Initial Access to Programme Validation


The policy and process under which a provider gets a programme validated by QQI for the first time is termed Initial Access to Programme Validation and is set out here​

To help providers decide if QQI validation is right for them, we provide briefings as part of the initial validation process.  Please note that attendance at a briefing is compulsory.

Two Stage Process

A provider without an existing relationship with QQI who wishes to submit a programme for validation must first apply to QQI for approval of institutional capacity and quality assurance procedures. (Stage 1).  

If the provider’s Stage 1 application is successful then it will have an approved scope of provision i.e. a defined set of parameters within which it can then apply for programme validation.  (Stage 2).    An example of a scope of provision is ‘Programmes leading to Major and minor awards between Levels 4 and 6 of the NFQ in the fields of business and information technology.

Stage 2 is the provider’s first application for programme validation within the scope of provision approved at Stage 1

Application Documents for Providers seeking initial access to Programme Validation

- Guide to Application Process
- Gap Analysis Tool and Action Planner
- Application Form and Mapping Tool ​
Template letter
​- Schedule of Fees
- Fee Cover Note​ (Approval)

Providers should familiarise themselves with the relevant documents before attending a briefing.   To understand the process, it is essential to consult the following policies and guidelines.

Additional Resources for Applicants

Policy and Criteria for Provider Access to Initial Validation of Programmes Leading to QQI Awards
- Initial Access to Programme Validation Panel Report Template
Quality Assurance Guidelines

Core Quality Assurance Guidelines  (all providers)
Sector Specific Quality Assurance Guidelines for Independent / Private Providers
Topic Specific Quality Assurance Guidelines for Blended Learning
Topic Specific Quality Assurance Guidelines for Apprenticeship Programmes

Policy and Criteria for Access, Transfer and Progression in Relation to Learners for Providers of Further and Higher   Education and Training
- RPL Principles and Guidelines

Interpretation and Practical Application of ​the QQI Core Statutory Quality Assurance Guidelines Section 2.1 Governance and Management of Quality