HND Cyber Security progress

This seems like a good time to update you about HND Cyber Security. This development is the second part of a three-stage development that has produced HNC Cyber Security (stage 1), is currently developing HND Cyber Security (stage 2), and will produce PDA Cyber Security (stage 3). Since my last update, we have finalised the qualification structure, appointed unit writers and vetters, and carried out training. So, right now, we’re at the sharp end of the development, with a team…

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HN Review update

Since the last update, we have been in discussions with stakeholders about our plans, and specifically the idea to combine technical support and networking into a single, new award. There has been support for this change so we now intend to develop the following awards. HNC Computing HND Computer Science HND Networking & Infrastructure HND Software Development. Apart from Networking & Infrastructure, the other awards will have relatively minor changes — although a significant amount of updating will have to…

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Computing Conference 2019

I’m pleased to let you know that this year’s Vocational Computing Conference will take place Friday, 1 February at Jury’s Inn in Glasgow. This is a long-standing event, which goes back (at least) 20 years. It provides an opportunity to meet face-to-face, and network with colleagues from other centres. Although the focus is college qualifications, there has been an increasing school presence due to the popularity of some National Progression Awards, such as the NPA Cyber Security. Of course, all…

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Digital Skills Partnership Events Registration

Please see below to register for the upcoming Digital Skills Partnership Events; Webinar on Digital Forensics– for further details and to register visit – events.cdn.ac.uk/ehome/372854?&t=9efcdb6dc99952ff12edc5b9c3404654 28 November – from 13:15 – 15:30  (Hosted by UHI). Cyber Security 2 (more advanced session) – for further details and to register visit – events.cdn.ac.uk/ehome/374816?&t=c52b409c7572abbcdc2394f795074465 6 December – from 13:30 – 17:00 at the Hamish Wood Building at Glasgow Caledonian University. Cyber Security 2 (more advanced session) – for further details and to register…

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Engineering Strategy Group

I was invited to speak at the Engineering Strategy Group meeting yesterday, which was held at the College Development Network building in Stirling. Engineering qualifications are going through a major review, similar to the HN Review for Computing awards. I was invited to speak about the new Higher National units that have been developed during the last couple of years. The engineers were interested in units such as Computer Programming, Emerging Technologies & Experiences, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Machine…

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ASP Update – Non Advanced Qualifications

Computer Games Development Level 5 – will be published early next week. Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games – currently still in development with an estimate completion date of early January. Digital Design and Web Development: Graded Unit currently still in development with an estimate completion date of early January.

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NPA Data Science update

We’re making a lot of progress with this qualification. We now have a draft qualification structure, and unit writers (and vetters) have now been selected. Although the structure isn’t finalised (yet), the final form of the award won’t be a million miles away from this. Most of the debate has been around the options, so we’ve taken a belt-and-braces approach and included all of the ideas that were being discussed. I’m fairly confident that the mandatory units will survive (at…

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External Verifier standardisation meeting

The annual standardisation meeting for External Verifiers (EVs) took place today in the SQA offices in Glasgow. The meeting was led by the Senior External Verifier. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare EVs for their forthcoming visits to centres and to ensure that the whole team apply the same national standards. Me and my team attend these meetings for two reasons. Firstly, to find out more about field issues and also to update EVs about new and revised…

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HNC/D Data Science

I’m pleased to let you know that I’ve been given the green light to “scope” the development of a new HNC and HND in Data Science. Data science is a hot topic these days and I’ve had lots of enquiries about the availability of an intermediate (Higher National) award in this area. There are already lots of graduate and post-graduate degrees in Data Science, and we’re in the process of creating an introductory qualification in data science so this, potentially,…

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Blockchain units now available

We commenced the development of new units in Blockchain in July. I’m pleased to let you know that these units are now available to centres. Two new units were developed: Blockchain (SCQF Level 7) Blockchain (SCQF Level 8). The Level 7 unit is non-specialist but it’s particularly appropriate for business, computing or financial services learners. However, I think, any learner would benefit from understanding the principles of this important, new technology. The Level 8 unit is specialist and more suitable…

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NPA Cyber Security support materials improvements

I recently let you know that we had received funding from the Scottish Government to improve the support materials for NPA Cyber Security. The first task was the find out what you want improved, so we carried out a survey among teachers. The survey is now closed and we used the results to decide what to prioritise. It was nice to read so many positive comments about the existing materials. Lots of respondents commented on how helpful they have been…

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HNC Cyber Security Available ASPs

The following ASPs are now available on SQA Secure: Data Security Computer Programming Professionalism and Ethics in Cyber Security Digital Forensics Ethical Hacking Computer Networking: Concepts, Practice and introduction to Security The graded unit ASP is currently still in development with an estimate completion date of 30/11/18 If you have any queries please contact Caitlin 

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NPA Data Science – Volunteers interested in writing or vetting units

We are in the process of looking for writers and vetters for the new units for NPA Data Science.  If you’re interested in writing or vetting (or both) then please add your name and email address to the Writer or Vetter columns as appropriate https://1drv.ms/w/s!Av71_tveB0_uhdleQ-J9NXJ_PLMA0Q  by Friday 09 November. You can volunteer for as many (or few) as you like. I have already contacted our Qualifications Development Team for volunteers, don’t be put off if someone has already put their…

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Digital Skills Partnership Curriculum Working Group

We’ve written about the Digital Skills Partnership (DSP) many times, usually in the context of CPD for college lecturers. We also have representation on the DSP’s Curriculum Working Group (CWG), which aims to ensure that the curriculum delivers relevant and contemporary experiences that prepare learners for employment. The group is currently working on a project that will permit college and university students to collaborate on a large (and realistic) software development assignment to give them experience of “real world” programming.…

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Digital Skills Partnership Cyber Security December Events

As previously mentioned Digital Skills Partnership are hosting a Cyber Security Event. We now have confirmed venue details for the Glasgow event. This event will now take place within the Hamish Wood Building at Glasgow Caledonian University on the 6th of December 1330-1700. Online register details are found on my last blog post.  Please note that the upcoming event on 21st November in Glasgow is full but all of the other events have spaces, particularly the one’s in December. Please…

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Unit writing and vetting volunteers for HND Cyber Security

Now that we have a finalised HND Cyber Security Framework. We are currently looking for volunteers to write and vet these new Units. If you’re interested in writing or vetting (or both) then please add your name and email address to the Writer or Vetter columns as appropriate https://1drv.ms/w/s!Av71_tveB0_uhdk50lkaH-DCMJY6Cg You can volunteer for as many (or few) as you like. Don’t be put off if someone has already put their name forward for a Unit as we will try to…

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NCSC’s upcoming Cyber Girls’ Competition

An information event for teachers about the NCSC’s upcoming Cyber Girls’ Competition. Will be held on Tuesday 06 November 2018.  To book your place on this event, please click on the link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/computing-science-girls-competition-teacher-information-event-tickets-51510242522  The competition is aimed largely at S2.

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Additional Resources for HNC Cyber Security

We have an update on the SOLAR developments for HNC Cyber Security. Our SOLAR development team have liaised with the Assessment Support Materials department on what has been produced from a paper ASP perspective. SOLAR have also contracted for some of the new optional units that didn’t have any assessment materials. Unit Title Assessments within Paper ASP submission Additional items being produced for SOLAR Ethical Hacking 1 assessment of 20 MCQs extracted for SOLAR 60 additional questions contracted (now received) Computer Programming…

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Second meeting of QDT for NPA Data Science

The Qualification Development Team (QDT) for the new National Progression Award (NPA) in Data Science met today for our second meeting. The QDT consists of representatives of schools, colleges, training centres, universities, employers and special interest groups (such as Datalab). The development will create new awards in data science at SCQF Levels 4, 5 and 6 (National 4, National 5 and Higher). The purpose of today’s meeting was to come up with a qualification structure and begin the process of…

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HN Review update

A few weeks ago, I let you know that individuals had been selected to “scope” the changes to the various HN qualifications that form part of the HN review. Each person was a practising teacher in a Scottish college. The scoping is now complete and I have received reports, with recommendations, from each person. Here is a summary of the recommendations. In general, the qualifications need to be tidied, with the (very) long list of optional units pruned back and…

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