Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Achieves SQA Accreditation for Exams

Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Achieves SQA Accreditation for Exams

The RAD Examinations Board is pleased to announce that its application to SQA Accreditation for approval as an Awarding Body and for
accreditation of its examinations in Scotland has been successful.

SQA Accreditation is a distinct, autonomous arm of the Scottish Qualifications Authority.  SQA Accreditation has a statutory role to approve and accredit all types of qualifications (other than degrees) that are offered across Scotland.  It also regulates and approves awarding bodies to deliver these qualifications.

Andrew McBirnie, Director of Examinations at the RAD confirmed that, “this is a very significant development for the RAD, because it means that for the first time anywhere in the world we will be awarding qualifications which are entirely separate from the regulators in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Ofqual, DfES and CCEA) – under whose remit the RAD currently operates on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).”

The Scottish qualifications have different titles, different levels, and different external properties, characteristics and uses. However, in practical terms, an Intermediate exam taken in Scotland will be no different from an Intermediate exam taken anywhere else.  The examination content, marking criteria,
and required standard will remain exactly the same.

However, so far as any external agency is concerned, these are entirely new and separate qualifications and in the short term this has two important implications:

1.            QCF qualifications award credit to the learner, which can be accumulated and transferred on the framework.  The new SQA qualifications do not currently award credit.

2.            Currently, UCAS points, allowing students to use RAD examination results at Level 3 towards their points tariff when applying to University or a Higher Education institution in the UK, only apply to QCF (and some NQF) qualifications.

So the next step for the RAD Examinations Board is to progress very quickly to operate on the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) and also to work with UCAS to ensure that they recognise the ‘Scottish versions’ of RAD exams, once the required documentation is in place.

Amanda-Louise Clark, Director, Central Scotland Ballet School, said: “having RAD exams accredited by the SQA is a long awaited step forward for Scottish dance schools. The accreditation adds greater value to these demanding exams for both students, their parents and local schools. It also recognises the importance of dance as part of children’s education by supporting the Scottish government’s initiative to encourage more people to dance.”

The RAD plans to issue the first RAD qualifications accredited by SQA in January 2012.

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