IT Brief UK - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
CIISec's CyberEPQ gains CyberFirst recognition from NCSC
Fri, 29th Mar 2024

The Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec) has attained CyberFirst brand recognition for its CyberEPQ from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). This signifies the CyberEPQ as a high-standard course that successfully contributes towards enhancing young people's knowledge about cybersecurity. Apart from this recognition, the CyberEPQ has also become a part of the CyberFirst Pipeline. This opens up the qualification to a diverse array of talents, contributing to the creation of the future generation of cybersecurity professionals.

The CyberEPQ is the UK's first and the only Level 3 Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in cybersecurity. This course attempts to bring diverse and new talent into the industry. Equivalent to half an A-level, the CyberEPQ is accessible to everyone - from students looking to attend university to people who are contemplating a career change. This general availability makes the course a stepping stone into the cybersecurity profession.

The qualification, which is worth 28 UCAS points, gives students industry contacts, skills, knowledge, and guidance. These could serve as the base for a degree course, an apprenticeship, or an immediate transition into a cybersecurity role. The initial year it was conducted, in 2022-2023, the CyberEPQ saw the enrolment of 132 students from different schools across the UK. Of these, an impressive 68% scored in the A* to B category, with a third of these successful students being female.

The CyberEPQ, backed by CIISec's own skills framework, offers training in areas spanning the entire cybersecurity spectrum. These include topics like digital forensics, the history of computing and cryptography, and the role human factor plays in cybersecurity. The recognition by NCSC, afforded to well-structured and reputable courses, will enable the CyberEPQ to reach out to a wider range of talents across various age groups. This aligns with the goal of nurturing the future generation of cybersecurity experts.

In response to the recognition, Amanda Finch, CEO of CIISec, commented, "CyberFirst recognition will really help the CyberEPQ to grow. We've already seen a fantastic response to the programme, and the next step is to spread the net as wide as possible, helping to increase diversity in the cybersecurity industry. Working with NCSC, we hope to nurture the cybersecurity stars of the future."

The CyberEPQ's recognition and incorporation into the CyberFirst Pipeline represent instrumental steps in expanding the cybersecurity course's reach, thereby promoting diversity and laying the groundwork for a strong future in cybersecurity.