Validation is a regulatory process that determines if a QQI award can be offered in respect of a provider’s programme of education and training.
Education and training programmes validated by QQI:
- lead to QQI awards at all levels in the National Framework of Qualifications;- are offered in a range of educational contexts (for example Further Education and Training (FET), Higher Education and Training (HET), professional education and apprenticeship, English Language Education (ELE), and research education and training); - can involve diverse modes of delivery (including collaborative, transnational and e-learning).
QQI accepts applications for the validation of education and training programmes. To be considered for validation by QQI, programmes must be developed in relation to QQI policies and criteria.
See the further reading panel on the right of this page for information on different classes of programmes.
Providers without an existing relationship with QQI who wish to offer QQI approved programme must first apply for initial access to validation. There are several prerequisites that must be meet before initial access applications are considered. More information on this process is available on our Initial Access to Programme Validation page here.
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 (first published in 2016) - Policies and Criteria for the validation of programmes leading to Common Award System (CAS) awards (first published in 2016)
This policy applies to all HET programmes; apprenticeship programmes leading to NFQ levels 5 to 9 QQI awards; ELE programmes leading to QQI awards; and, from 1 September 2018, all new FET programmes.
Guidelines for preparing an application for validation are outlined in Unit 5 of the Core Policies and Criteria for Validation document.
For more information on HET, FET, apprenticeship and ELE application processes please visit the respective pages located in the further reading panel on the right of this page.
Protection of Enrolled Learners
Initial Access to Validation
Validation (FET Programmes)
Validation (HET Programmes)
Validation (Apprenticeship Programmes)
Validation (ELE Programmes)
Certification of Learners
Validation Circulars and FAQs