Validation is a regulatory process that, in essence, determines whether or not a particular QQI award can be offered in respect of a provider’s programme of education and training.
We accept applications for the validation of programmes of education and training
- leading to QQI awards at all levels in the National Framework of Qualifications
- in a range of educational contexts (e.g. further education and training (FET), higher education and training (HET), professional education and apprenticeship, English language teaching (ELT), and research education and training)
- involving diverse modes (including collaborative, transnational and e-learning)
Validation Policies and Criteria
We established new policies and criteria for validation and published them in May 2016. They are available here.
Commencement of the New Policies and Criteria
The new policies and criteria will commence with immediate effect for Apprenticeship programmes leading to QQI awards at NFQ levels 5 to 9 and English language teaching (ELT) programmes leading to QQI awards and from 31 May 2016(or sooner where arranged) for programmes of higher education and training leading to QQI awards.
There will be a transition period for non-apprenticeship programmes of further education and training. The plan for the phased introduction of the new policies in this domain will be communicated once it has been developed in collaboration with stakeholders.
Supplementary policies, criteria, procedures, guidelines, protocols and conventions will be required to be developed in light of the proposed new policies and criteria.
Transitional and savings arrangements are set out in unit 16 of the new policies and criteria (and via the links in the panel on the right of this webpage). Certain legacy policies, criteria, procedures, guidelines, protocols and conventions will continue be used (changing what needs to be changed) until they are replaced.
Validation of New Programmes
QQI has established a unified set of core policies and criteria for validation. These are augmented for some types of programmes by specialised policies and criteria. The former are entitled “Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training” (2016) and apply to all kinds of programmes of education and training leading to awards at all levels in the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
Approved Scope of Provision
Access to validation for all providers is limited by the approved scope of provision. See units 4.2 and 4.3 of Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training (2016).
Revalidation (see unit 13 of Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training (2016) is validation by QQI of a programme that has emerged or evolved from a programme that had been previously validated by QQI. Revalidation is required for any programme that is to continue to enrol learners following expiry of the duration of enrolment (typically five years). Revalidation provides an opportunity to substantially update and modify the original programme.
Review and Withdrawal of Validation by QQI
Review and withdrawal of validation is addressed by unit 12 of Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training (2016).
Appeals and Complaints
Information about making an appeal against refusal or withdrawal of validation is available here.
Information about making a complaint to QQI (e.g. if dissatisfied with the levels of service provision and delivery) is available here.
Access to validation for all providers is limited by the approved scope of provision. The approved scope of provision is established for new providers following an initial application to access validation.
For providers who already have a current relationship with QQI, the approved scope of provision is taken to be the scope of their currently validated programmes at the time of the commencement of this policy unless otherwise determined by QQI.
See the Further Reading panel on the right of this page for information tailored to different classes of programmes.