Validation is a quality assurance process intended to ensure that a proposed programme can enable a learner to acquire and demonstrate the necessary knowledge, skill or competence to justify the award(s) being offered in respect of that programme.
All new programmes intended to offer QQI awards must first be validated by QQI. Providers are asked to familiarise themselves with current QQI policies when preparing applications.
The current policies and criteria for validation apply to all applications for new further and higher education and training, apprenticeship and English Language Education programmes. The current QQI policies and criteria are presented in one volume entitled Policies and Criteria for the Validation of Programmes of Education and Training. This volume contains two documents:
- Core Policies and Criteria for the Validation by QQI of Programmes of Education and Training- Policies and Criteria for the Validation of Programmes leading to Common Award System (CAS) awards .
Note that this does not relate to revalidation of existing programmes. A process for revalidation has yet to be rolled out for FET programmes. Currently validated programmes, including those validated for more than five years, may continue being delivered under the current policy pending further communication from QQI.
Providers are asked to contact QQI before preparing a programme for submission for validation. QQI will be available for one-to-one meetings and will hold briefings from time to time.
New application templates have been developed for use in conjunction with the current policies and criteria, available below. Please note that these are draft documents, and all feedback is welcome. Previous templates are not compatible with the new policies and criteria and should not be used.
The purpose of the template document is to help applicants present their applications and programmes consistently and systematically. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to ensure that all the criteria are addressed, and all template sections are complete.
CAS Award Directory
QQI’s 2016 policy allows for validation of programmes where there is no pre-existing CAS standard i.e. the programme learning outcomes of the newly validated programme become the standard of the associated award.
Such a ‘non-CAS’ programmes will include an explicit mapping of its learning outcomes to a relevant NFQ award type descriptor. This is to provide evidence that the programme can lead to a new QQI award.
For programmes leading to non-CAS awards, providers are asked to use the appropriate template linked below.
For apprenticeship programmes, please visit the Apprenticeship page
Protection of Enrolled Learners
Initial Access to Validation
Validation (HET Programmes)
Validation (Apprenticeship Programmes)
Validation (ELE Programmes)
Initial Access to Programme Validation
Certification of Learners
Validation Circulars and FAQs