Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (246, 247)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

246. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills the exact fee that Quality and Qualifications Ireland proposes for re-engagement with legacy voluntary providers. [24630/14]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

247. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the services that Quality and Qualifications Ireland will offer for legacy voluntary providers who apply to re-engage and who pay a fee for this service. [24631/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 and 246 together. As the Deputy will be aware, QQI has been undertaking a Comprehensive Policy Development Programme since early-2013. The first phase of that programme focussed on putting in place the policies and procedures which would allow QQI to engage with providers with no existing relationship with any of its predecessor bodies, FETAC, HETAC and the NQAI. QQI is now putting in place the policies required for it to re-engage with legacy providers. Re-engagement in this context refers to the agreement by QQI of a provider's overall procedures for quality assurance and enhancement, as required by Part 3 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012. Currently, legacy providers are engaging with QQI on a transitional basis, and will be required to establish a new formal quality assurance arrangement with QQI and move into what is referred to as a "Lifecycle of Engagements". Re-engagement will involve the comprehensive evaluation by QQI of providers' quality assurance procedures against QQI's new quality assurance guidelines, which will be based on those used by HETAC and FETAC, but with additional elements required by the 2012 Act. Agreement of those procedures by QQI will allow providers to access QQI's range of services, including the validation of programmes and the making of awards. QQI published a number of draft policy papers regarding its re-engagement with legacy providers in March 2014 to facilitate consultation with relevant stakeholders. The Board of QQI is to consider the draft Policy on Re-Engagement with Legacy Providers at its next meeting and, if approved, the Policy will then be published with a view to its implementation from the Autumn. Under Section 80 of the Act, QQI is required to determine the fees which apply to the providers with which it engages, and to seek the consent of both the Minister of Education and Skills and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. QQI has not yet determined the relevant fee.