Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (85)

Clare Daly

Question:

85. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills with regard to the closure of Abbey College in August 2011 and the fact that staff members were awarded a judgment for outstanding wages by both the LRC and EAT and yet remain unpaid, the measures in place to ensure the directors of this company cannot open another educational facility. [42678/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) has assumed the award-making function of both FETAC, which made awards for programmes provided by Abbey College, and HETAC. Under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012, providers which seek access to the awards of QQI must first have their procedures for quality assurance agreed by QQI.

QQI is introducing a new process for providers seeking to agree their quality assurance procedures with QQI. As part of this process, QQI will require applicants to provide a statutory declaration in which all owners and/or influential persons associated with the applicant will have to respond to a number of questions including whether they have been adjudicated bankrupt, whether they have made a composition or arrangement with creditors, whether they have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, whether they have been convicted of an indictable offence, whether they have been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or whether they have been the subject of an order under section 160 of the Companies Act 1990.

Therefore the past history of directors and influential persons associated with a particular provider will be taken into account when deciding whether or not that provider should be allowed to apply for validation of programmes by QQI. This also applies to providers of English language training which seek ACELS recognition.