Phase 3 of education and training boards review completed

25–08–2022

QQI has completed phase 3 of the inaugural quality assurance review of Ireland’s education and training boards.   

The latest reports published include those for 

 

  • Tipperary ETB 
  • Galway Roscommon ETB
  • Louth Meath ETB
  • Kildare Wicklow ETB

You can read a summary of the main commendations and recommendations for each ETB below.

The review team was very positive about the commitment shown by Tipperary ETB’s staff towards their learners. The ETB is encouraged to formalise this good relationship to gather feedback and information from leaners in a consistent and routine manner to amplify learner voice and inform the ETB’s planning.

The same approach is also recommended when it comes to the ETB’s connections with their external stakeholders. These good relationships should be formalised and made consistent throughout the organisation.

The improvement in programme monitoring, development and validation has been highlighted again. The review team has suggested the implementation of a curriculum development body and programme review body to address current programmes. They also suggest that Tipperary ETB work with QQI and ETBs nationally to address any problems with programme validation timelines.

Again, as with earlier reviews, the review team has noted the need for the ETB to integrate their “legacy” quality assurance systems.

The review team praised the good relationships between management and staff in the various colleges and centres in GRETB. The establishment of a FET Enterprise Unit is highlighted as a particularly good example of the ETB extending their capacity for relationship-building with external stakeholders.

The review team has recommended that GRETB manage data in a useful way, for example, using metrics to establish KPIs that help evaluate the effectiveness of GRETB’s qualityassurance. Learners could also be “tracked” post-graduation to ascertain the effectiveness of courses. It would also be useful to record the progression of learners.

GRETB’s identification of pathways for learners is commended by the review team. This can be further enhanced through the development of Recognition of Prior Learning and Blended Learning policies.

The difficulty that GRETB experiences with recruitment of qualified staff is noted as a risk to the development of the ETB. These issues are especially felt in the Gaeltacht areas, the acquisition of content experts and in the field of IT.

The review team complimented LMETB for their staff development through the work of their Enhancement Learning and Development Team. The ETB’s approach to staff mentorship is particularly praised as a means to improve teaching and learning, and the sharing of good practice.

LMETB's positive relationships with external stakeholders has contributed to its ability to develop programmes such as microcredentials that reflect employer needs. LMETB has also demonstrated to the review team their effective community provision.

LMETB is encouraged to include more diverse representation – external stakeholders, learners – on their governance groups.

Good practice has been identified locally throughout LMETB. The review team encourages the application of this good practice consistently across the ETB. This extends to the use of agreed policies and procedures.

As with other ETBs, a review of programmes to ensure their relevance is encouraged. This is recommended to become a regular, scheduled task of the ETB.

LMETB is also asked to gather and use internal data to help inform their QA.

KWETB is commended for its initiative to create communities of practice. The panel encourages them to apply this across the whole ETB. KWETB’s community provision is highlighted for its work with vulnerable learners.

KWETB’s work with industry is praised and the good relationships developed between ETB staff and industry is especially commended and should be applied across the organisation. The quality assurance team within KWETB is also asked to be involved in these external relationships.

KWETB should encourage a unified management approach across the entire ETB. More needs to be done to communicate KWETB’s strategy and goals to all of its staff. A divide between centre and ‘head office’ is noted throughout the report and the ETB is urged to take steps to ensure staff buy-in. Ownership of QA is encouraged across the ETB.

Like other ETBs, KWETB is asked to review its programmes in terms of usefulness and industry need. The ETB is also asked to work with others in the sector to address programme development.

Lack of consistency of approach is also highlighted throughout the report.