I wish to inform the Deputy that my Department was consulted by the Department of Education and Skills on the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the course of a Memorandum to Government on the issue. The main issue from my Department’s perspective, in relation to the draft Bill, concerned the funding of the Learner Protection Fund. The position of my Department was that the fund should be fully financed by providers and there should be no ongoing Exchequer impact of the Fund. I am advised by the Department of Education and Skills that this is the policy intention and, to that end, the Bill provides for an annual charge to be levied on those providers whose programmes and learners will be protected by the Fund. I understand that there may be a requirement for some limited initial pre-funding of the Learner Protection Fund, the source of which will be decided in due course following consultation between the two departments.