Phase 2 of the inaugural review of education and training boards complete


QQI has completed Phase 2 of the inaugural quality assurance review of Ireland’s education and training boards.   

The latest reports published include: 

  • Waterford and Wexford ETB (WWETB) 
  • Kerry ETB 
  • Kilkenny and Carlow ETB (KCETB) 

A key theme which emerged across all three reports was regarding data management and using data in a meaningful way to improve programme development and to inform strategy.  The expert review panels highlighted this area of work as requiring ongoing development.  All review teams recommended a consistent approach to quality assurance oversight, access to learner supports and learner experience. The issue of delivery of programmes in both the English and Irish language was raised in Kerry ETB’s report. 

A number of commendations and recommendations were made in relation to the work of each of the education and training boards:


  • Kerry ETB shows a clear commitment to continuous self-monitoring and improving the quality of its teaching and learning. 

  • The review team commends Kerry ETB for taking a lead in the development and expansion of the Commis Chef and Wind Turbine apprenticeships.  The organisation should involve learners in a meaningful way in governance of the apprenticeship programmes.  

  • Kerry ETB is committed to ensuring and maintaining the integrity of their assessment processes through its systematic, consultative approach in introducing the assessment regulations within the QA Governance structures and the continued use of workshops and resources for staff and students in supporting academic integrity. 

  • An agreement between Kerry ETB and Oidhreacht Corcha Dhuibhne (OCD) is an important opportunity to expand the provision of Irish language courses and share reflective practice and innovative approaches to other Gaeltacht areas and Irish speakers throughout Kerry.  

  • There have been improvements in learning success for members of the Travelling community. Kerry ETB is encouraged to build on that success by continuing to work with partners to understand and address the singular challenges faced by this community. 


  • Kerry ETB should consider the distinct needs of Irish speaking learners, learners who want to learn through the medium of Irish, and those who want to learn the language.  There is a growing number of young people completing their primary and secondary education through the medium of Irish in Gaeltacht and non-Gaeltacht areas who may wish to access ETB courses through Irish.   

  • The enactment of the Official Languages Act (Amendment) Bill (2019) in December 2021 and the new working status of the Irish language in the European Union means a strengthened role for the Irish language.  As Kerry is home to largest Gaeltacht area in Munster, there is a need to increase and enhance the level and reach of Irish language provision.  Given the scale of effort required, this work should be undertaken on a collaborative basis with other ETBs which also have significant Gaeltacht communities.    

  • External representation, such as industry, local communities and Gaeltacht areas, should be embedded across all governance groups including the Programme Governance Board and the Quality Assurance Governance Board.  


  • The review team was impressed with the quality assurance policy development and oversight processes, including staff involvement and communication across a wide range of centres.   

  • The supports that KCETB provides for all learners across its services as well as its strategy to provide a range of supports in each standalone FET centre. This includes the ETB’s recognition of the need to consolidate learner supports in the Learner Support Portal. 


  • There are opportunities to involve the ETB board, external and other representatives more fully in quality assurance processes and implementation plans. 

  • Organise the structure, roles and functions of the quality assurance team and associated working groups to ensure they contain the capacity and capability required, while avoiding duplication of activities. 

  • The resourcing of data management would allow an ETB-wide data strategy to be implemented.  This could include unification of data, an audit of learner record storage and standard operating procedures in relation to data protection. 


  • The review team commended WWETB’s use of data and labour market information in their course and programme development; all providing good examples of using a structured and evidence-based approach to course and programme development.    

  • Inclusion and accessibility have been prioritised through the appointment of an Access and Disability Officer as well a commitment to formally assess all FET learners before beginning their course by 2024. 

  • Anticipation of challenges, identification of good practice and potential areas for improvement were evident in all areas of the report. 

  • The review team recommends that WWETB use a broader database, for example, sector comparisons with other ETB and/or their European VET counterparts to inform the setting of benchmarks. This would offer an external element to the evaluation of the Quality Assurance Framework to include the effectiveness of policies and procedures. 


  • WWETB needs to ensure a holistic, integrated and consistent offering to meet the changing demands of their range of learners, with clear referral and reporting mechanisms between services and their courses. This includes ensuring the services are well promoted and can be accessed confidentially and safely. 

  • Key performance metrics should be established to enhance future annual service plans, including a data strategy policy with clear organisational performance indicators.