UK government backed cyber security programme helps young people achieve SCQF credit rated qualifications

  • The Cyber Explorers learning programme is now SCQF (Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework) credit rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA)
  • Comparable to GCSE standard within the National Qualifications Framework, students who complete the missions or challenges will earn a Level 4 or 5 certificate, comparable to levels 1 and 2 at GCSE level in England and Wales.
  • Cyber Explorersis a free platform dedicated to empowering and motivating students towards a future career in tech. It equips them with foundational knowledge, enabling them to investigate essential subjects like computer science and explore exciting career opportunities across a range of digital roles.


The Cyber Explorers qualification is now SCQF credit rated, meaning that any students who complete the suite of missions and challenges can obtain a formal certification from the SQA as evidence of their cyber security knowledge.   


The free courses which have been developed by cyber security experts provide KS3 (S2/3 in Scotland) students with cyber security skills and learnings, introducing them to core concepts such as digital forensics, encryption, and network security.  


Both challenges and missions are designed to improve students’ understanding of cyber security through interactive games, quizzes, puzzles, and challenges which aim to broaden students’ thinking and make smarter choices in the digital world.  


Upon completion of the Challenges and Missions, students can earn the following: 

  • Cyber Explorers – Cyber Squad Member (SCQF Level 4) earned by completing the Challenges.This is comparable to a level 1 GCSE in England and Wales.
  • Cyber Explorers – Cyber Champion (SCQF Level 5) earned by completing the Missions. This is similar to a level 2 GCSE in England and Wales.


This credit rating is a significant milestone in the ongoing mission to make the world of cyber security more accessible and engaging for young learners. The SCQF organises qualifications in Scotland, providing national recognition through credit ratings achieved via quality-assured analysis of the learning syllabus to ensure consistency for students, employers, and educational providers.


Visit  sign your students up to Cyber Explorers, access to the platform and download free resources to help empower the next generation of cyber security specialists. 

Cyber Explorers learning programme: 


Cyber Explorers is a UK-wide initiative to inspire and raise awareness in the 11–14-year-old age group, of the opportunities and hazards of using digital technologies. The learning programme demonstrates the use of technology in everyday roles, ranging from social media content creation to medical research, and sports technology to AI innovation. It highlights areas of risk, how to protect information and introduces learners to several cyber security professions, expanding their awareness of potential careers. It has been created to enthuse learners’ interest and demonstrate the necessity of cyber security in the modern digital world. The platform aims to show learners that skills they already possess, such as research and problem solving, can be applied to cyber security roles. 


Viscount Camrose, Minister for Cyber, said:

“We are rolling out our plans right across the UK to help keep us safe online – giving both adults and young people the tools they need to protect themselves, the workforce, and our wider economy in our increasingly digital world.


“Cyber Explorers has already done brilliant work in giving our young minds the cyber security knowledge and digital confidence they need to make smarter choices online, and this SQA certification means students will be empowered by their cyber know-how to safely embrace the full range of benefits digital technology can bring.”


Cyber Explorers sits within a broader ecosystem of cyber learning opportunities and helps ensure the UK has a sustainable supply of diverse and high-quality individuals joining the cyber workforce in the future.

SCQF Credit rating gives learners and employer’s confidence in the quality and level of content offered in the CyberFirst courses, as this is structured around a robust and rigorous framework in partnership with leading tech learning provider QA Ltd.

QA has successfully designed and delivered a number of engaging and inspiring project-based education programmes for 11–18-year-old school students nationwide. The courses help to demystify technology and cyber encouraging young people into STEM subjects and provide an insight into cyber-related careers and opportunities.


Director of Strategic Services at QA, Lorna Ballard said:

“We are delighted to see the Cyber Explorers learning programme achieve SCQF credit rating by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. This not only validates the quality and rigor of the courses but also underscores our commitment to providing engaging and inspiring education in cyber security.

“At QA, we believe in demystifying technology and empowering young minds with the skills they need to succeed in the digital age. Our partnership with DSIT in developing the Cyber Explorers initiative has been driven by a shared vision of fostering a diverse and skilled cyber workforce for the future. This SCQF credit rating is a testament to the dedication and expertise of our team, as well as the collaborative efforts of all involved.

“We are proud to play a role in shaping the next generation of cyber security professionals and look forward to continuing our work in making the digital world a safer place for all.”


For more information about the Cyber Explorers learning programme and its SCQF credit rating, click here.