I’ll be familiarising myself with the vocational portfolio over the coming weeks.

I will work alongside …

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Welcome to Claudia

I recently mentioned an imminent change to the team. Claudia has now joined the team. She will cover for Helen while Helen is on maternity leave. Helen finishes today and returns next Spring.

Claudia effectively takes over the non-advanced portfolio (National Units, NPAs and NCs) and SVQ/CBQs, and Emma takes over the advanced portfolio (HN Units, PDAs and HNC/ …

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Team changes

As many of you will know, Helen is expecting a baby soon. She stops for maternity leave next Tuesday and returns next Spring (2019).

Claudia Lambie will join the team from Monday. Claudia has previously worked for SQA (as a Qualifications Officer) so although the portfolio will be new to her, SQA won’t be, which will be a big help. Claudia’s …

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NC Computer Games Development – Validation event

The review of the NC Computer Games Development is almost complete. We are planning to host a validation event for this award on Friday, 4th May 2018.

More information about this development can be found via the FAQ and a recent update on the Computing blog.

We are now seeking volunteers to join the validation panel.

If you are interested or …

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NC/NPA Computer Games Development – Update

Last month I provided an update regarding the progress of the NC/NPA Computer Games Development review. The NPA units have now been coded and are ready to be published. Once they are published, I will write an update on the blog with the new codes and links to the unit specifications.

However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the writing of the Group Award Specification has been slightly delayed and, therefore, the award cannot yet be validated. Given that there are no changes to the structure of the NPA, the group award validation will be carried out by an SQA Officer.

In the NC camp, most of the units have been validated and coded. We are now in the process of operationalising the last two units (two new Computer Games: Mathematics units) before publishing all of the units. As stated in my earlier update, the structure of the NC has changed and the two NCs at Level 6 (ie NC Computer Games: Creative Development and Computer Games: Software Development) have been merged into one NC at SCQF level 6.

The NC Group Award Specification is progressing well. Due to the changes to the structure, the NC will require validation by a panel. We are planning on holding a validation event for this award on 4th, May 2018.

We are currently seeking volunteers for …

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NPA Cyber Security Learning and Teaching materials – Pilot

After much work and effort from the team, today I sent out to centres some of the learning and teaching materials that we are currently developing to aid the delivery of these awards in centres. The materials provided today comprised a copy of the Learners’ Notes and Worksheets. They have been made available at this time, in order to assist centres that are currently delivering the award.The documents are still in ‘draft’ and, therefore, may contain some minor errors or omissions. However, we hope that centres will find them useful and are encouraged to come forward for the pilot.

The pilot will run from mid-April to end May. Pilot centres will be required to provide feedback on all of the documents provided, which will include (in addition to the above) a Guide for Educators, Practical tasks, Formative questions, a Glossary and a link to a Cyber Security YouTube channel. Feedback will most likely be gathered via a questionnaire provided by SQA, although any comments or suggestions from centres will be welcomed.

Once the pilot is completed, final changes will be made to the documents based on the feedback provided. The ‘official’ published version of the materials will be made available to …

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New Yammer group for schools

I recently created a Yammer group for school teachers who are interested in vocational qualifications in Computing, such as the NPA Cyber Security and NPA Computer Games Development. Vocational qualifications are growing in Scottish schools (there are currently over 600 pupils doing the Cyber Security award) but many teachers aren’t sure where to get help.

The purpose of the group is to provide SQA- and peer-support to teachers so that they can get advice about a range of issues relating to vocational qualifications. The group is part of the SQA Computing network on Yammer so, if you’re not already a member of that network, you will have …

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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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