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The way we describe what a qualifications framework strives to achieve tends to be based on concepts such as “recognising different types of learning”, “parity of esteem” and “learner-centred”. This focuses us quite rightly on what is important in developing recognition of learning and in raising awareness of the framework as a tool for lifelong learning.

However, for people to understand the relevance and importance of anything on a personal level, it helps to tell stories. So here, in Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, is the story of how we at the Scottish Funding Council worked with the SCQF Partnership to help provide those leaving service with a smoother transition into civilian life.

Until we began our project, British Army infantry qualifications were mapped to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF); the framework used in England and Northern Ireland. What we managed to achieve by providing funding to the SCQF Partnership was a way of matching Infantry qualifications to their comparable Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework level.

Doing this meant that Scottish employers in any sector and of any size are now much better able to access the skills offered by former infantry soldiers. And these are skills vital in running and growing a successful business; problem solving, self-discipline, and the ability to work as part of a team.

We launched the new resource in September 2019. The Veterans Minister, Graeme Dey, was joined by Aileen Ponton, Chief Executive of the SCQF Partnership, and Colonel Sandy Fitzpatrick, Deputy Commander of 51 Brigade & Army Headquarters Scotland. During the event, the Minister met soldiers undertaking courses in Arabic and Junior Command Leadership.
In his speech, Colonel Fitzpatrick called the resource an important step in helping infantry service leavers and veterans demonstrate how valuable they are to prospective employers. He went on to describe how the recognition of skills would support the challenging move from military to civilian life.

Some soldiers leaving the army talk of questioning their decision and about being worried about finding employment ‘on the other side’. Removing one of the obstacles to having their skills and abilities properly valued felt like a very tangible achievement.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is helping make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, to research, and to innovate. Investing around £1.9 billion of public money each year, SFC’s funding enables Scotland’s colleges and universities to provide life-changing opportunities for over half a million people. Visit the website at https://www.sfc.ac.uk/.


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