Inaugural Review of Further Education and Training Service Quality Assurance System Concludes

The Further Education and Training (FET) Service concluded a very productive week long inaugural review of its quality assurance system on 28 May with an international review team appointed by Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI). In March QQI launched the Inaugural Review of Quality Assurance across the Further Education and Training (FET) sector of Ireland’s sixteen ETBs. Donegal ETB’s FET Service was the fourth one in the country to undergo the process.

It began the preparation of its Self-Evaluation Report in January 2020 which saw the submission of a Provider Profile in November 2020 and submission of its main Self-Evaluation Report in February this year. This was followed by an initial planning meeting at the end of March with the Chair and Coordinating Reviewer of the Review Team. The main review visit with the full team began online on 24 May with twenty-nine meetings scheduled throughout the week with 156 staff, students and many stakeholders from across the county.

The concluding meeting on Friday 28 May presented very positive initial feedback. The review team noted that it was evident that Donegal ETB’s learner-centred mission sits at the heart of all FET activity and in particular noted the passion and commitment of FET staff and the excellent level of engagement of staff, students and external stakeholders in the review process itself. The team particularly commended the leadership role the FET Service has taken in the areas of Access, Transfer and Progression and Recognition of Prior Learning, the rapid response of the Service to the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in light of the diverse population and geography of the county, and new programme development across a range of awarding bodies.

Donegal ETB’s Director of Further Education and Training Cróna Gallagher commented, “The quality review process seeks to encourage the further development of a quality culture within ETBs and to improve public confidence in the quality of FET provision by promoting transparency and public awareness. We are delighted to have completed this landmark review; we learned a lot from the experience and this can only help to improve the service we provide for our community in Donegal. We are particularly pleased that the initial findings from the review team commended our learner-centred approach and the passion and commitment of our staff. We look forward to the publication of the final report with keen interest.”

The report will be made available in the Autumn.