Bringing together Clydebank College, James Watt College (Inverclyde) and Reid Kerr College, the new West College Scotland opened its doors on 1st August 2013. West College Scotland has an ambitious vision building on the educational, commercial and international successes of all three colleges to ensure that their collective strengths and specialisms are maximised. The merger will see greater choice, better facilities and enhanced services across the west region with an emphasis on local provision and campus facilities. The new college will play a key role in developing the economic success of its local communities and across the wider west region, fully supporting dynamic growth in the local, regional and national economies.
The 2013 -14 College Credit Rating (CCR) project had three aims:
• To help overcome any perceived barriers to credit rating within colleges and to embed credit rating within formal quality assurance structures;
• To increase, in a coherent way, the number of non-recognised qualifications on the Framework; and
• The building of sustainability in credit rating within regional structures in Scotland.
2013/14 was the third of a three-year project aimed at supporting the credit rating of up to 30 programmes.
The Learning Programme
The Care Matters programme was designed and developed to meet a gap in the market for a comprehensive introductory course to be delivered to distance learners prior to undertaking higher level study. The course is also an attractive option for those individuals who are in employment and would like to undertake subject specific continuous professional development. The programme consists of 5 Core Units and 4 Optional Units and has been credit rated at SCQF Level 4 with a total of 19 Credit Points. In academic session 2011/12 168 candidates enrolled in the individual units of the award with an average successful completion rate of 71%. In session 2012/13 43 candidates registered for the full award and over 100 candidates registered for individual units. Enrolments came from a range of groups, including 5th and 6th year school pupils, individuals undertaking the units as added value to their fulltime courses, and individuals employed in the care sector undertaking the programme as part of continuous professional development.
Why did you decide to apply to participate in the SCQF College Credit Rating Project?
Traditionally distance learning programmes have focused on advanced levels of study from SCQF levels 6 upwards. To address this issue we felt that there was a need to develop and deliver qualifications that are both meaningful and desirable to employers and at the same time interesting and engaging for individuals, enabling the development of basic and soft skills in an appropriate vocational area. The funded project allowed us to release subject experts from class contact in order to contribute to credit rating activity.
How has having your learning programme SCQF credit rated benefited your learners and your organisation?
As a result of credit rating our qualification we have achieved recognition on the SCQF which adds value to the programme by helping employers to understand the amount of learning, knowledge, skills or competence needed to achieve the qualification. It also enables employers to match the programme against existing qualifications. From an internal perspective, programme managers within the Region will be able to map the units and utilise them within their current frameworks. Individuals will be able to use the SCQF to help them to understand which course is best for them allowing them to plan their learning and progression routes.
What future plans do you have for further programmes to be credit rated onto the SCQF?
The College plans to continue with SCQF credit rating for all College certified programmes with a particular focus on those delivered by distance learning. It is also the intention of the quality team to embed the skills necessary to participate in credit rating across the three campuses in the West Region in order that each curricular area will have the necessary expertise to take future initiatives forward.
For more information on the benefits of having your learning programmes credit rated, contact the SCQF Partnership on 0845 270 7371 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.