Review of 2020
Twenty twenty has been quite a year, one none of us will forget. Me and the team have been working from home since March, which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Given the nature of our work, we adapted pretty quickly and, in terms of productivity, had a normal year.
We commenced the year with the annual Computing Conference, which took place in February. One hundred and sixty people attended and, from the feedback, it was a great success. At the same time, I announced that “HN Next Gen” (HN-NG) was about to commence. Computing is one of three subjects involved in this important development, which aims to create new types of Higher National qualifications. The annual meeting of the Qualifications Support Team (QST) took place in March, and the following month I announced that teaching and learning material would be produced for NPA Data Science. In May, the first meeting of the Qualification Development Team for HN-NG took place, and lead developers were appointed. We also commenced the review NPA Computer Networks. A new suite of cyber security awards was made available in August, when the PDA Cyber Resilience subject page went live. In September, PDA Data Science was validated and the subject page was available in October. The annual meeting of the Sector Panel also took place, using Microsoft Teams. In December, I announced that HND Data Science will be included in the first phase of HN-NG, meaning that two Computing qualifications will be available (to pilot centres) from August next year (HNC Computing and HND Data Science). The subject page for NPA Computer Networks also went live. Throughout the year we posted regular updates about the on-going health emergency and regular updates about HN-NG.
There have been some positives during this difficult year. We’ve discovered that remote working can be as productive as office working. Online meetings appear to be at least as effective as traditional meetings. In fact, attendance and participation is better. So much so that we plan to continue with virtual committee meetings once the pandemic subsides.
SQA closes today until Tuesday, 5 January. Me and the team hope you have a nice holiday.