Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Third Level Education

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
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254. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a series of matters will be clarified regarding the situation in relation to third-level courses, such as social care studies which require students to finish placements of up to 800 hours in a workplace (details supplied). [6266/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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Since the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, significant work has been undertaken by a stakeholder group chaired by the Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) and including the representative bodies of education providers to address issues relating to the maintenance of the quality and standards of teaching and learning, assessment and qualifications. This group has focused on the implementation of alternative arrangements, where appropriate and necessary, to meet both these standards and, where applicable, the educational accreditation criteria established by Professional Recognition Bodies (PRBs).

In the case of Social Care, the awards standards established by QQI reflect the accreditation criteria that have been set out by CORU, Ireland's multi-profession Health and Social Care Regulator and consequently the relevant PRB for this profession. Engagement is ongoing between members of the stakeholders group, QQI and CORU to ensure that necessary arrangements are put in place to maintain standards of education and training in this area so that students can progress e.g. from third year into fourth year or, where relevant, graduate with the relevant professional competencies that have been set out by CORU and which are reflected in QQI’s award standards.   

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