What does it mean for training providers and for training participants?


Background -

The Common Awards System (CAS) is the new way of developing FETAC Awards. It is a national, outcomes–based awards system for all further education and training. By 2014 every FETAC award will be part of this system, these awards help make opportunities happen!

 Breakdown -

  • Common Awards each have a credit value
  • Credits reflect the amount of learning that is required
  • Credits can be accumulated over time, through the achievement of minor awards.
  • The Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS) creates new opportunities for learners to make all their achievements count more easily across the growing range of transfer and progression opportunities.
  • The Common Awards System (CAS) is also compatible with ECVET the European Initiative promoting mobility for learners, using credit as a common currency.

Participants –

With the development of the common awards system, no learning achievement need be lost. Learners can use component certificates (Minor Awards) to build recognition for learning right across all further education and training provision – over time and at their own pace. Obstacles to progression are being removed!

Any CAS major award at level 5 or 6 can be used as a basis for progression to higher education through the CAO the Central Admissions Office. The Higher Education Links Scheme (HELS), links specific FETAC Level 5 and level 6 Certificates to reserved places on a variety of higher education programmes. (Note – Applicants must have obtained a FETAC Major Awards, an accumulation of minor awards).

With the amalgamation of FETAC, HETAC, NQAI and the functions of IUQB recognition and progression in education and training are even simpler within a single awards landscape. It makes it easier for learners, employers and business people make sense of awards and education and training systems in Ireland.

With FETAC awards on the Framework, they have an enduring value and recognition of your learning is guaranteed.

Providers -

Access to all CAS programmes through FETAC by Programme Validation. Validation is the process of evaluation which ensures that learners undertaking a programme are offered the appropriate opportunities to achieve awards.

Providers will be able to improve access arrangements to programmes because for the first time, all further education and training providers in Ireland will use a common credit system to describe achievement.

The introduction of the new FETAC Business System (FBS), this protects to an even greater degree the integrity and quality of the processes leading to awards for both FETAC and providers. The FBS in time will enable certification to be offered more frequently to all further education and training providers.

Facts –

  1. Level 1 & Level 2 awards were introduced in 2006 and were entirely new. Ireland was the first country to make awards at Level 1 as part of the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications)
  2. Level 1 & 2 were achieved for the first time in 2008
  3. In 2007, 500,000 learners achieved FETAC Awards
  4. By 2010, the number exceeded 1 million!
  5. In 2009, the most popular awards were in the services, social services, business, law and general programme areas.
  6. Almost 3,000 learners in 2001 indicated that they held a FETAC Award as part of their CAO Application.
  7. In 2005, The Insitiuties of Technology introduced a new scheme where FETAC applications were mainstreamed and processed in the same way as applications from Leaving Certificate students.
  8. By 2009, FETAC Awards were accepted as a nationally currency for entry to programmes in Irish Higher Education Institutions, whether in Universities, Institute of Technology or the DIT.
  9. In 2010, almost 15% of learners applying to higher education through CAO indicated a FETAC Award.
  10. In 2008, The Minister of Finance announced the amalgamation of FETAC, HETAC, NQAI and functions of IUQB
  11. 40% of learners were under 30 years of age
  12. 33% were between 30 and 44years
  13. 45+ year olds account for 25%of achievement
  14. 1% were obtained by those over 65
  15. In 2009, the majority of learners were between 30 and 65 years – a stunning 58%!

Further Reading –

List of FETAC Awards

List of Higher Education Institutions that operate the Higher Education Links Scheme


The National Framework of Qualifications

The National Framework of Qualifications consists of 10 levels, encompassing levels of education and training in Ireland. FETAC has specific responsibility for providing a range of awards at levels 1-6 in the framework. The framework shows how education and training awards relate to one another. A key element of the framework is to enable access and progression opportunities to education and training between levels. For Further details consults www.nfq.ie

National Framework of Qualifications

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