06 November, 2012 - Minister Quinn merges educational agencies to establish QQI

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., today announced the formal establishment of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the amalgamated qualifications and quality assurance authority.

Minister Quinn said, “The establishment of the QQI represents the fulfilment of a commitment in the Programme for Government and is part of the Government’s overall programme of rationalisation of state bodies.”

QQI replaces the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI), the Further Education and Training Awards Council of Ireland (FETAC), and the Higher Education Training and Awards Council (HETAC). It will also take over functions of the Irish Universities Quality Board.

The new authority will assume all the functions of these four bodies. These include managing the National Framework of Qualifications, quality assuring institutions of further and higher education and training, validating educational programmes and making awards to learners. New functions include the development of a Code of Practice and International Education Mark for institutions enrolling international learners.

The Chairperson of QQI will be Gordon Clark. Mr. Clark was previously the Head of Unit in the European Commission with responsibility for the development of the EU’s lifelong learning policy. He is a trained accountant and has also previously worked in the EU Court of Auditors.

The Minister thanked the staff of the four agencies for their contribution in bringing coherence and consistency to Irish qualifications, in developing awards standards, in providing quality assurance to educational providers and programmes, and in facilitating progression opportunities for learners.

The Minister wished the Chairperson, the Board and staff of the QQI well in their work in the years ahead.