E-Skills occasionally hosts meetings between themselves, vendors and awarding bodies, and one of those meetings was held today in their London office. The purpose of the meetings is to provide a communication channel between the parties and to let the awarding bodies and vendors know about each other's plans.
A number of vendors (such as Microsoft, Apple and Cisco) attended this morning's meeting, along with a number of awarding bodies (such as City and Guilds, and EdExcel). There were discussions about planned changes to vendor qualifications and how best for awarding bodies to incorporate vendor awards.
Because of changes to the English qualification system, E-Skills (as a "unit submitting organisation") creates the vendor units that are put on QCF (the equivalent of Scotland's SCQF). These units strictly reflect the corresponding vendor units, but they are in "QCF-format". It was interesting to hear the English awarding bodies complain about the same problems as we have in Scotland -- the constantly changing nature of vendor qualifications and the time it takes to get them accredited on QCF and embedded inside qualifications offered to FE students. We're working on our own solution to this problem in Scotland, so watch out for more news on this shortly.
Contact Caroline if you want to know more about SQA's links with vendor awards.