I met with Bob McGonigle of Microsoft this morning to discuss the possibility of creating a range of Professional Development Awards (PDAs) within the HNC/D Computing and HNC/D Computer Networking awards.
These PDAs could be taught and assessed "normally" - or taught and assessed using Microsoft materials and assessments. This would permit centres to deliver Microsoft qualifications while contributing to Higher National qualifications.
I think that these PDAs could be attractive to part-time students who would like the national recognition that SQA awards provide also also status and vocational relevance of the Microsoft certification. They would be designed to fit in with part-time programmes within colleges.
The suite of PDAs would encompass more than Microsoft. We're hoping that they would be compatible with a range of vendor awards - from companies such as Oracle and Cisco - as well as Microsoft.
Ted Hastings is looking at ways of including these PDAs within the HNC/D Computer Networking and Deryck Nutley is looking into HNC/D Computing. You can find out more about SQA's work with Microsoft by contacting Vanessa Ranaldi.