Information for Standards Setting Organisations
Accreditation of Qualifications
What does Accreditation of qualifications involve?
The Accreditation of Qualifications section includes information on the types of qualifications we accredit and the various stages that lead to accreditation. This includes what you have to do when developing and submitting a qualification product for approval.
SCQF Credit Rating of Accredited Qualifications
What does SCQF credit rating of accredited qualifications involve?
The SCQF Credit Rating of Accredited Qualifications section describes what you have to do in order for us to approve your recommended credit rating and includes:
- information on what we can credit rate
- our methodology
- approval processes
- forms for SCQF credit rating
- the support we can provide
The items below have been developed as guidance on other issues of specific interest to Standard Setting Organisations (SSOs).
Assessor and Verifier Competence
What qualifications should assessors and verifiers have?
Clarification and guidance relating to the qualification requirements for the assessment and verification of accredited qualifications is given in Assessor and Verifier Competence.
This information can be used to help inform your assessment strategies and assessment principles.
Please note this is not an exhaustive list and assessment and verification of SVQs must always be in line with the current Learning and Development (L & D) NOS and the specific assessment strategies dependent on the requirements of the sector.
Awarding bodies must recognise that where an assessor or verifier has achieved a relevant qualification then there is no stipulation for them to repeat with the most current version.
Where assessment is undertaken by employers, please see employer direct model of assessment.
If you require any clarification on assessor and verifier competence, please contact your designated Accreditation Manager.
What is the employer direct model?
Where large employers have their own assessment centres they may train their assessors according to their own standards rather than achieving the assessor and verifier qualifications.
Where this model is used we require awarding bodies to:
- map the assessor and verifier training against the L&D NOS to ensure that there is a direct match
- identify any gaps and ensure that alternative evidence to demonstrate full competence is provided
The mapping must be provided at the point of qualification accreditation and will be reviewed by SQA Accreditation during the awarding body audit activity. This will also be required if a new employer is approved as a centre wishing to use this model.
SSOs may specify that they accept the employer direct model in their assessment strategies or assessment principles.
Guidance on NOS Consultation in Scotland
What consultation must SSOs carry out?
The NOS quality assurance procedures require SSOs to demonstrate nation specific consultation with employers and key stakeholders in relation to the review and development of NOS. In Scotland, NOS are used as the basis for development of Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) and other competence based qualifications. Scottish Government requires SQA Accreditation to ensure that Scottish employers are consulted and that their industry needs are reflected in the final NOS.
To assist you with each of the stages of the NOS approval process SQA Accreditation have developed Guidance on NOS Consultation in Scotland. This provides examples of the evidence required by, and the approval expectations of, SQA Accreditation Managers.
Should you require clarification of any aspect of this document, please contact your Accreditation Manager who will be happy to help.
How can Progression Pathways benefit you?
We encourage you to produce and use Progression Pathways. These should indicate the possible progression routes from SQA accredited qualifications.
Benefits of Progression Pathways to Learners
- clear routes to academic or career progression in any given area
- coherent programmes of learning for industry
- promotion of credit accumulation and transfer
- transferability of skills
Progression pathways should identify appropriate start points for learners, based on their current academic abilities and skills, so that learners can make informed, confident choices on the most appropriate route for them.
Benefits of Progression Pathways for Organisations
- a sound foundation for development of learners, ensuring that they can contribute to maintaining high standards of performance
- clarification of academic or skills requirements for operation in any given area
- opportunities to market the benefits of undertaking learning or choosing a career in any given area
Progression pathways should enable stakeholders to market qualifications in any given area and can be used as a marketing tool to encourage learners to pursue a prolonged career in any given area.
To maximise the potential benefits, it is important that any Progression Pathway model should be developed and promoted appropriately. SQA Accreditation has developed Recommendations for the Creation of Progression Pathways
Submissions to SQA Accreditation
Developing Scottish Qualification Products for Approval
We have published a guidance document to assist Standard Setting Organisations (SSOs) when developing qualification products for SQA Accreditation approval.
We have introduced a new qualification structure grid. Previously one document was used by Standard Setting Organisations (SSO) when developing qualification structures and a separate document required from awarding bodies when submitting qualifications for accreditation. This could occasionally result in errors with transferring information from one document to the other. Since the potential for error is inherent in the process of transferring or cutting and pasting information between documents we introduced a combined qualification structure.