Independent review of Scotland's early learning and out of school care workforces

An independent review of the skills and qualifications essential for the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) and Out of School Care (OSC) workforces in Scotland.

2. Glossary of Acronyms and Terms


AHDS (Association of Head and Deputes Scotland)

A trade union for Headteachers, Deputes and Principal Teachers from nursery, primary and special schools in Scotland.

ADES (Association of Directors of Education in Scotland)

A network of the Directors of Education across Scotland's 32 local authorities. There is also a sub-group of ADES comprising those with a lead role in 0-5 services.

Care and Learning Alliance ( CALA)

A third sector membership organisation, based in Inverness, committed to the support of families with young children and the development of quality care and education in a wide range of early years groups.

Care Inspectorate

The independent regulators of social care and social work services across Scotland. They regulate, inspect and support improvement of care, social work and child protection services for the benefit of the people who use them. This includes all day care of children services and child minders.

COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities)

A representative body of Scottish local government that also acts as the employers' association on behalf of the 32 Scottish local authorities.

EYS (Early Years Scotland)

A national organisation which invests in Scotland's youngest children, pre-birth to 5. It delivers and supports high quality Early Learning and Childcare for children and families across Scotland. It was formerly known as the Scottish Pre-school Play Association ( SPPA).

EIS (Educational Institute of Scotland)

Scotland's largest and oldest teaching organisation, supporting over 80% of teachers and lecturers in all sectors including Nursery, Primary, Secondary, Special Schools and in Further and Higher Education. It has been looking after the interests and welfare of teachers for over 160 years and promoting the highest standards in Scottish education.

Education Scotland

It has a remit to support quality and improvement in Scottish education and thereby secure the delivery of better learning experiences and outcomes for Scottish learners of all ages. Its remit includes inspection of all education services in Scotland, including all early years settings offering the funded pre-school entitlement.

GTCS (General Teaching Council Scotland)

The independent professional body which promotes and regulates the teaching profession in Scotland.

NDNA (National Day Nurseries Association)

A charity and membership association promoting quality childcare and early learning for children in nurseries across the UK.

SCMA (Scottish Childminding Association)

The umbrella body representing the childminding sector in Scotland (it is a membership organisation).

SDS (Skills Development Scotland)

The national skills body supporting the people and businesses of Scotland to develop and apply their skills. It was formed in 2008 as a non-departmental public body, bringing together careers, skills, training and funding services.

SOSCN (Scottish Out of School Care Network)

The umbrella body representing the Out of School Care sector in Scotland (it is a membership organisation).

SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority)

The national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland. In its accreditation role, it accredits vocational qualifications that are offered across Scotland, including Scottish Vocational Qualifications, and approves awarding bodies that wish to award them.

SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council)

It is responsible for regulating people who work in social services, including the day care of children workforce, and regulating their education and training. It is also the national hub for workforce development for the sector, and is the sector skills council for social service workforce development in Scotland.

STUC (Scottish Trades Union Congress)

It represents trade unions throughout Scotland; works to influence Scottish Government and UK Government policy, and to influence local government policy.


A trade union that represents people who work in Scottish public services. Many childcare staff working in the local authority sector are members

GUS (Growing Up in Scotland)

A Scottish Government funded longitudinal study which is currently tracking two cohorts of children: one born in 2004/05, and the other in 2010/11.

EYC (Early Years Collaborative)

A national multi-agency quality improvement programme with partners from local government, including social services, health, education, policy and third sector professionals committed to ensuring that every baby, child, mother, father and family in Scotland has access to the best supports available.

RAFA (Raising Attainment for All)

A national improvement programme with over 200 schools using Improvement Methodology to improve attainment overall and to address the equity gap in attainment.


HNC (Higher National Certificate)

The HNC in Early Education and Childcare sits at Level 7 (Early Childhood Education and Care) on the SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework). The qualifications are available through colleges and training providers.

PDA (Professional Development Awards)

The PDA in Children and Young Peoples' Health and Wellbeing sits at Level 7 and 8, while the PDA in childhood practice sits at Levels 8 and 9. The qualifications are available through colleges and training providers.

SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)

The SCQF is a method of comparing the range of Scottish qualifications. It covers programmes in school, college, university and the workplace. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework comprises 12 Levels ranging from Access at SCQF Level 1 to Doctorate at Level 12 and a system of credit points. The different levels indicate a particular qualification's level of difficulty, while the credit points show the quantity of learning involved in achieving the qualification. Each credit point represents an average of 10 hours' learning.

SVQs (Scottish Vocational Qualifications)

Scottish Vocational Qualifications ( SVQs) are work-based qualifications. There are SVQs for most occupations in Scotland. SVQs are available at Levels 6, 7 and 9 in Social Services (Children and Young People). The qualifications are available through colleges and training providers.


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