Review of the year
This seems a good time to look back over 2015. The most significant event (for me) was losing Caroline, who had worked with me for a long time. My loss is SOLAR’s gain. On a happier note, Caroline’s vacant position was filled by Helen, who had been working with me on a temporary basis.
From a qualification perspective, the big development was the NPAs in Cyber Security, which went live at the end of July, followed by the new Award in Cyber Security Fundamentals. These developments were European (and, possibly, world) firsts and there has been a huge amount of interest in these new qualifications. Almost 100 teachers attended the launch event in early October.
There were other significant developments. Digital Passport came out of pilot and went live in early August and this qualification has also received a lot of interest from centres. The validation of PC Passport took place in November. The new version of this award has many advantages over the current version, including compatibility with Microsoft Office Specialist. The launch event for both of these awards took place on 1 December. The new NPA in Computer Refurbishment went live in July. The refreshed NPA Digital Literacy went live earlier this month.
Not all the action was in the non-advanced area. We developed a number of new HN Units including ones in Big Data and Data Science, and one in Digital Skills. The reviews of HNC/D IT, HNC/D Interactive Media and HNC/D Computer Games Development are on-going. We recently validated a new suite of PDAs relating to Software Development that, I hope, will be popular in the coming years. And, finally, we commenced the development of two new HNCs: HNC Computer Science and HNC Data Analytics.
I got a new Senior External Verifier in March, We started to use Yammer in April. A significant innovation this year was the introduction of FAQs for new qualifications. These appear to be popular with centres.
The team changes meant that the team was (and remains) short handed and that brought particular workload issues. It will be a priority, when I return after the holiday, to get back up to full strength. But, in spite of that, it’s been an exciting year.