Thursday, 9 January 2014

Getting involved with SQA

I'm a member of the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the University of the West of Scotland, which provides advice to the University about its programmes and courses. The Board meets twice per year. I attended its winter meeting yesterday afternoon. It's a huge committee, with over 60 people attending yesterday's event.

SQA does something similar with our Sector Panel. The purpose of this committee is to provide strategic guidance and support for SQA qualifications. There are members from colleges, schools, training providers, universities, industry, professional bodies and special interest groups. It's nowhere near as big as the IAB but, I think, it is pretty representative of our stakeholders. Sector Panels go back decades in SQA (I was a college representative on one in the 1990's) and I'm pleased that the Computing one is one of the few that still exists (the other subject areas moved onto other ways of achieving the same thing). The Sector Panel meets once per year, with online communications between meetings. We're always looking for fresh faces, so please contact Caroline if you are interested in joining the Panel. It's a great way to make a strategic contribution to the subject area.

There are other ways of getting involved. We have a Qualification Support Team, which is responsible for monitoring qualifications and suggesting how best they can be supported; Qualification Development Teams that actually create qualifications; Validation Panels that ensure new qualifications are fit for purpose; unit writers (and vetters) who write the component units for new qualifications; and External Verifiers who check that standards are correctly applied in centres. Please contact Hilary if you want to know more about any of these roles.

Joining an SQA committee, or actually developing qualifications, is a great form of continued professional development (CPD) -- and some of the jobs are paid (such as unit writing).

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