Embedded Core Skills in MA frameworks

A few days ago we received a query regarding Core Skills in an MA framework. I feel it is important to share this with you, as the discovery I made will not be obvious to many of you. The query related to the MA in Digital Applications. There is a statement within the framework stating that “Core Skills in ICT (SCQF Level 6). Problem Solving (SCQF Level 5) and Working With Others (SCQF Level 5) are embedded within the mandatory units of the Diploma in Digital Application Support at the required level. These do not need to be separately certified.” However, these Core Skills do not appear on candidates’ Core Skills profiles.

The reason for this, and which may lead to some confusion, is that the term ’embedded’ is used by SQA and SSCs to mean different things.When SQA says a Core Skill is embedded within a qualification, it means that the core skill coverage in that qualification has been checked and validated by SQA, so that candidates can be awarded the relevant Core Skill components on their Core Skills Profile. This does not apply to SVQ units, however, as SVQ units do not go through the Core Skills validation process.

When an SSC states in an MA Framework that one (or more) of the Core Skills is “embedded” in the VQ, they mean that (for their purposes) they believe the Core Skill(s) is covered within the VQ. So, an MA candidate does not need to gain separate certification for those Core Skills as part of the MA awarded by the SSC. This does not mean SQA gives any recognition to those Core Skills on the candidate’s Core Skills Profile.

In other words, although the SSC may claim that Core Skills are embedded in an SVQ or VQ, that claim has not been validated by SQA and, therefore, it will not be reflected in the Core Skills Profile. The candidates don’t need these Core Skills on their Core Skills Profile to achieve the MA.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further clarification.

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