QQI published its Policies and Criteria for the Validation of Programmes of Education and Training document in April 2016, and then revised it in November 2017. In this document QQI provides the following definition:
"Validation is a regulatory process that in essence determines whether or not a particular QQI award can be offered in respect of a provider’s programme of education and training."
This document comprises two sections:
1. Core policies and criteria for the validation by QQI of programmes of education and training
- Part 1 (pages 5 - 28): Core policies and criteria for the validation by QQI of programmes of education and training.
This part includes information on the prerequisites for programme validation, preparing an application for validation and evaluation, as well as introducing readers to a number of new concepts
- Part 2 (pages 29 - 38): The core validation criteria (12 criteria with sub-criteria).
This part states the core criteria against which a programme of education and training will be evaluated (by the provider and QQI). It should be noted that QQI may refuse an application for validation if any one of the applicable criteria, or sub-criteria, is not demonstrated to be satisfied
2. Policies and criteria for the validation of programmes leading to Common Awards System (CAS) awards (pages 39 - 48)
The 10 validation criteria listed in this section are in addition to the 12 core validation criteria for programmes leading to QQI CAS awards. In other words, programmes of further education and training that do not lead to QQI CAS award(s) will not be evaluated against the criteria listed in this section
Programmes leading to CAS awards (under new policy)
As part of QQI's planning for the implementation of this policy, QQI engaged with the ETBI (Education and Training Boards Ireland) QA Strategy Group and the QA Forum. This resulted in the establishment of a working group, led by FESS. The following resources, developed by this working group, are published on the QQI website and are available to support providers in making programme validation applications to QQI:
- (Draft) FET Programme Descriptor Template
- (Draft) FET Programme Descriptor Template Guidelines
- (Draft) Evaluation of Programmes against QQI Validation Criteria
These resources are currently in draft form, as they are trialled by those providers making validation applications. Suggestions for modifying and improving the resources may be made to QQI and/or FESS and will be considered when the resources are reviewed. These resources can be accessed here.
Programmes leading to apprenticeships (under new policy)
There are a number of resources to support providers developing apprenticeship programmes (levels 5-9) on the QQI website. These resources can be accessed here.
Programmes leading to non-CAS awards (under new policy)
Providers with an interest in developing further education and training programmes that lead to non-CAS awards should contact QQI.