Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Education and Skills
SOLAS Training and Education Programmes
203. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 252 on 5 February 2019, the reason two public bodies under the remit of his Department, SOLAS and QQI are continuing to pass the responsibility of eligible persons applying for a waiver to the certification fees from one to the other; the bodies that must deal with eligible persons applying for a waiver; the person responsible to issue reimbursement application forms to persons that were wrongly overcharged (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9354/19]
As the Deputy is aware SOLAS is undertaking an upgrade of their IT systems supporting the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) application process and will enable a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) certification fee waiver to be applied for at source. This is expected to be available later in 2019.
Since my response to the Deputy's earlier question, which was based on information from SOLAS, I am informed by SOLAS that until the IT solution is in place, any persons undertaking a CSCS training and assessment event that believe they are eligible to a waiver in respect of QQI certification fees are advised to download the application form now available on the SOLAS website and apply to their Approved Training Organisation for a waiver. Any persons who believe that they are eligible to a waiver in respect of QQI certification fees already paid are advised to submit a waiver fee request to the SOLAS Construction Services Unit, giving evidence of unemployment/medical card details at the time. SOLAS will forward a waiver fee application form to the applicant, which will require validation by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection or the Health Service Executive, for the time period in question, and should be submitted to SOLAS for processing.
Further information regarding QQI certification fees and the waiver process can be found on the SOLAS website.