Cyber Security

Adult Cyber Skills Programme: Evaluation Report

These are some key findings of this pilot programme. The full report is available for download.


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) commissioned QA to develop and deliver a virtual training offering to inspire a diverse range of people interested in cyber security to pursue a career in the profession. This pilot programme will be used to inform future policy interventions.

As part of DCMS’s wider work to increase the number of skilled people in the profession, and in particular to improve diversity and inclusion, QA developed a learning path that would support novices and individuals from different backgrounds, wanting a change of career or looking to step into Cyber security, to retrain and develop a portfolio of industry recognised skills and certifications.

The programme operated a ‘no barriers to entry’ approach to successfully train and upskill a diverse range of individuals in Cyber Security Fundamentals. The scope and intensive timescales for this project required QA to deliver all stages of the programme including attraction, recruitment, programme delivery and evaluation within 12 weeks.

This programme recruited 200 learners with a flexible delivery schedule of four weekly timetable slots, enabling applicants with existing professional or personal commitments to attend training.

The programme, also known as Cyber Launchpad, consisted of 3 levels of learning progression, increasing in difficulty and technical ability at each level: Cyber Connect, Cyber Protect, Cyber Beyond.

Each course consisted of 40 hours of online training, a combination of live delivery, knowledge checks, and immersive, self-paced labs. Trainers helped demystify the sector using real world experience and industry experts in the form of guest speakers helped learners get to grips with the range of opportunity within the sector for both technical and non-technical individuals, desired skills and day to day experiences. On successful completion of the programme students were eligible to sit the APMG, NCSC accredited exam Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security.

Key Highlights

At programme completion:

95% of learners stated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the learning experience overall.

Overall course rating
Confidence to apply for an entry-level Cyber Security role

94% of learners have at least some confidence to apply for an entry level role in Cyber Security on completion of the programme, compared to 52% before beginning the programme.

99% of learners have at least some motivation to continue to develop after the programme.

How motivated are you to continue your development in cyber skills?
How would you rate your level of interest in IT/cyber security?

93% of learners are interested or very interested in IT/Cyber Security on completing the programme, compared to 72% before beginning the Adult Cyber Skills Programme.

Percentages representative of the 101/143 learners who completed the evaluation survey end of programme. All data can be found in appendices of full report section 4.2 onwards.

The full report outlines our findings, recommendations and supporting data for this pilot programme.

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