Core QA 10: Other Parties Involved in Education and Training, Engagement with Stakeholders and other bodies
WWETB’s Statement of Strategy 2018 – 2022 has Fostering lasting Partnerships and Collaboration as a key high level goal, through strategic networking and a wide range collaborative initiatives.
- Collaborate with relevant forums to contribute to the ongoing development of the education and training sector (e.g. Regional Skills Forum).
- Enhance links with relevant local and national bodies, agencies and stakeholders to support our programmes and services to learners.
- Increase collaboration with Education and Teacher Centres in Wexford and Waterford for sharing resources and knowledge and with the Teacher Training Colleges with regard to opportunities for recruitment.
- Foster and enhance closer collaboration with third level institutions with regard to finding a solution to teacher shortages in certain subject areas (i.e. Arts and Sciences)
- Explore opportunities for schools to support their local communities through the utilisation of school buildings and facilities out of hours (e.g. for homework clubs, parent groups etc.)
- Maintain/Strengthen collaboration with SCP programmes
- Foster/Enhance collaboration with other partners, including NEPs, NCSE, Teacher Training Colleges, County Council, Junior Council, DES, Sporting Organisations, WLD, Chamber of Commerce, FDYS, Rotary Alliance, and Local Primary Schools
- Collaborate with industry partners to enhance our education and training programmes and provide opportunities for students and learners
- Parent Engagement – ways of encouraging parents to participate in the activities of the School and integrate into the School community.
SOLAS is responsible for the funding of a wide range of FET programmes within the 16 ETBs and is one of WWETB’s key stakeholders. WWETB submits an annual service plan to SOLAS which includes performance targets such as inputs, outputs, certification etc. and reports on these targets to SOLAS through the FARR database. The ETB provides administrative support staff, as well as a FET Development Officer to support centres in their reporting to SOLAS through FARR. In addition, there is a financial reporting process to SOLAS that WWETB engages in. SOLAS have now begun to discuss introducing a strategic dialogue process with ETBs.
SOLAS has statutory responsibility for craft apprenticeships (as coordinating provider), of which WWETB delivers a number in Phase 2 (see Section 9.1 below). A Memorandum of Understanding between WWLETB and SOLAS is in place with respect to the Craft Apprenticeships, in addition to a range of systems and procedures to ensure the successful delivery of these programmes. Senior Training Advisors are in place in the training centres, and they are authorised officers acting on behalf of SOLAS to approve the companies in which apprentices shall be employed.
10.3 Qualifications and Quality Ireland (QQI)
Qualifications and Quality Ireland was established by legislation as an independent body responsible for promoting quality and accountability in education and training services in Ireland in 2012. QQI maintains and develops the National Framework of Qualifications, it sets the standards for QQI awards and validates programmes for delivery by providers, including WWETB.
QQI has developed Core and Sector specific quality assurance guidelines for ETBs which inform the development of quality assurance policies and procedures for WWETB.
WWETB is mindful of its role and relationship with QQI, and its responsibilities and commitments under the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012. This Executive Self-Evaluation is the first step in approving new quality assurance policies and procedures for WWETB.
10.4 Other Awarding Bodies
WWETB has quality assurance arrangements and agreements in place with a number of other awarding bodies. The full list of other awarding bodies that WWETB is engaged with is listed on page 22.
Based on the new QQI Quality Assurance guidelines, WWETB will incorporate these arrangements, as well as unaccredited provision, in the development of new quality assurance policies and procedures. It is WWETB’s view that a single set of quality assurance policies, procedures and practices should operate across all FET activity in order to ensure consistency and eliminate the risk of error.
Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI), is the national representative association for Ireland’s sixteen Education and Training Boards. ETBI provides a broad range of coordination and professional supports to ETBs, including facilitating collaboration between ETBs, staff development and the coordination of policy development.
ETBI supports and coordinates a number of working groups and forums to assist ETBs in the development of policy and practice to enhance and improve activity and delivery within the sector. These groups include, among others:
- Chief Executives forum
- Directors (FET, OSD, Schools)
- FET Steering Group
- Quality Assurance Forum
- New apprenticeship development group
10.6 Department of Social Protection (DSP)
The DSP works closely at a local level with WWETB centres and colleges, and is the primary referral agency for courses run in the training centres. An interagency agreement between WWETB and the DSP is in place to manage this relationship.
Engagement with employers is a critical element in WWETB’s FET services, if these services are to meet the priorities set out in the FET strategy and ensure that programmes and courses are relevant to the needs of local business and industry. A number of mechanisms and avenues for engagements with employers exist across FET services, with individual centres and staff within an area generally having built up good informal contacts as well formal relationships with employers. Some staff within the training services have, as part of their responsibilities, the necessity to engage with employers, including the service to business staff and the Authorised Officers for apprenticeship.
A new revamped Services to Business Unit in WWETB will provide a quality based Advisory Service that will assist businesses with Training and Education requirements in the Further Education Sector. The unit will aim to improve communications and relationships with all our stakeholders and to communicate proactively with our customers helping them make informed choices regarding our programmes and services.
The Unit will actively promote and participate in;
- Craft Apprenticeships
- New Apprenticeships
- Career Traineeships
- Work place training
- Skills for Work
- Management Training for SMEs
- EU Funding Opportunities
Industry Representative Groups
WWETB also engages and interacts with other industry representative bodies, including, amongst others:
- Irish Management Institute (IMI)
- Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association (ISME)
- The Construction Industry Federation (CIF)
10.8 Community Partners
WWETB engages with a large number of Community partners to identify needs and assist with the coordination and delivery of a number of Further Education and Training programmes. Community partners include active retired groups, disability agencies, family resource centres and sporting groups/bodies. ETB has service level agreements in place with all community partners.
LTI Sponsoring Group
Local Training Initiatives are delivered through training services by sponsoring and coordinating community based organisations. The proposal for an LTI emanates from the sponsoring group in response to a need identified at local level. Through a service contact with WWETB, LTI sponsors are provided with the funding to deliver a response to the specific training needs within their locality.
Community Training Centre Management Boards
Community Training Centres are one part of the ETB’s direct provision under the national Youthreach programme, and were originally under the auspices of FÁS. Community Training Centres are operated by the Boards of Independent Companies, funded by WWETB through a service level agreement and with specified programme deliverable and outcomes identified for the Centres. CTCs are required to adhere to WWETB Quality Assurance policies and procedures and are monitored on a regular basis by training services staff.
Community Training provides training within the community for people who are economically or educationally disadvantaged. This is a granted service for programmes delivered on behalf of training centres; internal verification is undertaken by the provider, all results are reviewed by the training centre RAP, and all certificates are ordered through the centre. Training is provided across the four different programme types outlined below:
There are two CTCs operating in Waterford and Wexford
- WYTEC Waterford
- Youthtrain Wexford
10.9 Specialist Training Providers
Specialist Training Providers (STP’s) provide training programmes for learners with a range of disabilities, physical and intellectual, under a specific contract with WWETB. STP providers are generally organisations who specialise in the delivery of services to such groups, and they provide these programmes in a range of specially adapted facilities. WWETB works with the following Specialist Training Providers
- National Learning Network (NLN) Waterford
- National Learning Network (NLN) Wexford
10.10 Third Party Providers
Contracted training is a procured service to deliver training on behalf of the ETB training centres. A new tendering process developed by the Office of Government Procurement and SOLAS has almost been completed, and successful contractors who win the tender, may work with WWETB training centres for up to four years. When delivering training on behalf of a training centre, they do so under the training centre’s QA agreement (i.e. the TQAS). The internal verification process is undertaken by both the contracted trainer and the TSO, while the training centre organises the EA from the training centre EA panel. Results are uploaded to QQI by the training centre via the RCCRS. Contracted training providers are monitored on a monthly basis by the Contracted Training Officer, and there is a traffic light system in place to monitor underperforming contractors.
WWETB have a broad range of Contracted Training programmes running as follows;
Hotel Front Office, Sports Recreation and Exercise, Medical Administration, Health Service Skills, Pharma Manufacturing Technologies, Cleanroom and Packaging Operations, Office Support Skills, Logistics & Distribution, HGV Artic, Delivery Driver, Milling & Turning, Warehouse Operative, Welding Intermediate, IT Support Specialist
10.11 Other Community Education Providers
The Community Education strand of the Adult Education Service maintains a large network of relationships with community development groups and other community providers, through which the AES delivers a wide range of courses, both certified and uncertified. Responsibility for these programmes lies with the Community Education Facilitator, who reports to the Adult Education Officer.
Certified courses are, for the most part, included in the IV/EA/RAP processes of the local AES centres. However, some legacy issues arising out of the differing QA agreements are yet to be resolved.
10.12 Sectoral QA projects
WWETB is involved in a range of sectoral QA groups, projects and fora, including the CE Forum, the FET
Directors’ Forum, the QA Strategy Group, the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Strategy Group, the QA
Forum, the ETBI/QQI Validation Working Group, the ETBI Assessment Procedures Working Group, the Work Experience Review Group, the IQAVET Forum, the PLSS Advisory Group and the RPL Network amongst others.