The Qualifications System: A perspective

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Transcript The Qualifications System: A perspective

Qualifications Recognition

Niamh Lenehan William O’Keeffe Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) 16 th October 2013 1

Overview of Presentation

• The Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) • Qualifications Recognition • Contact Information 2

Background to development of Irish NFQ

• Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999 – established National Qualifications Authority of Ireland ( NQAI ) charged with developing the National Framework of Qualifications – established the Further Education and Training Awards Council ( FETAC ) – established Higher Education and Training Awards Council ( HETAC ) (for standards and awards outside of the university sector) • 10 level framework incorporating: – General education (GE) – Further education and training (FET, VET) – Higher education and training (HET) 3


The Irish Education System

• High completion rate for secondary education: 89% of boys and 92% of girls who entered secondary school in 2005 and 2006 sat the national school leaving examination (Leaving Certificate) in 2012 – 94% completing the Leaving Certificate ‘established’ – 6% completed the more vocationally-oriented Leaving Certificate Applied • In a 2009 (30 country) study of 15-34 years old graduates by educational orientation: – Ireland had the lowest participation rate in a VET oriented education with 22% – In Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria the rate is 84 85% 5

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Major Awards are the main class of award made at a level. For example, the Ordinary Bachelor Degree at level 7.

Minor Awards provide recognition for learners who achieve a range of learning outcomes but not the specific combination of learning outcomes required for a major award.

Special Purpose Awards are made for very specific purposes. An example of a Special Purpose award is Driving - Heavy Goods Rigid.

Supplemental Awards are for learning which is additional to a previous award. They could, for example, relate to updating and refreshing knowledge or skills, or to continuing professional development 6

Qualifications Recognition

• Established in 2003, located within the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland and now QQI • Centre which facilitates the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland and provides information regarding foreign education systems (compares foreign qualifications to Irish qualifications placed on the NFQ) • Provides information on Irish education and training system, promotes recognition of Irish qualifications abroad 7

Qualifications Recognition - Features

• Free of charge • Available to individuals, employers, public bodies, education institutions etc.

• Deal with applications on a case-by-case basis • Volume: Approximately 1800 formal applications/yr 8

Qualifications Recognition - Process

• • Applicant completes an application form and submits necessary documentation Comparability of the award is established (up to 10 12 weeks) • Applicants are issued with a comparability statement providing advice on how their award compares to an Irish award, e.g.

“… is comparable to an Ordinary Bachelor Degree which is placed at Level 7 on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications” • Applicant may seek reassessment of their application 9

Qualifications Recognition – Information Available (

International Qualifications Database: comparabilities available for certain awards from a number of countries • Qualifications can cross boundaries: comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland • Comprehensive information on the Irish education and training system • There are many UK awarding bodies such as City & Guilds that offer programmes in Ireland. Listings of these awards with an NFQ level are available on our

website via the following link: 10

Qualifications Recognition – Work in Progress

• • • • Comparability advice online Review of comparability statement structure and information Recognition Projects Policy on recognition advice 11

Establishment of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

• In November 2012, a new integrated qualifications and quality assurance authority (QQI) was established under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 • The Act amalgamated FETAC, HETAC, NQAI and the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) • QQI is responsible for the NFQ and the quality assurance of all post-secondary education and training in Ireland 12

Websites & Contact Details

• Quality and Qualifications Ireland website:

• Framework website:

• Recognition website:

• Qualifax: National Learners’ Database:

• Niamh Lenehan – [email protected]


Thank you Questions?