Scottish Education

Welcome! You have been redirected to this page as part of the SQA NetAcad curriculum alignment initiative. In partnership with the Open University, Cisco has mapped NetAcad content to the SQA curriculum. The goal is to support educational institutions across Scotland with free access to a range of high-quality and up-to-date tools, courses, and resources.

The aim of this page is to:

  • Outline the benefits of joining the Cisco NetAcad programme (for free!)

  • Share how you can access NetAcad personally via SQA

  • Explain how you can become part of the Cisco NetAcad community supported by the Open University

Scotland Offering.pptx


NetAcad is Cisco's largest and longest running corporate social responsibility programme that offers 1400+ hours of free Networking, Cybersecurity, and Programming content (and much more). In addition, NetAcad provides access to online coding environments, web page based operating systems, assessments, simulation tools, and professional development opportunities.

To discover the full range of courses, please go to this site. You can also take a closer look at the benefits of NetAcad via this page.

The courses from NetAcad that align to Scottish qualifications divide into three broad domains:

  1. Introductory: You, your students, and anyone taking the courses will develop a broad understanding of the digital discipline. Courses include Get Connected, Entrepreneurship, Be Your Own Boss Introduction to CyberSecurity, Introduction to IoT, Entrepreneurship and Introduction to Packet Tracer. Any educator with a Cisco Instructor account can teach these courses.

  2. Professional development: This second domain covers intermediate to advanced courses including IoT, a range of coding courses (JavaScript, Python, C and C++), Linux Open Source OS, Networking Essentials, IT Essentials (computer systems support), Cloud Security, and CyberSecurity Essentials. The coding, Cloud Security, and Linux courses are focussed on external (non-Cisco) certifications. Any educator with a Cisco Instructor account can teach these courses.

  3. Career ready: Courses in the third domain are focussed on industry certification and employability. The content follows on from the professional development and introductory courses and leads to Cisco focussed industry certifications. Instructors must be accredited to teach these courses, where 100% remote free instructor training is offered via the Open University and other Cisco ASCs/ITCs. Courses include, CCNA Introduction to Networks (ItN), CCNA Switching Wireless and Routing Essentials (SWRE), CCNA Enterprise Networking, Automation and Security (ENSA), CyberOps Associate, DevNet Associate and Network Security (NetSec).

Personal Access to NetAcad

As experienced educators, we all wish to explore content and develop experience as well as pilot different courses with select groups of students. Working with the SQA and the Open University, any educator based within the Scottish education system can apply to become a Cisco Instructor and immediately access all of the following courses:

  • Get Connected / Be Your Own Boss / Entrepreneurship

  • Introduction to Packet Tracer / Introduction to CyberSecurity / Introduction to IoT

  • Networking Essentials / IT Essentials / CyberSecurity Essentials

  • JavaScript / Python / C / C++ coding courses

  • All Linux courses

  • Cloud Security

  • All IoT courses

All of the above can be accessed and taught without any prior accreditation. If you are interested, please complete the embedded form below.

Connecting your Educational Institution

NetAcad operates as an educational community in which Cisco works with a range of Academy Support Centres (ASCs) such as the Open University. The Open University supports Cisco Academies in Scotland and beyond, as well as working alongside other ASCs based in the UK and Ireland. To find out more about the Open University Cisco ASC and what they do please go to their microsite.

As briefly outlined above, becoming a Cisco Academy presents a range of benefits. Once a Cisco Academy, you can encourage other colleagues to benefit from being Cisco Instructors, enable your institution to use many free resources (including Packet Tracer), and access the Career Ready courses (once Instructor accreditation is complete). ASCs, such as the Open University, provide broad community support (for free) as well as access to an extensive knowledge base.

This offer is open to schools, colleges, apprenticeship training providers, universities, and education focussed charities. In other words, as long as your organisation is not-for-profit or linked to the delivery of nationally recognised education and qualifications in Scotland; it should be eligible.

To register you organisation to become a Cisco Academy you can follow this simple process:

  1. Email to share that you are about to send an application! Share who you are and where you work.

  2. Apply via you must share in any comments box that you are doing this as part of the 'SQA'.

  3. Once your application has been approved - please follow the instructions within the email

  4. Then - finally forward the approval email to where we will send a separate small set of instructions regarding how to connect your newly minted Cisco Academy to our ASC.