As the Deputy will be aware, FETAC, HETAC and the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) were formally dissolved on 6 November and their functions are now undertaken by the new amalgamated qualifications and quality assurance body, Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). Significant work was undertaken by those bodies on the necessary core administrative preparations for the establishment of the new Authority, such as the establishment of a new organisational structure, change of accommodation and integration of ICT infrastructure. In addition, the establishment of QQI has also involved the amalgamation of processes, including ones that have operated differently in the different agencies due to the history and nature of the different sectors. This requires the reconfiguration of current services such as the registration process for new providers, the validation and accreditation of programmes, the monitoring and review of providers and the development, review and certification of awards. It also includes the development of formal guidelines, criteria and procedures pursuant to the new Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.
QQI is currently developing those guidelines, criteria and procedures and it is expected that new applications will be accepted by QQI in the near future. However, it should be noted that QQI continues to provide services to more than 1,000 providers which were registered with FETAC and HETAC and continues to make awards to learners.