Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019

Publication Date:January 01, 2019
 
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Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019

2019 32

An Act to amend and extend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012; for that purpose to make fresh provision concerning the means by which an award’s status, with reference to the National Framework of Qualifications, may be established and, to that end, to provide for the establishment of a category of awarding bodies, exclusive of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland or certain other persons, which shall be known as “listed awarding bodies”; to provide, as a condition precedent for provisions of that Act to be invoked by providers falling within a certain category (or intending such providers), for a requirement that criteria specified in regulations, to be made by the Minister for Education and Skills, must be met, including criteria for the purpose of affording a reasonable assurance to the foregoing Authority that a foregoing provider has the capacity and capability to provide programmes of education and training consistent with the requirements of that Act; to provide for the establishment of a fund which shall be known as “Protection of Enrolled Learners Fund”, into which an annual charge by certain providers must be paid and from which moneys may, in cases of default in delivery of certain programmes, be paid so to enable enrolled learners complete the programme concerned or so as to be used for certain other purposes; to make further provision regarding authorisation to use the international education mark; to add to the cases in which a provider may be authorised to describe itself as a “university” and, for that purpose, to amend the Universities Act 1997; and to provide for related matters.

[23 July 2019]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:

1 Preliminary and General

PART 1

Preliminary and General

S-1 Short title and commencement

1 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister for Education and Skills may by order or orders appoint either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or different provisions.

S-2 Definition

2 Definition

2.In this Act “Principal Act” means the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.

2 Amendment of Principal Act

PART 2

Amendment of Principal Act

S-3 Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act (Interpretation)

3 Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act (Interpretation)

(1) Section 2(1) of the Principal Act is amended:

(a)

by the insertion of the following definition after the definition of “Appeals Board”:

“‘associated provider’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 55F(1);”;

(b)

by the insertion of the following definition after the definition of “award”:

“‘award that is included within the Framework’ shall be construed in accordance with section 55B;”;

(c)

in the definition of “designated awarding body”, by the insertion of “an Institute of Technology,” after “a technological university,” (inserted by the Technological Universities Act 2018);

(d)

by the insertion of the following definition after the definition of “dissolved body”:

“‘English language education and training’ means a programme of education and training in English as a foreign language and ‘English language programme’ shall be construed accordingly;”;

(e)

by the insertion of the following definition after the definition of “linked provider”:

“‘listed awarding body’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 55A(1)(a);”;

(f)

in the definition of “relevant provider”—

(i) in paragraph (g), by the substitution of “section 53,” for “section 53, or”,

(ii) in paragraph (h), by the substitution, in subparagraph (ii), of “provider,” for “provider;”, and

(iii) by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (h) —

“(i) an Institute of Technology,

(j) an education and training board, or

(k) a listed awarding body providing one or more programmes leading to its own awards that are awards included within the Framework;”;

and

(g)

by the insertion of the following definition after the definition of “relevant provider”:

“ ‘Solas’ means An tSeirbhís Oideachais Leanúnaigh agus Scileanna;”.

(2) Section 2 of the Principal Act is amended by the substitution of the following subsection for subsection (2):

“(2) For the purposes of this Act, a programme of education and training is validated where the Authority confirms under section 45 that the provider of the programme has satisfied the Authority that, in respect of the period for which, by virtue of subsection (1A) or (1B) of section 45, the validation is to have effect:

(a) an enrolled learner of that provider who completes that programme will acquire, and where appropriate, be able to demonstrate, the necessary knowledge, skill or competence to justify an award of the Authority being offered in respect of that programme;

(b) the quality assurance procedures established under section 28 by that provider are consistent with the guidelines issued by the Authority under section 27(1) and suitable for quality assuring that programme; and

(c) the provider has the capacity and capability to provide that programme;

and section 45 shall be construed and operate so as to require the Authority to be so satisfied as to those matters.”.

(3) Section 2(3) of the Principal Act is amended by the substitution of “provider that has a place of business in the State and is not” for “provider that is not”.

S-4 Amendment of section 9 of Principal Act (Functions of Authority)

4 Amendment of section 9 of Principal Act (Functions of Authority)

(1) Section 9(1) of the Principal Act is amended:

(a)

by the substitution of the following paragraph for paragraph (c):

“(c) approve a provider’s quality assurance procedures and monitor and review the effectiveness of such procedures (including such procedures as they stand amended for the time being),”;

(b)

in paragraph (j) —

(i) by the substitution of “awards that are awards included within the Framework” for “awards recognised within the Framework”, where it firstly occurs, and

(ii) by the substitution of “such awards” for “awards recognised within the Framework”, where it secondly occurs;

(c)

in paragraph (o), by the substitution of “completion,” for “completion, and”;

(d)

in paragraph (p), by the substitution of “appropriate,” for “appropriate.”; and

(e)

by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (p):

“(q) share, as it considers appropriate, any information collected through the performance of its functions with a Department of State, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Solas and any other body the Authority considers appropriate, subject to the general law (and in particular the relevant law of the European Union and the Data Protection Act 2018),

(r) make decisions that it is appropriate that particular awards be regarded, for the purposes of this Act, as awards that are included within the Framework, and

(s) as an element of the process of making decisions of the foregoing kind, prepare and publish a list of awarding bodies for the purposes of having awards included within the Framework.”.

(2) Section 9(2) of the Principal Act is amended:

(a)

in paragraph (d), by the substitution of “Minister,” for “Minister, and”;

(b)

in paragraph (e), by the insertion, after “State Examinations Commission” of “, Solas”, and the substitution of “Authority considers appropriate,” for “Authority considers appropriate.”; and

(c)

by the insertion of the following paragraphs after paragraph (e):

“(f) conduct any reviews that it considers necessary and expedient for the performance of its functions, and

(g) publish reports of its reviews, evaluations and determinations as it considers appropriate.”.

S-5 Amendment of section 13 of Principal Act (Co-operation with Authority)

5 Amendment of section 13 of Principal Act (Co-operation with Authority)

5. Section 13 of the Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (3):

“(4) In this section and section 14 a reference to a relevant provider shall be construed as including a reference to a listed awarding body, whether or not it is a listed awarding body that falls within paragraph (k) of the definition of ‘relevant provider’ in section 2(1).”.

S-6 Amendment of Principal Act - furnishing of information to other bodies

6 Amendment of Principal Act - furnishing of information to other bodies

6. The Principal Act is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 14:

“Furnishing of information by Authority to other bodies

14A. (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Authority may furnish to a Department of State, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, An tÚdarás um Ard-Oideachas, Solas, the Central Applications Office and any other body the Authority considers appropriate information which comes to its attention in the course of performing its functions, and which relates to one or more functions of that other body.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to information that is personal data within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation; the furnishing to others of personal data by the Authority shall be in accordance with the general law, and in particular:

(a) the General Data Protection Regulation; and

(b) as applicable—

(i) the Data Protection Act 2018; and

(ii) any Act of the Oireachtas that is passed, before, on or after the commencement ofsection 6 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Act 2019, for the purpose of, amongst other things, the regulation of the sharing of personal data (or both personal data and other information) between public bodies.

(3) In subsection (2) ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ means Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and...

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