Adult Achievement Awards Launched

Marian Docherty Angela Constance and Ann SouthwoodOver the last three years, with funding from the Scottish Government, the SCQF Partnership (SCQFP) has supported the credit rating of a number of CLD programmes. However, in 2014/15, the SCQFP moved its focus from funding several smaller projects in the CLD community to one major piece of project work which will have an impact nationally and across all sectors.

At the beginning of 2014 there was a general consensus of opinion that a programme formally recognising the skills and learning experiences of adults should be developed in a similar manner to that of the Youth Achievement Awards. These non-contextualised awards were then developed in partnership between the SCQF Partnership, Education Scotland and Newbattle Abbey College, with guidance from a steering group of partners representing the CLD and Third Sector communities. Initial discussions led to a series of consultations and face to face focus groups across all sectors engaging with adult learners.

In January 2015 Edinburgh Napier University credit-rated the new Adult Achievement Awards at SCQF levels 3, 4 and 6. The Awards allow for the skills achieved and developed in non-formal learning scenarios to be recognised whilst also looking at the importance of the softer transferable skills.

The final structure of the Awards is as follows:

SCQF Level      Award Owner                    Award Name                                                              SCQF Credit Points

3               Newbattle Abbey College   Recognising and Building on an Achievement                              30

4               Newbattle Abbey College   Understanding Achievement and Developing Your Potential        40

6               Newbattle Abbey College    Evaluating Achievement and Planning for Success                     60

Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, launched the Awards at a special event at Newbattle Abbey College on 14 May 2015.

Ann Southwood, Principal of Newbattle Abbey College, said: “Newbattle Abbey College is proud to launch the National Adult Achievement Awards and looks forward to piloting the programme across Scotland. This award will enable adults to gain formal recognition for their learning. It will focus on learning and transferable skills, not on the content or context of learning. As Scotland’s adult education college, we are delighted to offer an award that is all-inclusive of people from different sectors and backgrounds, including those with additional special needs who would not normally benefit from the opportunity to study.”

SCQF Partnership CEO, Aileen Ponton, added: “We were very keen to leave a legacy as a result of the work we have been doing with the CLD sector over the last few years and are delighted that this has been realised in the form of the new Adult Achievement Awards. The nature and reach of these Awards are entirely in keeping with our philosophy of recognising learning of all types and at all stages. The strength of the partnership arrangements in developing, consulting on and piloting of these awards is a testament to how important we all know adult education and recognition to be for the success of our communities.”

There has been significant interest from all sectors in the awards and several partners have been asked to take part in the pilots, which are scheduled to run from September 2015 – May 2016, subject to funding being available.

To register your interest in being involved in a pilot or to find out more about the Adult Achievement Awards, please contact Marian Docherty, Depute Principal, Newbattle Abbey College at

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