2016 marked the 15 year anniversary of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Since 2001, the SCQF has been Scotland’s national framework, helping people of all ages plan their learning journey, as well as supporting and informing schools, colleges, universities, training providers, employers, national and local governments and many others.
To acknowledge this milestone, the SCQF Partnership (SCQFP) undertook a research project in partnership with the University of Glasgow Training and Employment Research Unit (TERU), to understand how the SCQF is used and the impact it is having in Scotland.
The final report has now been published and findings have been shared with partners and stakeholders. The research suggests that the SCQF and SCQFP are both well-established features of Scotland’s education and qualifications landscape with the SCQFP proving to be instrumental in a number of key education and skills developments in the country. The SCQF is an important tool in breaking down the status divide between academic and vocational learning paths, in enabling employers to recruit and plan their workforce development activities more effectively, and in supporting education and skills providers in the design, development and quality assurance of their learning programmes.
However, the research also highlighted a need to continue increasing the awareness of the SCQF amongst key players in the development of the learner journeys of young people; namely teachers, parents and the pupils themselves. The report also concludes that the SCQFP needs to remain focused on striking the balance between simplicity of message and ensuring that the SCQF remains credible in terms of its quality assurance role in credit rated programmes.
Aileen Ponton, SCQF Partnership CEO, commented, “The SCQF as a tool can directly support the Government’s agenda on equity in education, closing the gap and developing the young workforce. We need to ensure that the SCQF continues to be central to Government policy by demonstrating clearly what the benefits and impact are and we think this report provides an excellent basis for this.”
Rob Wallen, Chair of the SCQF Partnership Board, added, “The most important message from the report is that the SCQF is recognised as being a very effective tool in planning educational provision – and is highly respected across different sectors of the education system – but further work is needed to help ensure that those involved in supporting learning who are not yet aware of its value are brought up to speed.”