GCHQ cyber courses recognised by qualification board

8 Apr 2019 12:38 PM

CyberFirst courses recognised by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)

Cyber experts have turned teenagers’ passion for tech into a nationally recognised certification. The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) CyberFirst courses for digital native 14-17-year-olds, have been credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) rating gives learners and employers confidence in the quality and level of content offered in CyberFirst courses. Rating is structured around a robust and rigorous framework, in partnership with leading tech learning provider QA and the SmallPeice Trust.

CyberFirst Defenders, Futures and Advanced courses give students the opportunity to explore the latest tools and technology, further developing their skills to lead to a dynamic and rewarding future.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said:

“Since 2017, well over 3,000 students have attended our free CyberFirst courses and securing SQA accreditation emphasises the high standards of the programme.

“CyberFirst courses offer students an ideal entry point to a fantastic career in cyber security.

“This summer, there are a variety of courses available for all levels and ages and I’d encourage young people interested in computing and technology to take a look at what’s on offer on the NCSC website.”

The NCSC and QA have successfully designed and delivered a number of engaging and inspiring project-based education programmes for 11-18 year old pupils nationwide. CyberFirst ‘demystifies’ technology and cyber security, encouraging young people into STEM subjects and provides an insight into cyber-related careers and opportunities.

Lisa Harrington, Managing Director of QA Learning, said: 

“The CyberFirst courses have been designed as fun and hands-on, but above all rigorous. So, the approval of these awards by the SQA Committee and credit rating without any recommendations or conditions was a ringing endorsement for the initiative as meaningful training.

“The clarification that SCQF Credit Rating gives means that students and employers will easily be able to understand the degree of skills acquired on a CyberFirst course.”

The CyberFirst programme has been allocated a credit rating reflecting the difficulty of content and time required to undertake the courses. CyberFirst Futures, for 15-16-year-olds is recognised for being taught to the same level as a GCSE.