Growing stronger: NAIN in 2024


The National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) is a peer-driven network which was established by QQI in November 2019. Over the time of its existence, the network’s membership has included membership from all public higher education (HE) providers, as well as private independent providers, students (public and private) and student representatives from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Membership has also included representation from some HE representative organisations and networks including IUA, THEA, HECA, Library Association of Ireland.  

To date, NAIN members have met in plenary session on 21 occasions, not including separate NAIN activities including webinars and masterclasses.  The network is guided by an external Steering Committee,  chaired  by Billy Kelly,  meeting approximately 10 times per year. At any given time, the network also has at least one Working Group in operation. Since January 2020, five Working Groups have been developed, with two working groups still in operation. You can access resources developed by the Working Groups through the links below: 

NAIN Resources: 

  1. Academic Integrity Guidelines – published September 2021 (1st edition) 
  2. Academic Integrity National Principles and Lexicon of Common Terms – published Sept 2021 (1st edition) 
  3. NAIN Framework for Academic Misconduct Investigation and Case Management – published Aug 2023 (1st edition) 
  4. NAIN Generative AI Guidelines for Educators  - published Aug 2023 (1st edition) 

Extending membership to the FET sector

Building on the foundations the network has laid in the HE sector, we are pleased to confirm that NAIN members collectively agreed to expand NAIN membership to the Further Education and Training (FET) sector, beginning with the Education and Training Boards (ETBs).  As such, in May 2024, the NAIN Chair formally invited each of the 16 Directors of FET to nominate a representative(s) from their respective ETBs to join the network.  We are delighted to advise that six ETBs have already nominated representatives from their respective ETBs to join the network. Furthermore, we were joined by representatives from Cork ETB and Louth and Meath ETB at the network’s first plenary meeting of the year in the Athlone Campus of TUS earlier this month.  

Speaking of the recent membership expansion, NAIN Chair; Billy Kelly, stated: 

At its Plenary meeting in April 2024, the National Academic Integrity Network (NAIN) decided to further expand its membership to include representatives from Further Education, identifying this expansion as a logical development to fully reflect the tertiary sector in Ireland.  We were delighted to welcome the first of those representatives to the NAIN in-person Plenary meeting in TUS Athlone on June 12th and look forward to collaboration across the tertiary sector in the space of academic integrity.” 

Laura Flynn, Head of Partnerships at QQI, also welcomed the expansion:

QQI  welcomes the expansion of the National Academic Integrity Network to include representatives from the Education and Training Boards.  

As we approach the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the NAIN, we note its achievements, in partnership with student and staff members across the higher education sector, which have gained national and international recognition. As Ireland continues to build a strong culture of academic integrity, it is essential that representatives across the tertiary sector engage, share and learn from each other to further strengthen the integrity and reputation of Irish qualifications. Together with our partners across tertiary education, we will continue to foster this culture through the collaborative nature of the NAIN and we welcome the inclusion of FET voices, which are critical to achieving this. 

If you would like to learn more about the National Academic Integrity Network, please email