University of Edinburgh

Electronic Notetaking Course

This course is currently under review with a view to creating an online course. Contact SSC if you have queries


Electronic Notetakers (ENTs) take notes on a laptop for a variety of clients in an assortment of situations, using dedicated software that allows notes to be streamed in realtime to another laptop or mobile device. Clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds and may be deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted, or have mobility or learning difficulties. ENTs take notes in lectures, meetings, conferences, group discussions and interviews. ENT work is unique in the opportunities it offers for learning completely new subjects and meeting a wide variety of people.

The Customised Award: Electronic Notetaking is a competence-based qualification that was developed and is owned by the Scottish Sensory Centre to meet our specific requirements. We are now working to provide the course online using live, interactive teaching sessions and on-demand resources.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), an internationally recognised awarding body, currently provides certification and quality assurance of this qualification.

Target Audience

This course would suit people who can touch-type at a speed of at least 45 wpm and have excellent English skills, basic IT skills, a broad base of subject knowledge and a good standard of education. It is likely your typing speed will increase after starting the course.

Working as an ENT has given me an insight into many areas of the community - Education, Local Government, Social, Leisure, The Arts. At the same time I have learned a lot because I have picked things up as I have gone along.
Lynda Marr, electronic notetaker and former SSC trainee

The course manual covers in detail, information on ENT clients, IT skills, practical skills, language skills, employment, work placement and assessments (written exam, supervised session and portfolio).

Working as a notetaker you’re constantly helping others to learn, and while
doing so you’re learning about so many things yourself that you can continually become more professionally proficient in carrying out the work.
Elaine Russell, electronic notetaker and former SSC trainee

RSI and Health and Safety

Please be aware that this is a practical course and you should ensure that you have no underlying joint or muscle problems before beginning the course; RSI and Health and Safety are covered as part of the course but this course is not suitable for those who already have a muscle or joint strain or mobility issues.

As a working ENT you may need to transport 2 laptops. If you anticipate difficulty with this, you would need to make alternative arrangements, eg for a technician or colleague to assist.

Client appointment preparation

An Electronic notetaker is expected to be able to find their way to appointments and arrive early in order to set up and discuss with the client how they would prefer their notes to be produced.

Duration of Course

All elements must be satisfactorily completed within one year; this period includes resit time should any element not be satisfactorily completed.

Course Assessment Criteria

The Course Tutor assesses and marks all submitted work including the final portfolio; which is also verified by the Internal Verifier. If an unsatisfactory result occurs in any element, the candidate will have time to resubmit before the results are registered with the SQA.

NB: Two copies of the portfolio should be made by candidate: one as a personal record and one to be retained by the SSC for SQA Verifier inspection; once inspected this portfolio will be destroyed.

Accessing the live classroom

When participating in the live online classess, you will need to use a quiet private location without interruptions. It is best to use a wired (as opposed to wireless) internet connection. Use a comfortable, good quality microphone headset

Practical Assessment Session

There will be a practical assessment online (2 hours) to select candidates. The session will cover touch-typing, grammar, spelling, punctuation, file management and précis skills. The results will be emailed out during the following week. The decision regarding acceptance onto the course rests with the SSC Co-ordinator.

If the minimum viable number of applicants is not reached, the course will not run.

Outline of Course

The course consists of:

  • tuition: total of 10 weekly sessions of 3 hours;
  • 15-20 hours of work placements;
  • one-to-one telephone/email tutorials during work placement;
  • assessed portfolio of work, submitted by exam day;
  • exam day: observed live lecture and written paper.

The course will cover:

  • the principles, contexts, ethics, and conventions of electronic notetaking;
  • equipment;
  • practical dilemmas;
  • deafness and disability;
  • health and safety;
  • memory improvement;
  • software use (the course will use NoteED® software); and
  • professional development.