- What is the SCQF?
- Why does Scotland need a framework of levels and credits?
- Are all qualifications at the same level equal?
- What other qualifications are on the SCQF?
- Is it the SCQF's job to award qualifications?
- Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?
- Are Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) now on the SCQF?
- How does the SCQF link with Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy,Developing the Young Workforce?
- What is the EQF and what are its benefits?
- Who is the EQF for?
What is the SCQF?
The SCQF helps you understand Scottish qualifications. It provides a way of talking about, and comparing, qualifications. This will help you make better choices about learning and help you progress. The SCQF brings together all the mainstream Scottish qualifications. It gives them credit points, which show how much learning has been achieved, and a level which shows how demanding the learning is.
Why does Scotland need a framework of levels and credits?
There are many different qualifications – for example, Nationals, Highers, SVQs, HNC/Ds and Degrees – and the Framework is a way of showing how they relate to one another. It shows that qualifications are broadly comparable, but it does not mean they are equal. The SCQF supports the Scottish Government’s lifelong learning strategy and – now that there’s more mobility of learners and workers across the UK, Europe and internationally – qualifications frameworks are the method by which learning will be understood globally.
Are all qualifications at the same level equal?
No. The Framework does not describe qualifications at the same level as being equal. And qualifications at the same level are not interchangeable. But different qualifications can contain learning which is equally difficult or complicated and when this is the case they will be at an equal level on the framework. However, even when qualifications are at the same level, some require a greater amount of time to complete because there is more to learn, and therefore they are not equal in terms of credit. It means they are at a comparable level in terms of knowledge, skills or competence required. They make similar demands on the learner. That is why they are positioned at the same level in the Framework.
What other qualifications are on the SCQF?
The SCQF aims to help people of all ages and circumstances to access appropriate education and training over their lifetime. It can cover learning that you do in the community or in/for the workplace. For example, the Workers’ Educational Association Scotland has had its Counting on a Greener Scotland programme placed on the Framework, and professional qualifications offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) are now on the SCQF too.
Is it the SCQF's job to award qualifications?
No, the SCQF is not a regulatory framework and the SCQF Partnership is not an awarding body – it doesn’t provide or develop qualifications. Awarding and accrediting qualifications is still the job of organisations like the SQA, universities, colleges and statutory and professional bodies.
Does the SCQF measure the quality of teaching?
No. That is not part of the SCQF’s purpose. The Framework is a way of looking at, comparing and understanding Scottish qualifications. Other organisations review the quality of teaching, like Education Scotland’s HM Inspectors.
Are Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) now on the SCQF?
Yes, they are available in many industries across SCQF levels 5-12. There’s lots more information on MAs on the Skills Development Scotland website at www.apprenticeships.scot.
How does the SCQF link with Scottish Government’s Youth Employment Strategy,Developing the Young Workforce?
Developing the Young Workforce is the Scottish Government’s response to Education Working for All. The strategy outlines a seven-year programme to offer all young people in Scotland a broader range of choices in the Senior Phase (from S4 to S6) of their school years and higher-quality work experience. It also aims to build closer connections between schools, colleges and employers.
The SCQF supports the strategy by showing the equality between vocational and academic qualifications.
What is the EQF and what are its benefits?
All countries have a qualifications system but a qualifications framework is a more systematic way of classifying qualifications, usually by a hierarchy of levels. Among the benefits are greater readability of qualifications and easier progression between levels. The EQF will relate different countries’ national qualifications systems and frameworks together around a common European reference. In practice, it will function as a translation device making qualifications more readable. This will help learners and workers wishing to move between countries. For example, currently an enterprise in Ireland may hesitate to recruit a job applicant from, say, Hungary, because it does not understand the level of the qualifications presented by the Hungarian candidate. However, referencing national frameworks to the EQF can help in this respect by providing a common reference point in terms of the level of a particular qualification. You may find it useful to have a look at the EQF portal. The EQF level for all qualifications on the SCQF can be found for each programme listing on the SCQF Database.
Who is the EQF for?
The primary users of the EQF will be bodies in charge of national and/or sectoral qualification systems and frameworks. Once they have related their respective systems to the EQF, the EQF will help individuals, employers and education and training providers compare individual qualifications from different countries and education and training systems.