Validating QQI Award programmes

One of the main roles of QQI is to validate the educational and training programmes providers intend to offer learners. This means that we are satisfied that:  

  • a given programme’s learning outcomes are right for its intended NFQ level and award type,
  • the award is achievable by learners, and  
  • appropriate resources and quality assurance processes for the programme are in place. 

Once you are a QQI award provider you can apply to have a programme validated, or revalidated if it has been previously validated and active for five years.  

QQI’s programme validation process ensures that any new programme proposed by a provider to lead to a QQI award has been fully evaluated and approved before it is offered to learners. This means that your programme leads to an award that is: 

  • quality-assured;
  • nationally and internationally recognised; and
  • placed on the National Framework of Qualifications.


Applying for validation

If you are a QQI award provider, you can apply to validate a single programme or a principal programme with smaller programmes embedded.  

Your application for validation must include: 

  • summary and detailed information on the programme using the relevant QQI programme descriptor template for higher education, further education and training or apprenticeship programmes;
  • self-evaluation of the programme against the validation criteria;
  • details of the arrangements in place, where applicable, for protection for enrolled learners; and
  • Your fee cover note, which will be used to generate the invoice for validation fees. Please note that your application will not be processed until your validation fee has been paid.

Additional supporting documentation can be provided.


Programme revalidation is a separate type of validation process by which an existing programme leading to a QQI award is put forward for revalidation when the existing validation interval concludes.

Programme revalidation consists of two stages:

  • Programme review – the provider evaluates the programme with the benefit of the experience of programme delivery, incorporating feedback from stakeholders such as staff, learners and employers.  Information regarding the programme is analysed and the programme is adapted/amended to ensure it is up to date.
  • Programme revalidation - An independent panel considers the programme review undertaken by the provider, evaluates the updated programme proposed by the provider and recommends whether the programme should be revalidated or not.

Previously validated programmes must be revalidated within a maximum period of five years. If your programme validation period is due to expire shortly and you wish to continue to enrol learners in your programme then you must apply for revalidation.

Revalidation is also required for any validated programme that has had to adapt or evolve in a significant way, in response to wider industry demands or recent technological advances, for instance. 

To apply for revalidation you must:

  • Review and evaluate the programme as it has been implemented
  • Update and revise the programme, addressing any identified deficiencies and taking opportunities for improvement
  • Engage an independent panel of experts to consider the review of the programme undertaken and evaluate the revised programme proposed
  • Submit an application for HET revalidation using the application forms

Essential Reading


A revalidation process designed to meet the needs of FET programmes is still in development.

Currently validated programmes, including those validated for more than five years, can continue being delivered under existing QQI policy.