QQI’s powers to assess the business operations of education providers with which it engages are important in supporting the integrity of the education and training sector in Ireland. Past college closures and difficulties with providers can be linked directly to general failures of management or business operations.
New criteria are being developed, in the form of Ministerial regulations, to ensure that providers engaging with QQI and the National Framework of Qualifications have the required capacity and capability to do so.
Private providers, including providers of English Language Education, who apply for the International Education Mark will be required to meet certain criteria concerning governance, finance, and compliance with the law, to give QQI reasonable assurance that they have the capacity and capability to implement robust quality assurance procedures, and to provide coherent programmes of education and training.
The aim is to ensure that only providers with sufficient financial resources, sound business practices, and a genuine commitment and capacity to meet learners’ needs will secure state recognition for the education and training provision they offer.
QQI will have the power to withdraw from its engagement with any provider if the provider fails to meet these criteria. Compliance with these criteria by providers should reduce the need to call on the statutory Learner Protection Fund.