Case study - Local Authority Services National Training Group re-engagement

The Local Authority Services National Training Group (LASNTG) draws its membership from four national training groups.

Man working on pipes

Local Authority Services National Training Group (LASNTG) draws its membership from four national training groups:

  • The Road Services Training Group (RSTG)
  • The Water Services Training Group (WSTG)
  • The Environmental Services Training Group (ESTG)
  • The Fire Service Training Group (FSTG)

Learners include staff from all local authority grades within the four sectors. The diverse learner profile includes general operatives, gangers, tradespeople, drivers, supervisors, caretakers, technicians, engineers, administration staff and fire fighters.

Although the primary focus of the LASNTG is the provision of training for local authority staff, LASNTG also provides training on a contract basis to other public sector bodies and private sector contractors and employees involved in works on public roads. These include, for example, Irish Water, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

LASNTG currently offer a diverse range of accredited and non-accredited programmes and deliver these at five Regional Training Centres (RTC) in Counties Tipperary, Mayo, Donegal, Cork and Dublin. Training is delivered by training centre staff, local authority staff and contracted trainers. In 2019, LASNTG was responsible for over 33,000-person training days across the RTC network.

LASNGT achieved FETAC recognition in 2011, and the following programmes have been validated by QQI at NFQ Levels 5-6:

  • Plant Operations for Water Treatment
  • Plant Operations for Waste WaterTreatment
  • Site Suitability for Waste Water Treatment
  • Firefighting Operations

LASNTG additionally works in partnership with IT Carlow and IT Sligo to support the range of education and training programmes available at NFQ Levels 6 – 9 in its areas of expertise.

LASNTG applied for reengagement on 29 April 2020. A virtual site visit between the provider and a panel of experts, chaired by Dr Annie Doona (President Emeritus IADT), took place in July 2020. The panel identified a number of areas of good practice in its evaluation of LASNTG’s QA system, and commended the provider in relation to these. The panel also acknowledged the significant amount of work involved in preparing for and submitting an application for reengagement. The panel congratulated LASNTG on its constructive engagement with the reengagement process.

However, at the conclusion of the virtual site visit the panel held concerns that some discrete issues needed to be addressed by LASNTG before the panel could recommend approval of the provider’s QA procedures. These related to governance and in particular, the relationship with the RTCs and the provision of information to learners on the provider website.

The Panel thus availed of the option to defer its decision and allowed LASNTG six weeks in which to address the issues identified, before reconvening to review the provider’s revised documentation.

Following that desk review of revised documentation in September 2020, the panel was of the view that LASNTG had worked effectively to address the panel’s concerns in the interim period and was pleased to make a recommendation to QQI to approve LASNTG’s draft QA procedures. The panel also offered the provider advice on areas in which it could further enhance its QA system. The PAEC approved LASNTG’s QA procedures at its meeting on 15 October 2020.