23 November 2023 | EQAF Paper

Collaboration & partnership to quality assure international awarding bodies in Ireland

Órla Barry

QQI is establishing a new statutory scheme to provide voluntary, regulated access to the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) to a new type of awarding body, named Listed Awarding Bodies (LABs).


This new scheme allows professional, sectoral, and international awarding bodies to include their awards in the Irish NFQ, for the first time. Establishment as a LAB will require the body to develop and implement quality assurance procedures that are ESG compliant. This has the effect of extending the ESG to new types of awarding bodies across a wider range of higher education awards in Ireland. The scheme will significantly benefit learners by ensuring they have trust and confidence in these awarding bodies, the quality of their education provision and the reputation of their qualifications.

In the case of international awarding bodies already subject to a similar type of quality assurance oversight in another jurisdiction, QQI will work collaboratively with that quality assurance body in the approval, monitoring, and review of the awarding body. The policy approach to enable international cooperation and collaboration will be outlined and two specific examples of proposed working relationships with ENQA members will be outlined.  This approach has the potential to reduce regulatory burden, avoid duplication of effort and encourages deeper relationships with peer agencies.

This paper was presented at EQAF and reflects the views of the named authors only.

ISSN: 1375-3797

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