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SQA and Codeclan Develop Scotland’s Digital Skills

Posted: 19th May 2017

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has produced a series of short films showcasing the impact its portfolio of computing qualifications and awards is having on digital skills development in Scotland.

Produced to mark National Digital Learning Week, one of the films has been produced in partnership with CodeClan, Scotland’s first digital skills academy.

With training centres in Edinburgh and Glasgow offering students the opportunity to fast track their way into a career in technology, CodeClan worked with SQA to develop the Professional Development Award in Software Development.

Currently the only training provider in the UK offering the qualification, CodeClan delivers the 16-week course to students keen to make a head-start in a new career, equipping them with the skills needed to join the continually expanding digital sector.

Sara Dodd, Head of Curriculum and Accreditation at CodeClan, said: “Creating the Professional Development Award was really a collaborative effort, utilising our knowledge of the industry, and SQA’s specialist knowledge of assessment. It’s a testament to the quality of the course, that 84% of CodeClan graduates are hired once they complete their PDA. The course also helps to confirm Edinburgh’s growing reputation as a hub for digital innovation.”

Alastair MacGregor, Head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths at SQA, said: “Our CodeClan case study is an excellent example of how SQA’s digital skills qualifications are being developed, and delivered in exciting and innovative ways. By working together with the organisations delivering our courses, we are able to input valuable insights into the requirements of the qualifications, creating realistic and achievable pathways into the digital sector, and we are able to help give learners the skills they need to forge successful careers in this growing industry.”

CodeClan student Adam Leel, is currently working towards the PDA. Adam said: “I can see that the skills I’ve learned as part of the PDA course are really relevant. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and talk to employers, so I could see that what we were learning was important to them and relevant to the workplace.”

PDA graduate Simon Douglas added: “The skills the PDA has helped me develop are really translating well in my new job. There’s a lot of emphasis on planning and testing as part of the course, and this is a key part of any software development role, and the PDA really enforces those good practices.”

The full SQA Digital Skills playlist, which alongside the case study from CodeClan, features testimonies from Dundee and Angus College, and Kyle Academy in Ayrshire, is on SQA’s YouTube channel.

For more information on SQA’s portfolio of digital skills, and computing qualifications, visit

National Digital Learning Week runs from Monday 15 to Friday 19 May.

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