THE Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework should be published by this autumn. It is intended to provide "a map of learning opportunities" in the form of qualifications from secondary school to postgraduate degrees including all levels in Higher Still and Scottish Vocational Qualifications.
The framework will have a common system of credits, one for every 10 hours of study. There will be a single system of levels which will be clearly described in terms of what it is that an individual at a particular level knows and is able to do.
There will be descriptions of the qualifications, for example, degree or certificate of higher education. In time all programmes and qualifications will be described in terms of their overall level and the number and level of their constituent credits.
There will be guidelines on the credit rating of previous learning and experience, including work experience. The opportunities will be spelt out of transferring credit from one programme to another, thereby avoiding the need to repeat learning. That will include use of Advanced Highers or work-based programmes as transfer routes to degree courses.
Within the national learning map subject groups will make clear the pathways and structures of qualifications. For example, the Scotcat early years forum, which brings together higher and further education, the Quality Assurance Agency and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, is already working on a progression map for carers and teachers of pre-five children.
The SCQF itself is being produced by the Committee of Scottish Higher Education Principals, the Scottish Advisory Committee on Credit and Access, the QAA, the SQA and the Scottish Office Education and Industry Department.