HND Cyber Security – consultation

As many of you will be aware, we are at the final stage of developing the HND Cyber Security, which will be available for delivery from August 2019. More information about this development can be found in our blog post here. As part of the development process, SQA seeks feedback on qualifications as they are being developed. Therefore, before we take the award to validation in May, we would greatly appreciate your views on the qualification so far. The link…

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Digital Skills Partnership CPD Events in May 2019

The Digital Skills Partnership will be running events in May with a specific focus on cloud architecture and cloud services. These events are primarily aimed at early stage lecturers who want to make sure they have a working knowledge of how industry is deploying cloud. The DSP will also be running an event to support lecturers with the introduction of the HND in Cyber Security. Details of this event will be released in week commencing 8 April. More information about…

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HNC Cyber Security qualification survey

As part of the qualification development process, SQA seeks feedback on qualifications as they are being developed. This questionnaire relates to the development of HNC Cyber Security. Your feedback will be used by the Qualification Development Team (QDT) to refine the qualification. The Group Award Specification (GAS) provides information about the proposed qualification. It would be beneficial for you to have this available before answering the questions. However, you will be able to answer most of the questions without this…

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Safer Internet Day 2017

Many of you may already be aware but for those of you who are still recovering from the post-Christmas blues, I thought I’d send a reminder of the upcoming Safer Internet Day 2017. This year it is taking place on 7th February, and SQA will be supporting this initiative once again. As part of our activities on and around the day, we’ll be issuing a number of top tips to help users, particularly young people, to stay safe, and be mindful of…

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Scottish Cyber Awards

I attended the inaugural Scottish Cyber Award ceremony last night, which was held in the Waldorf Hotel in Edinburgh. SQA sponsored the Education Prize and I was there to award it. It was an enjoyable evening, with prizes awarded to lots of Scottish companies and organisations for their outstanding achievements. The keynote speech was given by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Derek MacKay, who emphasised the vital important of cyber security and cyber resilience for Scotland. I was delighted to award…

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SQA and Police Scotland

I met with Willie Cravens, Head of Police Scotland’s Cyber Crime Unit, yesterday to discuss how SQA and Police Scotland can work together to improve “cyber education”. In fact, SQA and Police Scotland have been working together for several years now. Our relationship started in 2007 when Strathclyde Police “adopted” the Internet Safety unit for all new cadets. More recently, Police Scotland contributed to the creation of the NPAs in Cyber Security. The new Cyber Security Fundamentals award was expressly devised…

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Cyber Security Conference 2016

I attended the Scottish Government’s Cyber Security 2016 Conference yesterday, which held in Dynamic Earth. The event was attended by experts in cyber security from across Scotland, the UK, and the rest of the world. The agenda sounded interesting, and the presentations were as good as the agenda implied. The speakers were fascinating and included the Director of Cyber Security for the Scottish Government and the Head of Cyber Security for KPMG. My talk was about what education is doing to teach…

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Safer Internet Day 2016

Today is Safer Internet Day. The Safer Internet Centre is launching a number of initiatives in support of the day. SQA is supporting the day too with a webpage explaining the qualifications that are available to protect learners from online threats. SQA was the first awarding body in the UK to offer a national qualification in online safety (in 2007) and we’re the first qualification authority in Europe to offer cyber security qualifications to school-age learners. The Award in Internet…

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Christmas Cyber Security lectures

I attended the Christmas Cyber Security lecture at Glasgow University yesterday afternoon. It was the usual high standard, with great speakers from all over the UK talking about various aspects of cyber security. This year’s theme was the new NPAs in Cyber Security so the speakers all addressed some aspect of this qualification. I particularly enjoyed the informative and entertaining lecture on selecting a password. You can find out more about the Christmas lectures here. The lectures have been organised…

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Cyber Security assessments

I’ve had a several enquiries about the assessments for the new Cyber Security awards. We are developing Assessment Support Packs (ASPs) for every Unit within the new NPAs, as well as an ASP for the new Cyber Security Fundamentals Unit. The assessments all have two parts: (1) an assessment of knowledge (normally a short multiple choice test); and (2) an assessment of practical abilities (normally a short practical exercise). Each ASP will contain the second bit (the practical assessment) with…

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Christmas lectures in cyber security

The annual cyber security Christmas lectures have been running for a few years now. I attended the first one in 2012 and was struck by the enthusiasm of the presenters and the audience. They’re great fun — and attended by hundreds of school pupils across Scotland. This year’s theme is the new NPA in Cyber Security. But, don’t worry, it’s not about the qualification. It’s about the topics within it. So attendees will hear talks about digital forensics, data security…

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Education Scotland training in Cyber Secutiy

I presented at this morning’s training event for Computing teachers interested in offering the new qualifications in Cyber Security. |It was organised and hosted by Education Scotland.Scott Hunter, of Kyle Academy, was talking about his Cyber Badge and I was speaking about my national qualifications in this field. Around 20 teachers were in attendance. I emphasised the reasons for schools to consider offering one or more of the new awards. The audience seemed interested in doing so. Contact Helen for…

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Computing At Schools Scotland Conference

This year’s CAS Scotland Conference was held on Saturday at the University of Dundee. It’s invariably a good event, with a good attendance, and this year was no different. The event is designed for school teachers, although some college and university lecturers also attend. The event is a mix of keynotes, seminars and presentations. There were sessions on National 5 and Higher Computing Science, widening access to university, Google Classroom, games based learning, and object oriented concepts, to name just…

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Cyber Security workshop

Education Scotland is organising a workshop for school teachers to help them deliver courses in Cyber Security. The workshop will cover the Cyber Badge and national qualifications in this field. I will be there to present the part about national qualifications. I will talk about the Award in Cyber Security and the National Progression Awards. Education Scotland offered similar workshops last year, which were well received. So much so that they decided to run them again this year. The events…

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Considering offering Cyber Security?

We’ve had a great deal of interest in the new Cyber Security qualifications. Not only the NPAs but also the National Unit. The most common comment is: “My school is interested in offering these awards but I’m not sure how I go about it.” So, here is an update on the current position. Both the National Unit and the National Progression Awards are available now. These qualifications are auto-approved for all Scottish schools and colleges. The NPAs have a Group Award…

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Internet Safety training conference

PolicyHub Scotland is hosting a conference on Wednesday about Internet Safety. As part of the conference, it’s hosting a series of articles about safety-related issues. I was asked to contribute one about cyber security and Internet safety. I choose the topic “Online safety, cyber security and digital literacy” to show the relationship between these subjects, and to argue that online safety is an aspect of cyber security, which is itself an aspect of digital literacy. The intention is that the discussion…

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International Conference on Cyber Security & Education

I attended this conference today, along with Helen, which was held in the beautiful grounds of the Scottish Police College in Alloa. The event featured in today’s Herald newspaper since it involved cyber crime experts from around the world including the FBI and Interpol. Steven Wilson, of the Specialist Crime Division of Police Scotland, gave the opening address and made specific mention of the importance of education, which he described as the “key” to tackling cyber crime. He, kindly, made…

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