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Application for Validation (FET)

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.

The 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 to delivery.

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)