Written Answers. - Teaching Qualifications.

Ceist:

174 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education and Science when the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, 1999, will be implemented in full; the plans he has for the location of the offices of the new organisation concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10368/00]

The Qualifications (Education and Training) Act, 1999, was enacted in July 1999. The Act provides for the establishment of three new bodies: the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland, the Further Education and Training Awards Council and the Higher Education and Training Awards Council.

An interdepartmental implementation group, comprising those Departments concerned with the operation of the Act, has been established to oversee its implementation. This group has reported on the necessary steps to bring the Act into operation. In January last, the setting up of a designate National Qualifications Authority of Ireland was announced and Mr. Richard Langford was appointed as chairperson.

The new authority is being set up on an interim basis pending its establishment on a statutory basis. The task of the designate authority will be to commence work on the establishment of a national framework of qualifications and to advise on and support the transition to the new certification system as provided for in the Act. The process of securing nominations to the designate authority, as set out in the Act, is under way.

The process of securing interim accommodation and staff for the designate authority is also in hand.

The address and telephone number of the designate authority will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as they are available.