SQA is committed to meeting the needs of Scotland’s people and economy
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is an executive non-departmental public body (NDPB), responsible for developing, accrediting, assessing and certificating the vast majority of Scottish qualifications.
The skills challenge is an increasingly important focus for countries across the world – but Scotland has recognised that success is not merely about a highly educated workforce. Achieving sustainable economic growth will only be possible by making those academic and vocational skills relevant and ensuring that these skills are applied in the workplace – whatever the nature of that workplace might be.
These skills include those that are job specific and associated with a given industry sector, updated and honed as demands change. There are also personal and learning skills that enable individuals to become effective lifelong learners by adapting to a changing environment. There are the fundamental skills of literacy and numeracy and increasingly IT capability, essential for an individual to participate in and contribute to modern society. Today’s work and learning environment requires high levels of communication skills and the ability to solve problems and to work effectively in teams.
So – why do we need qualifications?
Qualifications are essential tools in validating learning for individuals and employers and support the standards of achievement required by the economy, business and society. They also provide a record of progression for individuals as they develop through life, allowing them to build on their prior learning.
Qualifications must reflect the appropriate level of learning, capturing all aspects of the required skills, yet flexible enough to support different learning styles and employer needs. They must be relevant and allow for progression through lifelong learning as the needs of individuals, businesses and society change and they must be of a quality and standard that ensures that their value is maintained over time.
SQA is responsible for developing, in conjunction with Scotland’s diverse business community and the 40-plus colleges from across the country, workbased qualifications that are specifically designed to improve the skills-base of employees and in turn help make our economy more competitive, while also expanding and developing the career opportunities for many thousands of people.
There are SQA qualifications for everyone – school and college students, trainees, apprentices, and adults – people who already have qualifications and those who don’t, people who are in employment and those who are outside the job market.
SQA aims to continue improving links with business and industry and is totally committed to the ongoing process of developing new qualifications to meet the ever changing needs of the people of Scotland and the needs of the Scottish economy.
To find out more about SQA’s qualifications and other services, please call 0303 333 0330 or visit www.sqa.org.uk