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Reengagement process for independent and private providers

In Spring 2017 QQI began holding regional briefings for all independent and private providers to explain the Re-engagement policy and describe the proposed process.  The presentation used in the briefings is available to download here.

If any provider has not been invited to one of these briefings, they should contact us via Qhelp

Process

The proposed process will entail:

1. Application comprising 
     • Application Form
     • Self-Assessment Report
     • Draft QA Procedures
     • Fee

2. Evaluation by Expert Peer Review
Review of documentation
Meeting between provider and expert panel to discuss documentation
Draft panel report with recommendation to QQI – will be one of the following:
     • Approved
     • Not Approved with Recommendations (allows for revised application within six months)
     • Not Approved

3. Decision by QQI

4. Publication of Panel Report
QQI’s own quality assurance and governance procedures relevant to evaluative processes such as this will apply.


Pilot Phase

QQI will pilot the Re-engagement process to test its efficacy before going live.  This pilot will begin in mid-2017 and should be complete by year end.  It is hoped that a representative sample of 10 – 15 providers of both higher and further education will volunteer to take part.

Providers taking part in the pilot will be able to get feedback on their quality assurance procedures as well as help to improve the QQI process. It is important to note however, that providers who take part in the pilot will still have to make a formal application when the process is live.

The pilot process will test the following instruments:

Guide to process - to explain what Re-engagement is and how it will work.

Application Form – to give information about the provider so that the panel reviewing the QA procedures will be fully informed of the provider’s context.

Self-Assessment Checklist - This document, for a provider’s own use only, is designed to help a provider do a gap analysis between their current quality system and what will be required for QQI approval.

Self-Assessment Report – to verify that the provider has assured itself that its capacity and quality assurance procedures are compatible with QQI criteria and guidelines.  The report will also explain to any reviewer how the proposed quality system will work in that provider’s context.

Panel Report template - This will be used by a panel of chosen experts who will evaluate a provider’s quality assurance procedures with a view to making a recommendation to QQI on approval. 

Other aspects of the process to be tested in the pilot include timelines, information, availability of peer reviewers etc.
Obviously, there will be no fee for the pilot phase and no binding outcome or published report.

After the pilot is complete QQI will make necessary revisions to the process and instruments listed above.  It will publish the findings of the pilot and revised documentation.


Live process

Before the end of 2017, all independent and private providers who are to reengage with QQI, (of which there are 448 as of March 2017) will be given a target year and quarter, beginning in Quarter 1 2018, when they should be ready to make an application to reengage. 

In the intervening period, providers should be revising their quality assurance procedures in line with current QQI guidelines for quality assurance - Core and Sectoral.   Providers should also refer to the 2016 Policy and Criteria for Validation of Programmes already in use in the higher education and training sector and due to be activated for further education and training in December 2017.


Fees

There will be a fee for re-engagement, the amount to be approved by the Minster for Education and Skills.
QQI will propose a graduated system where a provider will pay a single fee, the amount determined by its scope of provision at the time of making an application i.e. the highest NFQ level and volume of their validated programmes.
Fees will not exceed those for approval of quality assurance procedures for providers seeking initial access to validation.


What Now?

Pending Re-engagement, providers with validated programmes should continue as per normal i.e. delivery and assessment of currently validated programmes may proceed and applications for validation of new programmes may be made.


Further Information

If you have further questions about Re-engagement, please use Qhelp to send them to us.