Policies and Criteria for Validation
New policies and criteria for validation were established and published in May 2016.
These are presented in two documents:
- Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training
- Policies and Criteria for the validation of programmes leading to Common Awards Systems (CAS) awards
Both these documents can be found in one volume entitled Policies and Criteria for the Validation of Programmes of Education and Training (2016).
The new policies and criteria will be implemented for all Further Education and Training (FET) programmes leading to Common Award System (CAS) awards from 1 December 2017. Providers should familiarise themselves with the new policies and criteria. Until this date a transition period during which the phased introduction of the new policies will continue.
Making an Application - Transitional Arrangements
QQI will validate FET programmes (excluding apprenticeship programmes) using the transitional arrangements outlined below, until the new policies and criteria are fully commenced for such programmes.
New application templates
are currently being developed for use in conjunction with the new policies and
criteria. The draft application templates are available from QQI by
logging a request through QHelp. The existing templates are not compatible with
the new policies and criteria and should not be used.
purpose of the template document is to help applicants present their
applications and programmes consistently and systematically. It is the
applicant’s sole responsibility to ensure that all the criteria are addressed
and all template sections are complete.
Any providers planning an application for validation from 1 December 2017
should contact QQI to discuss. Providers are required to submit
programme(s) leading to QQI CAS awards, to QQI for validation prior to offering
them to learners. Such programmes have to be validated by QQI prior
Programme applications must be submitted via our online business system (QBS).
Applications must include:
• Summary details of the programme;
• Detailed information on the programme using QQI’s programme descriptor templates;
• Details of the arrangements in place, where applicable, for the Protection
for Enrolled Learners in the event that the provider ceases, or fails, to
provide the validated programme.
Fees for Validation
Note: The validation fee must be paid before an application will be accepted.
A different submission process is in place for the validation of programmes leading to non-CAS QQI awards. Until supporting guidelines have been developed, providers should contact QQI before planning to develop such programmes.~
Please see QQI Fees Schedule for details of current charges. When submitting fees for FET programmes FET Fee Cover note must be used.
Resources for Programmes leading to CAS awards (Transitional Arrangements)
- Validation of FET Programmes – Policy 2014
- Policy and Criteria for Making Awards
- Policy for Determining Awards Standards
- Quality Assuring Assessment - Guidelines
- Preparing Descriptors for FET Programmes – Guidelines 2013
- FET Programme Validation Application Form Part 1, Programme Descriptor
- FET Programme Validation Application Form Part 2, Programme Module Descriptor
FET Self Evaluation Report
- Protection for Enrolled Learners (PEL) - Information
- Fee Cover note FET *new version*
- Circular on Validation November 2015
Policy and criteria for access, transfer and progression
RPL Principles and Guidelines
Programme Approval Agreements (Transitional Arrangements)
Under the 2014 policy providers of FET programmes leading to CAS awards can be granted responsibility for managing parts of the programme validation process in subject to QQI's written approval.
This approval is expressed in Programme Approval Agreements (PAA). The existing agreements compatible to 'Policy and Criteria for The Validation of Further Education and Training Programme Leading to QQI CAS Awards (2013-2014)' will expire as this policy is phased out. Currently Teagasc, SOLAS and the ETBs (Education and Training Boards) have PAAs in place.
The PAA allows for programmes to be designed, developed and evaluated by these organisations, in accordance with QQI's FET-validation policy and criteria. The decision on whether to validate remains with QQI.
Under the new policies and criteria QQI may devolve some responsibility to the provider concerned for arranging the independent evaluation report. See Unit 6.2 of Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training (2016)