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by Aileen Ponton
25 August 2021
Associate Feature: Leading the Way

Associate Feature: Leading the Way

It is 20 years this year since the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) was established and we are lucky in Scotland that we have a national qualifications framework that is the envy of many other countries around the world.

The SCQF now contains in excess of 11,500 qualifications including around 1100 programmes owned by a variety of different organisations.

These programmes are incredibly diverse recognising a variety of learning including the wider achievements of young people, a variety of work based learning, career development and the efforts made by volunteers.

The recent OECD report on reviewing Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence talks of too much focus on exams in Senior Phase and yet there are many learning programmes that are formally recognised on the SCQF but assessed in a variety of different ways.

It is important to understand and recognise the difference the type of assessment can make to the way in which we learn.

We don’t all learn in the same way so why should we be assessed in one way?

Because Scotland has one learner centred Framework containing mainstream and non-mainstream learning, it allows comparability and parity of qualifications, which means that everyone can plan a learning journey that is right for them and meets their needs. This supports Scottish Government’s ‘Developing the Young Workforce’ Strategy by giving equal recognition to vocational learning alongside mainstream qualifications.

As chief executive of the SCQF Partnership, the organisation that manages the SCQF, I have, over the last 14 years, been able to work with the team to develop a strategy ensuring a wide variety of learning programmes carry SCQF recognition without compromising quality.

We have appointed a range of Credit Rating Bodies who have the power to take programmes through the formal recognition process and we continue to advocate the importance of all learning pathways. 

The future is bright for learners in Scotland as the SCQF goes from strength to strength supported by the Partnership and a wealth of dedicated institutions and learning providers.

This article was sponsored by the SCQF Partnership.

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