Education Reform Qualifications Body Delivery Board minutes: August 2022

Minutes for the meeting of the group, held on 18 August 2022.

This document is part of a collection

Attendees and apologies


  • Mike Baxter (MB) (Chair)
  • Dawnne Mahmoud (DM)
  • John Booth (JB)
  • Martin Campbell (MC)
  • George Brown (GB)
  • Fintan Cronin (FC)
  • Chris Graham (CG)
  • Ken Thomson (KT)
  • Stuart McKenna (SMcK)
  • Lyndsay McRoberts (LM)
  • Isabel Nisbet (IN)
  • Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Cunningham (EC)
  • Erin McCabe (EM)
  • Sharon McGuigan (SMcG)


  • Louise Wright (LW)
  • Shannon Quinn (SQ) (Secretariat) 


  • Fiona Robertson

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

Introductions were made and apologies noted above.

Minute and actions of previous meeting

Please note as this is the first Delivery Board (DB), there are no previous minutes to review. Additionally, there are no open actions or decisions to discuss.

Terms of Reference for Delivery Board

FC presented the Delivery Board’s Terms of Reference (ToR). 

Action - QDB-01 - MB to circulate the full Education Reform Programme ToR. 

Action - QDB-02 - references to “External Members” will be updated for the final version of the Delivery Board ToR.

Action - QDB-03 - after amendments are made to the ToR, PMO will circulate for sign off.

Feedback from Strategic Programme Board    

DM provided the members with an update from the Strategic Programme Board held Wednesday 17 August 2022. 

The dependency on Prof. Hayward’s review was taken on board by the Strategic Programme Board. An interim report from Prof. Hayward will be provided in October which may provide insight to a potential deadline and direction for our Target Operating Model (TOM) deliverables.

Programme Summary Update

FC provided an update for the Programme.

Action – QDB-04 - create an acronym glossary for the programme and add to future DB packs and ToR.

Current Programme RAG (Red, Amber,Green) status is red due primarily to the key dependency concerning approval for funding for resource backfill to enable TOM design work to commence. 

IN suggested any relevant timeline for dependencies on external factors be factored into the dashboard where possible such as:

  • funding approval from Scottish Government
  • Hayward report publication
  • Scottish Government decision on Accreditation and Regulation

Action - QDB-05 - FC to incorporate the external factor estimates if possible, mentioned at the QDB 18 August into the next iteration of the Programme Dashboard.

Workstream updates                                

Target Operating Model update

DM presented an update for the Target Operating Model (TOM) workstream and confirmed that the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis workshops are progressing to plan.

Colleague engagement update

DM presented an update for the Colleague Engagement workstream and advised of the progress to date that has been shared with colleagues. Next steps are to share further information about the Delivery Board and today’s meeting.

External communications engagement update

JB presented an update for the External Communications and Engagement workstream.

Governance update

FC presented an update for the Governance workstream and advised that this workstream is reporting Amber. There has been good progress made on the commission PID (Project Initiation Document) and the Delivery Board has now had its first formal meeting with agreed agenda, inputs and outputs. It is important to note that independent assurance will be provided via the Gateway Review to the Strategic Board and its workstreams.

Legislation update

CG presented an update for the Legislation workstream.The beginning of September should see the announcement on Programme for Government and the team expect the overall legislation programme for the new parliamentary year to be in the public domain by the next meeting. 

Once legislation is introduced to parliament, committees may invite parties to give evidence. Legislation will proceed in 3 stages; stage 1 is to propose the bill, stage 2 to review the bill, stage 3 is finalising all of the above for approval.

Spotlight on

Programme structure for discovery phase

FC provided an update to the structure of the Programme for the discovery phase. 

The proposed programme structure is comprised of four sub programmes, these are organised via key deliverables as aligned to the commission PID with an underpinning end-to-end focus with different lenses such as customer, systems, operations etc. 

Please note this will evolve from discovery to design phase of the programme and any proposed changes will be agreed by the Delivery Board. 

Action - QDB-06 - PMO will issue a summary of the Programme Change Lifecycle to show the different phases such as the Discovery and the Design phase of the programme.

Commission PID

MB provided an update on the commission PID

It was highlighted by SMcG that the commission PID explicitly states Accreditation and Regulation is not a responsibility of this Board. 

It was subsequently clarified that a decision on where Accreditation and Regulation functions will sit has yet to be confirmed by ministers. However, regardless of ministerial decisions, the new body will have to interact with Accreditation and Regulation and is therefore, still relevant to SQA (Scotish Qualifications Authority) and the functions of the new body.

Action - QDB-07 - CG to amend the PID to highlight that Accreditation and Regulation may be considered a part of this Board’s objectives but a decision on where these functions will sit has not yet been made by ministers.

Stategic Outline Case (SOC)

MB provided an update on the SOC.

The Business Case for the Education Reform Programme currently sits with the Strategic Board chaired by Claire Hicks. This document is still in draft form, feedback and commentary have been collated and reviewed. Once these amendments have been processed, the draft will then be shared in due course for review and feedback prior to the final version being reviewed by the Strategic Board in October.  

Programme funding

MB provided an update on programme funding. 

Whilst Public Finances remains rigid, SQA have requested funds to cover the additional work taken on to complete the agreed deliverables within the commission PID. CG confirmed that this request is with the finance business partners and once all questions have been answered, the bid will be submitted to the accountable officer. Unfortunately, there is no set timeframe for this to be completed. Although the bid does not explicitly state Accreditation and Regulation are included, consultancy, resource for backfill and release have been included.

Accreditation and Regulation

GB provided an update on Accreditation and Regulation. 

At the end of May, meetings were set up for Scottish Government officials to meet with the team, the Accreditation Committee, standard setting bodies and awarding bodies to begin discussions on future location of the accreditation function. These meetings were concluded by the end of June and GB advised that there had been no further communication from Scottish Government. 

It was noted by CG that advice would be presented to Ministers by end of August on the location of the accreditation function.

SMcG advised that Accreditation staff and Trade Unions (TUs) have not been updated or have had access to documentation despite being informed in June that this would be the case. 

SMcG and CG agreed to follow up this conversation offline to agree next steps. 

Action - QDB-08 - SMcG and CG to have off call discussions regarding accreditation documents prior to submission to Cabinet Secretary review.

Key programme risks and issues update

There are no decisions to be made regarding the risks today, however, MB is happy to receive comments on the risks from Board members should there be any. 

The RAID (Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies) was included in the meeting papers circulated Tuesday 16 August. 

Action - QDB-09 – review RAID, please direct feedback to FC and MB.

Any other business

IN would like to congratulate all SQA colleagues for the success of the 2022 Awarding Programme, MB agreed to share this feedback to colleagues. 

MB thanks all for inputs and forbearance for today’s meeting.    

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