The SQA, it is often forgotten, is not just about schools and colleges. Of 1,200 "approved centres" which run its examinations, more than half are not in the formal education system. That means it has "stakeholders" (the authority's new buzz-word) who are employers and private training providers as well as teachers and lecturers.
This disposition of forces has merely confirmed critics like Tony McManus, principal English teacher at Queensferry High, who argue that the SQA is effectively "a Scotvec takeover of the national qualification system and Higher Still is modelled on its questionable procedures".
But Fred Forrester, depute general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, says early fears by teachers of a Scotvec "takeover" have not materialised. "The authority has proved to be very open, responsive and accessible," Mr Forrester said.