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Pisces Learning Innovations Ltd.

Fish Husbandry

Project Outcomes...


  • A suite of new Fish Husbandry NPAs to support staff development from induction onwards


  • A more manageable pathway to the Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture


  • A flexible work based learning delivery system for fish husbandry training


  • Mentor development through facilitated workshops supported by high quality packs.







“A well conceived work based learning strategy helped us to push the boundaries of our fish husbandry skills development programme, supported by high quality guidance and mentor development as we prepared for implementation.”
Debra Nichol-Storie - Scottish Salmon Company Head of HR

The Request

The Sector Skills Council (LANTRA) research in 2008 indicated that the Scottish industry could not access suitable courses and qualifications and their reliance on non-certificated training was growing. Consequently, although rich in knowledge and skills, the aquaculture workforce was largely unqualified. The widely dispersed nature of the industry and the difficulty in releasing staff to attend conventional college based courses necessitated a radical revitalisation of fish husbandry training systems.

Our response

The development of a learning and skills strategy for aquaculture companies put the emphasis on effective learning support through high quality learning packs and workplace mentoring, coupled to robust assessment and progressive, attainable qualifications.

An SQA Qualifications Development Team with industry representation was established, leading to the development of two Fish Husbandry National Progression Awards at SCQF level 5 in Fish Husbandry and Fish Health and Nutrition, derived from the Aquaculture National Occupational Standards.

The flexible work based learning delivery system developed can be customised  by incorporating company specific Standard Operating Procedures within assessments. This makes the gathering of witness testimonies by supervisors all the more intuitive, using the training and assessment process to bolster company standards and performance management.

By design,  learners can progress from the NPA in Fish Husbandry within their company induction phase, building their confidence and accumulating credits, followed by the more demanding NPA in Fish Health and Nutrition. They are then prepared for progression to the Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture.

Work based mentors were developed during a pilot phase with a salmon farming company, through facilitated workshops supported by high quality mentor development packs.