Progression & Professional Development
Gain the recognition and qualifications for career or educational progression. Have the competitive edge to gain employment or advancement in your current work.
The National Framework of Qualifications
The National Framework of Qualifications, the NFQ. Qualifications matter. So whether you’re at school or college, thinking of returning to learning, applying for a job, or considering taking your education and training to the next stage, it’s now easier for everyone – learners, employers, providers and advisors – to understand the national qualifications system.
The National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) provides a way to compare qualifications, and to ensure that they are quality assured and recognised at home and abroad.
The NFQ provides a structure (a framework) to compare and contrast the level and standard of different qualifications. This helps you to make informed decisions about your qualification choices and to consider progression opportunities available to you. The NFQ also makes it easier for you to explain to others what qualifications you hold, or are studying for. This becomes very important when you are considering further learning or when you are applying for a job - at home or abroad.
As a learner, you need to be aware of key questions you should ask to identify qualifications that are recognised through the NFQ. This information should be used to influence your education and training decisions for the future. The NFQ, illustrated by the “fan diagram” above is a system of ten levels.
It is based on standards of knowledge, skill and competence and it incorporates awards made for all kinds of learning, wherever it is gained. School qualifications (awards) awarded by the State Examinations Commission, further education and training qualifications awarded by FETAC and higher education and training qualifications awarded by HETAC, DIT, other Institutes of Technology and the Universities are all included in the Framework.
Qualifications in the NFQ are quality assured. This means that you, the learner, can have confidence that your course, and the institution at which you are studying, are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Quality assurance is intended to ensure that all learners have a high quality learning experience regardless of where you are studying.
The European and international dimensions of the NFQ are also very important from a learner perspective. Increasingly, learners and workers are travelling to other countries for the purposes of accessing further learning or for entry to the labour market. All qualifications in the NFQ are recognised at home and abroad. For information and advice on travelling abroad with your Irish qualification, whether for work or for further study, please consult the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland's information leaflet Travelling with your Irish Qualification.
The NFQ is used to compare Irish qualifications with foreign qualifications, thus, acting as a valuable tool for Irish citizens travelling abroad who wish to use their Irish qualifications. In addition, learners or workers travelling to
For the Employer or Recruiter
As an employer and/or recruiter, you are a key stakeholder in the continued development and successful implementation of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ).
- Specify the level of knowledge, skill and competence required for occupational roles and makes it easier for you to identify qualifications you can use to accurately signal education and training requirements for job and person specifications.
- Evaluate qualifications presented - The NFQ can widen the pool of suitable applicants as individuals with comparable qualifications to those stipulated and those with comparable foreign qualifications can be considered for positions. The NQAI offers a service called Qualifications Recognition, which provides employers and recruiters with a means of comparing and contrasting foreign qualifications with qualifications in the Irish system. This service is free of charge and is an advisory service on foreign qualifications and how they compare to Irish qualifications on the NFQ, thus enabling the identification of suitably qualified applicants. The European and international dimensions of the NFQ and its link to the European Higher Education Area, ‘Bologna’ Framework and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) in particular, will also help you understand qualifications from abroad.
- Simplify your applications procedure. - The diverse styles and formats of candidates’ CVs and qualification certificates further complicates decision making processes in recruitment. The NQAI hosts the National Europass Centre in
Ireland, which is a European Commission initiative that aims to help people state their skills and qualifications clearly in a way that is universally understood and accepted throughout Europe. In particular, the Certificate and Diploma Supplements can be used as an aid in the recruitment process by acting as a source of additional information regarding further and higher education and training awards, respectively.
- Connect Training and Development with business needs – The 10 levels of the NFQ are based on learning outcomes; what an individual knows, understands and is able to do following successful completion of a programme of study. Learning outcomes and the clarity provided by the NFQ regarding access, transfer and progression opportunities helps you to plan and assess staff training and education needs, by pitching and fitting the right education and training with both individual and business needs, thereby, increasing return on your investment.
- Get your in-company education and training certified. All qualifications on the NFQ are quality assured and the Framework supports the development and certification of all learning wherever it takes place; this includes the workplace. Your in-company training can lead to nationally and internationally recognised qualifications, thus, rewarding employees for their participation in continuous professional development programmes.
- Secure funding for workplace training. Increasingly, public funding for workplace training and development is aimed at supporting upskilling initiatives that lead to qualifications recognised through the NFQ.
- Support performance management by using qualifications on the NFQ to motivate your workforce to maintain high performing work environments.
- Become an employer of choice. Using the NFQ as a workplace resource demonstrates your commitment to investing in your most important asset and helps you attract, retain and motivate the talent you need for success.
Recognition of Accredited Prior Learning (RAPL)
The NUI Maynooth Certificate & Diploma courses are linked to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). This means that students may acquire credits and apply for exemptions to other courses or degree programmes within the credit transfer system. The NUI Certificate courses carry up to 20 (ECTS) and the NUI Diploma in Arts carries 60 (ECTS).
NUI Maynooth Foundation level courses do not carry ECTS and consequently do not qualify for Recognition of Accredited Prior Learning (RAPL). On completion of the Return to Learning course students who obtain a First Class Honours or Second Class Honours Grade 1 will automatically be offered a place on the Bachelor of Arts degree programme in this university.
Students who have successfully completed a subject specific NUIM Certificate (20 ECTS) may apply for exemption (20 general credits) in one subject in 1st Year Bachelor of Arts degree programmes at NUI Maynooth. This means that instead of taking three subjects in 1st Year, students already holding an NUIM Certificate may opt to take only two subjects. This option is voluntary. Please note that students must apply through the Central Admissions Office (CAO) for full-time courses. http://admissions.nuim.ie/subjects/
NB However, please be aware that the age to access Full-Time undergraduate study remains at 23 years of age on 1st January in year of application.
Contact us for more information on dates and cost at 044 9331754
Photo by John McCauley Mullingar 2012