In recent years, the SCQF Partnership has been working with colleges and universities to expand their credit rating activity beyond that of their mainstream provision. This has included running a range of capacity building workshops and providing support for specific projects looking at the recognition of wider achievement, professional development and partnerships with business and industry.
To support universities and colleges to expand their expertise in credit rating, we agreed to provide support to the sector by offering funding for the year 2021/22. Given the extent to which blended learning came to the forefront in 2020/21 and will continue to do so, the focus of this project was to fund programmes that already exist, that could be delivered online, and that were not already credit rated.
Proposals from Dumfries & Galloway College and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland were accepted and work began on the project in October 2021.
SCQF College Ambassador, Dumfries & Galloway College, credit rated its Journey to Employment programme. The fully online course was designed to help young people build employability skills, create a current CV, prepare for interviews and take part in a virtual work placement. It encourages candidates to identify the skills and attitudes that enable them to have good relationships with their colleagues, to make critical decisions, solve problems, develop respect and become strong ambassadors for the organisation.
The college felt the benefits of applying for the funded project were two-fold: firstly the credit rating would provide credibility and value to the programme, and it was also the ideal opportunity to develop their staff’s skills in credit rating.
Mandy Wallace, Learning & Teaching Innovation Manager at D&G College said:
“We found the whole experience very enjoyable, and it was a simpler process than any of us thought. The initial training and the exercises within really helped us with terminology and structure. The support materials were referred to during the Credit Rating process which helped us achieve our outcome. The professional discussion that was held at each stage was also beneficial and valuable as some staff wouldn’t normally work with the staff that were on our pre panel and panel. This was a great experience, and we look forward to producing more Credit Rated Programmes.”
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland credit rated its Junior Conservatoire of Filmmaking programme. This 3-year course aims to train and develop the next generation of filmmakers, supporting student transitions to further or HE study. The programme focuses on the development of knowledge, skills and techniques in filmmaking, screenwriting and film study.
The Junior Conservatoire is offered across three levels of study, each comprising 175 online contact hours per academic year. The course runs across each academic year with an annual intake of students.
RCS felt that credit rating the Junior Conservatoire Filmmaking programmes was a significant development in terms of supporting student transitions and ensuring that the programmes address the needs of the learner journey as the students prepare for further study and higher education. In addition, benefits such as developing staff in the Junior Conservatoire’s skills, knowledge, understanding and confidence in relation to credit rating were all gained by involvement in the project. Staff are now fully engaged and plan to credit rate a range of the other Junior Conservatoire programmes in addition to a number of short courses which already exist.
Marlisa Ross Short Courses and Business Development Manager at RCS added:
“This project has provided an excellent opportunity for RCS to develop staff knowledge, understanding and confidence in their abilities to apply credit-rating processes within our Pre-HE provision. This project is the catalyst for one of our key strategic aims as we move forward; namely to provide recognised learning opportunities across our Pre-HE and non-mainstream programmes.”
This project achieved three outcomes for the SCQF Partnership in its role of supporting Credit Rating Bodies within the university and college sector:
• to help overcome any perceived barriers to credit rating non-mainstream provision within universities and colleges
• to expand the types of credit rated programmes within universities and colleges in Scotland; and most importantly
• to build capacity of staff trained to credit rate non-mainstream provision within the HE and FE sectors.
Most importantly, once credit rated, learners undertaking the programmes receive formal recognition for their efforts.
Both projects completed in February 2022 and the four new programmes, spanning SCQF levels 4-7 across two subject areas, have been added to the SCQF database.
|Name of programme||SCQF level||SCQF credit points|
|Journey to Employment||SCQF level 4||4 SCQF credit points|
|Junior Conservatoire of Filmmaking Level 1||SCQF level 5||20 SCQF credit points|
|Junior Conservatoire of Filmmaking Level 2||SCQF level 6||20 SCQF credit points|
|Junior Conservatoire of Filmmaking Level 3||SCQF level 7||20 SCQF credit points|
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