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Initial Access to Programme Validation

Initial Access to Programme Validation

The two stage process by which a provider gets a programme validated by QQI for the first time is outlined here.

A provider without an existing relationship with QQI who wishes to submit a programme for validation must first apply to QQI for access to validation (Stage 1).  There are four prerequisites for validation and these are described in unit 3 Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training (2016). We can only consider an application for validation when these prerequisites have been met.   

The initial access process ensures that these prerequisites are in place following successful completion of Stage 1. Stage 2 involves programme validation.  Access to validation for all providers is limited by the approved scope of provision. The approved scope of provision is established for new providers following application to access validation.  Providers should note that we set standards for awards. We do not develop programmes nor give learner-assessment support to providers.     

Providers are responsible for the development, maintenance, provision and quality assurance of their programmes; and are required to have suitable procedures for assessing enrolled learners on those programmes.


Application Documents for Providers seeking initial access to Programme Validation

Application Process
- Guide to Application Process
- Application Form 
- Schedule of Fees

Self-Assessment against Core QA Guidelines
- Self-Assessment Checklist
- Self-Assessment Report

Self-Assessment against Core QA Guidelines and Topic-Specific Guidelines for Apprenticeship Programmes
- Self-Assessment Checklist
- Self-Assessment Report


To help providers decide if QQI validation is right for them, we provide briefings as part of the initial validation process.  Please note that attendance at a briefing is compulsory.

Providers should familiarise themselves with the relevant documents before attending a briefing. Depending on whether it is proposed to submit a FET or HET programme for validation, the documents below should also be consulted.


Resources for Applicants

Policy and Criteria for Provider Access to Initial Validation of Programmes Leading to QQI Awards
Quality Assurance Guidelines
Policy and Criteria for Access, Transfer and Progression in Relation to Learners for Providers of Further and Higher 
  Education and Training

- RPL Principles and Guidelines

There are different policies and criteria for different classes of programmes. Details and resources are available via the links in the Further Reading panel on the right of this page.