NCSC’s CyberFirst course receives SQA accreditation

The Scottish credit and qualifications framework now includes the cybersecurity courses designed by the National Cyber Security Centre

The National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) CyberFirst course has been credit-rated by the Scottish Qualifications Agency (SQA).

The nationally recognised certificate means the course, designed to introduce young people to the world of cybersecurity, now has a credit rating that reflects the content and work involved.


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The CyberFirst Futures, aimed at 15 to 16-year-olds, is recognised for being taught to the same level as a GCSE.

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.”

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.
– Lisa Harrington, QA Learning

NCSC is part of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and is a national body for cybersecurity. It manages national cybersecurity incidents, threat analysis and sectoral advice. The CyberFirst course is part of a five-year strategy introduced in 2016 designed to address the cyberskills gap.

There are a range of CyberFirst courses designed for different age groups. The courses are designed for mixed-ability classes and were created in conjunction with QA Learning, a leading tech learning provider, and The Smallpiece Trust.

The qualification is at level four on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).


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Lisa Harrington, QA Learning’s managing director, said: “The CyberFirst courses have been designed as fun and hands-on, but above all rigorous. 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.”

More information on the CyberFirst programme can be found at https://www.cyberfirst.ncsc.gov.uk/

This article was updated 15/04/19 to clarify the course’s qualification level.

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