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National Information Centres

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (Dearbhú Cáilíochta agus Cáilíochtaí Éireann)
NARIC Ireland at Quality and Qualifications Ireland

26-27 Denzille Lane

D02 P266


Phone: +353 1 905 8100
Web Site:
Contact person: Angela Lambkin, NARIC Ireland

National education bodies

Department of Education and Science
An Roinn Oideachais Agus Eolaíochta

System of education

Education System in Ireland

Education is compulsory for children in Ireland from the ages of six to sixteen or until students have completed three years of second-level education.

The Irish education system is made up of:

State-funded education is available at all levels, unless you choose to send your child to a private institution

Link(s): English

University education

Universities in Ireland


University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin
University College Cork,
National University of Ireland,
Maynooth University (NUIM)
University of Limerick,
Trinity College,
Dublin City

Technological University

Technological University of Dublin established 1/1/19 with the merger of the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and the Institute of Technology Tallaght.

Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

QQI is the state agency with responsibility for quality assurance of education and training of further and higher education and training providers in the state in the context of post-school provision.


Post-secondary non-university education

Further Education and Training Ireland

Further Education

Further Education covers education and training which occurs after second level schooling but which is not part of the third level system. The providers of Further and Adult Education and Training include a wide variety of schools, organisations and institutions (public and private), who are involved in the delivery of continuing education and training for young school leavers, job seekers, the employed and adults returning to education. See

Organisational Restructuring 

  • The Education and Training Boards Act 2013 was passed in May 2013.  The Act provides for the dissolution of Vocational Education Committees (VECs) and for the establishment of the 16 Education and Training Boards (ETBs) through a process involving the merger of some of the 33 existing VECs. 
  • The Further Education and Training Act 2013 was signed into law in July 2013. The Act provides for the establishment of SOLAS and the dissolution of FÁS. The legislation also provides for the gradual transfer of FÁS training centres and training staff to the newly formed Education and Training Boards.

Establishment of ETBs

  • Arising from the commencement of the Education and Training Boards Act, the 16 ETBs were established on 1st July 2013. 
  • Upon establishment, the ETBs had responsibility for the delivery of primary, post primary and further education in line with their predecessor VECs.  The transfer of former FÁS training functions would occur on a phased basis.

Establishment of SOLAS

SOLAS was established on 27 October 2013, bringing about the dissolution of FÁS. SOLAS will work with the ETBs to support the development of appropriate further education and training programmes and curricula and the sourcing of further education and training interventions from the private, public and not for profit sector.

Adult Education and Training

Adult Education is set out in Learning for Life - White Paper on Adult Education, published in 2000. A range of education and training is provided by various organisations aimed at upskilling and reskilling people who are unemployed.  Providing skills for work is a priority.

National Framework of Qualifications

Certification in the Further and Higher Education and Training Sector is usually in alignment with the National Framework of Qualifications – an awards framework of 10 levels which is aligned to the European Framework of Qualifications. 

Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) a state agency of the Department of Education and Skills quality assures institutions of further and higher education and training, validates educational programmes and makes awards to learners.

Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training

The main providers of further and adult education and training are the Education and Training Boards (ETBs).  

Full-Time Programmes in Further Education

  • Post Leaving Certificate (PLC) Courses
  • Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS)
  • Youthreach

Part-Time Programmes in Further Education

  • Back To Education Initiative (BTEI)
  • Adult Literacy
  • Community Education

Link(s): English, Irish, EN

Recognised higher education institutions

Recognised Providers of Higher Education Ireland

National University of Ireland Recognised Colleges

Institute of Public
Milltown Institute of Theology &
National College of Art and
Royal College of Surgeons
Shannon College of Hotel

Institutes Of Technology

*Dublin Institute of
Athlone Institute of
Cork Institute of
Dundalk Institute of
Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and
Galway-Mayo Institute of
*Institute of Technology,
Institute of Technology,
Institute of Technology,
*Institute of Technology,
Institute of Technology,
Letterkenny Institute of
Limerick Institute of
Limerick Institute of Technology
Waterford Institute of

* Technological University Dublin established 1/1/19 merging DIT, IT Blanchardstown and IT Tallaght.

Colleges of Education

The Church of Ireland College of
Froebel College of
Coláiste Mhuire, Marino Institute of
St. Angela’s
St. Patrick’s College of
Mary Immaculate
Mater Dei

Other State-Aided Institutions

Dublin Institute for Advanced
National College of
Pontifical University of
Royal Irish Academy of
St Patrick’s, Carlow

Other State-Aided Institutions

Honorable Society of Kings
Law Society of

Link(s): English
Privately funded higher education colleges

Privately funded higher education colleges offering validated programmes leading to awards of Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) can be identified using this link:

Link(s): EN

Policies and procedures for the recognition of qualifications

QQI Policy and Criteria for the Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications

NARIC Ireland advice on the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland

Recognition of Qualifications held by Refugees

NARIC Ireland

The qualifications database website lists more than 1,100 qualifications and an individual regardless of  their status can access a Comparability Statement for their academic qualifications free of charge from the relevant pages. 

This Comparability Statement compares the foreign qualification to an award type and level on the Irish national framework of qualifications ( An employer or higher education institution can review this information in the context of their requirements.

Our user guide is available in a number of languages to assist users. 


Qualifications Framework


The National Framework of Qualifications (NQF)

Interactive Framework -

Link(s): English, Irish

Self Evaluation Report

Referencing Report of the National Framework of Qualifications to the EQF (2009)

Referencing Report of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications to the European Qualifications Framework for Lifelong learning (EQF) 2009

Report of Steering Committee for National Consultation

Verification of Compatibility of Irish National Framework of Qualifications with the Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area, November 2006

Link(s): English

Diploma Supplement (DS) Information

Responsible organisation

Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland
Údarás na hÉireann um Cháilíochtaí agus Dearbhú Cáilíochta

26-27 Denzille Lane, D02 P266, Ireland

Phone: 00353 1 9058100
Link: English
National Europass Centre
National Europass Centre

Quality and Qualifications Ireland

26-27 Denzille Lane


D02 P266

Phone: 0035319058100
Link: English,

Information on DS (legislation, template, chart, etc)

Process of Implementation of the Diploma Supplement

Example of a completed Irish Diploma Supplement which each institution will provide to their graduates.

Link(s): English
Chart / description of national higher education structure

Chart of the Irish Higher Education Structure

Link(s): English

Access to higher education

Postponement of the Irish 2020 Leaving Certificate Examinations

COVID 19 arrangements: The Irish Leaving Certificate 2020 

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. on Friday 8 May 2020 announced the postponement of the 2020 Leaving Certificate.

All students to be offered the option of accepting Calculated Grades or sitting Leaving Certificate written examinations at a later date

Following a decision at Cabinet, all students are to be offered the option of receiving Calculated Grades for the subjects they are studying and the alternative of sitting the 2020 Leaving Certificate examinations at a date in the future when it is considered safe to hold the examinations. 

The decision has been taken following an assessment of public health advice and other information and the implications for holding the exams from the previously rescheduled date of Wednesday 29 July 2020.

A guide to Calculated Grades and further information on this process is available at

Link(s): EN, EN