May 29, 2013
Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Skills, further to Parliamentary Question No. 231 of 5 March 2013, the progress that has been made by the new Quality and Qualifications Ireland to finally enable aspirant providers to apply for FETAC level accreditation; and when new applications will be accepted.
Reply from Minister Ruairí Quinn: I can inform the Deputy that, since his previous question on this issue, QQI have published a number of Green Papers on various policy areas which are available on the QQI website, dealing with subjects such as Awards and Standards, Certification, Access to Programme Accreditation, Recognition of Prior Learning and Quality Assurance. The purpose of these Green Papers is to inform the Comprehensive Policy Development Programme which QQI is undertaking with all of its stakeholders. Consultation events held by QQI in Dublin on 20 May and Cork on 28 May were attended by approximately 500 stakeholders and will inform the development of policy.
Following the receipt of submissions from interested parties over the summer months, new policies will be introduced in September to enable those providers who do not currently have a relationship with QQI to have access to external quality assurance and awards.
It should be noted that while QQI has not been accepting new applications for recognition while these policies are being developed, it has been liaising with the providers concerned. In March 2013, QQI issued a questionnaire to 105 such providers and it continues to issue the questionnaire to potential applicants. The purpose of the questionnaire is to gather information on the providers and will assist when the provider application process reopens.
Dáil Éireann allocates a certain amount of time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during which Deputies may ask questions of Members of the Government relating to Public Affairs connected with their Departments, or on matters of administration for whch they are officially responsible. The Taoiseach answers questions on his own Department on Tuesdays/Wednesdays.