SQA is developing the next generation of qualifications

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is a proud sponsor of College Expo22. Gill Stewart, Director of Qualifications Development at SQA, provides an overview of the new generation of Higher National qualifications, as well as a new qualification designed to help learners with Additional Support Needs. Both will be discussed in more detail at workshops during the virtual event.

A new generation of qualifications

Every year, learners across Scotland enhance their prospects by undertaking a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or a Higher National Diploma (HND). We are now adapting our Higher National qualifications to give learners the skills they need to thrive in the 21st century workplace.

These new generation of qualifications are being designed in partnership with industry, colleges, and sector skill bodies. This collaborative approach will ensure learners acquire and develop the meta-skills, knowledge, and experience needed to succeed in the modern workplace. They will also move towards more practical and behaviour-based assessments.

These meta-skills, which include self-management, social intelligence, and innovation, reflect the professional practices and behaviours we know are expected in industry today, as well as equipping learners with specific sector knowledge.

The ‘NextGen: HN’ approach is currently being piloted at New College Lanarkshire and Edinburgh College, where the new HNC Television is being rolled out. Here, students are developing the professional skills and personal behaviours required by the television industry.

Feedback from these colleges so far is very encouraging, with project-led assessment being an area both learners and tutors are enjoying.

The next phase of the project will see further subjects piloted in 2022-23, including Accounting, Childhood Practice and Social Services, and Engineering. These pilots are the first step towards our ambition of developing new, world-class, forward-thinking qualifications which will meet the needs of today’s learners, the education sector, and industry.

Qualifications to assist learners with Additional Support Needs

As well as updating existing qualifications, we are always looking for new opportunities to help learners develop themselves and reach their full potential.

We know that moving through the different stages of the education system can be daunting for some young people, but it can have even greater significance for those with Additional Support Needs (ASN).

The new Adult Learning and Transition Award at SCQF level 1 is designed to help those with ASN leaving secondary school or college and moving on to their next stage, whether that involves further education or other adult care settings.

The qualification will help develop knowledge and skills in areas such as relationships, learning environments and physical maturity. Learners will also have the option to specialise in a variety of topics, including communication skills, the world of work, food preparation, making journeys, and using money.

We hope that learners will complete the course with a better understanding of different relationships that exist between adults, both in and out of the workplace, as well as a more confident approach to life skills.

Further information

To find out more about NextGen:HN visit https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/97981.html. For more information about the Adult Learning and Transition Award go to https://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/98939.html.

To sign-up for these workshops at the CollegeExpo22 virtual event, go to www.cdn.ac.uk/virtual-college-expo22/

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