There are many different awards or qualifications that Leaving Cert students can work towards achieving, but what do they all mean?
QQI stands for Quality and Qualifications Ireland. QQI gives awards in further and higher education and training. Further education and training is education and training between post-primary level and higher education. Higher education and training is provided mainly in universities and colleges of technology or equivalent bodies.
- The State-supported universities and Institutes of technology all award their own degrees and other awards
- Private colleges offer awards, some of which are validated by foreign universities and some of which are validated by QQI. Some of their awards may not not be validated by any outside body.
NFQ is The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). It works on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest point. All qualifications recognised through the NFQ system are quality assured which means you can have complete confidence that your course and college are constantly reviewed to ensure consistent high standards.
Types of Awards from QQI
- Certificates (Major Award) - awarded for the achievement of major awards, where students achieve the national standard in a prescribed range and number of component areas.
- Component Certificates - awarded for the achievement of individual blocks of learning, which can stand alone or build towards the achievement of a full certificate.
- Special Purpose Certificates - awarded for the achievement of a group of prescribed blocks of learning, generally for specific, relatively narrow purposes.
- Supplemental Certificates - awarded for the achievement of individual areas of learning that are additional to a previously achieved major award.
Qualifications from other Awarding Bodies include:
Edexcel - UK academic and general qualifications or awards which include GCSE, BTEC and A levels as well as some National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Functional Skills.
BTEC awards which are popular work-related qualifications related to specific careers rather than academic subjects. They are internationally recognised in over 90 countries.
A list of centres providing BTEC courses in Ireland is available here.
City & Guilds - The City and Guilds of London Institute (City & Guilds) is a vocational education organisation based in the UK. City & Guilds offer vocational and technical qualifications in a wide range of areas such as Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Business, Construction, Conservation, Digital Technology, Dog Grooming, Electronics and Film Production among others. City & Guilds Awards are 'aligned' to the NFQ in Ireland, meaning that they are recognised under the framework. This allows learners to progress seamlessly onto the next level of their training and career progression.