North East College Scotland (NESCol) is one of the SCQF Ambassador Colleges that joined the scheme in May 2018. Gill Griffin, Director of Quality, and Fiona Garry, Development Officer from the SCQF Partnership met up to discuss the developments, impact and future plans that the college has made since it gained its Ambassador status.
North East Scotland College is the only further education college located within the North East of Scotland, and provides a wide range of education and training opportunities to meet the needs of individuals, communities and employers across the region. The priority of the College is to ensure high quality education and training opportunities for those across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire in a flexible, engaging and accessible way.
“On my visit to North East College Scotland, I could see real evidence of the SCQF in publications around the College and felt encouraged by how the Ambassadors have embedded the Framework in their work, and continue to promote the Framework to their students to add meaning to the curriculum.” Fiona Garry, SCQFP Development Officer
When the college set up the Ambassador scheme they appointed Gill Griffin as the lead contact and she set out on a journey to involve a wide range of staff from the College to deliver the message across all campuses, from students to staff. These included curriculum leads, school liaison teams, marketing & social media, the Students’ Association and student services staff. This has ensured that the SCQF message has been integrated in a wide range of activities across the college reaching the target audience from schools, the local community and staff.
“The Ambassador selection for the programme was key to ensuring that the SCQF message reached curriculum and support activities across the college. Our action plan has been running for just over a year and in that time we have completed 10 actions, are continuing with 7 and have added another 2 to further stretch our objectives. This demonstrates our commitment to raising the awareness of, and embedding the Framework, in everyday practice within our college.” Gill Griffin, Director of Quality, NESCol
Alongside updating and refreshing the learner journey pathway document, an ambitious action plan has been developed and many successes have come from this as Gill continues to embed the SCQF throughout the curriculum at North East College Scotland.
- SCQF levels are now incorporated into all quality documentation as standard practice across all curriculum areas
- A talking heads video to discuss SCQF is in the process of being developed and will be embedded into “My NESCol” induction programmes for session 19/20
- Promote the SCQF in all correspondence with school engagement to encourage understanding of the flexibility of the Framework and the learner journey
- The SCQF Framework diagram is a regular feature on the plasma screens over all campuses
- Developed a new presentation for ESOL students which incorporates the SCQF levels and promotes understanding and further engagement to learners
- Credit rated a new module “Developing Skills for Employability, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship”
“Having reviewed the Impress (Skills for Employability, Enterprise & Entrepreneurship) unit, I can see some potentially interesting applications. Not only will this be helpful for existing students, but I can see potential for working with our partners at DWP (for example), for helping candidates back into work, or in the voluntary sector. There may also be interest from employers in upskilling staff (both as mentors and as candidates) with the right College support.” Director of Business Development
The Ambassador scheme has had an impact on the college by developing a common language and a clearer understanding of the inclusive nature of the SCQF Framework, within a wider audience of staff. The programme has raised awareness and developed alternative thinking of how the Framework can be embedded into current practice.
The development of the pathway maps has improved learners’ understanding of the value of their learning and the routes available to them. This has resulted in students having a clear understanding of where they are, where they can go and how they can continue to gain new skills and knowledge when they move into the workplace.
Future plans for using and promoting the SCQF
The college is continuing to train new staff and work with the Students’ Association and student facing staff functions. The Ambassadors also hope to work with HR and align all North East College Scotland jobs with SCQF Level Descriptors, where possible and become an SCQF Inclusive Recruiter.
They will also continue to use SCQF levels on all college publications and internal documentation.