The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework, known as SCQF for short, is Scotland’s national qualifications framework. It helps people understand how the vast numbers of qualifications on offer relate to one another. It assists learners in accessing appropriate qualifications and provides employers with an understanding of how different types of qualification can help develop a skilled workforce.
There are over 11,000 qualifications on the framework. These qualifications are only partly made up of those provided by schools, colleges and universities. There are over 850 other qualifications on offer, many of which are delivered in the workplace. Included in this figure are qualifications which SELECT offer to their employees.
In 2014, SELECT had two of its learning programmes added to the framework. In doing so, they gave their employees the opportunity to gain a formally recognised qualification in an aspect of electrical installation. This was achieved through a process called credit rating. They were guided in this process by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Partnership (SCQFP), who manage the SCQF.
What is credit rating?
The Framework includes programmes in school, college, university and in the workplace. It does this through a process called credit rating. This means that each qualification on the Framework is given a level and a number of credit points. The level of a qualification shows how difficult the learning is. The credit points show how much learning is involved in achieving that qualification. Each credit point represents an average of 10 hours of learning.
What are the benefits of credit rating?
SELECT is part of a growing cohort of private sector organisations, which includes Microsoft and BAE, that have stepped up to the mark to place its industry-standard certifications on the SCQF. They have recognised the benefits to both workforce recruitment and development.
Industry-specific qualifications, such as those offered by SELECT, ensure that employers have a team with the right skills. Having these certifications credit rated means that their level can be easily compared to the level of other mainstream qualifications, including HNC/Ds and degrees. By offering the chance to obtain a qualification that is recognised not only in Scotland but across the UK and Europe, employers are helping to develop an engaged and motivated workforce. Organisations that have had courses credit rated have reported that the recognition achieved though undertaking a credit rated programme has increased employee motivation and company loyalty.
Employers who have gone through the process have fed back that they have perceived many benefits to the organisation. They believe it helps set them apart from similar organisations, making them more attractive when applying for funding streams or tendering for contracts. It is also a selling point to potential employees, who see an organisation who wants to develop its workforce.
What is involved?
In order to be credit rated a learning programme has to meet four criteria:
• Contains 10 hours of learning
• Contains clear learning outcomes
• Be formally assessed
• Be quality assured
Don’t worry if that all sounds a bit daunting. The SCQF Partnership runs free ‘Would you Credit it?’ workshops to support organisations through the credit rating process. Visit our website for upcoming dates (http://scqf.org.uk/events/).
How do I access resources?
The SCQF Partnership offers a range of free resources to help employers benefit from the Framework. These can be found on our website (http://scqf.org.uk/employers/employer-guides/). Hard copies of our resources are available on request.
For further information, email the SCQF Partnership at email@example.com or call us on 0845 270 7321.