CPD Forum

SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award

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SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award
by James Suttie - Tuesday, 10 November 2015, 11:01 AM

  • After a recent discussion with the SQA they have advised us that as part of their Scottish Government Directive, that they are always looking to develop new units/awards where there's a demand (around 100 per year). In Inverclyde we have around 40 volunteers across Adult Learning and Adult Literacies, and will be looking to expand our volunteer base in future years as we're working more towards a co-production/self-sustaining models. This was interesting to the SQA as we're just one small Local Authority CLD. If you are using volunteers as tutors, and would be interested in such a qualification being developed, could you let me know if you're interested in it, and an idea of how many volunteers might undertake such an Award. It wouldn't be exclusive to CLD. Partners and other organisations using volunteers in an educational capacity could also benefit from an Award. If you are interested, we would have to do a bit of national research into the interest to establish if the SQA would consider developing one.

Hi Mark,

We use the SQA unit:

Supporting Adult Literacies Learning - SALL SCQF6 which consists of

Raising Awareness of Adult Literacies Learning (10 hour)

Preparing to work with Adult Literacies learners (10 hour)

Delivering and Developing Adult Literacies Learning (40 hours)

It is a long course for volunteers but well worth it.  Not all volunteers decide to complete the assessments after the training.

There is info on the SQA Academy.

We have only used it twice now as we don't have many volunteers.

Any questions please e-mail me at bchilds@scotborders.gov.uk.

Regards, Becca




Hi Mark ...


Just echoing what Becca has said - we've delivered the PDA SALL course here in South Lanarkshire as well, twice so far, covering two local areas (Cambuslang/Rutherglen and Hamilton/Clydesdale).  It's definitely a long course and takes a bit of commitment - and like Becca, we've had issues with volunteers not completing assignments and assessments after their training is complete but that's all part of the learning process for us as facilitators.

You can contact me on gw13rossjulia@glow.sch.uk if you need any more info. 



Picture of wendy Coutts
Re: SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award
by wendy Coutts - Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 11:13 AM

Hi All


I work in Aberdeen City Council with a wee project called Healthy Minds who support people who are in recovery of a mental illness into learning and learning opportunities.  Within the context of this work we have a number of volunteers supporting cooking, guitar and craft classes.  Until recently I was unaware of any award that my volunteers could undertake. However we now deliver the SQA award in Volunteering skills at level 4 which all our volunteers have passed.  It's a reflective piece of work and requires 40 hours of commitment. Should anyone wish further info just give me a shout.



Picture of Edith MacQuarrie
Re: SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award
by Edith MacQuarrie - Wednesday, 3 February 2016, 9:23 AM

Hi Mark and all, The Adult Achievement Awards are completing their piloting phase in March. These qualifications may be suitable for your volunteers. There have been 11 pilots in a wide variety of settings. I'll send a link to this thread to Craig Green ( Kelvin College)   and Marian Docherty ( Newbattle Abbey College) who chair the working group. Graham Hewitson  who you may know through CLDMS is also a member  of the group.  

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Re: SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award
by Craig Green - Tuesday, 16 February 2016, 7:05 AM

The Access and Participation Working Group, supporting the work of the Scottish Adult Learning Forum, which drafted the Statement of Ambition for Adult Learning in Scotland, is working towards supporting the Forum’s strategic objective that “Adults access, recognise and participate in learning opportunities throughout all stages, changes and circumstances in their lives”. 

The group recognises the importance of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework in supporting recognition of learning and enabling progression. 

Initially, the group is focussed on the Newbattle Abbey College's Adult Achievement Awards, which are near the end of their pilot phase.

The Awards are credit-rated:

  • 3 SCQF credit points at SCQF Level 2: 30 hours
    'Recognising and Building on an Achievement’

  • 4 SCQF credit points at SCQF Level 4: 40 hours
    ‘Understanding Achievement and Developing Your Potential'

  • 6 SCQF credit points at SCQF Level 6: 60 hours
    ‘Evaluating Achievement and Planning for Success’

The Awards recognise personal learning and achievement and are also suitable for use in recognising the learning involved in volunteering.

There are some 11 pilot agencies involved, including the Glasgow Colleges.  Glasgow Kelvin College has found that the Awards are a useful means of encouraging learning and the SCQF credit rating a useful means of encouraging further learning

The next stage of the pilot programme will be to work out the financial and other arrangements to support delivery, likely to involve assessment by Newbattle Abbey and other colleges, with verification and certification awards handed by Newbattle Abbey Colleges.

Information about the Awards is available from Marian Docherty, Depute Principal of Newbattle Abbey College mariand@newbattleabbeycollege.ac.uk

Slightly pre-dating the Adult Achievement Awards are the Glasgow Kelvin College Community Achievement Awards (delivered since September 2014).  These Awards are also credit-rated:

  • 4 credit points at SCQF Level 4: 40 hours
    ‘Getting Involved in Community Activities’

  • 4 credit points at SCQF Level 5: 40 hours
    ‘Assisting in Delivery of Community Activities’

  • 6 credit points at SCQF Level 6: 60 hours
    ‘Delivering Community Activities’

  • 8 credit points at SCQF Level 7: 80 hours
    ‘Developing Community Activities’

These Awards have an emphasis on community activity and are designed to encourage volunteering (designed originally in response to the Glasgow CPP ‘Thriving places’ priority, which emphasises co-production approaches to community development).  Levels 5 and 6 are particularly aimed at volunteer activity.

These Awards are structured so that the evaluation stage includes consideration of the impact on others from candidates’ engagement with community activities.

These Awards are also, like the Newbattle Abbey College Awards, supported in partnership with other agencies, with Glasgow Kelvin College providing assessment, verification and certification.  To date about 250 people have achieved these Awards.

Information about these Awards is available from Craig Green, Head of Community and Information Services at Glasgow Kelvin College (me) craig@glasgowkelvin.ac.uk

I've attached three illustrative documents - a brief outline of the Awards and a couple of newsletter specials from one of our partners, the Marie Trust, each focussing on the achievements of volunteers supported using the College's Community Achievement Awards framework.

The original question was about the development of an SQA Award, aimed at volunteer tutors and others in an educational capacity. 

Neither the Newbattle Abbey College Adult Achievement Award or the Glasgow Kelvin College Community Achievement Award would serve this purpose.  Both would work alongside such an Award.  As I tend to explain about the Glasgow Kelvin College Award, it provides (as does the Newbattle Abbey College Award) the opportunity to gain recognition through reflective practice for experiential learning.  Volunteers want training in how to do the thing they've volunteered to do, and where this is mostly 'on the job' it tends to lack a means of formal recognition supporting progression, hence the development of the Adult Achievement Awards and Community Achievement Awards by Newbattle Abbey College and Glasgow Kelvin College. 

The Supporting Adult Literacies Learning SQA Award is suitably specialist for volunteer tutors supporting Adult Literacies, but the original question is looking for something more general for volunteer tutors which would support a variety of settings, including digital inclusion work, which I'm sure would be of interest to Glasgow Kelvin College's partners in the John Wheatley Learning Network (http://johnwheatleylearningnetwork.scot).  In terms of research into interest in the development of a more general SQA Award for adult learning volunteer tutors, please count this contribution as a declaration that we'd be interested.



Picture of Pamela Maxwell
Re: SQA Adult Volunteer Tutor Award
by Pamela Maxwell - Monday, 22 February 2016, 7:38 PM

LEAD helps those with disabilities to gain qualifications.  You can also volunteer and tutor those with disabilities and gain qualifications yourself.  Pity they had to pull out of Inverclyde due to lack of funding. Pam.