At QQI, we determine awards standards for further education and training.
Award standards are required before we or a body with delegated award-making authority (DA awarding body) can validate a programme of education and training leading to an award.
Our award standards are NFQ standards and they may be used by bodies other than QQI and DA awarding bodies. Most of our award standards are within the CAS (Common Awards System).
Specific standards have been determined for all of QQI’s named FET awards. QQI’s FET awards standards tend to be more specific than its HET awards standards. All awards standards are required to meet the appropriate level indicators of the NFQ demonstrating the appropriate level of knowledge, skills and competencies.
Standards Determination by QQI
As a body responsible for making further education and training awards QQI is required to determine the applicable awards standards. This means to determine the standards of knowledge, skill or competence to be acquired, and where appropriate, demonstrated, by a learner before an award may be made by QQI or by a provider to which, under section 53 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012, authority to make an award has been delegated.
For further details on award standards please see our
Policy for Determining Awards Standards and our Policy and Criteria for Making Awards.
Active Common Awards System Standards
The CAS (Common Awards System) is a system of linked FET (Further Education and Training) awards specifications at NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications) Levels 1 to 6 inclusive.
The CAS specifications include awards standards to be achieved before an award is made.
The awards standards are expressed as minimum expected learning outcomes. These reflect the knowledge, skill and competence to be achieved by the learner before an award is made.
There are around 1,600 active awards specifications in the CAS.
Detailed information about FET standards forming part of the CAS are available in
Other Active FET Awards Standards
Early Learning and Care - Awards Standards
Development and Review
Current review and development work is listed below.
- Development of broad standards at NFQ Levels 1-4
- Level 5 FGas standards
To view standards undergoing consultation please click
Deactivation of unused or little used awards
QQI is responsible for ensuring that all awards standards for further education and training are fit for purpose and relevant.
We will annually analyse the levels of certification for each Common Awards System (CAS) award to identify those that are long established and yet are either unused or little used. This is required to ensure the integrity of the CAS and the National Framework of Qualifications. Please click here for more information.