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Welcome to SQA Accreditation newsletter

Hello and welcome to the second edition of the newsletter.  

This edition includes our latest published reports, an update on titling of Scottish Vocational Qualifications, the self-assessment review and more! 

Earlier this year, we launched our own dedicated website, accreditation.sqa.org.uk. Initial feedback has been positive but we are always looking at ways to improve our services. We would like to hear from you about our website In particular.  

  • Is there information which you feel we should be publishing but currently don't?  
  • How easy is the new website to navigate?  
  • Can you find the information that you are looking for?  
Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe so that they can also receive updates.  

Many thanks.

Statistical Reports

The Quarterly Statistics Report for Q1 2015-16 is now available on the SQA Accreditation website.

The report contains statistics relating to the number and uptake of all of our accredited qualifications.

At the end of the first quarter of 2015-16 there were 1,019 accredited qualifications. These were made up of 699 SVQs (69%), 55 Regulatory and Licensing qualifications (5%) and 265 'Other' accredited qualifications (26%). We also examine the uptake split by Qualification Type, Awarding Body, Area of Competence and Qualification Developer, normally over a three year period.

If you have any questions about any of these reports please contact allan.raghoobur@sqa.org.uk.

Self-Assessment Review Update

We've listened to recent feedback from awarding bodies regarding the annual self-assessment process and are pleased to launch our new guidance document Demonstrating Continual Review: Guidance to Awarding Bodies on Self-Assessment. We are confident that this will make our requirements clear and transparent and assist with your self-assessment submission.

Our website has been updated to include a number of self-assessment exemplars which awarding bodies may wish to consider when putting together their annual self-assessment return. 

Titling of Scottish Vocational Qualifications

As a result of a three-year SCQF credit rating pilot for SVQs, we announced in 2010 that we would be dropping the word "level" from the SVQ level descriptor in the title of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQ) and that the title of an SVQ would be "SVQ 2 in Business and Administration at SCQF level 5".  

At the same time, we advised that once all SVQs had been SCQF credit rated then the SVQ level would be dropped from qualification titles and that only the SCQF level would be specified in the SVQ title. 

There are currently a very small number of qualifications still to be SCQF credit rated.  As such, we have recently consulted with a broad range of stakeholders  and having considered the feedback, we would like to confirm that we will implement this final change from 1 September 2016.

The implementation of the new titling convention is expected to remove potential confusion with the current multiple levels in qualification titles and to help foster promotion of the SCQF.

The current titling convention is: SVQ 2 Floristry at SCQF Level 5

The new titling convention will be: SVQ Floristry at SCQF Level 5

We have been actively seeking feedback from key stakeholders since October 2014 to determine the best way of implementing the change. This involved inviting comment from all Standard Setting Organisations (SSOs), Awarding Bodies (ABs), Colleges, a number of training providers and employers, and key organisations such as Scottish Government, SDS and SCQF Partnership. Taking this feedback into account, SQA's Accreditation Committee approved the following approach:

Implementation 

  • The change to the SVQ title is to be applied at re-accreditation or extension stage and for all new SVQs from 1 September 2016. 
  • Awarding Bodies can either undertake the title change as a single activity or undertake the title change as a phased activity as is most appropriate to each organisation.

This importantly allows awarding bodies to manage the change as best suits them, as we were aware that a number of our awarding bodies will require a business case in order for software to be altered to accommodate the change. We will be more than happy to discuss with individual awarding bodies their requirements and assist with managing their different approaches.

SSOs will be required to implement this change in any UKCES project work which may take place in 2016/2017.

During October 2015 Awarding Bodies and Standard Setting Organisations will be provided with a list of SVQs where this change will be required during the remainder of 2016/2017.

We will  provide this information annually to all relevant awarding bodies and standard setting organisations until titling conversion is completed for all SVQs. 

Please take this opportunity to discuss this change with the relevant people within your organisation. We will come back to you in late October to find out more about how you intend to implement this change. 

In the meantime if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact one of the following Accreditation Managers, Peter Aird (0345 213 5242) or Amanda Laing (0345 213 5248).

Reminder

This is just a reminder to Awarding Bodies advising them that SQA Accreditation utilise Awarding Body Provider Lists held in their Quickr place. This is to allow us to plan our quality assurance activities over the forthcoming financial year.

To assist us with this planning, and to avoid contacting providers unnecessarily, we require you to maintain your Quickr place on an on-going basis, with the most up to date list of all your approved providers delivering SQA accredited qualifications / Units and Workplace Core Skills (where applicable).  

Accreditation Coordination Group Decisions

The Accreditation Co-ordination Group (ACG) publishes a list of its approved decisions one week after each ACG meeting.  If you would like to check any ACG decision from 2010, this information is available on our website.    

Feedback

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. Please feel free to give us your feedback by email to linda.leitch@sqa.org.uk.

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